Somehow it has become a forgone conclusion in the Western World, including in the United States, and amazingly enough even within Israel itself that a new Palestinian State must be created in the so-called “occupied territories”, known around the world as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In his June 24th speech establishing the “Bush Middle East Doctrine”, U.S. President George W. Bush articulated that it has always been the vision of the United States of two States (Israel and Palestine) living side by side residing as peaceful neighbors in the land commonly referred to as Palestine.
In his long-awaited policy statement on the Middle East conflict, President Bush said that for peace to exist, we need a "new and different Palestinian leadership," one that could lead the Palestinians to their own independent state within three years. “If the Palestinians embrace democracy, confront corruption, and firmly reject terror, then they can count on America's support for the creation of a provisional state of Palestine, he said."
So, over the course of the years since 1967 it has become accepted as fact that the Biblical lands once known as Judea and Samaria are being occupied by an overbearing and imposing Israeli occupying force. The media blitz of two era's (1987 and 2000) of Palestinian Intifada's (uprising of violence) has conveyed the video-images that Israel is subjugating a downtrodden native an innocent peasant people. The Palestinian Intifada's were concocted to present to the world the image of IDF soldiers with assault rifles harassing against rock throwing kids. Parallel to that image was the subtle message that Israel was the aggressor, and was illegally stealing somebody else's land. A quick look at any Middle East map will reveal that the areas of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights are labeled as “occupied territory”. Rarely do you ever find them referred to as what they truly are, and that is “disputed territory”.
Recently within the context of the current Al Aqsa Intifada, Yasser Arafat stood in the doorway of his Ramallah compound, in the aftermath of the Israeli incursion into the West Bank to rout out Palestinian terrorists, and shouted to the press that was gathered about him; “Is this occupation acceptable?” Is it acceptable that the President of Palestine cannot leave his home? His words were aimed at the television cameras, but his message was targeted for the nations around the world. His message to the world, what are you going to do about Israel occupying our land? Shortly afterwards, a trembling and furious Yasser Arafat pounded his fists on a press table and denounced the Israeli soldiers as "terrorists, Nazis and racists," repeating his charge that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory! But the Palestinian State that is always uppermost in Mr. Arafat's mind is not an Arab state that coexists along side of Israel, but rather an Arab state that takes the place of Israel altogether. It is his war that has no end. The PLO Fatah constitution says the organization's goal is the "complete liberation of Palestine, and the total eradication of the Zionist State. On the day he signed the first Oslo accord at the White House in 1993, Arafat told an interviewer that the agreement "will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestine National Council resolution issued in 1974." He was referring to the PLO's "phased plan," which was adopted in Cairo on June 9, 1974. It calls for establishing a Palestinian state on any Israeli land that can be acquired through negotiation, (Oslo Peace Process) and then using that territory as a forward base for "liberating" the rest of Israel by force.
The term “occupied territories” has become the phrase of common usage when
referring to the land on the west side of the Jordan River that Israel acquired in 1967 when it defeated Jordan in the six-day war. The United Nations, rather than to accommodate the Israeli victory against her Arab neighbors, provided the diplomatic background to begin labeling the newly won territory by Israel as “occupied territory”. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 242 stipulated that it was inadmissible for Israel to acquire territory through its victory in the 1967 war and called for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from all said territories. The ensuing peace talks led virtually nowhere until 1973 when Egypt and Syria decided to launch the now infamous Yom Kippur war.
On October 6, 1973 — the Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar — Egypt and Syria opened a coordinated surprise attack against Israel. The equivalent of the total forces of NATO in Europe were mobilized on Israel's borders. On Golan Heights, approximately 180 Israeli tanks faced an onslaught of 1,400 Syrian tanks. Along the Suez Canal, fewer than 500 Israeli defenders were attacked by 80,000 Egyptians. At least nine Arab states, including four non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the Egyptian-Syrian war effort. A few months before the war, Iraq transferred a squadron of Hunter jets to Egypt. During the war, an Iraqi division of some 18,000 men and several hundred tanks was deployed in the central Golan and participated in the October 16 attack against Israeli positions. Iraqi MiGs began operating over the Golan Heights as early as October 8, the third day of the war.
King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced: The armies of Egypt,Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, we will destroy Israel!
(It should be highlighted to every observer of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict that Israel did not occupy any territory that is now “disputed” prior to the 1967 six day war, as indicated by the blue on the map.)
Then in the aftermath of yet another military defeat, the Arab League, in conjunction with United Nations assistance embarked upon gaining through peace negotiations the territories lost to Israel through warfare. Thus the Middle East Peace Process was born, and convened in Geneva, Switzerland in December 1973. The sole hold out of the Middle East Peace Process was Syria. Finally at Camp David in 1979 Egypt, with Anwar Sadat leading the way, entered into a land-for-peace agreement with Israel. Under immense diplomatic and political pressure, Israel conceded to surrender the hard won Sinai region to Egypt in return for Egypt's consent to abstain from seeking Israel's destruction. For his reward Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorists.
