Israel—A Burdensome Stone to the Nations and the Apple of God’s Eye by Mike Oppenheimer is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of this new booklet. To order copies of Israel—A Burdensome Stone to the Nations and the Apple of God’s Eye, click here.
Israel—A Burdensome Stone to the Nations and the Apple of God’s Eye
By Mike Oppenheimer
A new war rages by the estranged brethren of Abraham as the question of the ownership of the land and the people are still the main issue. However, there is no debate as to ownership; this question has been settled for nearly 3,500 years.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land. (Genesis 12:5-7)
Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance. (1 Chronicles 16:16-18)
Originally, seven separate nations inhabited the region: Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Girgashites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. The people of the land of Canaan were steeped in idolatry and committed horrendous atrocities. God then took the land from them and gave it to the Hebrews who were to be a theocracy under His leadership.
Long before disputes about the lawful ownership of the land (in millenniums past), God purposefully gave the Jews the land then known as Canaan when He stated, “When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession,” and “I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God” (Leviticus 14:34; 25:38). Throughout the Bible, God reiterates His position on the question at hand with variations of the same declaration, such as, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:6).
David, known as the greatest king in Israel’s history, took God at His Word and said, “The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever” (1 Chronicles 23:25). So much of Israel’s ancient history is directly connected to this city and to David the king, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). The first mention of Zion in Scripture connects “Zion” as being the “city of David” (2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Kings 8:1).
The current conflict in the Holy Land originates in the spiritual realm, as those who worship another god attack God’s own choice to give the land to David’s descendants. Islam’s continual refusal to recognize and acknowledge Jerusalem as the city of the Jewish people fuels unending contention between the two. David founded Jerusalem on the ruins of a pagan city which his army had overcome, and the Jews (Hebrews) then lived there. The Muslims came in much later, building their mosque over one thousand years after David’s conquest and after the Israelites were removed from the land.
This removal did not change God’s mind on the matter of land ownership. When He said, “I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers” (Exodus 6:4), He meant it to be a binding word, one to last throughout all generations.
Contrary to Islam’s claims, Mohammed never traveled to Jerusalem. Nor is the city mentioned in the Qur’an, although it is given specific mention nearly 2,500 times in the Bible as a possession of Israel. The Scriptures contain nearly 800 references to Jerusalem as “the city of our God” and “the city of the great King” (e.g., Psalm 48:1,8; Matthew 5:35). Even during the reigns of evil kings, such as Rehoboam, the Scriptures remind us that God’s position on Jerusalem had not changed. It was still His city as we are told:
And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. (1 Kings 14:21)
Also, repeatedly and joyfully the psalmist declares, “Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 135:21).
Yahweh is ever called “the God of Israel.” He is not called the God of any other nation, certainly not Islam that rejects Him and His covenant. In the Old Testament, His presence among the people of Israel is ever connected to Jerusalem. Even the New Testament records the unspeakably wonderful scene at the end of the age where the apostle John “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
The Scriptures record the foundation of Israel’s covenant relationship with the eternal God when the Lord, speaking with Abram, declared:
Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
Notice that God promised to give them the land and make a great nation from Abram (who would later take the name Abraham). And through him, all the families of Earth would be blessed. Why? Because Jesus the Messiah came through Abraham’s lineage, born in the land God gave to His people Israel (Galatians 3:14-16).
Palestine vs. Israel
The people who are called Palestinian intentionally ignore the facts of historical and archeological evidence by coming up with quotes such as “There is not a single stone in Palestine that proves the [historical] Jewish existence [in the land].”1 That assertion is proven to be pure fiction for each time an archeologist digs, they find more proof of the ancient Hebrews in the land.
Iran, which the Bible’s book of Esther tells us is ancient Persia, has continued to plot the destruction of Israel. Its ancient animosity has not abated throughout the centuries. Iran’s past president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, voiced the sentiment of thousands by declaring, “Israel is a blot that should be wiped off the map.”2
The PLO had formerly asserted that “the struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a struggle about Israel’s borders, but about Israel’s existence.” This has always been a one-way street to eventual war. The PLO’s intent has always been the eradication of Israel, and Hamas operates on this premise as they insist that no Jewish state be allowed to exist among the Islamic states.
