Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
In this segment of our program we’re continuing our discussion of Dave Hunt’s new book Judgment Day! Islam, Israel, and the Nations. Now, Dave, in Chapter 4 of your book is titled “The Truth about Palestine.” Now, first of all, the Arab and Islamic world claims that “Palestine” belongs to them and that they are, in fact, the true Palestinians. I want you to address that - I mean, the information that you present in your book is…there is no doubt they are not the Palestinians, but I would like you to present some of that information to our listeners, because it’s a key issue. What are we arguing about? And if it’s true that they’re not Palestinians and that they have no claim to the land on that basis alone, why is the world going along with it?
Dave: Because the world loves to follow lies, especially against Jews and against Israel. We have a controversy in the Middle East right now. The basis of the controversy is there are two people who have a claim to this land. On one hand are the Jews, Israelis, and their claim goes back 4,000 years. They have a title deed from God; they trace themselves through Abraham. All three - Muslims, Christians, and Jews - agree that God gave this land to Abraham and to his heirs. So the question is, “Who are the heirs?” We have a conflict over there. Christians are not claiming the land, but there is a group of Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, and they claim that they are descended from the original Palestinians, going back thousands of years, through Ishmael. Ishmael was Abraham’s first son, and ordinarily the first son would inherit, but he was the son of Abraham through, not his wife Sarah, but through Sarah’s maid Hagar.
Then we have the Jews, who claim - well, sadly, Tom, most of them don’t even claim it as they legitimately should. They don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in the promises, and so forth. But they have a right to claim it, being the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. Twelve times God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; 203 times He is called the God of Israel, okay?
Well, who are the Palestinians? Well, first of all you go to Genesis 12, and it’s very clear: there was no such place as Palestine, there were no such people as Palestinians; there were Canaanites - this was the land of Canaan. It says, “Into the land of Canaan Abraham came,” okay? And the Canaanite was in the land. This is already settled.
Now, who were the parents of Ishmael that the Arabs claim they are descended from? And he must have been an original Palestinian if they are descended from the original Palestinians. His mother was an Egyptian, Hagar the Egyptian. His father was Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, and when Abraham and his entourage arrived in Canaan, that land had already been settled with Canaanites, Hittites, Jebusites, you name them - a number of different groups, but they were all called Canaanites. Well, then how can the Arabs be descended from the original Palestinians? There were no original Palestinians. That land was called Canaan. Because of the wickedness of these people, God gave it to the Jews, and He told them to wipe out all of these people, and they’re pretty much extinct to this day. You couldn’t trace yourself back to any of them.
Now, we have descendants of a man whose mother was Egyptian, his father was Chaldean, and when they arrived in Canaan it was already settled, and they called themselves descendants from the original Palestinians.
Now, that land became Israel. When Israel conquered it, it became Israel. It was called Israel for more than a thousand years. How did it become Palestine? In 130 AD, the Romans, who had destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, they began to re-build it as a pagan city dedicated to Jupiter, and they started to erect a temple to Jupiter on Temple Mount. That upset the Jews, obviously, with good cause, and they rebelled. There was an uprising. At first it was quite successful, until the Romans brought in more legions and they eventually destroyed more than a thousand Jewish villages. This land was inhabited by Jews, not by Arabs, okay, and certainly not by Muslims! Islam didn’t even exist at that point.
So they destroyed more than a thousand villages. They killed more than 500 thousand Jews. Thousands were sold into slavery, and they scattered, they fled - another diaspora. And in anger, the Romans renamed Israel Provincia Syria-Palestina after the Philistines, the chief enemy of the Jews. It was just an angry nickname they gave to it. From then on, everyone living there was called a Palestinian. Well, who lived there? Jews! There were no Arabs there.
Tom: They came back. Even though there was a diaspora, they continued to return to the land.
Dave: Of course, because you chase them out, they come back! They say, “This is our land. God gave it to us.”
So Jews were called Palestinians. There weren’t even any Arabs there.
Well, in World War II - bringing it more up to date - in World War II, the British had a volunteer brigade in their army helping them against the Nazis. It was called the Palestinian Brigade. Who were they? All Jews - not one Arab among them. The Arabs were fighting on Hitler’s side. In fact, a general that gave us a wonderful endorsement for this book, Shimon Erem, was one of the members of that Palestinian Brigade, and he’s told me about the Palestinian Brigade. There was the Palestinian Symphony Orchestra, a Jewish orchestra; there was the Palestinian Post, a Jewish newspaper. The Arabs were not called Palestinians. In fact, I quote in the book a number of Arab leaders who say, “We’re not Palestinians. If anybody is a Palestinian, the Jews are Palestinians.” In fact, some of them said there never was such a place called Palestine.
