At the close of World War I, three colonial powers—Britain, France with the assent of Russia—divided up the former Ottoman Empire. Britain occupied most of Palestine and Iraq; France occupied Syria and Lebanon. The area which is now Israel was in theory under international rule, but was administrated by Britain.
There is one phrase that every media network in the world knows and uses—”occupied territory.” This phrase shapes the orientation and perspective of literally the entire world.
In its truest definition/meaning/understanding, occupied Palestinian territory means Israel is illegally occupying land belonging to someone else.
In other words Israel is flouting international law.
Israel has no legitimate right to the land which she is occupying. And even “Israel proper” is questionable.
There is no peace because Israel is building apartments and creating towns (derisively called “settlements”) in “occupied territory.”
If Israel would just give up her claims to the “occupied Palestinian territory” then Arabs would make peace and the earth would be relieved of most of the turmoil generated in the Middle East.
It is astounding to see how little journalists and politicians know about Israel’s roots. They often act as if Israel appeared one day, confiscated Arab land and seized the capital city of the Palestinian nation.
Every follower of Yeshua needs to know the facts of how the modern state of Israel came to be. So here goes!
Thirty-five hundred years ago a man from Ur of the Chaldees (today Iraq) and his family travelled to what was then called Canaan, where he was told by God that the land there would be an inheritance to him and his descendants forever.
Of course, what journalist in this modern world would accept such a fanciful “legal document” from God?
But fortunately for them, there are other legal treaties and documents that though conveniently ignored by pundits and leaders, do exist and give international legitimacy and justice to Israel’s existence—no matter what nations declare today.
It was just after World War I and the English and French had defeated Germany and the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Now there was nothing left to do but divide up the booty. That’s what victorious armies do, do they not?
So even before the war officially ended, Sir Mark Sykes representing Britain and Charles Picot of France negotiated the Sykes-Picot Agreement which carved up the Ottoman Empire between Britain and France (with a bit left for Russia).
Britain took the southern part of the Middle East including the so-called Palestine area (the name given to the land of Israel by the Romans) while France took Greater Syria. Britain also decided to give a bit of Palestine—the Golan Heights which belonged to the Jewish tribe of Manasseh and was part of Britain’s Mandate—to France and France later gave it to Syria—you could call it a sort of happenstance administrative model.
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY? HAVE YOU NOTICED:
- There has never been a Palestinian state. There has never been a Palestinian people until Yasser Arafat and other Arab nations created them IN 1964.
- The “Palestinian people” have no holidays celebrating national events—only protest days against Israel.
- No nation has ever claimed Jerusalem as their capital in the centuries after the Jewish people were expelled by the Romans in 70AD. That is, no one until Israel made the new Jerusalem her capital—and then recaptured the ancient city in 1967.
THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
The two colonial powers, Britain and France, began divvying up the former Ottoman Empire according to the pressures and considerations at the moment. Fortunately for the Jewish people, during World War I a prominent scientist, Dr. Chaim Weizman, discovered a new process to produce acetone used in the manufacture of explosives—a discovery that greatly helped Britain’s war effort. This innovation encouraged Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to issue the Balfour Declaration of 1917—the modern foundational basis for Israel’s legitimate rights to Palestine as her Jewish homeland. (See second article.)
There followed a number of treaties and covenants that affirmed the Balfour Declaration—by the world body of the League of Nations, the San Remo conference, and finally the United Nations which voted to accept Israel as a member nation of the UN.
During the years after WWI through WWII when millions of Jews were dying in gas chambers, the Arab peoples of the Middle East fought with all their might to keep Jews out of their Jewish homeland. Britain, understanding that there were many more Arabs than Jews, and needing them to fight along side them against the Ottoman Turks, mostly caved in to Arab violence, riots and political demands.
