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Restoring the Two Houses of Israel
ISRAEL: THE FIG TREE BLOSSOMS
After over two thousand years of exile in the nations of the world, the birth and blossoming of the modern day nation of Israel is a major end-time prophetic event given to us by the G-d of Israel. It is a sign to the Jewish people (house of Judah) and the nations of the world of the soon return of the Jewish Messiah (Mashiach) Yeshua/Jesus to the earth as the Kingly Messiah (Mashiach) known as Messiah ben David to usher in the Messianic Age (Athid Lavo). The prophets (nevi’im) of Israel in the TeNaKh (Old Testament) wrote how the birth of the nation of Israel, the return of the house of Israel and the house of Judah from worldwide exile to the land of Israel, and the nations of the world gathering against the city of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) would precede the coming of the Messiah (Mashiach).
Israel is the fig tree of the G-d of Israel. In Hosea (Hoshea) 9:10 it is written:
"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree…"
When the Jewish Messiah (Mashiach) Yeshua/Jesus was asked by His disciples (talmidim) the signs that His followers could watch so that they would understand when the present age (Olam Hazeh) was concluding and the Messianic Age (Athid Lavo) was at hand, He prophetically made mention of the birth of the modern day state of Israel. In Matthew (Mattityahu) 24:3, 32-33 it is written:
"When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the talmidim [disciples] came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that you are coming, and the ‘olam hazeh’ [end of the age] is ending? [Complete Jewish Bible version by David Stern] … Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors."
A HEART TO BE REDEEMED FROM EXILE
Redemption from exile has always been the heart and desire of the Jewish people (house of Judah). The redemption from their first exile in Egypt (Mitzrayim) and the receiving of the Torah of the G-d of Israel at mount Sinai has been the central event that has helped to preserve the identity of the Jewish people (house of Judah) through later exiles to Babylon and eventually into all the nations of the world (Diaspora). While being in exile, the prayers of the Jewish people (house of Judah) have always been to return to the land of Israel, end the exile and live in the Messianic Age (Athid Lavo). This dream of restoration, the end of the exile and the return to the land of Israel is expressed in Psalm (Tehillim) 137:1 as it is written:
THE DESIRE FOR A POLITICAL MESSIAH
In the first century, the Jewish people (house of Judah) longed for a political Messiah (Mashiach) who would free them from the oppression of Rome. Because of this desire, various Jewish groups rose up in opposition against Rome. Major wars were fought by the Jewish people (house of Judah) against Rome in 70 CE (Common Era) and in 135 CE. In 135 CE, a Jewish military leader named Simon Bar Kochba led a revolt against Rome. At this time, one of the most respected rabbi’s of the period, Rabbi Akiva, proclaimed Bar Kochba as the political Jewish Messiah (Mashiach) who would free the Jewish people (house of Judah) from the oppression of Rome. During this time, Rome was successful in winning every war against the Jewish people (house of Judah). As a result, Rome began to sell the Jewish people (house of Judah) into slavery and initiated the exile of the Jewish people (house of Judah) into all the nations of the world.
PASSIVE RESISTANCE TO OPPRESSION
Because of the hardship brought to the Jewish people (house of Judah) in fighting against Rome, losing the wars, being sold into slavery and being exiled into the nations of the world, the Jewish people (house of Judah) began to embrace the ideology of passive resistance against their oppressors from that time forward. This mindset continued to be prevalent in the late 1800s. In fact, many Orthodox Jews have long insisted that any return to the Holy Land would be carried out by the Messiah and that to take matters into one’s own hands would be blasphemous. 1 However, anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe in the late 1800s began to change this mindset among secular Jews. This change in mindset and the desire for secular Jews (house of Judah) to return to the land of Israel to escape oppression and anti-Semitism without waiting for these matters to be carried out through the rise of a political Jewish Messiah (Mashiach) became known as the Zionist movement.
THE RISE OF ZIONISM IN EUROPE
"Zionism" comes from the biblical word "Zion." It is often used as a synonym for Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) and the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). Zionism is an ideology that expresses the yearning of Jews all over the world for their historical homeland of Zion, the Land of Israel. The foundation of Zionism is rooted in the belief that the Land of Israel is the historical birthplace of the Jewish people (house of Judah) and that Jewish life anywhere else in the world is a life of exile.
The emergence of Zionism in Europe in the late 1800s was a crucial turning point in Jewish history. Through this movement, ancient hopes and dreams of the Jewish people (house of Judah) to end the exile and return to the land of Israel was resurrected. Zionism rejects the idea that assimilation of the Jewish people (house of Judah) into the nations of the world is the best way to ensure Jewish survival.
In the late 1800s, a grass-roots youth movement contributed to this Jewish awakening in Eastern Europe. 2 At this time in history, a large number of Jews lived in the Polish and Russian pales. Czarist policy aimed at restricting the Jews prompted "thousands of idealistic young Russian Jews" to organize themselves "into a political and cultural group called the "lovers of Zion." 3 These youngsters held their first convention in Constantinople in 1882, boldly issuing a manifesto declaring their need for a Jewish homeland and their God-given right to Zion. 4
THEODOR HERZL: THE FATHER
Theodor Herzl is the man credited with being the founder of modern Zionism. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1860. His parents, though Jewish, had no religious sentiment and young Herzl was educated in the spirit of the German-Jewish "Enlightenment" of the time. Theodor Herzl studied law at the University of Vienna. After graduating in 1884 with a doctorate in law, he left law and became the Paris correspondent for the Vienna Free Press, a liberal newspaper. During this time, Herzl became sensitive toward the Jewish problem of anti-Semitism.
In 1892, the famous Dreyfus trial began in Paris, France. Here, an assimilated Jew named Alfred Dreyfus on the French General Staff was wrongly accused and imprisoned. Herzl witnessed the riotous behavior of French mobs and the public humiliation of the Jewish officer, Dreyfus, when they taunted the French Jewish army captain with shouts of "death to the Jews." These events impacted Herzl so strongly that he became consumed with the desire for all Jews to have a national homeland to free them from social injustice and anti-Semitism. For Herzl, this meant a sovereign Jewish State. For the first time in his life, Herzl began attending Jewish religious services. 5
In 1896, Herzl began to communicate his dream by publishing Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). More than any other single factor, Herzl’s book was most responsible for galvanizing the support of world Jewry for political Zionism. His solution called for individual Jews to immigrate to Palestine, buy land from the Turks, cultivate it into productivity, build a Jewish majority in the land, and thus reestablish the Jewish homeland. 6
In 1897, Theodor Herzl called the first Zionist Congress at Basle, Switzerland. It opened on August 29th, 1897 and was attended by some 204 participants from seventeen countries. At this time, the World Zionist Organization was established and Herzl became its first president. Here he officially launched the Zionist movement with a specific statement of purpose: "The object of Zionism is to establish for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine." 7
Initially, when Herzl began to expound his ideas of having a central world organization so that Jews worldwide could move in mass to some yet unknown territory, he was met with stiff opposition from eastern European Jews who dismissed the idea and thought that Herzl was crazy. Both Orthodox and Reform rabbis branded Herzl and his ideas as visionary and impractical. Nevertheless, Herzl continued to pursue his dream and spread his ideas.
