Israel is a “modern country haunted by ancient lies and questions of legitimacy,” the DVD Israel Indivisible: The Case for the Ancient Homeland observes. This video produced by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), a Tennessee Christian Zionist organization, is therefore all the more necessary for Christians, Jews, and others interested in defending the Jewish state’s embattled legitimacy.
The “effort to distort the past” is “as important as long range missiles” for Israel’s opponents, former Israeli Knesset member Arieh Eldad notes in Israel Indivisible. This is an “integral part” of de-legitimizing Israel as a country of “occupiers and thieves,” the film narration elaborates. These attempts to “just rewrite history” by denying Jewish roots in the Holy Land leave the conservative Jewish-American author and activist David Horowitz “dumbstruck” with their “brazenness.”
Yet for Jews the “Bible is our mandate” for claiming Israel, Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, testified to a British commission in 1936. Scripture contains 170 references to the land of Canaan, 667 references to Jerusalem, and 55 references to God unconditionally covenanting this land to the Jews, 12 of which are everlasting in nature. Replacement theology proponents who believe that the New Testament nullified these Old Testament’s promises of Israel to the Jews, meanwhile, “don’t know their Bible,” Rev. Dr. David Hudson declares. Israel “is God’s chosen people…and will remain so.”
The Bible offers not just theological claims, but also historical facts confirming Israel as the Jewish homeland. “Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the Old Testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity,” the Smithsonian’s Department of Archeology has observed. “These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work.”
Such archeology confirms a Jewish presence in the Holy Land for over 3,000 years. “The more we dig, the more we find,” Rabbi Ken Spiro states, even as over 98 percent of archeological remains lie unexcavated. “Unique and irrefutable” Israeli claims to the Golan Heights, for example, where past “Jewish life flourished,” emerge from archeological research, despite common understandings of Israel having “occupied” this region during the 1967 Six Day War.
The common belief that modern Israel’s “Jews are some sort of foreign entity” in the region is false, the American-born Israeli analyst Caroline Glick clarifies. Jews in the Holy Land have had a “solid majority throughout almost all of history uninterrupted” except for a few centuries during Muslim rule. Only expulsion by conquerors has broken this majority, yet Jews have remained unique in having a “continuous presence” throughout the Holy Land’s history.
While Nazi genocide killed about 70 percent of European Jewry, for example, Spiro estimates that Roman suppression of Jewish revolts between 66 and 135 A.D. destroyed 60-70 percent of then existing Jewry. To “cut them off from their country,” the Romans then renamed Judea Philistia after the Philistines, from which came the name Palestine. Yet “Judea capta” in Latin on a Roman coin marking this Judean conquest reminds Israeli archeologist Doron Spielman that the Holy Land’s “indigenous people” are Jews.
Subsequently many nineteenth-century visitors to the Holy Land concurred with Mark Twain’s 1867 impressions of the region as “desolate.” This confirms for Rabbi Moshe Kempinski prophecies in Leviticus 26:43 and Deuteronomy 29:23 of the Holy Land lying fallow following Jewish expulsion. Thus the film refutes the “big lie” of Jewish immigrants meeting “crowds of Palestinians” during modern Israel’s settlement.
Israel, a “nation born in a day” upon declaring independence and receiving international recognition on May 14, 1948, also fulfills for Kempinski and others Isaiah 66:8’s prophecy. Yet not just the Bible, but also international law anchors modern Israeli independence. The League of Nations 51 members unanimously approved on July 24, 1922, a Palestine Mandate recognizing the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
This mandate expressly sought to implement British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour’s November 2, 1917, declaration that British authorities “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The April 25, 1920, San Remo Declaration of France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom reiterated this commitment as did a unanimous joint congressional resolution on June 30, 1922, signed by President Warren Harding. For the Jewish people “it is essential,” a 1922 British White Paper by Winston Churchill concluded, “that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not…sufferance.”
