For centuries, the Middle East has served as the crossroads of empires, given its geostrategic location between Europe and Asia. In the twentieth century, the discovery of oil there fueled modern-day rivalries between foreign powers looking to exploit the resource. World War I established British and French dominance in the region, while the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union fueled arms races and conflicts across the Middle East. Following British and French withdrawals and the Soviet Union’s collapse, the United States became the dominant foreign superpower active in the region. But the disastrous occupation of Iraq, the faltering of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, and the dramatic rise in American oil and gas production have reduced the United States’ commitment to the region, creating a vacuum filled by countries like China, Russia, and Turkey. Likewise, regional powers—namely Iran and Saudi Arabia—back rival governments and armed groups in their escalating competition for regional dominance, inflaming the Middle East’s already-fragile political situation.
There is a solid geopolitical reason for Palestine’s current centrality in world politics and wars. This is the result of Britain’s conflicting agreements with various parties with interests in the Middle East, and using the territory it won from the Ottomans in WWII to pay off those agreements.
The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916) divided the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence as spoils of war. This is, after all, standard practice to reimburse the costs of waging war, as well as a major impetus for waging war, and gave the winners total control of captured territory and its inhabitants. Whether or not they were labeled with the old-fashioned term “slave,” they nonetheless existed to serve the purposes of the conquerors.
The 1916-1918 Husayn-McMahon Correspondence with the King of Hijaz in the Arabian Peninsula agreed to grant independence to him / his kingdom after the war in payment as mercenaries for launching the Arab Revolt as allies against the Turks.
Acting on behalf of the British Government, Sir Henry McMahon promised Sherif Husayn (Hussein) of Mecca, Arab control over the whole of areas to be liberated from Turkey, except an area to the West of Syria defined as follows:
The 1917 Balfour Declaration in which the British government promised the politically active world Zionists who were primarily in Russia and America, a “national home” in Palestine in exchange for activism in engaging their nations as England’s allies in WWI. Recall that at this time Russia was embroiled in a massive civil war and America was isolationist.
As part of the negotiations to end The Great Arab Revolt of 1916, which opposed British permission of a massive influx of Jews into their land, the British decreed that Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites, passed on to the Hashemite family under H.M. Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the leader of the revolt, would remain. It remains until this day [2020).
Note, a mandate is authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative, so the mandates in themselves constituted a betrayal of promises for independence. Worse yet, the Palestinian mandate included not just the current inhabitants but “international society” as well, non-inhabitants.
Under the terms of the mandate Britain openly facilitated political, administrative and economic conditions of an invasion and occupation of foreign overlords into mandate territories. This not only paid off the Zionists for support in WWI but also transferred the burden of reparations, for two thousand years of European persecution culminating in the Holocaust, from Europeans to Palestinians.
American Christians need to rethink the automatic assumption that political alliance with the Jews is blessed by God. On the contrary. The biblical record is that every secular political alliance with the nation of Israel invariably leads to betrayal and the downfall of both Israel and the betraying nation.
Think about it rationally. How would Americans respond to Russia facilitating an overwhelming transfer of Chinese into the greater part of America?
We have on record the response of Americans to the influx of Hispanics. The Great Wall of Texas.
The Balfour Declaration (“Balfour’s promise” in Arabic) was a public pledge by Britain in 1917 declaring its aim to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine…included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
The question of why the Balfour Declaration was issued has been a subject of debate for decades…
In mainstream academia, however, there are a set of reasons over which there is a general consensus:
- Control over Palestine was a strategic imperial interest to keep Egypt and the Suez Canal within Britain’s sphere of influence
- Britain had to side with the Zionists to rally support among Jews in the United States and Russia, hoping they could encourage their governments to stay in the war until victory…
While Britain is generally held responsible for the Balfour Declaration, it is important to note that the statement would not have been made without prior approval…[from] President Wilson…Arthur Balfour confirming that Wilson was “extremely favourable to the movement”.
But this moral justification has always had one gaping weakness: The Palestinians and the injustice, displacement and death they have had to suffer so that European Jews would feel safe. Early liberal Zionism sought to erase the existence of Palestinians and their suffering, propagating the myth that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land”.
But as Palestinians resisted erasure, colonisation and occupation and their identity, culture and activism grew stronger and more visible to the rest of the world, the liberal Zionists had to seek another solution…the idea of a Palestinian state and…the “peace process”…
But the only thing the Oslo Accords did was create an illusion, a fake optimism that Palestinian rights will be heeded and that a Palestinian state is possible…Oslo became a sedative for the conscience of the pro-Palestinian movement and a convenient cover for the colonial face of Israel.
