Tag-Archive for » Gary M. Burge «

Whose Land? Whose Promise?

Burge explores the issue of the promised land to Israel and Christian support for Israel. What was God’s promise to Abraham? Was the promise unconditional? Are Christians expected to support Israel because those who bless Israel will be blessed?

Since the birth of Israel — a moment celebrated by millions of Christians — innumerous people have suffered. Since 1948, over 400 Arab villages have been either destroyed by bulldozers or occupied by Israeli residents despite UN resolutions calling for the rightful return of these homes and lands to their Arab owners. According to UN records in June 1999, about 3.6 million Palestinian refugees are the victims of Israel’s nationhood. Palestinian refugee community is the largest in the world.

In order to understand the issue of ‘the promised land’ in the correct context, it is imperative that we understand the events that lead to the formation of Israel.

The plot to steal Palestinian land started long before the Holocaust of World War 2. In 1895, Theodor Herzl wrote in his diary that the removal of Arabs from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan. Joseph Weitz stated that there is no room for Arabs and Jews in the country. He wanted Israel without Arabs. Ben-Gurion wanted to prevent Arabs who fled from returning. To guarantee that, villages were destroyed and wells were poisoned with typhus and dysentery bacteria. When an entire town became sick, Jewish forces occupied the town and looted Arab homes.

In 1948, Israeli planes dropped leaflets in Palestinian villages warning people to get out or be killed. After they left, Israeli settlers simply moved into Palestinian homes. In some villages, the Israeli forces carried out mass arrest of all males aged 14 to 60. They were taken to detention camps where they were tortured by Shin Bet (the secret police).

Israel was built by conquest and confiscation of other people’s land, which resulted in millions of refugees. Israel confiscates land that are of strategic value — for water, agriculture and military advantage. This is the game played for centuries by who ever that wants to control the land.

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