Modern Israel thus traces its origins to international mandates aiding the formation of new nations on territory of the former Ottoman Empire dissolved in World War I just like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Thus “there isn’t an inch of Israel on Arab land,” Horowitz judges, contrary to the “monster lie” of the “whole Palestinian case.” This Palestine Mandate (minus what became Jordan after the United Kingdom exercised its prerogative in 1922 to divide this area from Palestine) is the last internationally recognized disposition of the region. The 1947 Palestine partition plan recommended by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), the League’s successor, arguably exceeded the UN’s authority by revising a territorial settlement previously settled in international law.
Arab authorities nonetheless rebuffed Jewish acceptance of this plan and attacked the nascent Jewish state in its subsequent war for independence. “We shall lead a religious crusade for all loyal followers of Muhammad” was the Middle East Arab outlook towards Israel, Robert F. Kennedy reported in 1948 from Israel. Underlying unrelenting Arab hostility to Israel “is really an Islamic claim” that a territory once ruled by Islam should remain perpetually so, Christian Broadcasting Network reporter Chris Mitchell explains.
Middle Eastern hostility to Jews precedes 1948. While European anti-Semitism and Nazi genocide loom large in popular understandings of Israel’s creation, about half of Israel’s Jewish population traces its diaspora origins to often anti-Semitic Arab countries. “Refugees from two oppressions, Nazi and Arab,” thus comprise Israel today, the film clarifies.
Enduring Arab hostility explains the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) founding on June 2, 1964. The objective was Israel’s destruction, not the Palestine territories then under Egyptian (Gaza Strip) and Jordanian (West Bank) occupation since the 1949 ceasefire in Israel’s independence war. Likewise, when members of the jihadist terror organization Hamas “talk about occupied Palestine, they mean Tel Aviv,” former CIA chief James Woolsey explains. Many Palestinians “want a one-state solution, they don’t want a two-state solution,” conservative writer Roger Simon says. “They want the Jews out.”
The PLO’s founding, meanwhile, formed part of a “counter-propaganda effort” to overcome the fact “very hard to deny that Israel is the victim” in the Arab-Israeli conflict, journalist Joseph Farah observes. Thereby arose the term “Palestinians” for Arabs in the former mandate previously not considered distinct by themselves and others from the surrounding region’s Arabs. The PLO sought to “reorient the conflict from mighty Arab world to little Israel to mighty Israel to the small, persecuted Arab people” called Palestinians, Spiro elaborates. Arab leaders, by contrast, “have used the Palestinian people for selfish political purposes,” Jordan’s King Hussain stated in 1960, showing little concern for their actual welfare.
Jordan’s own self-interest became manifest when the country annexed Palestine Mandate territories taken in the 1948 war under the new name “West Bank.” A Jordan on both banks of the Jordan River thus emerged from the previous Trans-Jordan existing solely on the river’s east bank. Yet the Arab League along with most other nations never recognized this annexation of territories usually identified previously by their historic Jewish names, Judea and Samaria.
“Any Jew…who uses the term ‘West Bank’ is using the terminology of our enemies,” Israeli author Jack Berger analyzes. Israel, according to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1977, “liberated” and did not occupy during the 1967 war this Jewish “Biblical homeland” described by Berger. “Abraham never walked the streets of Tel Aviv, but he certainly walked the streets of Hebron,” Berger explains.
“Undeniably, Judaea and Samaria are Israel’s backbone” today, vital for defense given Israel’s experience defending its existence in 1967, the film notes. This defeated aggression also has consequences under international law for future possession of the territories taken. A defender, for example, may hold seized territory previously used for aggression until a satisfactory peace agreement, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle analyzes. International law also does not demand that a defender return land illegally held by an aggressor. After having lost so many attempts to destroy Israel, the Arabs “do not get a prize for it,” concludes Knesset member Danny Danon.
Amidst all struggles, Israel reborn as a modern, thriving Jewish state “is undeniably a miracle of God,” the film concludes. “It’s glorious,” Glick rejoices. “You are not eating food,” Kempinski says of Israel’s renowned produce while citing Ezekiel 36:8, “you are eating prophecy fulfilled.”