Editorial - Deuteronomy 32:8

by Joseph Hunting

"When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel."

One of the greatest lies being circulated by the P.L.O. is that once it (the P.L.O.) is granted a Palestinian State on the West Bank of the Jordan it will have gained its objective and then there will be peace with Israel.

The truth of the matter is that there is already in existence a Palestinian state and it exists on the East bank of the Jordan. Why should there be two separate Palestinian states, with only the Jordan river separating them? And why should a Palestinian state on the West bank of the Jordan suddenly wish to live at peace with Israel when their brothers on the other side of the river are opposed to its very existence?

What seems to have been forgotten is that originally, before World War One, Palestine was ruled over by Turkey and the area included both sides of the river Jordan. After Turkey's defeat in the war the Allied powers conferred on Great Britain a mandate over the entire territory in 1920. The mandate was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922. It is important to remember that the mandate incorporated the famous Balfour Declaration in which Great Britain committed itself to provide a homeland in Palestine for Jewish people.

So in actual fact the present State of Israel occupies 20% of what was Palestine, and Jordan the balance – 80%. Furthermore the river Jordan is a natural boundary between Israel and Jordan.

At the time Abdullah, the grandfather of the present King Hussein of Jordan hoped to be chosen by the British as the king designate of Iraq, but his brother was chosen instead. In an effort to mollify Abdullah's hurt feelings Winston Churchill, then Britain's Colonial Secretary, appointed Abdullah as ruler of all the land east of the river Jordan, about 80% of Palestine. Later this became the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.

Even though rulers have made territorial grabs down the centuries it is none other than the God of the Universe Who has set the bounds of the nations. We would do well to remember that He Himself designated the borders of Israel.

If Arabs who wish to be known as Palestinians desire to live on the West bank or the Jordan as their ancestors have done, let them live at peace with the Israelis, many of whose ancestors have lived side by side with their Arab neighbours.

However, if for political reasons they do not wish to live on Israeli territory and in peace with their Jewish neighbours, then there is a Palestinian state already in existence just over the river, and its name is Jordan.