Herzl’s greatest desire was for the Jewish people (house of Judah) to have a national homeland to shelter them from the anti-Semitism that they have historically experienced in the nations of the world where they have lived over the centuries. Therefore, it did not matter to Herzl which country or territory was given to the Jewish people. Herzl’s energies seemed boundless as he assumed the role of roving ambassador for the Jews in the highest echelons of government. No confrontation fazed him. He fearlessly challenged opulent financiers; held audiences with the kaiser, the Turkish sultan, the king of Italy, and the pope; and approached leading officials of Russia and Great Britain. With his unique, polished demeanor he became a diplomat par excellence for the Zionist cause. 8
Herzl worked hard to find a territory for the Jews. At first, Sinai and Cyprus were two territories under consideration. In 1903, the British offered Herzl the area called Uganda. Because pogroms and oppression in Russia was increasing for the Jews during this period, Herzl felt that a homeland in Uganda was a credible proposal. Therefore, Herzl submitted the Uganda plan to the sixth Zionist Congress. However, this proposal met strong opposition and was rejected. The eastern European Jews regarded it as a betrayal of the dream of settling in the land of Israel. So strong and hostile was the opposition to the Uganda plan that Herzl wrote a written commitment to abandon it.
In 1904, Herzl died of a heart attack at the age of forty-four. For his efforts, Theordor Herzl became a living legend and became known as the father of modern Zionism. 9
After Herzl’s death, the new leader of Zionism became Chaim Weizmann. Born in Motol, Russia in 1874, Weizmann attended college at German and Swiss universities. In 1904, he began teaching at Manchester, England. Unlike Herzl, Weizmann believed that a homeland in the ancient land of Israel was the only practical solution for the Jewish people. His reasons were not religious but were derived from his perceived political realities.
Just as Herzl’s journalism caused him to be in the right place at the divinely appointed time, Weizmann’s chemistry talents caused the same thing to happen to him. Because of World War I, Britain had a need that Weizmann was able to meet. When the allies’ supply of acetone to produce munitions began to run out (previously imported from Germany), the British staff called on Weizmann to find some substitute. Following a two-year project, his team developed a superior synthetic that made a considerable contribution to the Allied war effort. 10
Weizmann’s contacts with the Manchester society and his supervision of mass production of synthetic acetone for the Allies war effort gave him visibility and opened doors for him to make contact with high ranking British government officials. These contacts included Prime Minister Lloyd George, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, and Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour. Weizmann made personal appeals to these individuals to help him find a homeland in the ancient land of Israel for the Jewish people to further the cause of Zionism. 11
Weizmann’s success in developing synthetic acetone for the Allied war effort so elated the British cabinet that Lord Balfour exclaimed to Weizmann, "You know that after the war you may get your Jerusalem." 12
The major result of Weizmann’s diplomacy was the Balfour Declaration. It granted the Jewish people (house of Judah) an international right to a homeland in Palestine with the help of Great Britain. The substance of the Declaration was given in a letter to Lord Rothschild by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917. The declarations reads:
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 the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
WWI AND THE FALL OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
One of the significant events that contributed to the possibility of the Jewish people returning to their ancient homeland was the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. Because of this, control of the Middle East came under the rule of Great Britain.
During World War I, Turkey was on the side of Germany. The British through the leadership of Sir Edward Allenby defeated the Turks and ended four hundred years of Turkish rule over Palestine and six hundred years of Muslim dominance in the area. The Palestine armistice was signed on October 31, 1918. This was eleven days before the World War I armistice was signed. 13 This coincidence prompted Lord Balfour later to declare that "the founding of the Jewish National Home was the most significant outcome of the First World War." 14
Oscar Janowsky has summarized this relationship between Zionism and World War I as follows: 15
The First World War proved decisive in the history of Zionism. On November 2, 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, pledging to facilitate "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Soon thereafter the British conquered the country and, when the war was over, Palestine was administered as a Mandate under the League of Nations, with the United Kingdom as Mandatory or trustee. The Balfour pledge was incorporated in the terms of the Mandate, which recognized "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the right to reconstitute "their national home in that country." Britain was to encourage the immigration and close settlement of the Jews on the land; Hebrew (as well as English and Arabic) was to be an official language; and a "Jewish Agency" was to assist and cooperate with the British in the building of the Jewish National Home.
The British Mandate was given international approval by the Council of the League of Nations on June 28, 1919. The following map shows the land area in the Middle East governed by the British Mandate.
However, before its final sanction on September 29, 1922, the homeland projected for the Jews had been reduced to exclude Transjordan when Great Britain created the state of Transjordan under the kingship of Abdullah ibn Hussein. 16 The following map shows how the land of the Middle East looked after Great Britain gave the land that was originally projected to be a national homeland for the Jewish people to Transjordan. In order to satisfy the Arabs, "land was given for peace."
What Theodor Herzl invigorated in the Jewish people for a national homeland with the writing of his book, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), Chaim Weizmann continued with the Balfour Declaration. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI and British control over the land of Palestine, the fire of Zionism became a blaze in the hearts of the Jewish people. Jews in the Diaspora became encouraged that they would once again be able to live in the land of their forefathers.
DAVID BEN-GURION AND THE "YISHUV"
While Weizmann furthered the cause of Zion through his diplomatic contacts in the West, David Ben-Gurion became a pioneer for Zionism among the people in the land of Palestine (Yishuv). David Ben-Gurion was born in Poland in 1886. He migrated to the land of Israel in 1906. In the land, he became the most active Zionist during this time. He became involved in the creation of the first agricultural workers’ commune (which evolved into the Kvutzah and finally the Kibbutz). He also helped establish the Jewish self-defense group, "Hashomer" (The Watchman).
In the land, BenGurion was a founder of the trade unions, and in particular, the national federation, the Histadrut, which he dominated from the early 1920s. He also served as the Histadrut’s representative in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency and was elected chairman of both organizations in 1935. He led the Jewish Legion against the Turks in World War I. After leading the struggle to establish the State of Israel in May 1948, BenGurion became Prime Minister and Defense Minister when Israel became a nation.
BEN YEHUDA AND THE HEBREW LANGUAGE
With the rise of Zionism and the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, Hebrew became the common language that all immigrants were required to learn. With the dispersion of the Jewish people into the nations of the world, Hebrew had practically become a "dead" language.
It was the dream of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda that when the Jewish people returned to their ancient homeland that they would speak their ancient tongue of Hebrew. Ben-Yehuda was most responsible for this becoming a reality. Therefore, he is remembered as being the creator of the modern Hebrew language.
Ben-Yehuda, was born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman, in the Lithuanian village of Luzhky on January 7, 1858. He learned Hebrew at a young age as a part of his religious upbringing. Though migrating from Russia with tuberculosis in 1881, he devoted his life to rejuvenating the language for modern use, even producing a Hebrew dictionary. In spite of much ridicule, he and his wife "took a vow that no words would ever again pass their lips except in Hebrew, a vow that proved to be one of the turning points in the history of Palestine." 17
ARAB RESPONSE TO JEWISH IMMIGRATION
In the decade following the international approval of the Balfour Declaration, many Jews made aliyah and returned to the land of Palestine. During these years, they came mostly from Russia and Eastern Europe. In the eight years since the Balfour Declaration, the Jewish population had doubled from 55,000 to 103,000. Zionism had finally caught the imagination of the Jewish people, and as oppression increased in Europe, thousands of Jews fled to Palestine and the sanctuary of a Jewish national homeland during the decade of the 1920’s. 18
However, all of this was greeted with stiff Arab rejection of Jewish immigration (house of Judah) to the land of Israel. The main source of agitation was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The British had sought to control the country through two leading families of Palestine with large land holdings, the Husseinis and the Nashashibis. 19 Haj Amin was appointed president of the Supreme Muslim Counsel in 1922, giving him immense political, economic, and religious clout. 20 During World War II, he defected to the Nazis, moving to Rome and Berlin. In the twenties and thirties, he missed no opportunity to stir antagonism and wage war against the Jewish families settling in Palestine.