Hamas was formed in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group originally founded in 1920s Egypt. Article 7 of the Hamas Charter reiterates the apocalyptic hadith: “The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree, and a stone or a tree would say: ‘Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’”3
What nation or leader in history has made repeated claims like these and has not tried to fulfill them? Sooner or later, the world will have to face what these enemies of Israel believe. And as we learn of the current barbarism that took place in October 2023 (this ferocious abandonment of humanity), one is reminded of the Nazis, who Hamas seems comparable to in their savagery and bloodthirstiness in their attack against Israeli citizens on October 7th. As the Nazis received their just punishment at the hands of an angry God, so shall all the enemies of the Jewish people be recompensed. The true and living God has said, “Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion” (Psalm 129:5).
Are There Any Actual Palestinians?
In 70 A.D., Titus came with Roman troops into Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, and Israel was scattered throughout the Earth (the Diaspora). It is for this reason that in 135 A.D., the Romans officially renamed Israel. From thenceforth, it would be known as Provincia Palestina, in mockery after Israel’s chief enemy, the Philistines. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary tells us how the word ‘Palestine” was first used:
The word itself originally identified the region as “the land of the Philistines,” a war-like tribe that inhabited much of the region alongside the Hebrew people. But the older name for Palestine was CANAAN, the term most frequently used in the Old Testament. . . . The term Palestine… was first used by the fifth century B.C. historian Herodotus. After the Jewish revolt of A.D. 135, the Romans replaced the Latin name Judea with the Latin Palaestina as their name for this province.4
Renaming the territory after the Philistines, the Romans (the Hebrews’ ancient enemy) denied the true God who gave the name “Israel” for the Hebrews’ homeland. This Roman renaming even went against common sense since the majority of people who lived there were Jews.
We must understand, though, that the Romans renamed the territory, not the people. Not until recent times did Arabs call themselves Palestinian in order to make it appear that they are the true inhabitants of the land. In fact, there is no such ethnicity as “Palestinian.” The word is not found in the Bible, and although Canaan was occupied by numerous people, none claims them as their lineage.
The modern people who call themselves Palestinians have no right to the land. The Bible addresses the error of those who oppose the Messiah and what God had promised to His people, Israel, by asserting in the strongest of terms, “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them” (Deuteronomy 1:8).
From 1517 to 1917, the Ottoman Turkish empire had control of the territory. Though the followers of Islam held Jerusalem in possession for hundreds of years, it meant little to them until they discovered how important it was to the Jews after Israel was reestablished and transformed a desert into sustainable cropland. Historically, Jerusalem had never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim nation, even when they conquered it.
Islam concurs in Sura 3:67: “Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; for he was sound in the faith, a Muslim, and not of those who add gods to God.”
On Abraham being the father of the Jews, we might look to Acts 7:2, Romans 4:1, and James 2:21 just to name a few. These Scriptures clearly spell out the relationship.
Arabs correctly see that neither Jews nor Christians follow the Muslim god, who stands against the God of Scripture that was penned over 2,000 years before Mohammed. All opposition notwithstanding, the Lord always fulfills His promises as written. He made a covenant with Israel and the Jews, and He will complete it.
The promises He made to the Jews to give back their land still resonate today. As He said to the prophet, “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west” (Isaiah 43:5).
The Lord likewise told faithful Jeremiah:
Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces. . . . Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 30:18; 31:8)
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29:14)
With this said, without the actual name of the land, the Qur’an states in Sura 5:22-23:
Remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people! Enter the holy land which God hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.”
The prophet Moses and all the Jewish prophets give testimony to the land being Israel’s land. In the Qur’an, the Muslim’s own book, their prophet agrees! The Jewish people’s return from nineteen centuries of exile to their land is actually found in the Qur’an, which affirms that “when the promise of the Hereafter comes to pass, [Allah] shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations” (Sura 17:104).
Abraham is a Hebrew, as are Jews, and he is the father of their nation. He is also called a Jew (not Palestinian) by Jesus and is included in the detailed genealogical line of Israel. (Matthew 1:17; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:24; 20:37) What makes one a Jew is being a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).
A Covenant Forever
The covenant God made with Abraham, and which was reinstituted with Moses, includes the assurance that God will give the land to Israel. Genesis 15:18 is based on the covenant with Abraham from Genesis 12, and the promise to give the land to Abraham’s descendants is reiterated throughout the Old Testament (e.g., Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:18).