THREE WHITE PAPERS
Early on, in 1922, Winston Churchill came up with a plan that he thought might work. When the Arabs demanded that he rescind the Balfour Declaration, he replied in his 1922 White Paper, that he could not do that. The Balfour Declaration stands. However, to appease the Arabs, he arbitrarily took the land under the British Mandate east of the Jordan River—76 percent of what had been promised as a homeland to the Jews—and ordered that Jews could no longer settle or live there. This was a betrayal of the full promise of the Balfour Declaration, but Churchill thought it worthwhile in that Britain could then reserve for the Jews the remaining 24 percent of Palestine which was west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Churchill was seen as a friend to the Jewish people.
The Arabs gladly took the land on the east bank, but continued to launch terrorist attacks against the Jews over the remaining 24 percent meant for a Jewish homeland.
In response to the continuous violence, another White Paper in 1930 was written by the British government stating that it now seemed necessary to limit the number of Jews immigrating to anyplace in the Holy Land because they were taking jobs away from the Arab population. It is a well-known fact that everywhere the Jews lived, they built up the economy and actually gave Arabs new jobs. The truth is, where Jews lived, Arabs were also attracted to move in. But the British wanted to stop the Arab violence at all costs.
In 1939, at the beginning of the destruction of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe, the British sent out a third White Paper allowing only 10,000 Jews a year into Palestine for the next five years! After that, the Arabs would decide on whether more Jews would be allowed into Palestine. Thus, during WWII, the Jews were denied a safe haven from the Nazi butchers. The British sense of justice collapsed under the weight of Arab terrorism and obstinacy.
JEWISH PEOPLE STILL WITHOUT A HOME
Meanwhile, France gave Lebanon her independence in 1943 and Syria in 1946 while Britain gave Iraq her independence in 1932 and Jordan in 1946.
Still Israel was given no country of her own because of the constant violence of the Arabs who were determined that no Jews would create a state in the midst of “Arab territory.”
Finally Britain had had enough and threw up her hands, handed the mess over to the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations.
UN WELCOMES ISRAEL AS MEMBER STATE
The League and, after that, the UN upheld the Balfour concept, but divided what was left of the British Mandate into a small section for Israel, leaving room for another Arab state in the hill country west of the Jordan River (Judea and Samaria.)
Israel agreed to receive this tiny piece of land for her new state and Israel was granted her entry to the UN as an independent Jewish state in 1948. More than mystifying is the fact that after 6,000,000 Jews had been murdered in that very decade, Britain could not bring herself to cast her UN vote in favor of Israel. She was the only European state that abstained. Even Russia voted for Israel!
But every single Muslim nation in the UN in 1947 voted against Israel’s statehood. It was destiny that at that time the Muslim countries and their close allies did not yet have the majority vote in the UN General Assembly as they do today.
Israel accepted UN Resolution 181 and 273 (see second article.) and Founding Father David Ben Gurion declared Israel a free and independent state on May 14, 1948.
FIVE ARAB NATIONS INVADE ISRAEL
The Arabs completely rejected the UN resolution and five Arab nations invaded Israel the next day, vowing to destroy the nascent state.
When the smoke cleared, the Jordanians had seized the West Bank area of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem for themselves and Egypt appropriated Gaza for themselves. They were able to do this because there was no “Palestinian people” or “Palestinian state.” The only rulers over Palestine for the last 500 years were the Ottoman Turks and the British.
Four thousand Jews lost their lives in that war for independence, but Israel actually gained about 60 percent of what the UN had offered the Arabs for their state! The CIA did not believe Israel could possibly win. Israel only had some 20,000 to 30,000 irregulars for most of the war. Many of them were new immigrants and couldn’t even understand their commanders in Hebrew, while the Arabs had large regular armies. It was an absolute miracle.
SIX DAY WAR 1967
Nineteen years later the Arabs again threatened to throw Israel into the sea and in an act of war blockaded Israel’s entrance to the Red Sea. Israel struck back, chasing the Egyptians out of Gaza, the Jordanians out of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and ancient Jerusalem. Israel conquered the Sinai Desert, Gaza, and took over their ancient homeland of Judea and Samaria. Moreover, they captured the Golan Heights from the Syrians, ending the constant terrorist attacks for decades from the Heights down on Jewish villages and kibbutzim in Galilee. In six days. An incredible miracle.
