In light of the recent UN resolution against Israel, it is often repeated that the primary problem preventing peace in the Middle East is the “occupation” by Israel and “settlements” on Palestinian land. The reasoning goes that if we could only get rid of Israeli occupation and settlements, then peace would come. The issue is who is occupying whose land? Is Israel occupying someone else’s land, or is someone else occupying Israel’s land?
Geography – There are over 20 Arab and Muslim nations surrounding Israel. If there is to be any land for Jewish people, it has to be in the present location. A brief look at a map of the Middle East would make this fact obvious. The border in central Israel, near Kfar Saba, between a Palestinian State and the Mediterranean Sea, according to international demands, would be less than 10 miles!
History – The Jewish people have had a presence in the Land going back to 1,000 BC. For most of the years between 1517 and 1917 the land was occupied by the Turkish Ottoman Empire. From 1917 to 1947 the British mandate ruled the land. Today Islamic extremists want to destroy archeological sites in order to deny historical truth in the Middle East. This year of 2017 marks 500 years from the beginning of the Turkish rule, 100 years from the British mandate and 50 years from the liberation of Jerusalem. It is another turning point.
Terrorism – Jihadists want to conquer and annihilate Israel today, not live side by side with it in peace. They try to use the settlements on the West Bank as an excuse to murder innocent people around the world. But it is not the settlements that are causing the Jihad. The controversial Amona settlement has 30 families living in mobile homes. Thirty families! Just over the border of Israel 450,000 people have been murdered by radical Muslims, 10 million have lost their homes and countless women have been raped. The Christian community in every nation throughout the Middle East has been viciously and violently decimated.
Diplomacy – Perhaps having “Two States” is the solution: one for the Arabs and one for the Jews. If all Jewish villages will be removed from the Arab side, does that mean that all Arab villages will be removed from the Jewish side? Why should Jewish settlements on the Palestinian side be a problem? Actually the Palestinians don’t want two states. On the PLO side, if Israel pulls out security forces, Hamas will murder their leaders, which is what happened in the Gaza pull out. And Hamas doesn’t want two states. They want only a Palestinian state with no Israel at all.
Spiritually – There does not seem to be any viable, practical political solution one way or another. The roots of the problem are spiritual. Israel is not occupying and settling someone else’s land. They are repossessing the only land in which the Jewish people have had a living presence throughout history. That history is recorded in the Bible. The resettlement is also prophesied in the Bible. The inordinate and disproportionate opposition to the State of Israel cannot be explained logically. Psalm 2 states that the nations rebel against God, against the Messiah, and against Zion (Jerusalem). Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14 describe a huge war in which the nations of the world will attack Israel. In Isaiah 2 we see that the future Messianic Millennial kingdom will have its capital in Jerusalem.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.