The Bible also gives us the dimensions of the land God gave to the Israelites through Abraham (Numbers 34:1-15), and we are assured through Scripture that this covenant with God’s chosen people is unconditional (Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 89:30-37; Deuteronomy 7:7-9). God made this covenant, and He will keep it.
The Qur’an teaches it was Ishmael, not Isaac, who was prepared to be sacrificed and that Ishmael was the one referred to in the promise. Although many of them know better, Muslims change the historical record to favor Ishmael so they can say they are connected to the land.
Abraham wanted Ishmael to be the son of the covenant (Genesis 17:18)! But the Bible declares something vastly different. “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him” (Genesis 17:19). Notice He says everlasting. The covenant was and was directed toward Isaac (Genesis 17:21).
God at that time was speaking to Abraham regarding the future of his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, one from Sarah, the other from his handmaiden. Arabs trace their lineage back to Ishmael; the Jewish people to Isaac, then Jacob, beginning with Abraham. Notice that the covenant promise was bestowed to Isaac and his heirs, not to Ishmael.
Thus, the land was not given to Ishmael. Muslims fight against the true God who has covenanted with His people, the Jews, and are so enraged they cannot bear to hear what God says about this. The more religiously zealous a Muslim becomes, the more hatred he or she builds toward Israel. Mohammad himself said, “The last hour will not come before the Muslims kill the Jews in a fight.” This is the end goal for Arabs as they obey their prophet to fulfill it—the complete eradication of the Jewish race!
Regardless of Israel being scattered for over 1,900 years and not being a nation after Rome’s assault on their temple in 70 AD, on May 14, 1948, she was found among the world’s nations once again. In one momentous day, she was restored. More than 2700 years earlier, the Lord proclaimed this event in the pages of Old Testament Scripture by declaring,
Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)
A Spiritual Battle
God’s faithfulness is abundantly seen regarding Israel. The survival of the Jews as a people is nothing short of miraculous as no nation or people in history has survived this long (nearly 2,000 years) out of their land and remained as cohesive as have God’s chosen, Israel. It confounds reason that the world takes no notice of this one irrefutable fact. Had not God favored the Hebrew people, they would have vanished from the face of the Earth long ago. Throughout the centuries, they have suffered extreme persecution from the Romans, the Spanish Inquisition, in the pogroms of the Russian Empire of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and faced annihilation under both Hitler and Islam. To see the fires of anti-Semitism sweep through the ages forces one to ponder why the Jews are the object of such hatred. The answer is simple, sobering, and obvious—because the Jews are engaged in a spiritual war. The current physical war in the Promised Land may be the most blatant conflict to a world blinded by the devil, but don’t be deceived into thinking it either begins or ends there. Its roots are spiritual, and the outcome will also be spiritual.
The true God is the God and Creator of all people (Romans 3:29), both Jew and Gentile. He became the Messiah in His humanity, a descendant of King David as promised in His covenant to Abraham. If someone hates the Jews, he will also hate the Messiah, for Scripture says salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22). So, the Muslims lead the world to hate the people and nation of Israel thus having the world hate the Messiah.
Islam instead teaches that Jesus does return a second time only to destroy the Jews and Christians, an assertion which goes against the entire counsel of Scripture. God’s declaration, in fact, is the opposite. Through the prophet, He said:
Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. (Zephaniah 2:5)
The Old Testament is replete with warnings of God’s wrath upon the Philistines and the other pagan nations that oppress Israel. Jeremiah 47:4, Amos1:8, and Zechariah 9:6 all expose the Philistines at enmity with God. The spiritual deception is so overarching that those who hate and kill Jews (and Christians) believe that they are doing righteous service to God (John 16:2, Matthew 24:9).
The rise of anti-Semitism taking place on a worldwide scale brings the world closer and closer to the Tribulation period of which the Bible speaks where this activity will be normal, and everyone will be tested to the utmost. And Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jewish nation, will figure prominently in the last days. Even in Jesus’ day, after His resurrection, He commanded His disciples, saying, “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in [Christ’s] name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
Even for the believer in Jesus, Jerusalem should hold a special place. Christianity “officially” began in Jerusalem with the disciples preaching the resurrection of Jesus.