Despite Arab opposition, a flood of 150,000 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine from 1931 to 1935. 21 While the Jewish community was trying to persuade the British to allow increased Jewish immigration, the Arabs were threatening to cut off access to Middle Eastern oil supplies if immigration was increased. 22 However, when European Jews needed the refuge of immigration the most, it was cut off from them. The ominous year was 1939.
On May 17, 1939, the British government of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain issued a paper known as the "MacDonald White Paper" (after Malcolm MacDonald, the Colonial Secretary), which cut the immigration of Jews to Palestine almost to nothing. 23
The 1939 White Paper specified three guidelines for Palestine:
(1) Jewish immigration would be slowed, then halted;
(2) Jews would only be allowed to buy land in areas where they were already the majority population;
(3) Britain would support an independent Palestinian state, controlled by the Arabs, after the war.
Winston Churchill called it a "gross breach of faith." 24 It was the virtual surrender to the demands of Arab terrorists. Yet the Grand Mufti even rejected this paper, demanding "the immediate setting up of an independent Arab state in Palestine and no further Jewish immigration." 25
What happened to the Balfour agreement? It fell victim to the Chamberlain government’s policies of "appeasement." Just as Czechoslavakia was offered to appease the führer in Europe, so the Balfour guarantee was sacrificed to stroke the Mufti in Palestine.
This restrictive British policy appears to have received an immediate frown from heaven. Four months after issuing this White Paper (May 1939), Britain was reluctantly drawn into World War II (September 1, 1939).
One year later Chamberlain was forced to resign when Germany invaded Norway and threatened the British Isles. Nevertheless, the Chamberlain policy on immigration continued throughout the war. Although thousands did escape Hitler’s clutches, they were halted as they approached Palestine. Many were turned back at gunpoint when coming ashore; many more died at sea. 26
ADOLF HITLER AND WORD WAR II
As the Second World War erupted, Jewish emigration to Palestine came to a virtual halt. Visas from Europe were cut off by Adolf Hitler and entrance into Palestine was shut off by the British. 27
Adolf Hitler had a demonic desire to destroy and eliminate the Jewish people from existence. His desire could be seen in five progressive stages. 28
1) The first stage began immediately when he took office and purposed to destroy all Jewish businesses in Germany.
2) The second stage came in 1935 when the Nuremburg laws were passed, depriving all Jews of citizenship.
3) The third stage began with a mass arrest of Jews in September 1939 at the outbreak of war. Jews were put in concentration camps and required to wear the "Badge of Shame" (Yellow Star of David) to distinguish them from non-Jews. For those still allowed to migrate, the ransom price was surrender of all possessions. By 1939, only 200,000 of the 500,000 Jews living in Germany six years earlier still remained.
4) The fourth stage came in 1940 when all Jews were incarcerated in concentration camps. This roundup was later extended to all parts of German-occupied Europe. Nazis hauled Jews in from Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, France, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Northern Italy, Yugoslavia, Denmark, and Norway, with only several outstanding exceptions.
5) The fifth and final stage of this madness was called the "final solution" and was initiated by Nazi leadership in 1942. The purpose of the concentration camps changed from detention to extermination, and murder became a full-time German occupation. 29
The main death camps were located in Germany, Poland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. The memorial at Yad Vashem has listed twenty-two of the largest camps, names known in infamy: Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Treblinka. The largest was Auschwitz in Poland where over three million were murdered. 30
So, important was this carnage to Nazi leaders that it was given an even higher priority than that of the war effort itself. 31 Although the Nazi cause was clearly lost in early 1945, the gas chambers and furnaces were kept running full blast. As Finkelstein remarks, "The actual annihilation of the Jewish population was one of the main ideological and military objectives of the German Nazified war machine. And this objective was to a large extent achieved." 32
The following figures on Jewish casualties during the Holocaust have been taken and are compiled by Judaica Encyclopedia.
DISTRIBUTION OF JEWISH VICTIMS
Total Jewish Victims 5,820,000
WORLD OUTRAGE DEMANDS A ZIONIST STATE
When international teams of investigators confirmed the horrors of the Holocaust, most of the Western world agreed that immediate measures should be taken to open the door to Palestine. Even the British Labour Party agreed. 33 With "regard to the unspeakable horrors that have been perpetrated upon the Jews in Germany and other occupied countries in Europe," it said, "it is morally wrong and politically indefensible to impose obstacles to the entry into Palestine now of Jews who desire to go there…" 34 It furthermore proposed that the Americans, Soviet, and British governments should "see whether we cannot get that common support for a policy which will give us a happy, free, and a prosperous State in Palestine." 35
POST WWII POLITICS IN ENGLAND
Even before the war ended, a significant shift occurred through the British elections of July 1945. Britain still had the League of Nations’ Mandate to control Palestine. During the war, Prime Minister Churchill had been strongly supportive of Zionism and gave Weizmann his word that a State of Israel would be set up in Palestine after the war with three to four million Jews. 36 That was the view of both the Labour and Tory parties in their electioneering campaigns.
But in 1945, Churchill’s coalition was voted out of office in a landslide. 37 Britain’s severe economic setbacks during the war and its shrinking world empire led to the dissatisfaction that produced this ouster. The Labour party of Clement Atlee took over with high expectations from everyone — including the Zionists.
Despite candidate Atlee’s pro-Zionist stance, however, his administration soon reversed itself on the Palestine issue. Ernest Bevin was made Foreign Secretary and thus became Czar of the Mideast and its problems. Though a sharp statesman and keenly perceptive of growing Soviet power, he did not share the pro-Zionist sympathies of his colleagues and the former administration. 38 "Bevin repudiated all the pledges that had been made officially and unofficially by Labour speakers for the last ten years, some of which may have helped the Party win the election." 39
Several changes made this reversal of policy the politically prudent course for the new foreign secretary. The Arab world was gaining prestige and becoming a factor to be reckoned with. It had just added several independent states to its number and its oil power was claiming international respect. In juggling interests in the Mideast, Bevin tended to favor the Arabs and downplay the rights of Jews. To this end, Bevin came to fiercely oppose the creation of a Jewish state in the troubled area. 40
Another factor contributing to this reversal was the MacDonald "White Paper" of 1939, an anti-Jewish document that continued in effect throughout the war. Designed to mollify the Arabs, it in fact reduced Jewish immigration to Palestine to a trickle and intended to cut it off entirely. Had the White Paper been fully carried out, the hard-won advantages guaranteed the Jews in the Balfour Declaration would have been nullified. Arabs responded to this British reversal by increasing their opposition to Jewish immigration. Encouraged by Bevin, they boldly demanded that all Jewish immigration be stopped and a new Arab State be set up in Palestine. 41
The irony is that none of these Arab nations (except for Transjordan) supported the Allies in World War II. They remained carefully neutral until the final months when Allied victory was assured. The Palestinian leader (ex-Mufti Haj Amin Husseini), in fact, defected to Iraq before the war and later joined Hitler and Eichmann in Germany in their butchery of Jews. 42 Yet, the Arab states were shown amazing respect by the Allied powers in the postwar era; seven seats were given them in the United Nations Assembly. 43
THE JEWISH RESISTANCE MOVEMENT
When many Zionists began to realize that a political solution to establish a national homeland for the Jewish people (house of Judah) could not be achieved, they saw the need for military action. The main Jewish resistance groups were the Haganah, the Irgun and Lehi.