Then on September 14th, 1993 Israel and Jordan entered into mutual agreement on their phase of the Middle East Peace Process. Jordan's Majesty King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin jointly affirmed five underlying principles of an understanding on an agreed common agenda designed to reach the goal of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the Arab States and the Palestinians, with Israel. The major points of emphasis were that the two countries would vigorously continue their negotiations to arrive at a state of peace, based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 in all their aspects, and founded on freedom, equality and justice. Secondly, that Israel respect the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the Permanent Status take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines. In addition Jordan and Israel each agreed to act together to promote “interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions”. In accordance, Jordan accepted the Oslo concept to which Israel previously agreed to in September of 1993, and which stipulated that Israel recognized the right of the PLO to negotiate as the legal representative of the Palestinian people.
On December 11, 1991, the UN voted 104-2 for a resolution calling for a UN sponsored peace conference that would include the PLO. Also that day, it voted 142-2 to condemn Israel for what it called Israel's intransigent behavior toward Palestinians in the “occupied territories”. Then on December 16, the very same day that it repealed the Zionism measure, the UN voted 152-1, with the U.S. abstaining, to insist upon Israel rescinding a Knesset resolution declaring the city of Jerussalem as its capital, and demanded Israel's withdrawal from “occupied territories!”
Thus the concept for the creation of a second state of Palestine in the so-called “occupied territories” was bred and nourished through the Oslo initiative, that was the vehicle defined as the UN sponsored Peace Conference! That Peace Conference convened in Madrid, Spain on October 30, 1991. Today's Middle East peace negotiations are being carried out within the structure of the Madrid Framework. This framework, described in the Letter of Invitation to the Madrid Conference, is the product of intensive diplomatic efforts carried out in the region immediately following the Persian Gulf War.
The only stipulation placed upon the “recruited Palestinian peace partner” (Yasser Arafat) was that he renounce terrorism, and with a vaguely disguised public pledge in 1988, the 90's doorway was opened for the Oslo Peace Process to be trotted out onto the world stage.
Recently a fellow Christian, knowing that I operate a Bible Prophecy Ministry commented to me the following statement. He said: “Israel is sure paying a high price for hanging on to all that land, Why don't they just leave and let the Palestinians have their own territory?” His comments literally reflect the fact that propaganda often becomes accepted as the true story. But for many years now the news media and government officials have used the fictional term “occupied territory” as though it was the law of the land. Palestinian spokespersons appear regularly on television markets around the world and convey the idea that Palestine is their land, and that it is being occupied by an illegal force. The imagination of the viewer and listener is left pondering the prospect that Israel is an aggressor nation that is simply seeking to annex more and more territory under its domain.
Recently U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (August 7, 2002) called into question whether Israel should turn over any more Yesha land (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) to the Palestinian Authority. Secretary Rumsfeld stated, “There is no question that the Palestinian Authority has been involved in terrorist activities.” (an illegal activity under the Oslo Accords) Rumsfeld acknowledged that Israel is not an occupying power in Yesha, but rather has a right to the land obtained in a defensive war for its survival. "My feelings about the so-called occupied territories are that there was a war," referring to the 1967 Six-Day War. He added, "Israel urged its neighboring countries not to get involved in it once it started. But they all jumped in and it wound up that they lost a lot of real estate to Israel because Israel prevailed in the conflict." Rumsfeld also said that the (so-called) “settlements” should not be the focus of Arab-Israeli diplomacy but rather, “The real point is to find an effective interlocutor (a new peace partner that is not a terrorist) on the Arab side.” (The Oslo proponents have been a little unhappy with Arafat in that role, but only the US wishes him replaced) Secretary Rumfeld's comments directly contradict long-standing U.S. policy, which regards the West Bank and Gaza Strip as occupied territories, as well as the goals laid out by President Bush in his June 24 Middle East speech. Bush said at the time that " permanent of the territory threatens Israel's identity and democracy," and that "Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop." Secretary Rumsfeld argued that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was too compromised by verified ties to suicide bombers to continue as a peace partner. But Secretary of State Colin Powell urged the president to seek an approach that recognizes Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own. Therefore President Bush demanded that Palestinians replace Arafat as their leader, and commit to reform. So in the final analysis Mr. Bush has not sanctioned Israel's acquisition of the so-called “occupied territories,” but rather has pitched his tent on the side of establishing a new democratic Palestinian State in the disputed territories.