Now one of the men that I quote is Ahmad Shukeiri. This is 1956 - he’s testifying before the United Nations. Why don’t you give that quote.
Tom: He says, “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” Eight years later, 1964, Shukeiri became the founding chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and coined the infamous slogan, “We’ll drive the Jews into the sea.”
Dave: So they lie, they change their tune. But, Tom, all they have to do, as you mentioned earlier, why don’t we go by history? It is this phony claim that these people are descended from the original Palestinians that they press before the United Nations that causes the world to side with them and say, “Israel has come and taken their land.” And this becomes the basis for all negotiations, the basis for the so-called “peace proposals,” including President Bush’s Roadmap to Peace. “Give the Palestinians a little more land, give them a little more land,” and God is angry. They are defying Him, and they are defying history.
So, Tom, you raised the question, “How is it possible that the world would believe this lie?” They are prejudiced against the Jews. There are more than 60 thousand votes against Israel and the United Nations. Hundreds of times Israel has been condemned; never once have they condemned the Arabs for terrorism, for starting the wars, and so forth.
Tom: Dave, you’ve got a couple more quotes here that I just have to read. To the British Peel Commission in 1937, a local Arab leader testified, “There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented.”
Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946: “There is no such thing as Palestine in history - absolutely not!” Yet they have reversed themselves big time!
Dave: Tom, they lie. They’ve changed their tune, and the world accepts it because of anti-Semitism - hatred of Jews and hatred of Israel. Tom, what do we do? This is incredible! It is a farce, it is evil, and the world is pressuring Israel, “Give up more land that you have stolen from these original Palestinians!” And we give many more explanations of this fraud in the book.
Tom: Dave, this would be funny - you said it was a farce - but it’s so grievous when you think about it, because lives are being lost daily.
Now, you have a line in here: “The United Nations define a Palestinian as one who had lived there at least two years.” Well, what is that? And only Arabs, not Jews! They don’t come under that classification.
Dave: Right. Well, Tom, this was when they were trying to sort out who are the Palestinians and who are the Jews. But they wouldn’t acknowledge that the Jews had been in Palestine longer than these Arabs. So… “Well, if you came in at least two years ago or longer, then you’re a Palestinian.” Now, Tom, I…
Tom: So you’re from Egypt, you’re from Turkey, you’re from Iran, wherever it might be…
Dave: Jordan, Lebanon.
Tom: You’re still a Palestinian.
Dave: Tom, the people who call themselves Palestinians today, they have aunts and uncles, and brothers and sisters, and children living in all of the Arab nations surrounding Israel. They’re not original Palestinians. Why did they come? Again, I don’t want to favor Israel over these other people, although there are many reasons for doing it. You’ve been to Israel, you’ve been to Jordan - just go from Israel to Jordan; go from Israel to Lebanon; go from Israel to Syria. I’ve been in all of these countries. When you cross that border out of Israel, suddenly there’s a big change. It’s no longer a fertile land that’s producing. Wow, do they produce! But it’s wilderness! They hardly produce anything. Israel’s gross national product is about 11 or 12 times what it is in the nations surrounding them.
Now, Tom, this is the same land; why don’t they do what Israel has done with this land? Why must they come in and want to take it away from Israel? It’s like what we used to talk about when we were little children: dog in the manger, you know? “I want my bone and I want yours, too.” But there is something basically wrong here.
Now, these people who call themselves Palestinians, they have all kinds of relatives who also call themselves Palestinians who are refugees, who, in fact, some of them did live in Israel. Israel didn’t want them to leave. Israel said, “Please stay.” This is when the Arab nations all around Israel were threatening to exterminate the Jews. This is what they said they would do in 1948. That was their intention, and many Arabs fled - I think about 450 thousand - at that time. Now, you hear about these refugees. These poor refugees, they ought to be allowed to come back. Israel didn’t want them to go. Most of them fled without even seeing an Israeli soldier. In fact, Israeli soldiers - I mean, these were not trained army people. They had about 60 thousand up against about 600 thousand fully trained, fully equipped Arab soldiers from all around, attacking them from all sides. Israel said, “We can build a new land together. Let’s stay here.”
Now, what is the truth about this? Well, there are many Arabs who stayed. They comprise about 25 percent of Israel today. What rights do they have? They have full citizenship, full voting rights; they are members of the Knesset, some of them. The Knesset is in Arabic along with Hebrew. They have more Arabic schools in Israel than in most of the nations all around them. They have full freedom. They have, I think, about 20 Arabic newspapers and nobody is censoring them. This is in Israel now.