In the pages of Scripture, God expresses a very deep and personal relationship for both His people and for Jerusalem. Three times Israel is called the “apple” of God’s eye, the very center of His vision, as it were. Speaking through the prophet Zechariah about Israel, God declared that “he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of [God’s] eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
We can easily answer the why of this special relationship by remembering the words of Moses as he stood at the border of the Promised Land. Echoing the Lord’s own heart toward His people, Moses said, “For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:9).
At the time of its great need for defense against its enemies, Israel should hearken back to those days when God led them into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It has always been God who has fought for the people of Israel, and the Jewish people should not depend on the nations, but on the Lord Himself.
Explaining the Inexplicable
What is the significance of this most recent attack on Israel? On October 7, 2023, we witnessed missiles launched by the hundreds at a time (totaling at least 5,000) to do maximum damage. Murderous thugs flew on hang gliders to an international music festival where tourists from other countries were gathering within eyesight of the Gaza border, and without any discrimination, the terrorists killed everyone they could, shooting them in the back, and as we learned in the following weeks, tortured, mutilated, raped, and slaughtered their victims. The youth who were at the music festival of peace were the first casualties. Other murderers on the ground broke through the border on motorized vehicles. They went door to door with their death squads, showing the world how inhumane and demonic they are. They yelled of their god, “God is great,” during their killing spree!
They kidnapped the youngest and the oldest, the most defenseless, knowing they would not be able to fight trained soldiers. These hate-driven utterly deluded terrorists used even their own people as shields for protection as they gathered back in Gaza from their military assault on soft targets. They proceeded to threaten to broadcast the executions of their hostages if anyone fought back. This is what raw unleashed hatred for the Jews and Israel looks like. As I stated, it is reminiscent of the Nazis during Hitler’s regime but with an added unimaginable bloodthirstiness. Surely, such evilness portrays the truest nature of “the god of this world.”
It is unconscionable that some people do not see these kinds of attacks on helpless people (not just Jewish people) as evil. They make excuses for those who pursue evil.
As for those who claim this is prophecy, let’s first see how this develops before we say this is found in Scripture. There is no specific New Testament biblical reference for this except wars and rumors of war, kingdom (darkness) against kingdom (Light). Clearly a battle of good versus evil is occurring.
This intentional murder is no different from the evil response of King Herod when told that a new King had been born, whom he suspected would be the Messiah. Instead of rejoicing as a righteous man would do, he instead called to him the wise men who had come seeking the child, and told them, “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also” (Matthew 2:8).
Instead, when warned by God not to return to Herod, the wise men secretly left the country, leaving a furious Herod to scheme about how he could bring about the death of this new King. In one of the most heinous crimes in recorded history, he ordered his soldiers to put to death every child two years and under in Bethlehem hoping the Messiah would be among them. This is the same hatred and jealousy toward the same people who gave the world the Messiah, who is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Anti-Israel propaganda says that what you have seen—the decapitation of babies and burned bodies—is all fake; Israel’s avowed enemies did not do this. These deceived supporters purposely deny and deflect any arguments on this and instead blame Israel, just as the Devil would do. These are the Neville Chamberlains, who purposely deny and deflect, to prevent Israel from doing any counterattacks on their enemies. But what would be our own country’s response to demonized men mercilessly torturing and murdering our families and friends? Would we hold out our hand to shake the murderer’s hand or make concessions? Of course not. Neither should Israel.
On October 7, 1973, Israel’s border was unmanned and unprotected, and it was breached by an attack of 80,000 Egyptian soldiers. Nine other Arab states joined in their attacks. Fourteen hundred Syrian tanks came by the Golan with only one Israeli tank in service to oppose them. Why such a slack response on the part of Israel? It was because most of Israel’s armed forces were celebrating the holy days. Israel was completely outnumbered, yet the Arab invaders suffered a resounding defeat from Israel’s small army. But exactly fifty years later (to the day) in 2023 on the Jewish holiday “Simcah Torah,” Israel was not prepared. Why? They know Islam likes to use dates, especially those they lost in battle. The Israelis should have expected an attack and been on alert on the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur attack against them. Let’s explore, from my perspective, what went wrong.
We can use as an example the attack against America on 9/11. Observe the specific dates of some of the following: the Great Siege of Malta September 11th, 1565; the Battle of Vienna on September 11-12, 1683; the Muslim expulsion from Spain announced on September 11th, 1609; the Battle of Zenta on September 11th, 1697. Notice the common theme? Islam recovers the dates of their military losses to make them victorious in current battles.