The Arab nations then had no choice but to sign cease-fire agreements with Israel. But they emphasized that they were not recognizing any borders of any kind with Israel since they did not accept the existence of a Jewish state. No Israel. No borders.
YOM KIPPUR WAR 1973
Again Arab nations invaded Israel with a surprise attack on Israel’s holiest day. Again, miraculously, Israel pushed the Arabs back, and actually could have marched on to Cairo in the south and Damascus in the north. But by this time the UN powers that be almost hysterically demanded that Israel stop. Another cease-fire was arranged—but again no borders were designated because (remember?) the Arabs refused to recognize the Jewish state, and therefore would of course not give her borders. Until today, no borders for Israel have been assigned in written form by anyone. Only cease-fire lines.
EASTERN BORDER—THE SECOND INTIFADA 2000-2004
Muslim violence raged on. In the Second Intifada which began in the year 2000 in the West Bank, there was every kind of terror you could possibly imagine: late night commando raids, bus bombings, bar mitzvah shootings, random stabbings, street riots, town sieges, bicycle bombers, clashes at holy sites, car bombs, sniper fire fights, human shields, mortar attacks on settlements and farms.
Experts told Israel that it is impossible to win against guerrilla warfare – which is what the Intifada was. However, Israel had no choice if she were to survive. After 5800 Arabs were killed, the Intifada was over.
Yes, 1,053 Israelis were also killed according to the B’Tselem NGO, and 2,267 Israelis injured. One hundred twenty Arab suicide bombers made themselves martyrs. But what did the Arabs in Judea and Samaria gain? For a start, the loss of their fast-growing economy, and the hardships of many new Israeli checkpoints and a protective wall (which the world said was illegal) keeping the suicide bombers out of Israel proper.
Israel has had numerous wars—too many to write about in this article. Suffice it to speak of one: When Hezbollah terrorists continually attacked Israel’s northern border towns, Israel drove them out and created a buffer zone in southern Lebanon, fighting the terrorists together with Lebanese Christians who were Israel’s allies. Under international pressure, Israel pulled out in the year 2000, only to have Hezbollah grow into a powerful guerrilla army equipped by Syria and Iran. Just one short war of 33 days with Hezbollah in 2006: 121 Israeli soldiers killed, 1244 wounded, 43 civilians killed—including 18 Israeli Arabs—and 1384 Israeli civilians wounded—mostly from 4000 rockets.
In an effort to end the hostilities, on 11 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved UN Resolution 1701.
Now here’s the joke: The resolution called for Israel to withdraw and for Hezbollah to disarm with United Nations forces (UNIFIL) making sure it happened. Israel did pull out but Hezbollah rearmed. Today, Hezbollah has some 40,000 rockets according to the IDF’s intelligence. It is estimated the terrorist organization which is an arm of Iran and Syria can shoot 500 to 600 rockets a day into northern Israel if war breaks out again.
Hezbollah stashes its arms next to schools, hospitals and civilian homes—so that if Israel targets the caches of weapons and it blows up civilians—especially children—Hezbollah wins the political and media war—isolating Israel even more and preventing her from having the means to defend herself.
Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005, only to see it completely taken over by the terrorist organization Hamas. Over the last 12 years, Hamas has hit Israel’s southern population with more than 15,000 rockets. In Sderot, one town alone, an estimated 15,000 people suffer from PTSD and 1,000 are undergoing treatment.
The last conflict with Gaza in November 2012 called the Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew, gives Israel a short breathing time until Hamas begins their rocket attacks again. Psychologists suggest that up to 70 percent of Israeli children living under these constant rocket attacks suffer from trauma and are permanently emotionally damaged.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who arrived in the Gaza Strip for the first time (his home in Syria is no longer safe) told it like it is: “Palestine from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give up one inch or any part of it.”
