Are the Palestinians an oppressed minority in Israel?
To answer this and many other questions concerning Israel in Bible prophecy, we invited as a special guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy radio host Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries, located in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. Jan’s “Understanding the Times” radio program broadcasts nationally on more than 800 radio stations! Being a Messianic Jew, Jan holds many unique insights into God’s prophetic plan for the nation of Israel.
Plight of the Palestinians
Nathan Jones: Jan, you use the term “plight of the Palestinians.” To me, that statement would make me think, “Oh, those poor oppressed people. The Jewish people must be mistreating them.” Is this the case? Are the Palestinians an oppressed minority in Israel?
Jan Markell: Remember, there are Palestinian Christians, too, and my heart goes out to them. The true suffering of the Palestinian people derives from the persecution caused by their leaders — Hamas, and PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, and Hezbollah. Hezbollah, of course, they’re located in Lebanon, but they are always plotting to get into Israel to conquer her.
Nathan Jones: Do these organizations have a legitimate claim to the land of Israel? Are the Palestinians really abused by Israel? If the churches are switching their support from Israel to the Palestinians, could their cause be worth our churches fighting for?
Jan Markell: Where in the Middle East do you find more freedom for the Arab people than in Israel? How Israelis treat the Arabs within their borders is a far cry better than the Palestinians are treated in their own ethnic countries.
There are millions of Palestinians living peacefully within Israel proper. They are full Israeli citizens who have all of the same rights as their Jewish neighbors. They can serve in the Knesset, which is the Israeli parliament. The Palestinians don’t even have to serve in the military as the Jews are required to do. The Palestinian men are treated fairly and their women are treated with respect. Where do you find this sort of civility anywhere else in the Middle East? Certainly not in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Reagan: One of the biggest myths that is being proclaimed on college campuses all across America today, and even by some films that have been produced, is that the Palestinian people had their land stolen from them. They had this wonderful land, and they had their own state of Palestine, but then the “evil Israelis” came in and stole it all away from them. That’s a myth, but one that so many in our churches are increasingly buying into.
Jan Markell: The biggest marketing guru in the history of all time was Yasser Arafat. He came along in the 1960’s. Arafat was an Egyptian, but he came up with the term Palestinian. Arafat insisted that the Arabs in the region should be called Palestinians. He demanded that they should have their own state. He was such a marketing genius, for not only did the world buy it, but the Church bought it, too.
Dr. Reagan: True! The fact of the matter is that if you had interviewed the scant few people living in the land of Israel before 1948 and asked them who they were, they would have said they were Syrians. They all identified as Syrians.
Really, there were hardly any people living there for the land had been devastated by the Romans hundreds of years earlier. God kept the land of Israel uninhabitable until the Jews returned. The Arabs laughed at the Israelis who came in and bought the land back at exorbitant prices. The Jews certainly didn’t steal the land. And the Arabs laughed all the way to the bank, for the land was either devoid of any trees or it was a malaria-infested swamp. Then, suddenly, as the Lord declared, when the Jews come back, the land would become like the Garden of Eden once again. Now that the Jews spent decades nurturing a wasteland into a garden, the Arabs want to take all the land back.#God kept the land of #Israel uninhabitable until the #Jews returned. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: How true! Now that the Jews have cultivated the land, of course the Arabs want it back, and they got some of it back with Gaza in 2005, right? Gaza was the bread basket of Israel, having many of the greenhouses, and growing much of the fruit. All over the news we witnessed that as soon as the Palestinians took the Land for Peace Deal, the Gazans wiped out their own greenhouses, causing the sterilization of the bountiful soil. Having driven themselves into poverty, the Palestinians now ask the world to give them money.