Arab riots in the land of Palestine in 1920 and 1921 strengthened the view that it was impossible to depend upon the British authorities to defend and protect the Jewish people in the land of Palestine. Furthermore, the Arabs would disrupt the agricultural settlements set up by the Yishuv. In addition, after initially encouraging the immigration of Jews to Israel, the British now openly banned Jewish immigration. From these events, it became apparent that the British were not interested in providing security for the Jewish settlers in the land. Therefore, the yishuv needed to create an independent defense force completely free of foreign authority.
THE CREATION OF THE HAGANAH
With the help of the worldwide Jewish Agency, the Hagonah was created. In June 1920, the Haganah was founded by the Histadrut (General Federation of Jewish Labor). At the time, it was considered illegal by the British mandatory authorities. The Haganah became the underground defense organization of the yishuv from 1920 to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.
As Arab hostilities increased, the members of the Haganah split over the question of how to react to Arab terrorism. Following Arab disturbances in the summer of 1929, a group of commanders and members of the Haganah, led by Avraham Tehomi, decided to split from the main group and set up their own organization to be more active in pursuing the Arab terrorists.
THE CREATION OF THE IRGUN
This new organization was named the Irgun Zva’i Leumi (National Military Organization) also known by the name of Etzel. It was founded in 1931 and became an underground organization that operated in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s.
Irgun rejected the "restraint" policy of the Haganah. They carried out armed reprisals against Arabs and preferred to use political powers to forward the goal of reclaiming the land. While the armed reprisals against the Arabs provided relief for the Jewish settlers, it was condemned by the Jewish Agency and brought political embarrassment to them. While the Jewish Agency tried to provide an image of the Jew being a good moral person who was being terrorized by the Arabs in order to win support from the non-Jewish world, the Irgun gave it’s full support to the settlers.
On December 5, 1936, Avraham Tehomi signed an accord with Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, the leader of the Revisionist Movement, making Jabotinsky commander of Irgun. In April 1937, during the Arab riots, the Irgun split. About half its members returned to the Haganah. The rest formed a new Irgun Zeva’i Le’umi (National Military Organization), which was ideologically linked with the Revisionist Movement and accepted the authority of its leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky.
VLADIMIR JABOTINSKY AND
Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky was born on October 18, 1880, in the city of Odessa, Russia. The pogrom against the Jews of Kishinev in 1903 spurred Jabotinsky to undertake Zionist activity. Jabotinsky was deeply impressed by Theodor Herzl. Jabotinsky was elected as a delegate to the 6th Zionist Congress, the last in which Theodor Herzl participated.
After World War I, Jabotinsky became disenchanted when Great Britain severed almost 80% of the British Mandate originally designated for a Jewish Homeland to create Transjordan (1922). Disillusioned with Britain and angry at Zionist acquiescence to British reversals, Jabotinsky became unhappy with the direction of the Zionist Movement. He was unconvinced that the Turks or the Arabs would accommodate the aims of Zionism. So, he advocated bolder tactics.
Jabotinsky set about establishing a separate Zionist federation based on "revision" of the relationship between the Zionist movement and Great Britain. This federation would actively challenge British policy and openly demand self-determination or Jewish statehood. The goals of the Revisionist movement included restoration of a Jewish Brigade to protect the Jewish community and mass immigration to Palestine of up to 40,000 Jews a year.
In 1925, the establishment of the World Union of Zionist Revisionists (Hatzohar) was announced with Paris as its headquarters. In 1931, Jabotinsky demanded that the Seventeenth Zionist Congress make a clear announcement of its Zionist aims (a Jewish state) but the delegates refused to do so.
In 1923, the youth movement Betar (Brith Joseph Trumpeldor) was created. The new youth movement was aimed at educating its members so that they would have a military and nationalistic spirit. Jabotinsky was also the leader of this movement.
In 1935, after the Zionist Executive rejected his political program and refused to clearly define that "the aim of Zionism was the establishment of a Jewish state," Jabotinsky decided to resign from the Zionist Movement. He founded the New Zionist Organization (NZO) to conduct independent political activity for free immigration and the establishment of a Jewish State.
In 1937, the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (IZL) became the military arm of the Jabotinsky movement and he became its commander. The three bodies headed by Jabotinsky, The New Zionist Organization (NZO), the Betar youth movement and the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (IZL) were three extensions of the same movement.
With the outbreak of World War II, Irgun declared a truce, which led to a second split. Some forces decided to fight with the British against the Nazi Axis powers. This group declared a truce and joined the British army and the Jewish Brigade. The second group led by Avraham Stern was known as the Stern Gang or Lehi. They operated as an underground organization from 1940 to 1948.
THE CREATION OF LEHI
Lehi was an acronym for Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel). The split with the Irgun was due to disagreement on three main issues:
1) The group’s demand that the military struggle against the British government be continued irrespective of the war against Nazi Germany;
2) Opposition to enlistment in the British army, which Jabotinsky supported; and
3) Willingness to collaborate, as a tactical measure, with anyone who supported the struggle against the British in Palestine.
Lehi’s goals were:
1) Conquest and liberation of Eretz Israel; war against the British Empire;
2) Complete withdrawal of Britain from Palestine;
3) Establishment of a "Hebrew kingdom from the Euphrates to the Nile."
MENACHEM BEGIN BECOMES LEADER
In December of 1943, Menachem Begin became leader of the Irgun. Begin was a Polish Jew who had escaped a Siberian labor camp in 1943 and made his way to Palestine to join the Irgun.
Menachem Begin was born in BrestLitovsk in 1913. As a child he was forced to flee with his family to escape the fighting between the German and Russian armies in World War I. A passionate Zionist from an early age, he joined Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Betar youth movement in his teens, rising quickly to important administrative and leadership positions.
In February 1944, Irgun declared war against the British administration. It attacked and blew up government offices, military installations and police stations. The Jewish Agency and their group, the Haganah responded against the Irgun in a campaign nicknamed the Sezon. The Haganah kidnapped several of the Irgun’s members and handed them over to the British.
THE JEWISH RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS
After World War II, the Haganah realized that the British were not relenting their ban on immigration, nor were they helpful in combating Arab terrorism. In late 1945, the three groups (the Irgun, the Haganah, and Lechi) reached an understanding to coordinate the struggle to fight the British.
The unity of the groups was short-lived. In May 1946 the Irgun blew up the wing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the British Palestine Command. The organizations’ cooperation broke up following Irgun’s bombing because Haganah claimed that the attack had not been coordinated with them.
THE JEWISH RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS
After the end of World War II, the Haganah was the largest and most important Jewish military force operating against the British. On May 26, 1948, the Provisional Government of Israel decided to transform the Haganah into the regular army of the State to be called "Zeva Haganah Le-Yisrael" or The Israel Defense Forces (IDF). When the IDF was established on May 31, 1948, Irgun and Lehi announced that its members would join also.
Haganah and Irgun became the Labor and Likud political parties in Israel. The Haganah and the Irgun have had their political differences since they were created to fight against the British in order that the Jewish people (house of Judah) could have a national homeland. There was an event that took place before they merged themselves into the IDF that highlights the division and tension between these two groups. This division continues to the present day through the modern day political parties in Israel named Labor and Likud whose political roots go back to the Haganah and the Irgun.
The Irgun had a boat, the Altalena, which had supplies and men coming into Jaffa port. The boat was laden with munitions needed by the Jewish defenders. The Haganah wanted to take all supplies. Negotiation between the Irgun and the Haganah ensued. No agreement was forged. The Haganah opened fire on the Altalena, sinking the boat, killing and wounding Jewish lives and destroying supplies. The commander of the Haganah was Yitzhak Rabin. When the nation of Israel was established, the Jewish Agency and its followers took up the leadership of Israel. Today, their political party is known as "Labor." The opposition party, led by the soldiers in the Irgun, became the opposition party to the Haganah and is known today as the "Likud." Still today, these two groups are politically fighting it out between themselves just as they did in the time of the birth of the state of Israel.
