According to the Bible, God gave the land of Israel exclusively to His chosen people, the Jews. It was specifically promised to the descendants of “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Genesis:12:7; 13:15; 15:7; 18-21; 17:7-8, 19, 21; 26:3-5; 28:13; Exodus:6:4,8; 1 Chronicles:16:16-18, etc.). Israel was the new name given by God to Jacob, and it is from this name that the Promised Land derives its proper title to this day. The importance of these people can be seen in the fact that God tells Moses, “I am…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” (Exodus:3:6,15). The Bible identifies God in this way 12 times, the number of the tribes of Israel. Another 203 times He is called “the God of Israel.”
Certain Arabs, who only within the last forty years began to call themselves “Palestinians,” claim the land of Israel as the surviving descendants of its original inhabitants. That clearly fraudulent assertion is the basis for their intended displacement of Israel and causes the conflict in the Middle East.
These Arabs claim that they are descended from Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, and that therefore the Promised Land belongs to them. But Ishmael—even had there been a Palestinian people—was not a Palestinian. His mother was Hagar, the Egyptian maid (Genesis:16:1) of Abraham’s wife, Sarah, while Ishmael’s father was Abraham, who was from Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis:11:31)—neither of them were Palestinians! When Abraham brought his wife, servants, and flocks into the Promised Land that God gave to him and to his heirs by an everlasting covenant (Genesis:13:15; 17:7, etc.), it was called Canaan and was inhabited by Canaanites (Genesis:12:5-6; 13:7,12, etc.). Arabs who make the impossible claim of descent both from Ishmael and from the original inhabitants of that land are simply lying.
The land of Canaan, to which God brought Abraham, became Israel, a great kingdom of the Jewish people for more than 1,500 years. There was no such place as “Palestine” and no such people as “Palestinians” until the Romans, in anger, in A.D. 135, renamed Israel Provincia Syria-Palestinia after her chief enemies, the Philistines. Thereafter, its inhabitants were called “Palestinians,” an appellation which the Arabs steadfastly refused, insisting that the Jews were the “Palestinians.” It was not until the early 1960s that certain Arabs began to claim that they were indeed “Palestinians” and that the Jews were occupying the land that they had inherited from ancient ancestors.
On the contrary, God told Abraham specifically that Isaac (his son by Sarah) and his descendants would inherit the Promised Land (Genesis:17:15-21). The earliest verses in the Qur’an support the writings of Moses as true. To escape the honest consequences of that embarrassing fact, Islam claims that the Bible was subsequently corrupted—a claim for which no evidence can be offered. In fact, we have Torah manuscripts both before and after Muhammad, and they are identical. The Qur’an itself declares repeatedly that Allah brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt, destroyed Pharaoh’s pursuing army, gave Israel the Promised Land, and brought them into it (Surah 5:70; 10:91,94; 17:103-104; 44:30-32; 45:16; 95:20-21, etc.).