This wild hatred and barbaric nature are truly frightening. Hamas and the others like them believe that unrestrained violence and killing is the method to bring about their desired end. There is no discussion; all they understand is brute force. Israel speaks words to bring peace; Hamas and their supporters speak blood by their words and actions.
Considering how this situation in Israel is developing, it also needs to be noted that Ukraine has a long record of antiSemitism5 and pogroms,6 just like the former Soviet Union (now Russia). On the eve of World War II, Ukraine was home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe,7 estimated at 2.7 million.8 More than half perished. When German troops took control of Kyiv in 1941, they were welcomed with “Heil Hitler” banners. Soon after, nearly 34,000 Jews—along with numerous other “undesirables” were rounded up and marched to fields outside the city on the pretext of resettlement, only to be massacred in what became known as the “Holocaust by bullets.” This is similar to what Hamas did except it took place within Israel’s borders. Guess who the undesirables are today. Islam has a saying “First the Saturday people then the Sunday people.”9
Was it a failure of intelligence?10 Many have asked how this could even be possible. Israel’s intelligence has the reputation of the world’s most sophisticated. Some claim they ignored the signs in Gaza; others say they may have to look elsewhere as we (and they) have been infiltrated by Marxists and Palestinian sympathizers in our governments. Certainly, those on the left do not want Israel to be safe. We know the Democratic administration is unfriendly to Israel in spite of what they say publicly. Furthermore, incompetent leaders put us all in danger.
Regardless, the true God sees all. “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper” (Psalm 121:4-5).
When the attack took place, Israel had been experiencing unrest among its people, which probably hindered a preparedness mindset. Israel, as a country, is constantly under attack. Common sense would seem to dictate that all the citizens would be armed, at least in their homes. With neighbors filled with hatred, hovering on its borders, Israel should never have let its guard down, yet they did. The how and why will eventually be discovered. As Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman, said, “First, we fight, then we investigate.”11
But the attack of 1,000 plus Hamas murderers was done strictly low tech, although clearly they had access to information and weaponry that should not have been available to them. Islamic terrorist dictators had taken control of Gaza territory and rendered it a squalor for their own people even though this could be remedied with all the aid coming in; the Palestinians could turn this around if their own leadership would allow them to do so. Gaza’s unemployment rate is above 40%, with 65% of the population living below the poverty line (according to U.N. figures) and with nearly as many in Gaza not having the food to support them (according to the World Food Program).
The “Palestinians” built 300 miles of underground tunnels12 to smuggle food (actually to smuggle weapons).
Think of the Contrast
Israel was given a desert in 1948, and they turned it into a country that grows not only their own food but food that goes out to the world. The Palestinian leaders prefer continual war at the expense of their own people, not willing to become self-sustaining like Israel and certainly not offering any viable contribution to the world.13 Instead, they incite anger and hatred for their neighbor who shares electricity, water, and food with them.
Do you know that over twenty percent of Israel’s parliament is Arab? Do you know there are in Israel warning signs posted in areas restricted only for Israelis, on pain of their possibly being killed? Yet Israel has allowed up to 18,000 Palestinian laborers from Gaza to work in Israel, where they can earn a salary about ten times higher than in Gaza.
Over two million Palestinians live roughly within one hundred forty square miles, an area densely overpopulated. Half the population are under nineteen years old, easy marks for indoctrination by terrorists. Israel has maintained a land, air, and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007 because of the weapons being shipped in.
Israel has always responded to the Palestinians after they have been provoked, unless it’s been to prevent an attack. Israel does not send suicide bombers to the Palestinian area. Nor do they attack anybody in the world as they have been attacked.
The Palestinians have taken some techniques from the Nazi handbook by using their oppression on their own people and then blaming Israel for all the ensuing trouble. They have never taken responsibility for themselves. If anyone needs to be free, it’s Israel.
The Gaza strip is on the border of Egypt to the SW. There is more than enough open land in the Arab countries, even next door in Egypt, for them to live. But no Arab state will accept the Palestinians of Gaza because they know the character of the people.
Support for the Atrocities of Hamas and Muslim Terrorists
Pro-Hamas rallies are held in major cities across the U.S. every time something like this happens. This time the reaction is larger. The children of darkness side with the terrorists, unwilling to hear any explanation of why this began or continues to occur. Only those with a seared conscience, or living without one at all, could support or cheer over the atrocities of October 7, 2023.