THE BRITISH MANDATE
When the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) where the British government kept their office on July 22, 1946, twenty-eight British were killed. By the beginning of 1947, the British had decided they wanted nothing more than to wash their hands of the whole mandate affair. 44
Thus it was becoming more and more evident that British anti-Zionist policy was bankrupt and that a new approach was needed. The fault lay primarily with "Bevin’s agonized intransigence on the immigration issue, provoking maximal Zionist demands for Jewish statehood." This "ignited the terrorism, launched the illegal refugee traffic to Palestine, undermined Britain’s economy, eroded its international reputation, and finally doomed the Palestine Mandate itself." 45 The Atlee-Bevin government came to see how impossible it was to carry out the British Mandate with conflicting policies toward the Jews and the Arabs. 46
Acknowledging a deadlock on the issue, the British cabinet on April 2, 1947, announced it was referring the Palestine problem to the United Nations General Assembly. This body set up an eleven-nation investigative board (UNSCOP) to devise a plan of action. After several months of review, they recommended endorsing the principle of independence for both the Jews and the Arabs. However, they were divided regarding who should control what area. The majority voted for "partitioning" Palestine, advocating three divisions, an Arab state, a Jewish state, and an international zone in the Jerusalem area. 47
The General Assembly of the United Nations voted on November 29, 1947, to support partitioning. The vote was thirty-three to thirteen, mainly the Western bloc against the Moslems and Asian blocs. Eleven nations abstained, including Britain. It was to be implemented at the termination of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948. 48
The partition plan vote became UN Resolution 181. In Part III, Section A of UN Resolution 181, the city of Jerusalem was established as a "corpus separatum" under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. Thus, the plan of the UN was for Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) to become an international city.
The Arabs unequivocally rejected it, perceiving it as another step in Zionist expansionism. To maintain good relations with the Arab League, Britain also rejected it. Joining them, the United States State Department under Secretary of State George Marshall cautioned against the plan. In May 1947, the Soviet delegation surprised everyone by endorsing partitioning. In October, the Arab League began a troop buildup in Palestine. 49
President Truman chose to disagree with Secretary of State George Marshall on the issue. Truman accused the State Department of having an Arabic mentality. "Like most of the British diplomats," he quipped, "some of our diplomats also thought that the Arabs, on account of their numbers and because of the fact that they controlled such immense oil resources, should be appeased. I am sorry to say that there were some among them who were inclined to be anti-Semitic." 50 He then instructed the State Department to support the United Nations plan of partitioning Palestine. 51
Many commentators believe that this courageous action by Truman received the smile of heaven. That fall, Truman ran for reelection against the highly favored Republican governor of New York, Tom Dewey, and won. Truman later referred to himself as "Cyrus," the biblical Gentile who in Persian times had assisted the post-exilic remnant in returning from dispersion. 52
ISRAEL’S 1948 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
The Arabs responded to the Partition Resolution by carrying out their oft-repeated threats. Jewish homes and synagogues in the major cities were immediately attacked while the British stood by. Calls went out for all available forces from the Arabic States to mobilize for war. Arabs saw the British withdrawal as an opportunity to drive out the Jews and settle the immigration question once and for all. The Mufti moved from Cairo to Lebanon to take charge of the Palestinian operation. 53
In the late afternoon of May 14, 1948, the British kept their word and hauled down the Union Jack. Israel proceeded to raise its newly designed flag featuring the Star of David the same day. David Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first prime minister. Chaim Weizmann later became the first President of the new republic. Within minutes, President Truman issued a statement extending de facto recognition to Israel as a sovereign state. 54
Before the day ended, Egyptian planes were already bombing Tel Aviv. Most of the Arab states sent men and material to the attack, including Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Additional forces came from North African states. 55
The Arab’s initial attack was full-scale on all sides, confident that their sheer numbers and superior armament would quickly overwhelm the ill-equipped Jews. 56 Their plan was to take Palestine’s key cities within a few weeks and then quickly "drive the Jews into the sea."
From a statistical standpoint, an easy triumph was practically a given: the Arab’s overwhelming power came from seven nations with a combined population of over 140 million; the Jewish remnant they opposed totaled only 650,000 in all Palestine, with no promise of backing from other nations; the Arab Legion of Transjordan was "financed and officiated by the British." 57 However, with divine help from the G-d of Israel, the Jewish people (house of Judah) won the war and the nation of Israel was born.
The UN plan had assigned her 5,500 square miles and the new Arab state 4,500. The spoils of war added additional territory, which gave Israel a total of 8,050 of the total 10,400 square miles in Palestine. 58 King Abdullah of Transjordan acquired 2,350 square miles in the West Bank plus over 750,000 Palestinians. 59
In May 1949, the new nation of Israel was accepted into the United Nations, recognized as an independent, sovereign nation. 60
On four occasions in the next twenty-five years, Israel was forced to mobilize her troops to defend her borders. Each of these was a traumatic episode in itself, but each also resulted in further gain that fortified her position in the Middle East. 61
ISRAEL’S 1956 WAR WITH EGYPT
Egyptian General Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt in 1956. From 1948, Egypt had closed the Suez Canal to Israeli ships. Then in 1955, she began a blockade also of the Gulf of Aqaba, cutting off Israel’s access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Responding to this challenge, Israel again mobilized her citizen army in October 1956, striking at Egypt through the rugged Sinai wasteland. That desert campaign became known as "Operation Kadesh." 62 With divine help from the G-d of Israel, the Jewish people (house of Judah) defeated the plans of Nasser and Egypt and won the 1956 war.
