Bob, Per your email, you asked that I give you some basic information on the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. As I have said in my articles on end time prophecy, Israel is going to be the main country for everyone to keep their eyes on. When Jesus comes back for the second time, He will be ruling this entire earth from the city of Jerusalem, which is in Israel.
The last battle on this earth, the battle of Armageddon, will be centered in Israel. God is purposely drawing the eyes of the world onto Israel and from here on in, Israel will continue to find herself in the middle of all the fighting and chaos we will start to see increase in the coming years in the Middle East.
Right now, Israel is in constant battle and turmoil with the Palestinians. To really understand who the Palestinians are and how all this came about, you have to go back to the very beginning in the Old Testament.
Before I go into the history on all of this, remember one thing. God told the Israelites, His chosen people, when He pronounced judgment on them at the end of the Old Testament, that He would still continue to be their God and that He would bring them back into their homeland Israel at the end of times – just shortly before Jesus would come back to set up His 1000 year Millennium Kingdom.
What you will really find amazing when reading all of the history below is that after the Jewish people were driven out of Israel in 70 AD, that God managed to keep their homeland from ever being declared another state, country, or nation by the several groups of people who had occupied it after the Jewish people were driven out of it.
It was not until the Jewish people declared Israel an official state in 1948 was Israel ever declared an official state or country by anyone. This meant that God the Father had kept His original covenant promise to the Jewish people that He made to them back in the Old Testament – that He would bring them back to their homeland of Israel and that they would once more re-possess it as their own in the latter days.
Here is a brief history of what has transpired with the Jewish people from 70 AD until the present time.
1. Right now, Israel has Lebanon to its north, Syria to its northeast, and Egypt to its southwest. The state of Israel was created out of the region formerly know as Palestine. Palestine was the Holy Land of the Bible.
It all starts back with the story of Moses. Moses rescues his people from their slavery in Egypt. They go into the wilderness for 40 years. Moses and everyone over 20 years of age does not make it into the Promised Land. It’s Joshua and Caleb that lead the younger generation into the Promised Land (which is the Palestine area).
This Promised Land is initially the land of Canaan. It was inhabited by the Canaanites. Joshua leads his people into this land. They defeat and drive out the peoples who are on the lands that God wants to give them.
The Jewish people then form a tribal confederation and form out the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Later on, the kingdom of Judea is then formed. From this time forth, the biblical kingdoms of Israel-Judah-Judea have been the only independent sovereign nations or states that have ever existed in Palestine (Israel). No other groups of people have ever managed to do this after the Jewish people were driven from this land in 70 AD.
2. After the Romans conquer Judea, Palestine then becomes a province of Rome. After the Roman Empire falls away, the land of Palestine then falls under the Christian Byzantine Empire.
Then in 638 AD, an Arab Muslim caliph takes Palestine away from the Byzantine empire and makes it part of an Arab Muslim empire. During this period, many of the people living in Palestine become Arab Muslims and convert to the religion of Islam. However, Palestine still never becomes an official state, nation, or country even under the rule of these Muslims.
Then in 1099 AD, Christian crusaders from Europe conquer the Palestine area and take it away from the Muslims. But again, the Christian crusaders fail to make Palestine an official state or country. They just basically used it as a military outpost.
Later on, Palestine ends up in the hands of Syria. Then from Syria, Palestine falls into the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Then after World War 1, the British take Palestine over from the Ottoman Turks.
The British then temporarily govern Palestine under the League of Nations. Again, during all of these transitions and takeovers, not one of these other peoples or countries ever make Palestine an official state or country!
3. Now here is the real interesting part. Right around the 1850’s, the Jewish people started to migrate back to Palestine in small droves. The land was basically dry, barren, desolate and unlovely.
The Jewish people that came back in started to farm and cultivate the land and started to make it flourish and prosper again. The reason it was so desolate was because no other countries or peoples had ever claimed Palestine for its own and thus no one ever took proper care of this land or ever attempted to cultivate its true potential.
When the land started to flourish and prosper once again due to the farming and agricultural efforts of these Jewish settlers, other peoples saw this and started to migrate back into this land.
One group to come in were Arabs from some of the surrounding Arab countries in the Middle East.
The Palestinians have always complained that it was the Jewish people that had dislocated them from this land. However, it was really just the opposite. It was the Jewish people who first came back and started to make the land flourish again due to their own farming efforts – not the Palestinians or Arabs.
The Arabs did not start coming back until after the Jewish people had already started to migrate back and make the land flourish.
So after the Jewish people started all of this development in the 1850’s, other peoples started to come into the land, including the Arabs. Palestine then started to get a real mix of peoples in its land. However, it was predominately Jewish people and Arabs that were starting to inhabit it.
Then when World War 2 started to break out in the early 30’s, more Jewish people started coming back to Palestine. Finally, at the end of World War 2, after going through the horrors of the holocaust, many more Jewish people from all around the world decided to migrate back to Palestine.
They thought they would have a better chance for security and independence by going back to their ancestral roots, the land of Palestine.
However, just as Jewish people were migrating back to Palestine, so were other Arabs. Finally on 5/14/48, the Jewish people were able to declare Israel (Palestine) an official state. Palestine is now Israel, and the Arabs, who are now living in Israel, are called Palestinians because they are now claiming that this land belongs to them, not to the Jewish people.