Three days after the attack by Hamas, a headline read, “Black Lives Matter Organization Shows Support for Hamas Amid Terror Attack on Israel.”14 And why not? As Marxists, BLM has the same destructive spirit and death wish for America and Israel.
University students throughout America have been protesting since the attack in defense of Hamas and the Palestinian side. Why is this? Because they are fully misinformed! They neither know the Bible nor care what it says, and they are deceived into believing the media lies and learning institutions’ false portrayal of events. It has often been said that the media can stop or start a war. And certainly, in this case, part of this war is fought in the public arena by many members of the news and other media, who use selective broadcasting and video clips out of context in order to support their stance. Pro-Palestinians cheer like they did on 9/11, and their supporters are everywhere on the Internet. Division deepens as even Hollywood cannot side with one or the other.
These are just a few of the universities where such protests have taken place: University of Wisconsin; California State University Long Beach; Students for Justice in Palestine at Arizona State University; University of Washington; Tufts University students in Boston; Palestinian Solidarity Committee on the Indiana campus.
Over 30 student groups15 at Harvard signed a statement blaming Israel16 for the violence. Then more than one hundred Harvard professors published an open letter condemning the thirty-plus student groups that signed a joint statement expressing support for Palestinian terrorists and blaming Jews for Hamas’ attack against them.
As we are learning, America is far more divided than we ever thought. Even France, with all its political problems, has banned pro-Palestinian protests. While France resists the spirit of the age, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinians attended a rally in London a week after the Hamas massacre in Israel.17 And as of this writing, it continues to grow everywhere.
What Is Really Taking Place!
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are the main influence on the Palestinian government. They have commanded Palestinian citizens in Gaza to stay put and not leave despite the warnings from Israel to leave before they come into Gaza. The Arab terrorists were thirsty for the blood of Israeli citizens (even babies) and gave no warning, but Israel does not want to kill those who are not terrorists. In the midst of these warnings from Israel to Gaza citizens, reports show that Gaza terrorists are trying to stop citizens from fleeing, even to the point of shooting them. I saw on the news two women in Gaza complaining that if they stay in their homes, they will be killed, and if they try to leave, they will be killed! By whom? Their own people will kill them.
Whatever violence Israel will do in Gaza, it is not to “get even” but rather it is justifiable retaliation for her own survival. She must retaliate for what happened, or it will happen again, repeatedly.
Certainly, Israel hasn’t got a perfect record. Every nation in history has marks against it. But the wrong done by Israel pales in comparison to the intentional threats and murders carried out by her hate-filled Muslim neighbors.
The Real Problem
As I have carefully pointed out earlier in this booklet, the word “Palestine” is derived from the Hebrew word, Philistia. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the geographic region located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River was then referred to as Palestine. Arab people who call this territory home have been called Palestinians only from the early 20th century, not before.
According to Palestinian historian Muhammad Y. Muslih, during the entire 400-year period of Ottoman rule (1517-1918), “There was no political unit known as Palestine.”18 In Arabic, the area was known as al-Ard al-Muqadassa (the holy land) or Surya al-Janubiyya (southern Syria), but not Palestine. In fact, neither Palestine nor Jerusalem are mentioned in the Qur’an. Only in the Bible do we find Jerusalem, and it is intimately connected to the Jews.
The Temple Mount is controlled by the Muslims. Jews are forbidden to enter, and only Muslims may pray there. Islamic leaders try to convince the world that the Jewish people from antiquity have nothing to do with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They insist that Israel has no legitimate claim to the land. But historically, and by the corroborating evidence unearthed by archaeology, Israel’s rights to both the land and the Temple Mount have been amply validated. There is still a Western Wall, one more physical proof (besides all the pottery and documents found) that the Israeli (Hebrew) people lived there.
The city of Jerusalem is claimed as a capital by both Jews and Palestinian Arabs; it was intended to be an international territory with a special status where both people groups would live side by side. But Muslim anti-Israel movements would not have this, for in their eyes, there should be no more Israel, and the Jews should be annihilated—and that would supposedly solve every Muslim problem. That is the Palestinian solution. And that is the real problem that may not have an answer.