What rights do Jews have in Arab countries? When Jordan took over the West Bank, so-called, they destroyed every synagogue. They tried to wipe out every evidence that Jews had ever been there. They threw out all Jews, as I said. That’s not the way Israel acted. These people who remained in Israel, as I said, they have full citizenship rights, voting rights - in fact, they favor them, because if an Arab does not want to serve in the armed forces, you know, feeling it would be a conflict, they do not have to serve in the military. Now, you go to Egypt - see where you would get if you were a Jew in Egypt or in Lebanon. Wow! They’ll kill you in a minute. Or Syria - you may have a few Jews.
I document some of what has happened to Jews in all of these countries. It wasn’t because they’re Arabs. Arabs and Jews got along fairly well; they’re cousins. But as soon as Islam came on the scene, the Jews were hated, persecuted, slaughtered, and I give you the dates and the numbers of the slaughter of thousands of Jews in these countries.
So what happened? As soon as Israel declared its independence, well, they were thrown out, or in those countries where they didn’t want them to take their property away, of course, “Get out, but you can’t have anything. You leave your bank accounts here, you leave your homes here, you leave your effects - everything here.” And about 800 thousand - almost twice as many Jewish refugees fled from Muslim countries back to Israel as Arabs fled out of Israel. Do you ever hear about these refugees? What happened to these refugees? There were about 600 thousand Israeli farmers, settlers, you know, kibbutzim, and so forth. They absorbed these refugees from the Arab countries. They gave them homes, apartments, jobs, whatever - somehow they absorbed it into real life. What did the Arabs do who have 700 times the land? They’ve got oil billions, you know, in revenues and so forth. What did they do? They put these people in these pitiful camps…
Tom: Wow, right.
Dave: …and they have refused to absorb them into their culture, because they want them to remain a festering sore to the world so we can say, “Look what these Jews did.” No, the Jews didn’t do that, it was the Arabs themselves who did that.
And we quote in the book, for example, here is Syria or Egypt, and they’re advertising: they need hundreds of thousands - perhaps even millions - of agricultural workers. And you’ve got ads in the paper, you’ve got the agriculture department of these Arab countries around there pleading for immigrants, you know - going to give them all kinds of benefits - and then you ask, “Well, what about these Palestinians, so-called, that are in these camps?”
“No, absolutely not. We will not accept them. They must remain there.”
Tom, the unconscionable treatment of these people and the way they are held up to the world by the United Nations as something that Israel has done, “therefore you’ve got to allow them back…”
Now you’ve got, I think, about four or five million of them now. They have really reproduced, and they are demanding, and… Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, he demands as the conditions for so-called “peace” that these four or five million so-called Palestinians be allowed to go back into Israel.
Now, you already have a million Arabs (maybe a little bit more than that) living in Israel with full citizenship rights (and of course these people would have to be granted the same), compared with a little over 5 million Israeli Jews, they would outvote the Jews. These are terrorists! They want to destroy Israel. It would be suicide for Israel to allow these people back in! Furthermore, no one has ever done that in the history of the world. Try to find any legitimate refugees who have been allowed to go back into the country they fled from. It doesn’t happen, and too much water has gone under the bridge.
Furthermore, what about the more than 800 thousand (and it would be millions of them now) Jews who fled real persecution from these Arab countries? Nobody says a word about them.
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, when he was out getting votes to be the one who would replace Arafat, he has around his neck, over his shoulder, the flag of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, one of the worst terrorist’s groups that there could be. In fact, he and Arafat were the founders of it! This man is just like Arafat; he’s a little more suave, a little smoother, but he and Arafat were partners in terrorism from the very beginning. Tom, if I had any hair left - you know how bald I am - I would tear it out in frustration! The world accepts these lies, and on this basis they are forcing Israel to somehow give more land, give more land, make peace with an enemy that has sworn to exterminate them, and… Tom, I just try to lay out this shocking evidence in the book.
Tom: Dave, next week, maybe you can touch upon it just in the last minute that we have - Jerusalem. How does Jerusalem fit into all of that?
Dave: Well, it fits in in many ways, I mean, this is the key, this is the problem, this is the stickler, and the Muslims even deny that there was ever a Jewish temple on Temple Mount. They are destroying all the evidence, and they claim it belongs to them. Furthermore, the United Nations, the European Union say the City of Jerusalem cannot be under the control of the Jews, it must be an international city. And this all fits in with prophecy. In fact, it’s in fulfillment of specific prophecies to that effect. We should come back and talk about that.
Tom: Yeah. Well, you say Muslim writers recently began to laud Jerusalem as comparable in holiness to Mecca and Medina and even our most sacred place. I don’t think so.
Dave: Not true. It was never mentioned once in the Qur’an.