ISRAEL’S 1967 WAR WITH HER ARAB NEIGHBORS
In the spring of 1967 following a vast military buildup of Russian equipment, Nasser again closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping and demanded that UN observers withdraw from the demilitarized zone. By May 17, seven Arabic nations had mobilized armor on three fronts, broadcasting their intentions to "cut the Jews throats." King Hussein of Jordan decided to join the fray, collaborating with Iraqi troops. He hoped to seize the Islamic shrines in Jerusalem for his Hashemite kingdom. 63
When Nasser blockaded the Straits of Tiran and closed off the Israeli port of Eilat, he prevented Israel’s only access from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Red Sea, and from there to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, and it meant Israel’s access to oil from the Persian Gulf was cut off. The blockade, considered an act of war by Israel, was provocation of the first order. Israel had already notified the UN Security Council that it would soon have to act in its own self-defense. But, the UN failed to enforce the conditions of the truce that had existed since 1956. 64
The Arabs massed 547,000 troops, 2,504 tanks, and 957 combat aircraft. Israel mustered 264,000 troops, 800 tanks, and 300 combat airplanes. Israeli generals Yitzchak Rabin and Moshe Dayan foresaw that surprise was their only hope. 65 The preemptive strike was decisive. "In 170 minutes Israel’s pilots had smashed Egypt’s best-equipped air bases and had turned three hundred of Nasser’s combat planes into flaming wrecks … The Egyptian air force, the largest in the Middle East, was in ruins." 66 The same scenario was replayed in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. "By nightfall of June 6, Israel had destroyed 416 planes, 393 on the ground. It had lost twenty-six planes during that time, all to antiaircraft." 67
In two days, the Egyptian army in the Sinai was virtually wiped out, leaving Israel to occupy the Gaza Strip. To the north, after a desperate and costly tank battle, the Syrians were routed and the strategic Golan Heights was taken. Thus ended the long nightmare of Syrian bombardment of Galilean villages. Israel was now secure on her northern border. 68
In the battle with Jordan, Israel gained control of the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem fell into Israeli hands. By gaining control of the West Bank, the cities of Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, and Shechem as well as Jerusalem came into Israel hands. For the first time in nineteen hundred years, the Jews had control of the old city of Jerusalem. A newly composed ballad, "Jerusalem the Golden," became Israel’s popular anthem in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. 69
In the war, "The Arabs suffered 15,000 casualties; Israel’s losses were 777 killed, 2,186 wounded." 70 To its previous eighty-five hundred square miles, it added twenty-eight thousand square miles in the Sinai, Golan Heights, and West Bank. 71 The occupied territories proved to be an ideal bone of contention for the Arabs, leading to further conflicts that would dwarf even the monumental battles of Israel’s first twenty years of nationhood. 72
ISRAEL’S 1973 YOM KIPPUR WAR
On October 6, 1973 on Yom Kippur, the Arabs attacked Israel once again. They had 750,000 troops, 3,200 Soviet tanks, 860 planes, and the latest Soviet missiles. 73 In the first grim hours at the Canal Zone, Israeli reservists were obliterated. Their token defenses consisted of "precisely 436 Israeli soldiers in a series of bunkers seven to ten miles apart, together with three tanks and seven artillery batteries." 74 Coming at them, "were five Egyptian infantry divisions, three mixed infantry and tank divisions, and twenty-two independent infantry, commando, and paratroop brigades. With the air force, the enemy constituted not less than 600,000 men, 2,000 tanks, 2,300 artillery pieces, 160 SAM missile batteries, and 550 combat planes." 75
In the third and fourth days of the war, Israel began to win the war. First, Israel was able to defeat Syria in the north. By October 18, Israeli troops headed toward Damascus. In the battle with Egypt in the Suez, Israel gained the upper edge over Egypt. By October 23, the Israeli army was at the Gulf of Suez. As a result, Egypt and Russia demanded that the United Nations Security Council require Israel to pull back to its pre-1967 borders.
As a result of the war, the United Nations demanded that Israel withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip based upon UN Resolution 242. When Israel refused to comply, the council nearly voted her out of the United Nations in the summer of 1975. 76
THE POLITICS OF OIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The 1973 Yom Kippur war highlighted how imported Arab oil has become an important political and economic issue in understanding the present Israel / Arab conflict. The world economy depends on imported Arab oil and the Arab oil producing countries decided to use oil as an economic and political weapon to influence world opinion against Israel. On October 17, 1973, Arab petroleum ministers met during the Yom Kippur War and decided to cut oil production and exports. "It was under the façade of the war crisis … that the Arabs seized the opportunity to launch a drastic escalation of oil prices. Libya announced on October 18 that the cost of its oil would go up 28 percent — irrespective of the war and Israel’s misdeeds. Iraq thereupon declared a 70 percent price rise. Kuwait matched this figure." 77
Members of the European Common Market took immediate measures to placate Arab oil barons, making new demands on Israel to give up the occupied territories. Thus an oil-thirsty world forced Israel into a diplomatic ghetto. Though the Arabs suffered a devastating loss in the Yom Kippur war, they discovered a powerful new weapon and found themselves in the driver’s seat of the world economy. By a simple turn of oil valves they could further the goals of Palestine. 78
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND ARAB POLITICS
As a result of Israel winning her war of independence and her succeeding wars against her Arab neighbors, the Arabs living in Israel did not have a country of their own. They called themselves Palestinians. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the Palestinians became an increasingly important political issue in the Israel/Arab conflict. Since the creation of the Arab states, the Palestinian people have been mistreated by Arab states and have had bad relations with many of them. During this time, Arab leaders have fought among themselves for the title of being the leader of the Arab world. By not having a state of their own, the Palestinians have been used by the Arab world for their own political purpose and as a political weapon against Israel. While the Arab states all recognize the Palestinians as their cousins, only Jordan was willing to take their refugees.
The root of Arab politics toward the Palestinian people goes back to the early 1920’s when the Arab states were being created following the defeat of the Turks in World War I. Following WWI, the British and French allowed the gradual formation of seven independent Arabic states in the region (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, followed later by ten others). 79
Winston Churchill gave the area of Transjordan to Abdullah of Arabia. This he did to mollify the Arab leader for the help his father, the sharif of Mecca, had given the British in diverting the Turks in Arabia in 1917. 80 This gift of East Jordan (Transjordan) to Abdullah constituted three-quarters of the area known as Palestine.
The Arabs west of the Jordan also wanted an independent state and had candidates chomping at the bit for rulership. For many years, two leading families, the al-Husseinis and Nashashibis, had alternated in filling the position of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. 81 Though a religious position, it carried strong political clout throughout Palestine. Both families claimed descent from the Grand Sharif of Mecca, who in turn claimed descendancy from Muhammad himself. These two clans exerted much influence in mayoral offices in the region, but were constantly at loggerheads. From the Nashashibis came King Abdullah, who was given Transjordan, and his brother Feisal. Feisal was first given Syria (until the French took it over) and was later made King of Iraq. At the assassination of Abdullah in 1951, Hussein, his grandson (not of the al-Husseines), became King of Jordan. This family was known as the Hashemites. 82
The al-Husseini family in Jerusalem was represented by Haj Amin al-Husseini who was appointed Grand Mufti by the British in 1921 when only twenty-one. Amin al-Husseini was a Muslim extremist who violently opposed Zionism. Insisting on Palestine becoming an Arab state, he used every influence to halt Jewish immigration. On August 23, 1929, he inspired a massacre of Jews praying at the Wailing Wall. Prior to that, "Haj Amin had instituted a plan to restore the mosques in order to reestablish the primacy of Islam over all of Palestine and to counter the increasingly vocal religious claims of the Zionists to a portion of Jerusalem." 83
When World War II erupted, Haj Amin was forced to flee, first to Iraq and then to Germany where he was welcomed by Hitler and Himmler. 84
These two families, the Hashemites and the al-Husseinis, came to represent the moderate and extreme factions of Palestinian Arabs. 85 Their special bitterness toward each other stemmed from Britain’s bestowal of kingdoms on the Hashemites, which the al-Husseinis viewed as a sellout to the enemy. For this Haj Amin and his followers came to regard both the Jews and the Jordanian Hashemites as bitter enemies. 86
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PLO
The Palestinian Liberation Organization was actually the brainchild of Gamal Addel Nasser of Egypt. The PLO was first organized in Cairo in 1964. Its founding document is the Palestine National Covenant. This declaration rejects the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the UN Partition Agreement of 1948, the Jews’ biblical claims to the land, and it denies the right of the Jewish people to have a nation. The Covenant has been revised several times over the years, but it still contains the vehement anti-Jewish sentiments of the original document. It insists that all the territory of the nation of Israel properly belongs to the Palestinian Arabs, and only those Jews living in Palestine prior to the "Zionist invasion" can be regarded as legitimate Palestinians and thus allowed to stay in the land. 87
Nasser sought to promote an underground forum for the Palestinian people. This was first called the Palestine Liberation Army (later the PLO). Chosen as leader was Ahmad Shuqairi, a puppet of Nasser, who set up headquarters in Cairo. The expressed purpose of this organization was to allow the Palestinian people, "to play a role in the liberation of their country and their self-determination." 88 The Arab leaders who set it up, however, had other designs for the organization. They intended to make it an instrument of guerrilla warfare against Israel under their control. They had no intention of creating an independent Palestinian movement. 89
YASSER ARAFAT AND THE FATAH
Six years before Nasser created the PLO, Yasser Arafat started his own group in Syria to "liberate Palestine." Then living in Kuwait, Arafat and a handful of revolutionaries created a military organization. They called it the Palestinian National Liberation Movement. In Arabic, the initials spelled out HATAF (Harekat at-Tahrir al-Wataniyyeh al-Falastiniyyeh). 90 They turned the letters around to spell FATAH, which is a reverse acronym of the name of the movement in Arabic. The word "Fatah" means "conquest by means of jihad [Islamic holy war]."