Israel and the Christians
It is always a shock to me to witness a general disregard (and even outright anti-Semitism) within the Christian church. Historically, evangelical Christians, in particular, stood by Israel and the Jews, recognizing them as God’s specially chosen nation and people with a significant role in Bible prophecy because of His everlasting covenant with them. But today, a growing number of proclaiming Christians believe that Israel has been replaced by the Christian church and thus has absolutely nothing to do with end-time prophecy. (This teaching is called Replacement Theology.18)
And while more and more Christian universities and seminaries are of this persuasion and are training today’s and tomorrow’s pastors and church leaders, the problem is only going to get worse. For those Christians who are skeptical about what I have said in this booklet, I urge you to study the Scriptures where you will find that God made an everlasting covenant with Israel and her people. Just consider how a tiny country (about the size of the state of New Jersey and surrounded by massive-sized countries that want her eradicated) is the central focal point and tension of the entire world. With so many odds against Israel and the Jews, it is only God’s miraculous hand that has preserved them these thousands of years.
We have an Adversary (a thief) who seeks to kill and destroy; but we also have a Savior, who died for the sins of mankind that we might have life. In Scripture, we find God associated with life, not death:
[A]ll they that hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:36)
[Jesus questioning the Sadducees]: [H]ave ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. (Mark 12: 26-27)
The Bible says salvation of the Savior is of the Jews (John 4:22; Romans 11:11). Let us who are believers in Christ pray for Israel and for the eyes of the Jews to see their Messiah.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.—Jesus, (John 10:10)
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. (Titus 2:11)
To order copies of Israel—A Burdensome Stone to the Nations and the Apple of God’s Eye, click here.
- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 15, 2000.
- “World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran, October 26, 2005.
- Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985 (https://web.archive.org/web/20070426071001/https://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/041.smt.html/l041.6985).
- Nelson’s Bible Dictionary (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986 edition), pp. 789-790.
- “A Brief History of Antisemitism in Ukraine” (http://www.berdichev.org/a_brief_history_of_antisemitism_in_ukraine.html).
- “The 1919 Pogroms in Ukraine and Poland” (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-1919-pogroms-ukraine-and-poland-one-hundred-years-later).
- “The ‘Holocaust by Bullets’ in Ukraine” (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/ukraine-holocaust).
- “Ukraine Embraces Its Jewish Minority and Reckons With Its Traumatic History” (https://newlinesmag.com/essays/ukraine-embraces-its-jewish-minority-and-reckons-with-its-traumatic-history).
- “More on the Israeli and U.S. Intelligence Failure” (October 13, 2023, https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/10/more-israeli-u-s-intelligence-failure).
- Read: https://web.archive.org/web/20231018005022/https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/10/hamas-terrorist-group-turns-eu-funded-gaza-water.
- “Black Lives Matter Organization Shows Support for Hamas Amid Terror Attack on Israel” (https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/10/10/black-lives-matter-organization-shows-support-for-hamas-amid-terror-attack-on-israel).
- “Harvard Students Blaming Israel for Hamas Attacks Sparks Fury: ‘Despicable’” (https://www.newsweek.com/harvard-students-blaming-israel-hamas-attacks-fury-1832997).
- Other news stories: “12 North Carolina Democrats Walk Out as NC House Votes for Resolution Urging Congress to Support Israel” (https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/10/12-north-carolina-democrats-walk-as-nc-house/); “Pro-Palestinian Protests Break Out in Multiple U.S. Cities” (https://www.iscaninfo.com/article/12906768/Pro-Palestinian-Protests-Break-Out-in-Multiple-U.S.-Cities); “Protests over war in Israel erupt in cities across America” (https://www.newsnationnow.com/world/war-in-israel/protests-israel-american-cities).
- For an excellent explanation of Replacement Theology, read Mike’s booklet: Israel: Replacing What God Has Not (https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/new-booklet-tract-israel-replacing-what-god-has-not).
The Author: Mike Oppenheimer is the founder and director of Let Us Reason Ministries—www.letusreason.org, which began in 1994. He has been researching and writing about spiritual deception in the church for many years. His website has extensive information, articles, books, and DVDs. Mike was brought up Jewish, later spending many years in the New Age movement. He became a born-again Christian in the mid-’80s. You can read his testimony at: http://www.letusreason.org/testim.htm. Mike lives in Hawaii with his wife and son. You can also watch Mike give his testimony on his DVD on the New Age.
To order copies of Israel—A Burdensome Stone to the Nations and the Apple of God’s Eye, click here.