As the years have gone by and the UN is now dominated by Islamic states, Muslims have discovered many new weapons of war – political war – against Israel. The plan is to so isolate and delegitimize Israel that the world will finally just say, “Away with her!”
Now that the Palestinian Authority has been voted in by the UN General Assembly as a non-member state, the PA has a whole new set of weapons against Israel. But that’s for another story.
The Bible’s prophetic words are fast coming to pass: “And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”
But prophecies foretelling the day Israel shall be saved and be a light to the nations will also be fulfilled. In that day, the Lord says, “Israel will not bear the shame of the nations anymore.”
This article is not for casual reading. It is an archive of treaties, covenants and resolutions. Boring! But these documents are the proof of Israel’s earthly international legitimacy—no matter what the world says now. Keep this Maoz Report issue to share with friends who might be concerned that Israel exists and behaves outside of international law.
BIBLICAL BASIS FOR ISRAEL’S EXISTENCE IN THE HOLY LAND
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.”
He has remembered His covenant forever…which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.”
BALFOUR DECLARATION BY HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT
November 2, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour, Foreign Office [Great Britain]
(Palestine is the name that Rome gave to the region of Israel’s Biblical inheritance in an attempt to destroy forever the nation of Israel.)
THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.
Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.
“The League of Nations was formed to maintain world peace. However, it had no military arm and failed to stop WWII. It was replaced by the United Nations in 1945.”
THE SAN REMO RESOLUTION
April 25, 1920
It was agreed: (a) To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine… (b) that the terms of the Mandates Article should be as follows:
The boundaries of the said States will be determined, and the selection of the Mandatories made, by the Principal Allied Powers.
The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration originally made on November 8 [sic], 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
“The San Remo conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held in San Remo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexandre Millerand) and Italy (Francesco Nitti) and by Japan’s Ambassador K. Matsui.
The San Remo Resolution adopted on April 25, 1920 incorporated the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It and Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (granting the League the authority to create nations out of areas conquered in war, i.e. the former Ottoman Empire) were the basic documents upon which the Mandate for Palestine was constructed. Britain received the mandate for Palestine and Iraq; France gained control of Syria including presentday Lebanon.”
THE PALESTINE MANDATE
July 24, 1922
The Council of the League of Nations:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 [See above] of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:
ART. 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions…
ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine… shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 181
November 29, 1947
The General Assembly, Having met in special session at the request of the mandatory Power [Great Britain] to constitute and instruct a Special Committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of the future Government of Palestine at the second regular session;
Requests that the Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation…
The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.
Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below.
No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex.
All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws.
F. ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS
When the independence of either the Arab or the Jewish State as envisaged in this plan has become effective and the declaration and undertaking, as envisaged in this plan, have been signed by either of them, sympathetic consideration should be given to its application for admission to membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.
B. THE JEWISH STATE
Part III. – City of Jerusalem: The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.
Adopted at the 128th plenary meeting: In favour: 33 Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian S.S.R., Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukrainian S.S.R., Union of South Africa, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Uruguay, Venezuela.
Against: 13 Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.
Abstained: 10 Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 273
May 11, 1949
Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,
Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,
Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it “unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a member of the United Nations,”
Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947…
The General Assembly, acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,
1. Decides that Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;
2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.
The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement January 3, 1919 was a great beginning of Jewish and Arab cooperation. However, it was short-lived. The three White Papers and the Peel Commission, while trying to uphold the Balfour promise succumbed over time to Arab terrorism and influence.
THE FAISAL-WEIZMANN AGREEMENT
3 January 1919
His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people, and realizing that the surest means of working out the consummation of their natural aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following:
In the establishment of the Constitution and Administration of Palestine, all such measures shall be adopted as will afford the fullest guarantees for carrying into effect the British Government’s Declaration of the 2nd of November, 1917. (Balfour Declaration)
All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil…
(signed) Faisal Ibn Hussein
signed) Chaim Weizmann
“Faisal Ibn Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, was for a short time King of Greater Syria in 1920, and later King of Iraq. He was a member of the Hashemite dynasty. Chaim Weizmann was President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel.
