The Battle for Jerusalem
Vol: 23 Issue: 7 Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Forty-nine years ago, on June 7, 1967, Israeli Defense Forces captured East Jerusalem from the Jordanians at the conclusion of the Six Days War.
I don’t want you to miss the significance of this event. In 589 BC, King Nebucadnezzar of Babylon imposed a siege on the city that lasted for more than three years:
“And it was in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzer King of Babylon came, he and all his hosts, upon Jerusalem, and he encamped upon it and built forts around it. And the city came under siege till the eleventh year of King Zedikiah. On the ninth of the month famine was intense in the city, the people had no bread, and the city was breached…” (II Kings 25).
The city’s starving inhabitants were helpless to stop the marauding Babylonian conquerors from sacking and burning the city of God and His Temple.
“And in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month… Nebuchadnezzer came… and he burned the House of the L-rd, and the King’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem… and the entire wall surrounding Jerusalem was destroyed… and Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, exiled the remaining multitude…” (Jeremiah 52).
When the Babylonians left, they took with them the priceless solid gold Temple treasures, together with the cream of Judah’s intelligensia, craftsman, royal family and the cream of Jewish society, who were enslaved into the service of the Babylonian king.
From that day, 586 years before Christ, until June 7, 1967, the Jews were never again sovereign over either their holy city or the Temple Mount.
Eventually, they were permitted to rebuild the city and Temple, but did so under occupation by a succession of Empires; Babylon, Persia, Alexander the Great’s Greece and finally, Imperial Rome.
In AD 70, the city and 2nd Temple was again sacked and burned and its inhabitants were executed or forced into exile — an exile that lasted for nearly two THOUSAND years.
During this period, Jerusalem was alternatively fought over and possessed by various papal armies, Muslim armies and, from 1517 until 1917, by the Islamic caliphate of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1917, Jerusalem was captured from the Ottomans by the British during the First World War. It was administered under occupation by the British for the next thirty years before it was turned over to the United Nations.
In 1947, the United Nations declared Jerusalem an ‘open’ city. During the 1948 Jewish War of Independence, the Arabs captured Jerusalem and sealed the roads leading to the city to keep it out of Jewish hands.
The Jewish Defense Forces, (then called the “Haganah’) built an impossible road nicknamed “The Burma Road” through the seemingly impassable mountains the surrounded the city.
Thus bypassing the main road, the Jews were able to lift the siege on the city and capture its western half, just days before the UN imposed a cease-fire.
For the next two decades, Jerusalem was divided between the Jews on the West and the Arab-held ‘Old City’ to the East.
When Israel won its independence, the countries to which the Arabs fled, primarily Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, promptly interned them in ‘refugee’ camps.
In early 1965, Yasser Arafat created the PLO and declared the existence of a ‘Palestinian’ people out of the Arab refugees who fled in advance of the Arab attacks in 1948.
He raised up a fighting force from within these refugee camps, and coordinated terror attacks against Israeli border regions as part of a pan-Arab strategy known as the ‘entanglement theory.’
This involved using sabotage to force Israel to adopt an offensive position, which in turn would force the Arabs to step up their military preparedness.
This cycle of action-retaliation-reaction would lead to a gradual escalation of tension on the borders, and eventually to the Six Day War in 1967.
On June 1st, 1967, Israel was confronted by an Arab force of some 465,000 troops, over 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft. The armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts.
On June 7, 1967, the Jews had recovered the Biblical territories of Judea and Samaria and, for the first time since Nebuchadnezzar’s siege, were in sovereign control over a united, city of Jerusalem under Israeli rule.
By every existing tenet of accepted international law, the territory captured in the process of beating back the 1967 war of aggression was legally Israel’s — hence the saying, “to the victor go the spoils.”
That is how virtually every nation on earth came to be.
For example, the territory of the United States consists of territory captured from Great Britain, France, Spain and from the indigenous tribes of the American Indians.
Canada was formerly British and French. Mexico was once Spanish, then French, then Spanish again before winning its independence as a sovereign nation.
The Ottoman Empire fell to the Allies to do with as they wished. The Allies didn’t want it, so it was theirs to give away to whomever they chose.
Following the San Remo Conference 1920-1923, the League of Nations assigned British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill to draw up new borders for what was then called “The Fertile Crescent” comprising what had been known as Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.
With the stroke of Churchill’s pen, the ‘Fertile Crescent’ was divided into what is modern states of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the states of the modern United Arab Emirates.
All these nations were created out of the ‘spoils of war’. The borders of the Arab states were HANDED to them by the Allied forces who conquered their land FOR them.
Under the terms of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a tiny corner at the confluence the new borders of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria was designated as a homeland for the Jewish people.