The Promised Borders
Dr. Reagan: I encounter a lot of ignorance about the Israel-Palestinian situation. I was on an airplane one time and the guy next to me started talking to me about Israel. He said, “I just don’t understand why those Israelis don’t make peace with the Arabs. I don’t understand why they’re not willing to give up the West Bank.” He was going on and on, and I knew he didn’t really know what he was talking about. So, I asked, “Where is the West Bank?” He replied, “Well, you know where it is.” I said, “Yes, I do. Do you? Tell me where is the West Bank?” He stammered, “Well, it is the west bank of the Nile River.” The Nile River?! That’s in Egypt! There he was pontificating about how the Israelis ought to give the West Bank away, and he didn’t even know what the West Bank was or where it was located.
Jan Markell: He probably wasn’t a church person. But, even then, how many pulpits are talking about these biblical issues today? How many Christians remain uninformed because their church will not teach Bible prophecy. Because God is at work in Israel, I think our churches should honor Israel every year, in May maybe, to celebrate Israel’s re-establishment. Christians should honor what God is doing in and through Israel, but instead, the Church yearns to replace Israel.Because #God is at work in #Israel, I think our churches should honor Israel every year. Click To Tweet
Dr. Reagan: I find churches today hold little to no interest in Bible prophecy, ironically at the very time prophecy is being fulfilled. I’ve found that if the pastor has Doctor in front of his name he will likely not open his church to teachers of Bible prophecy. The reason? Because the seminaries are now teaching that all of Bible prophecy, from the Genesis account and the End Times accounts, must be allegorized and spiritualized to mean that they do not mean what they literally say.
Jan Markell: Yes, the spiritualization of Scriptures remains a huge issue at the seminaries. They are at fault for making pastors hostile towards Israel.
Nathan Jones: If the seminaries are truly teaching the Bible, and the Bible states the claim that the Jewish people hold the eternal deed to the land of Israel, then how can they teach otherwise? Doesn’t the Bible promise that the Jewish people will one day hold all the land promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Jan Markell: Oh my, yes! Not only is there that promise, the boundaries are actually delineated in Genesis 15. The Jews will one day control from the River Euphrates in Iraq to the Nile River in Egypt. The boundaries are promised and staked out there in Genesis.
Nathan Jones: And Israel has never had control over that much land?
Jan Markell: No, they have never fully taken control of those borders. Even in Solomon’s time, which is the height of the nation of Israel in history, the Jews have not controlled all the land God promised them. Therefore, the borders must be reserved for the Millennial Kingdom.
Nathan Jones: There is that promise to the Jews — the Abrahamic Covenant. Then God also granted the Land Covenant, a promise that the Jewish people would forever control the land God promised them. Ownership is eternally promised, though possession conditionally rests on faith. God is moving the Jews to faith in Israel, and during the Millennial Kingdom all the Jews will have put their faith in Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Another thing that people don’t realize, but would if they traveled around Israel, is how small the nation really is. Israel is only 75 miles wide and 300 miles long. People talk, “What’s the big deal? Give up the West Bank.” But, if Israel did make that concession, then the nation would end up being only nine miles wide!
Nathan Jones: Try to defend a nation nine miles wide. Impossible!
Jan Markell: Those become Auschwitz borders then.
Nathan Jones: Auschwitz again would be the end game of Land For Peace, right? What would happen if Israel went back to the pre-1967 borders would result in a second Holocaust.
Jan Markell: Yes, absolutely! Those borders are indefensible.
Dr. Reagan: If Israel ceded over Judea and Samaria, which the world calls the West Bank, the same thing would happen that happened with Gaza. The West Bank would become a launching pad for missiles fired into Israel. The Arabs keep requesting, “Just give us a little more land and we’ll finally have peace with Israel. Give us a little more land and we’ll have peace.” Neville Chamberlain taught us at the onset of World War II that trading land for peace for the purpose of appeasement never works.
Jan Markell: Land for peace leaves Israel in pieces.Jan Markell: #LandForPeace leaves #Israel in pieces. Click To Tweet
Dr. Reagan: Appeasement just wets the appetite of the Arabs. They want more and more land, and more and more concessions. You can never appease the Muslim where Israel is concerned.
In the fourth segment of our interview of radio host Jan Markell concerning the miracle that is the nation of Israel, we’ll ask her to explain why Replacement Theology is such a destructive doctrine.