This cover has now been finally lifted, as the Trump administration has said and done publicly what successive US administrations had said and done only behind the scenes. The Israeli political elite never intended for a Palestinian state to be created; the goal has always been full control and colonisation of historic Palestine. And that cannot be ever achieved without the gruesome massacre, subjugation and expulsion of Palestinians.
With Israel attacking Gaza for a second week, United States President Joe Biden and his administration are sticking to a long-established script in Washington, expressing unequivocal support for Israel and its “legitimate right to defend itself” from Hamas rocket attacks…
Former US President Harry Truman was the first world leader to recognise Israel when it was created in 1948… right after World War II, when the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union was taking shape.
The Middle East, with its oil reserves and strategic waterways (think the Suez Canal) was a key battleground for superpower hegemonic influence. The US was taking over from severely weakened European powers as the primary western power broker in the Middle East…
It is a tragic betrayal of faith that Christians have wholeheartedly supported secular Israel’s dependence on America rather than supported Messianic Judaism.
But the one thing we can all depend on America to do is to bail, or fail, in the near future.
Jordan: Remember Hussein of Mecca? His son Abdullah was instrumental in the secret negotiations with the British that resulted in the Arab Revolt of 1916 and in the Allies’ recognition of his father Hussein as king of the Hejaz. Abdullah fully expected to succeed his father as king of the united Arab kingdom promised as reward for their support of the British against the Ottomans in WWI. However, as detailed above, the British abandoned Hussein to his rival Abdulaziz for the sake of oil. To placate Abdullah, he was offered as a consolation prize the majority of the territory of Palestine. This he accepted, as he was after all in no position to fight Abdullah for the Arabian Peninsula. It was at least the northern half of his requested Arabian kingdom.
In the copy of the Mandate used to substantiate Britain’s right to transfer authority over the region, all references to the Jewish National Home in Palestine were expressly deleted. Not only was this a major deception against the new Moslem rulers who were losing the holy city Jerusalem but also a big chunk – and the best chunk with the entire maritime border with the Mediterranean Ocean – of their expected territory, this saddled them with two utterly unexpected and undesirable problems – confronting Jewish irreconcilable enemies on their property and supporting a massive exodus of Palestinian refugees surging east against the tsunami of Jewish immigrants. The solution to the “Palestinian problem” made sense to the British on a map if all you looked at was square miles and not people. It was not a permanent solution to the Palestinians, the Arabs, or the Jews.
Imposing a foreign autocrat over the indigenous inhabitants with a history and culture as different as Laban in Syria, Pharaoh in Egypt, and Ishmael in Arabia was guaranteed to cause conflict. How would the residents of the American Southwest feel about Washington granting their states to Mexico and overnight becoming subject to their laws and regulations? Perhaps Spanish only in their children’s schools, Catholicism as the State Religion? Do you have some idea of how Texans would react? Of course war broke out, and the British helped the foreign Hashemite monarchy quell the locals’ rebellions.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states…The Palestinian Arabs refused to recognize this arrangement, which they regarded as favorable to the Jews and unfair to the Arab population that would remain in Jewish territory under the partition… The goal of the Arabs was initially to block the Partition Resolution and to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state…
After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, [the day before the mandate ended] fighting intensified with…armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt…Saudi Arabia…fighting continued into 1949…Under separate agreements between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria, these bordering nations agreed to formal armistice lines. Israel gained some territory formerly granted to Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations resolution in 1947. Egypt and Jordan retained control over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. These armistice lines held until 1967.
The population of Palestinians in the Palestinian territories of Israel amount to roughly 4 million persons divided roughly in half between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Their interests are primarily represented by Ḥamās which alternates between electoral participation or violence depending upon political circumstances.
In 1946 the British granted freedom to the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a boundary at the east bank of the Jordan River, again, juggling conflicting promises. In 1948 at the Jericho Conference, after winning the first round of the Arab-Israeli war, Jordan paid itself back for war expenses by formally annexing the West Bank territory of the Jordan River. This further diminished the opportunity for Palestinian self determination.
the US accepted the resolutions of the Jericho Conference, and…viewed incorporation with Transjordan as the logical disposition of Arab Palestine. The United States subsequently extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan and the Government of Israel on the same day, 31 January 1949…The major problems of concern to the United States were the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations between Israel and Jordan and the successful absorption into the polity and economy of Jordan of Arab Palestine, its inhabitants, and the bulk of the refugees now located there.
Palestinian problem solved.
The Arab League, formed in…1945 initially with…Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria condemned the Jericho Conference, and the Syrian press considered its resolution a violation of self-determination. Iraqi prime minister Nuri as-Said called upon King Abdullah to hold his moves towards annexation…
Notables from Ramallah and Jerusalem [on the West Bank] in particular were…unwilling to give up their claim to the whole of Palestine, and refused to endorse his policy of consolidating the partition.