The Arab states — that owe their own existence to the largesse of the conquering Allies — claim Israel is their land, stolen from them by the Jews. Such a claim SHOULDN’T pass the laugh test. It shouldn’t.
And if it were anywhere BUT Jerusalem, it wouldn’t.
The Arab states might CLAIM a land grant from Allah, but their borders were drawn by Winston Churchill. By contrast, Israel’s borders were drawn by God. And Israel’s current borders weren’t granted, but paid for with Jewish blood.
Jerusalem’s claim isn’t like other national capitals. It centers around land PURCHASED, in cash, from its rightful owner, a Jebusite named Ornan, for 600 shekels of gold.
The site of the Temple Mount was Ornan’s threshing floor, ALSO purchased, for an additional fifty shekels of silver.
The purchaser was the King of Israel and the deed is more than three thousand years old.
It was subsequently stolen, given to others (by conquest) and reconquered 2500 years later, by its original owners, and paid for, this time, in blood.
There is no other city on earth like Jerusalem. It is truly the center of the world. No event in this tiny city (population 740,000) goes unnoticed on the world’s stage.
It is hard to imagine there is a person on earth, no matter how remote his location, that never heard of Jerusalem. Certainly, there is no city on earth whose ownership is more hotly disputed by more people.
It’s GDP is abysmal ($1000 per year per capita). It has no major industries. It has neither proven oil reserves nor mineral wealth. It is neither a major commercial crossroads, an industrial hub nor has it any ports or other transportation values.
But it is the most hotly contested, and therefore, the most strategically important city on earth.
There is not a single nation on earth who takes a neutral position on the question of Jerusalem’s ownership. And not a single nation on earth that unequivocally supports Israel’s right to possess it.
In 1967, Israel declared Jerusalem its eternal, undivided capital. Forty years later, not a single nation on earth maintains its embassy there. Not one.
The Quartet is preparing to ‘impose’ a solution on the city. There are discussions (and even resolutions) DEMANDING the UN re-divide the city between Arab and Jew, by force, if necessary.
Zechariah predicts that, once Jerusalem is again in Jewish hands;
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:2)
For forty-seven years, Jerusalem has been at the center of global attention. More UN resolutions contain the name of “Jerusalem” than all the rest of the world’s cities combined.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
The US Congress passed the Jerusalem Act in 1995 requiring the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The 9/11 attacks, according to Osama bin Laden, were a consequence of the West’s continued support for Israel and for Jerusalem.
That is exactly what Zechariah predicted would be the situation when the Jews regained sovereignty over Jerusalem, and it is exactly the situation as it exists today.
The 9/11 attack was the event that began the global ‘war on terror’ which, when viewed devoid of politically correctness, is nothing less than a war over the existence of Israel and sovereign control of the city of Jerusalem. It is a world war that threatens the continued existence of both civilizations.
Zechariah predicts that Jerusalem will be divided one more time:
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:1-2)
The battle lines are being drawn, even as we speak. There is a growing global consensus that there is only one way to end this war.
Take East Jerusalem away from the Jews and give it to the Arabs. Either that, or watch the world go up in flames.
It is a foregone conclusion that some kind of solution must be imposed. Even Washington has come to the same conclusion, although it has not yet acquiesced to what it knows is the inevitable. All the signs say that it will.
And this is what Zechariah says will happen next:
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:3-4)
Zechariah is describing the 2nd Coming of Christ. And before that event takes place, first comes the Rapture of the Church.
Among the signs given by Jesus of His Second Coming is this cryptic reference:
“and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. ” (Luke 21:24)
He also says,
“THIS GENERATION” shall not pass, until all these things be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)
I was in a discussion with a Jewish Messianic rabbi. This Jewish believer asked me a question I’ve gotten used to hearing: “How long do you think we have before the Rapture?” he asked.
“Not long,” I replied. But for some reason, the answer seemed inadequate to the question.
In working on this morning’s OL (which took MUCH longer than usual- I’ve been at it now for five hours) the question and my answer kept rattling around in my head.
Considering just Jerusalem alone, apart from all the other signs it would seem that it is ALREADY overdue. I realized a renewed and overwhelming sense of urgency.
Everybody you meet, from the bag boy to the traffic cop has an eternal destiny. They will either spend eternity in heaven with the Lord, or alone and in torment for a Christless eternity.
The fields are white with the harvest, but the laborers are few. The time is running out. Where they spend eternity may well be up to you. It isn’t enough to simply be a watchman on the wall.
There are already plenty who are watching — there aren’t enough who are doing anything about it.
We need to shout the warning. We can’t wait for someone else to do it for us.
There just isn’t time.
Featured Commentary: Double Vision ~ Wendy Wippel