Faisal’s father, Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca and King of Hedjas, formally endorsed the Balfour Declaration in the Treaty of Sevres (the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I) of 10 August 1920, along with the other Allied powers. Under Arab pressure, the King later unilaterally reneged on this treaty.”
The following remarks are summaries of the White Papers and the Peel Commission
WHITE PAPER OF 1922
After 1921 Arab riots and slaughter of Jews, Churchill issued a White Paper in 1922 stating that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right.
Churchill declared: “But in order that this [Jewish] community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on the sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”
At the same time, to appease Arab violence, the government decided to create an Arab nation from all of the land east of the Jordan River removing 76% of Palestine from Jewish habitation. Churchill also hinted that he might have to regulate Jewish immigration to Palestine if the Jewish population grew too fast. The Arabs found that the more they rioted, the more Britain limited Jewish immigration.
WHITE PAPER OF 1930
More Arab riots and another White Paper. This paper hinted at the need to curtail Jewish immigration to the area originally designated by the Balfour Declaration as a homeland for the Jewish people.
THE PEEL COMMISSION JULY 1937
At the height of 1936-1939 Arab riots, a royal commission of inquiry headed by Lord Robert Peel went to Palestine to investigate. He recommended that the British Mandate be abolished and the country divided between two peoples with Jerusalem becoming an international city under British rule. He saw no injury to Arabs with Jewish immigration. The British accepted the recommendation. The Jews rejected it as the portion given for a Jewish state was miniscule. The Arabs rejected it because they wanted no Jews and no Jewish state. The proposal was shelved.
THE WHITE PAPER OF 1939
As the fierce riots by Arabs in Palestine continued, the British produced yet another White Paper. This infamous paper is known for its closure of Israel’s ancient homeland to Jewish immigration – at the very time Jews were beginning to lose their lives in Europe under Nazism. Instead of enabling Jews to flee to their ancient homeland, Britain virtually slammed the door shut to millions of Jews who were about to be slaughtered.
Britain, whose sole claim to ruling the Holy Land was because of the spoils of war, decided that over the next five years of 1940-1944, a maximum of 75,000 more Jewish immigrants could come to Israel.
After that, Britain would let the Arab majority decide if more Jews could come. This paper also placed restrictions on Jews buying land from Arabs. Thus Britain, who was given the unique opportunity to fulfill the ancient prophecies of the Bible, promising that one day the Jews would come back to live in their promised land, failed to give the Jewish people their homeland and are thus complicit in allowing 6,000,000 million Jews to be slaughtered in World War II.
Incidentally, there were members of the House of Commons who opposed this White Paper, asserting that it was in opposition to the Balfour Declaration. But it was approved by the House of Commons on 23 May 1939 by 268 votes to 179.
The 1939 White Paper was rejected by Jews, Arabs (for opposite reasons) and the League of Nations. Because of bureaucracy, the British refused to let even a total of 75,000 Jews immigrate.
Britain decided there would be no Jewish or Arab state on the remaining 24 percent of Palestine.
Boys in love do crazy things. Some get tattoos. Some spend all their money trying to woo the object of their affections. Others, like me, get suckered into receiving Bibles.
Here I was, 18 years old and I was in love with a girl named Rachel Donnelly. She was a girl in my high school who was the most beautiful and vibrant human being I had ever laid eyes on. We were friends, appearing in school plays together, hanging out after school and things like that… but I wanted more. I wanted her.
One afternoon, I gave Rachel a ride home from school. She invited me into her house to ‘hang out’ …an invitation I gladly accepted. Upon entering her house, we encountered her mom. She was busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner. Did I mention that Rachel was one of 14 kids? Yes you read that correctly, 14!! So you can imagine what kind of a strong woman her mother was, to birth 14 babies!