The major figures in FATAH were two young dyed-in-the-wool guerrilla operators, Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad. 91 Both were from the militant Muslim community of Gaza. Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929 and grew up in the Gaza strip during the tumultuous Jewish-Arab conflicts of the 1930s and 1940s. His full name is Rahman Abdul Rauf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini. He was later nicknamed as "Yasser" by his guerrilla tutor after a great Arab hero. 92 Through his mother, Arafat was related to Haj Amin, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and a proud member of the al-Husseini family. That lineage supposedly traced back to Husayn ibn Ali, the son of Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad. 93
From his earliest years, Arafat was engrossed in liberation tactics, devising terrorist activities against the Israelis whom he saw as invaders. As he and his cronies began the Fatah, they saw themselves as the "generation of revenge" — seeking vengeance for the loss of Palestine. 94 Originally, FATAH opposed the founding of the PLO. By 1969, FATAH had become the largest guerrilla group affiliated with the PLO. At that year’s meeting of the PLO’s executive body, the Palestinian National Council, Yasser Arafat won complete control of the PLO. 95
ARAFAT BECOMES THE LEADER OF THE PLO
The very establishment of the PLO by Nasser in 1964 was intended to rebuff Arafat and his FATAH. Incensed by Arafat’s deriding him in his paper, Our Palestine, Nasser "ordered his intelligence service to see to Arafat’s liquidation." 96
Arafat became the leader of the PLO in 1969. Prior to 1968, Palestinians had looked to the pan-Arab nations to liberate their land. In the wake of the 1967 war, they gave up on the promises of the Arab League and determined that they would have to go it alone if they were to "restore their land." 97
When Arafat took over the PLO, the organization reverted to cell groups developed by its FATAH members in Syria. First, it was basically a guerrilla organization that worked underground apart from national armies or agencies. Its single purpose was to evict the Israelis from the land and set up an independent Palestinian state, not one in tandem with Jordan or any other Arab state. Second, it intended to achieve its goals by armed conflict, using infiltration and terror to drive out the occupiers of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 98
THE PLO AND THE INTIFADA
In December 1987, Palestinian patience ran out and long pent-up feelings were suddenly unleashed with stones and homemade bombs. This uprising was known as the Intifada. It quickly spread through the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The cities of Nablus, Hebron, and Jerusalem in the West Bank soon became centers of agitation. 99
Most irritating to the Palestinians was the Israeli settlement of Jewish communities in the West Bank. This has received almost continuous coverage by the press since 1977 when Begin began encouraging the program. 100 Various reasons were given for this colonization. Some Jews settled there for religious reasons, such as the hard-core Gush Emunists, searching for their biblical heritage. Others simply sought a place of residence from which to commute to the big cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 101
Through the intifada, the Palestinians have looked to the world media to dramatize their fight against Israel. 102 By being successful at this, it has forced Israel to rethink its policies regarding the settlements in biblical Judea and Samaria (West Bank). While the settlements are a security issue for Israel, world public opinion is demanding a compromise on the issue and encouraging Israel to trade "land for peace." However, will trading land result in peace for Israel? It is highly unlikely because "PLO" after all, means the "Liberation of Palestine," which is not negotiable to the leaders of the movement. 103
THE PLO PHASED PLAN DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL
Following the 1967 war, two different schools of thought developed among the Arabs concerning their dilemma of what to do with Israel. With the increased territory Israel gained as a result of the war, it was believed impossible to defeat Israel by conventional means.
The first school of thought held that since it was no longer possible to defeat Israel by conventional means, then there was no choice but to make formal peace with the Jewish nation. This view was held by Anwar Sadat of Egypt, who accepted Menachem Begin’s invitation to help negotiate a settlement with Israel. The peace treaty, called the Camp David Accords, was drafted in late 1978 and signed in early 1979.
The second school of thought held that since it was no longer possible to defeat Israel within her existing boundaries, then the course of action should be to first reduce Israel to the pre-1967 borders and then destroy her. This view was officially adopted by the PLO at their 1974 conference in Cairo. It was formalized in a document known as the Phased Plan. Dr. Aaron Lerner, a Middle East analyst, summarizes the goals of the PLO’s Phased Plan as follows:
"First, to establish a combatant national authority over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated (article 2); second, to use that territory to continue the fight against Israel (article 4); finally, to start a pan-Arab war to complete the liberation of all the Palestinian territory (article 8)." 104 The PLO phased plan destruction of Israel and articles 1-4 and 8 are highlighted below.
THE PLO’S PHASED PLAN
Political Programme: Adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestinian National Council, Cairo, June 9, 1974. The text of the Phased Plan resolution:
The Palestinian National Council:
On the basis of the Palestinian National Charter and the Political Programme drawn up at the eleventh session, held from January 6-12, 1973; and from its belief that it is impossible for a permanent and just peace to be established in the area unless our Palestinian people recover all their national rights and, first and foremost, their rights to return and to self-determination on the whole of the soil of their homeland; and in the light of a study of the new political circumstances that have come into existence in the period between the Council’s last and present sessions, resolves the following:
1. To reaffirm the Palestine Liberation Organization’s previous attitude to Resolution 242, which obliterates the national right of our people and deals with the cause of our people as a problem of refugees. The Council therefore refuses to have anything to do with this resolution at any level, Arab or international, including the Geneva Conference.
2. The Liberation Organization will employ all means, and first and foremost armed struggle, to liberate Palestinian territory and to establish the independent combatant national authority for the people over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated. This will require further changes being effected in the balance of power in favor of our people and their struggle.
3. Any step taken towards liberation is a step towards the realization of the Liberation Organization’s strategy of establishing the democratic Palestinian State specified in the resolutions of previous Palestinian National Councils.
4. Struggle along with the Jordanian national forces to establish a Jordanian-Palestinian national front whose aim will be to set up in Jordan a democratic national authority in close contact with the Palestinian entity that is established through the struggle.
8. The Liberation Organization will strive to strengthen its solidarity with the socialist countries, and with forces of liberation and progress throughout the world, with the aim of frustration all the schemes of Zionism, reaction and imperialism.
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization will make every effort to implement this programme, and should a situation arise affecting the destiny and the future of the Palestinian people, the National Assembly will be convened in extraordinary session.
THE OSLO ACCORDS AND
The PLO has decided that it would be acceptable to get rid of Israel in stages (by trading land for peace) if it couldn’t be done all at once (by war). Arafat has publicly told his followers, on numerous occasions, that the Declaration of Principles signed with Israel in 1993 (Oslo I) is actually a part of the PLO’s Phased Plan. In November 1994, in a speech marking the celebration of Palestine National Day, Arafat said:
"What has been a dream has become a reality. In 1974, the PNC decided on establishing a Palestinian Authority on the first piece of land from which the enemy has withdrawn or that we have liberated."