Shortly after Israel becomes an official state under Jewish rule, the Palestinians start to get support from some of the other Arab countries. Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all now start to side with the displaced Palestinians and start war against Israel.
The United Nations then gets involved trying to establish peace and truces among all of these countries. During this time, many of the Arabs in Israel are driven out of Israel and are forced to live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, etc. These Arabs that are driven out are the so-called Palestinians. For a while there is peace. People start to forget about the displaced Palestinians, who are now in refugee camps and have no real home to call their own.
4. Now here is where the real trouble starts. Seeing the plight of these dislocated Palestinians in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries, a group is formed called the infamous PLO, which stands for Palestine Liberation Organization.
Organized resistance against Israel actually started to grow in the 1950’s. Other Arabs finally formed the PLO in 1964 and their goal was to literally wipe Israel off the face of the map. They blamed the Jewish people for running the Palestinians out of Israel and they would now wage war against them by terrorists’ acts.
Yasser Arafat became official leader of the PLO in 1969 and has been waging war against Israel ever since! This war with Israel has now been going on for the last 42 years.
1. Palestinians are Arab Muslims who started to come back into the Palestine area after the first wave of Jewish people starting coming back and causing the land to flourish back in the 1850’s.
2. Between 1850 and 1948, apparently more Jewish people came back to Palestine than actual Arabs. As a result, the Jewish people were able to regain this land for their own, declare it an official state in 1948, and basically drive out many of these Arabs from this land.
Palestine is now Israel. But the Arabs, who were driven out, eventually started to try and come back in the 1950’s and 60’s. They now refer to themselves as Palestinians, since that was the name of this land before the Jewish people took it over and declared it an official state in 1948.
3. If you step back and look at the real big picture, you can see what was really going on. God the Father told His chosen Jewish people back in the Old Testament that He would bring them back to this land in the latter days, and that it would be their land as an everlasting possession and that no one would ever take it away from them again.
This is why no other peoples or countries ever declared this land an official state, country, or nation during all of these takeovers – because God Himself kept this from ever happening! He kept this land for His people until it was time for Him to bring them back into this land.
God obviously started to release His people to start coming back into this land in the 1850’s. And it was His people that started to farm and make this land flourish again. The Arabs that had been living there had done nothing with this land, and none of the other surrounding Arab nations ever saw fit to try and grab this land for themselves and declare it an official state, country, or nation.
By all reports from the early Jewish settlers back in the 1850’s, this land was basically barren and desolate. So no sooner does God start to flourish this land again under His people’s farming and agricultural efforts, that some of the Arabs, who had pulled out of this land in earlier years, started coming back to it because of the success the Jewish people were having in causing it to once more flourish and prosper.
However, God made sure between 1850 and 1948 that His people would gain complete control of this land so they could name it as their own state on 5/14/48.
With many of the radical Muslims being under severe demonic influence, you can see why all of a sudden in the 1960’s the PLO is formed in order to wage war and terrorist activity against Israel. There was no way Satan was going to let this one slide by if he could help it.
I believe it was Satan who made sure the PLO was formed, and he has been influencing radical Muslims ever since to wage this war on the Jewish people and their state of Israel. With all of the Palestinian Arabs still in the land of Israel, you have nothing but continued fighting between these two groups of people.
You would think that the rest of the Arab nations would just take in the Palestinians into their own countries and let the Jewish people have their state of Israel since it is such a small part of the entire Middle Eastern landmass to begin with.
But the Arab Muslims can’t seem to be able to accept this easy solution. They apparently want it all. Bottom line – the Jewish people came back first to this land in the 1850’s. The Jewish people were the ones to get this land flourishing again, not the Muslims.
The land of Israel is Holy Land from the Bible, and it was directly given to them as an everlasting possession by God the Father Himself. The Muslims know the history of our Old Testament and that the Jewish people should be allowed to have this land once again due to the religious history of this land for the Jewish people.
But for whatever reason, many of these other Arab countries seem to want to have nothing to do with these Palestinians. Israel has also made concessions with the Palestinians over the years trying to get them to agree on suitable distribution of land space.
However, with the influence of Satan, his demons, and the rest of the radical Muslims who are operating behind the scenes, there is no way we are ever going to get permanent peace in this region. Satan and these radical Muslims will not let this go, and they will continue to wage war on the Jewish people until they completely destroy Israel and all of the Jewish people in it.
However, we know this will not happen. The Bible says that the Jewish people and their land of Israel will be protected by God the Father until the Antichrist comes forth to start the last and final round of persecution of the Jewish people.
Until this last and final holocaust starts with the Antichrist, God will continue to protect Israel from all of the Arab countries and radical Muslims that would want to completely wipe her off the face of the map. Israel will not be defeated until the Antichrist takes over in the middle of the 7-year tribulation and the real persecution of the Jewish people then starts.
Bob, let me know if all of the above explains who the Palestinians are and their relationship with Israel. If you have any additional questions on this topic, email them over.
As a postscript to all of the above, Yasser Arafat passed away since all of the above was written up. However there has been no change. Israel has now given up the Gaza strip to try and make peace with the Palestinians. It remains to be seen if this will bring peace to this region.
For those of you who would like all of the verses from Scripture to show God the Father’s special covenant relationship that He still has with the Jewish people and their state of Israel – we have another article in our site titled “In Defense of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.” This article is in the Current Issues section of our site.