Rachel’s mom, Susan, was an extraordinary human being. Not just for her ability to procreate. There was something about her. She was all of 5 feet in height. But she had an inner strength that you could just sense. And something else. I wasn’t sure just what it was. But the feeling that I had whenever I was around her, is that being in her proximity was like being closer to God.
It’s a hard thing to describe. It was an energy that was almost tangible.
On this particular afternoon, I noticed for the first time, that Mrs. Donnelly was wearing a Star of David pendant around her neck. I was shocked at this discovery. Here I was a Jewish kid and here she was some sort of Gentile woman (with a name like Donnelly and 14 kids I always assumed she was Irish Catholic, but didn’t know for sure) and she was wearing a Jewish star? Before I could help myself, I blurted out:
“Mrs. Donnelly why are you wearing a Jewish star?” She replied, “This is the Star of David, and Jesus is a descendant of David.”
I had no idea what she was talking about. But I wasn’t about to question her since she was the mother of the girl I was crazy about.
Later that afternoon, just as I was about to leave, Mrs. Donnelly called to me from the other room.
“Come here,” she said “I have a gift for you.” You have a gift for me, I thought?! This woman has 14 children, how on earth could she have time, energy or thought to get a gift for me, some guy who’s clearly trying to make a move on her daughter?!
“OK,” I said. She handed me a wrapped package. I sensed it was some sort of book. And as I pulled back the wrapping paper, my guess was confirmed. It was a book. But no ordinary book. It was a Bible! Clearly the earlier conversation about Yeshua and the Star of David had sparked Mrs. Donnelly to think she had a spiritual opening with me. Now she was going in for the kill. She was trying to convert me! She wanted me to become like one of ‘them.’
The title of this Bible she gave me was ‘The Jewish New Testament’ by David Stern. I knew instantly why she was giving it to me. But I couldn’t show any emotion. I had to keep my cool. I needed this woman to like me, and to put in a good word for me with her daughter. I politely thanked her. Left the house. Got in my car. Tossed that ‘book’ in the back seat and never gave it another thought.
Fast forward almost 2 years. I’m now 20 years old. Living in my first apartment in, of all places, Cadillac, Michigan. If you want to get to Cadillac, take a flight to Detroit, drive north for about 5 hours, until you see nothing but trees. That’s probably Cadillac.
I was a young TV producer, working for a CBS affiliate in northern Michigan. I rented a place in an old abandoned country school house (that looked like the one on Little House on the Prairie) that someone had converted into two apartments. It was on a dirt road, and even had some sort of wooden cross out on the lawn commemorating the school that once inhabited the structure. I had no neighbors. It was just open fields and trees as far as the eye could see.
One evening, I was lying around the apartment, bored out of my mind. There was nothing to do. I was a big city kid, living in this tiny town where I knew exactly no one and had no options for entertainment. Apparently there was nothing good on TV that night either, because I did something I rarely do… I read. Don’t get me wrong, I like to consider myself an educated person. I was a journalist, loved politics, was interested in world affairs. But I just preferred to get my information from TV, movies, the radio, or short articles in newspapers and magazines. I just wasn’t a big book reader.
But that night, out of desperation, I wanted something to read. So, I walked to the bookshelf in my bedroom and started perusing the limited selection. And there, to my utter shock, was ‘that book.’ That ‘Bible.’ That ‘Jewish New Testament’ that Mrs. Donnelly had given me. What was it doing here? How did it get here? I had no memory of ever seeing that book again, after leaving her home with it. I certainly didn’t remember packing it and taking it with me to my first apartment, after leaving college.
To this day, I have no explanation for this Bible being on my shelf, that night, in that place. It still astonishes me. But there it was.
OK. This was an opportunity. A chance to finally know why I didn’t believe this. Being raised in a Jewish home, I was taught all my life that Yeshua and Christianity and the New Testament, wasn’t for us. That wasn’t what we believed in. Tonight I was finally going to know, why?