The Transjordanian government gradually assumed the civil functions of the West Bank…In 1949 the Jordanian Nationality Law was amended to grant every Palestinian Jordanian citizenship.
Citizenship on paper. What meaning does this citizenship have in actual life?
The Six-Day War was a brief but bloody conflict fought in June 1967…Israel Defense Forces launched preemptive air strikes that crippled the air forces of Egypt and its allies. Israel then staged a successful ground offensive and seized [all Arab-assigned territories within its reach]- the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. The brief war…significantly altered the map of the Mideast and gave rise to lingering geopolitical friction.
Since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Palestinians have experienced several waves of exile and have spread into different host countries around the world…more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1948, hundreds of thousands…displaced in the 1967 Six-Day War…In the decade following the 1967 war…an average of 21,000 Palestinians per year were forced out of Israeli-controlled areas. The pattern of Palestinian flight continued during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s…
The countries with the highest census of Palestinian exiles with no citizenship rights are:
- Jordan 3,240,000
- Israel 1,650,000
- Syria 630,000
- Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East).
- Lebanon 402,582
- Saudi Arabia 280,245
- Egypt 270,245
- United States 255,000
- Honduras 250,000
The War of Attrition raged across the Suez Canal from 1968-70…Egypt sought to bleed Israel, thereby reducing Jerusalem’s territorial conquests and military superiority from the 1967 Six-Day War.
In 1970, some two-thirds of the Jordanian population was Palestinian. Palestinian militants took part in the War of Attrition against Israel…the PLO launched raids from Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon as well…King Hussein had…to balance his interests in preserving a peace with Israel against a restless and increasingly radicalized Palestinian population…
Jordanian army and Palestinian militias led by the PLO fought several bloody battles in the summer of 1970…On July 10, King Hussein signed an agreement with the PLO’s Yasser Arafat pledging support to the Palestinian cause and noninterference in Palestinian commando raids on Israel in exchange for a Palestinian pledge to support Jordanian sovereignty and remove most Palestinian militias from Amman, the Jordanian capital. The agreement proved hollow.
When King Hussein supported…Egypt’s…cease-fire in the war of attrition…PFLP leader George Habash promised that “we will turn the Middle East into a hell,” while [PLO’s] Arafat…vowed, before a cheering crowd of 25,000 in Amman on July 31, 1970, that “We will liberate our land…”
Between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9, Habash’s militants hijacked five planes… Rather than receiving the support of King Hussein, the Palestinian hijackers were surrounded by units of the Jordanian military…Arafat worked for the release of the hostages [but] also turned his PLO militants loose on the Jordanian monarchy. A bloodbath ensued.
Up to 15,000 Palestinian militants and civilians were killed; swaths of Palestinian towns and refugee camps, where the PLO had amassed weapons, were leveled. The PLO leadership was decimated, and between 50,000-100,000 people were left homeless. Arab regimes criticized Hussein for what they called “overkill.”
Before the war, Palestinians had run a state-within-a-state in Jordan, headquartered in Amman…
King Hussein ended the Palestinians’ reign.
On Sept. 25, 1970, Hussein and the PLO signed a ceasefire mediated by Arab nations…Arafat and the PLO were expelled from Jordan by early 1971. They went to Lebanon, where they proceeded to create a similar state-within-a-state, weaponizing a dozen Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut and in South Lebanon, and destabilizing the Lebanese government as they had the Jordanian government, as well as playing a leading role in two wars: the 1973 war between the Lebanese army and the PLO, and the 1975-1990 civil war, in which the PLO fought alongside leftist Muslim militias against Christian militias.
The PLO was expelled from Lebanon following Israel’s 1982 invasion…
The Palestinian Black September movement, a commando faction that broke away from the PLO, directed several terrorist plots to avenge Palestinians’ losses in Jordan, including hijackings, the assassination of Jordanian Prime Minister Wasif al-Tel in Cairo on Nov. 28, 1971, and, most notoriously, the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Israel, in turn, unleashed its own operation against Black September as Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered the creation of a hit squad that fanned out in Europe and the Middle East and assassinated numerous Palestinian and Arab operatives.
Put this in a time frame. Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in Munich occurred fifty years previously.
Neo-Nazi activists aided the Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated the massacre of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972,the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.
The report is based on a 2,000-page file compiled by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which was made public at the request of Der Spiegel.
Big surprise. So why didn’t Israeli hit squads go after Neo-Nazis? There are no good guys and bad guys. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. So why do American Christians ignore the fact that there are only allies with shifting alliances as purposes are served?