Another clue that the PLO has not totally renounced its idea of eliminating Israel, but has merely postponed it, is the fact that the official PLO letterhead still has for its logo a map of the nation of Israel labeled "Palestine." Textbooks in Egyptian and Jordanian schools, as well as those used in Palestinian schools, do not even show the nation of Israel on their maps. 105
Furthermore, Arafat has not eliminated terrorism in his government. Instead, he has elevated it to official status. In May 1996, Arafat set aside four cabinet seats in the Palestinian Authority for representatives of the most active terrorist groups: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and two PLO rejectionist groups, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The US law that provides financial aid to the PA specifically says that aid will be cut off if the PLO allows terrorists to be included in the governing agencies. But to date, Congress has made no move to terminate the annual one hundred million in financial aid to the Palestinians.
The PLO has threatened that if Israel doesn’t exchange "land for peace" that they will continue the struggle to liberate Palestine by any other means. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are part of the "war by other means" by the PLO against Israel. These two Islamic fundamentalist groups are funded, trained, and armed by Iran and Syria. The Hezbollah, or Party of Allah, which operates against Israel primarily out of Syrian-controlled southern Lebanon, is also sponsored by Iran. These groups are adamantly opposed to peace with Israel and, in fact, they are fanatically dedicated to waging continual "war by other means" against all non-Muslim countries. 106
During his youth in Cairo, Arafat’s family had close ties to a group called the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fundamentalist group active in Egypt and the Middle East. As a teenager Arafat fought with the Muslim Brothers in Jerusalem in 1948 and, during his university days, he often went on secret missions with the Brothers when they were fighting the British at the Suez Canal. Many of the early Fatah members were tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, which once tried to assassinate Egyptian president Gamal Adbel Nasser. 107
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Charter, released to the public in 1988, states that "Hamas is one of the links in the Chain of Jihad in the confrontation with the Zionist invasion. It links up with … the Muslim Brotherhood who fought the Holy War in 1936; it further relates to another link of the Palestinian Jihad and the efforts of the Muslim Brothers during the 1948 War, and to the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brothers in 1968 and thereafter …" So the current masters of terrorism affirm their historic link to the Muslim Brotherhood. And it’s a link that joins them directly to Yasser Arafat. 108
ISRAEL WANTS PEACE
Beginning in the late 1800s in Europe, political Zionism was birthed. With political Zionism, the Jewish people (house of Judah) dreamed of living in the ancient homeland of their forefathers Abraham (Avraham), Isaac (Yitzchak) and Jacob (Ya’acov) where they would be free from anti-Semitism while living in security and being at peace with her neighbors.
Theodor Herzl is the father of modern Zionism. He established the World Zionist Organization in 1897 with the purpose of establishing a national homeland for the Jewish people (house of Judah). His dream was carried by Chaim Weizmann who influenced the British to help establish a homeland for the Jewish people (house of Judah) by signing the Balfour Declaration.
The Arabs responded to the Jewish (house of Judah) desire for a national homeland with great protest. Because of British politics to appease the Arabs, the Jewish (house of Judah) Zionist dream was delayed until 1948. It was only achieved because of world outrage to the horrors of the holocaust and the Jewish Resistance Movement against the British. With political division, the United Nations approved the partitioning of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state and Jerusalem being an international city through UN Resolution 181 in 1947.
The Arabs rejected this plan and went to war with Israel in 1948 following the passing of the UN partition plan. Israel defeated the Arabs and won her independence. The Arabs went to war with Israel again in 1956, 1967 and 1973 to liberate the land of Palestine. However, Israel won all these wars and increased the territory that she controlled and began to build settlements in these territories.
The Arab world and the PLO became infuriated with Israel for building settlements in these newly conquered land areas. These settlements and Israel’s existence as a nation continued to be a thorny issue to Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Because the PLO and the Arab world could not conquer Israel by war, they decided to go forward with a phased plan destruction of Israel by trading "land for peace."
With the passing ofUN Resolution 242 following the 1967 war and UN Resolution 338 following the 1973 war, the principle of Israel trading "land for peace" was established in the international world community. Because UN Resolutions 242 and 338 could be used as a means to accomplish the phased plan destruction of Israel, it was acceptable to the PLO and the Arab world. Because UN Resolution 242 and 338 is a part of the plan to establish the credibility of the UN as an organization to promote World Government and the "New World Order," trading "land for peace" is a high priority to the framers who want to establish World Government. Therefore, the goals to establish World Government and the goal of the PLO to destroy Israel through its phased plan are being united through UN Resolutions 242 and 338. Because of this, Israel is being pressured to trade "land for peace."
In the next chapter, we will learn that all of Israel’s peace agreements with her Arab neighbors beginning with Egypt and the Camp David Accords in the late 1970s have been based uponUN Resolutions 242 and 338. Because the United States has been actively involved in promoting Israel having peace with her neighbors based upon UN Resolutions 242 and 338, it is easy to discern that the United States strongly advocates and promotes the idea of establishing World Government.
Because Israel desires so strongly to have peace with her Arab neighbors, she has agreed to "peace" with her Arab neighbors based uponUN Resolutions 242 and 338. While Israel desires peace with her neighbors, by agreeing to trade "land for peace," she is rejecting the covenant that the G-d of Israel made with Abraham (Avraham) when He promised Abraham (Avraham) and his descendents an eternal Promised Land. This land would include the biblical areas of Judea and Samaria (West Bank).
By desiring to have World Government without the rulership of the G-d of Israel, the nations of the world have rejected the G-d of Israel as King of the Universe and have also rejected the covenant that the G-d of Israel made with Abraham (Avraham). By rejecting the covenant that the G-d of Israel made with Abraham (Avraham), the judgment of the G-d of Israel will fall upon Israel and the nations. Rather than having peace (shalom) with her Arab neighbors based uponUN Resolutions 242 and 338, the words of the prophet Jeremiah (Yermiyahu) ring loud and clear. In Jeremiah (Yermiyahu) 6:14 it is written:
In the Brit Hadashah (New Testament), in I Thessalonians 5:3 it is written:
However, it is during Jacob’s trouble (Chevlai shel Mashiach), that the prophet Jeremiah (Yermiyahu) declares that the two houses of Israel will be reunited in the land of Israel (Jeremiah [Yermiyahu] 30:1-7) when they return to the mountains of Israel (Judea and Samaria/West Bank) (Ezekiel [Yechezekel] 37:15-22).
May the G-d of Israel pour out His Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and bring redemption, restoration, reconciliation and unity to both the house of Judah (Judaism) and the house of Israel (Christianity) speedily in our days. Amen !!
The Northern Kingdom (Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) differed both politically and religiously. They have never been united since the split between them following the days of Solomon. The Northern Kingdom was taken captive by the Assyrians. Upon their captivity, the Ten Tribes have been assimilated and intermingled into the nations of the world. The intermarriage of the Assyrians and the descendents of the Northern Kingdom who lived in the land of Israel were known as Samaritans. The Jews and the Samaritans never got along with each other. Joseph being sold by his brothers foreshadows the dividing of the nation of Israel into Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. Joseph's unification with His brothers foreshadows the unification of Ephraim and Judah in the end of days. Ezekiel lying on his side foreshadows the sin and punishment of the Northern Kingdom. The suffering of a righteous individual can atone for the sins of the nation of Israel. The suffering of Ezekiel foreshadows the suffering of the Messiah for His people. The Ten Tribes did not unite with Judah at the end of the Babylonian captivity during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Orthodox Jews pray three times a day for the ingathering of the exiles of Israel. The Ten Tribes will return to the land of Israel and be united with Judah at the dawn of the Messianic Era. It is the Messiah who will gather the exiles of Israel.