I took out the book. Sat down on my bed. And began flipping through, trying to figure out where to start. I was a little bit afraid of it, to be honest. I had never done anything like this, investigating another faith. I flipped through the pages and saw the words—‘The Sermon on the Mount.’ OK, this was good. I think I had heard of this before. Fine, this is where I’ll start my reading.
And so I began. “How blessed are the poor in spirit for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs….” etc., etc., etc., ok, this is all quite flowery and weird. Not really sure what this is all about. Keep reading. This is boring. OK, skip a page. Then I see the words ‘Love Your Enemies.’ What is this, I thought?
Love your enemies? I had never heard of anything like this before. I kept reading. ‘But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven…’ Wow. Wow. This was really something. I put down the book. Closed it. Didn’t read one more word. Didn’t have to. Wow. Love your enemies? Pray for them? This was a revelation in thinking that had never entered my brain before. I was stunned, overwhelmed, incredibly moved. I was suddenly consumed with the thought, “this is the kind of thing that I would expect God to say… because men/people don’t talk like this.”
What an overwhelming thought. That these could be the words of God. But no… no I had to reject that thought. I was Jewish. This was Yeshua talking. This was a Christian Bible. No way!
I tried to banish the thoughts that were invading my mind. I put that book back on the shelf and never looked at it again. I don’t know who you are David Stern, but this is not for me!
Or was it?
After only reading those few paragraphs in the book of Matthew, my life was undone.
For days, I was tormented by the thought “just say that you believe that Yeshua is real.” What?! Who said that? Where is this thought coming from. No way! I’m Jewish!
But this thought wouldn’t stop rolling around in my mind. “You don’t have to say that you believe in Yeshua; just say that you believe that Yeshua is real.”
For three days, these words pounded away at my consciousness, like a raging river. But I was determined to put up a dam in my mind to keep them out. Finally I couldn’t take it any more. It was literally driving me mad.
And before I realized what I was doing, I relented. I got down on my knees and yelled out “OK, I believe that Yeshua is real!”
Suddenly, it was as if the dam I had built in my mind was burst through by raging water. My mind was flooded and I would never be the same again.
It would be several months and lots of soul searching before I finally fully comprehended that I was now a believer in Yeshua. I was one of ‘them.’ And almost 18 years later, I’m thrilled to say I still am!
But it all began that night. Reading those few words, from that beautifully translated Jewish New Testament.
Now here I am, all these years later, working at Maoz with… of all people, Dr. David Stern as he and Maoz put together a plan to translate the text into Hebrew. I couldn’t be prouder! What an honor it has been just to meet Dr. Stern and to share my story with him.
Why God used his translation, I’ll never know. But I pray He continues to do so with Jews soon reading the Hebrew version. This is a very special translation of the Bible, tailored to meet the Jewish reader right where he or she is, in the midst of our culture and faith and heritage.
I praise God for Dr. Stern and his writing. I praise God for Mrs. Donnelly for giving me that book, all those years ago. She has since left this world and is with our LORD. I think of my life here in Israel and my work to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel as her legacy. I am the fruit of her faithfulness and prayers. She had such a heart for the Jewish people and was a bold evangelist. And to this day, one of my most cherished possessions is that Star of David pendant she used to wear, which her family gave to me after her death.
You can now help carry on this legacy, by contributing to this vital translation project. I hope you’ll prayerfully consider doing so.
The author is the head of the Maoz Media Department.
Our fourth Equip Conference over two years with Dennis and Colleen Rouse of Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia.
The teaching is outstanding for training leadership. An average of 180 Israeli pastors, elders and leaders attend the two-day conference every six months.
At Congregation Tiferet Yeshua:
Praying for Pastor Umar Mulinde from Uganda who was injured from an Islamic attack of acid to his face.
Rabi Maharaj, from a long line of Hindu Brahmin priests and former guru gives his wonderful testimony to the congregation of how he found Truth.
Ari and Shira sharing with our congregation.
Praying for each other.