Thus the new Bush Middle East Doctrine with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in essence rewards the terrorists. It is no longer a credible debate amongst the community of nations that Israel has a legitimate historical and national claim to the disputed territory, let alone a Biblical right to the disputed territory. The UN has sanctioned the legitimacy of a new Palestinian State within the disputed areas, and finally at long last, the United States has virtually capitulated Israel's right to the land with the disclosure by President Bush that America supports Palestinian Statehood. No previous American President had ever taken such a public stance. While taking a position in support of Israel's right to defend herself against terrorism, and that she must be guaranteed security arrangements by a new Palestinian State, President Bush has effectively accelerated the prophetic implications surrounding the nation of Israel. In the context of the current American campaign to defeat the evil of international terrorism, the Bush Doctrine relative to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a band-aide remedy, and ultimately will work to cause America more headaches in the future as she pursues the War on Terror. The Bush Doctrine is based upon the ridiculous notion that if democracy is introduced into the Palestinian equation, then the Palestinians will gradually acquiesce to the idea of accepting the existence of Israel being a State on the remaining portion of the Promised Land. Albeit of the 22 Arab countries that presently configures the Arab Middle East, not a single one of them even remotely accommodates the precepts of democracy. Therein lies the futility of creating a viable democratic State in the disputed territory. The enigma of attempting to create a new democratic State in the occupied territories is that the Palestinian people have no affinity for the principles of democracy. Islam is the basis for all power structures within the Arab Middle East, and the teachings of the Muslim religion are wholly inconsistent with the ideals of democracy.
In essence the Bush Doctrine seeks to sideline the “occupied territorial problem” between Israel and the Palestinians for three years, while America focuses on Saddam Husssein, Osama bin Laden, Al Qeada, and the infamous Axis of Evil that looms ominously behind international terrorism, and the Israeli-Palestinian controversy.
In the interim, the problem of terrorism within the so-called occupied territories loom as the geo-political albatross for the whole region.
Israel has conducted many settlement construction projects within the area of the disputed territories. The map attached shows the proximity of those settlement locations within the so-called “occupied territories”. Israel has been more than willing to negotiate the transfer of the occupied territory to a peaceful entity governing the West Bank, as exemplified in the 2000 Camp David Peace Talks.
During that session of Final Status Negotiations, Israel basically offered Yasser Arafat full sovereignty over 90-97% of the “disputed territory.” However Yasser Arafat rejected the Israeli land-for-peace offer because he was reviled at the idea of an en-of-conflict clause. Mr. Arafat not only rejected the initial offer, but he never made any corresponding counter offers and quickly resorted to his cloak as a terrorist. Thus the credibility of Secretary Rumsfelds argument to at least seek a new interlocutor on the Palestinian side.
The creation of a new Palestinian State on the so-called “occupied territory” is not a good idea. One reason is simply because there has never been a State of Palestine. The formation of a new State of Palestine is a political scheme first of all to appease the Arab neighbors of Israel, and secondly to deny Israel land that God has given them. The real issue underlying the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is not the creation of a second Palestinian State (Jordan being the first) but the existence of the Jewish State itself, and its occupation of the city of Jerusalem. Secondly, it would be tantamount to rewarding terrorism, and in fact be the creation of a new state that sponsors and harbors terrorism. The West Bank is not land that has been stolen from the Palestinians. It is contested land, or “disputed territory”. Israel has a Biblical deed to the land, but in the course of the world's “conflict resolution,” the land is being partitioned out amongst the various claimants. In reality the land controversy is a battle between the “God of Israel” and the “God of this world”( Satan). The creation of a new State of Palestine is ultimately a geo-political mechanism that will serve the Antichrist. Israel will be given a guarantee of security by the Last Days world power, but only after enclosing the perimeter of Israel's borders with a series of finalized peace processes. The American war on terrorism is actually rewarding the components of terror with a “terrorist state” in the hope that the Palestinian issue will go away. But it will not. The real issue is the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, and the God of this world will utilize all the principles involved to exalt himself! God is working in the affairs of this world to bring Israel to its knees and finally to accept Jesus as her Messiah, and afterwards to reward Israel with all the Promised Land. The present “occupied territory controversy” is in reality the “birth-pangs” of the Lord's imminent return to Israel.
And that is the real point of this article. The so-called “occupied territory” is a misnomer. It might be better described as “disputed territory”, but it is certainly untruthful to say that Israel is occupying territory that belongs to another State. Throughout the Middle East Peace Process, it has been apparent that the UN, and all the sponsoring parties of the Oslo Process have considered that the Holy Bible was irrelevant to the negotiating process. In fact President Clinton remarked exactly that during his Gaza visit to the PA headquarters. But Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry is here to inform you that the Bible is vitally relevant to the controversy over the “Occupied Territory”. God oversaw the survival of Israel throughout the Diaspora, and he has providentially protected her in the midst of the 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 Arab wars seeking her destruction. God has availed much of the Promised Land to Israel through those miraculous victories, but still, Israel lacks the faith in Jehovah to occupy it as a sovereign State. But the Bible is relevant! And God will eventually settle the dispute!
Make no mistake about it: The Disputed Land belongs to GOD Almighty!
Leviticus 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Author: Darrell G. Young