Editorial - The West Bank In Headlines

by Joseph Hunting

Israel's settlement of the West Bank is again making headlines, which has stirred up a hornet's nest of protest from self-righteous politicians whose countries have done exactly the same thing that Israel is doing. The redrawn maps of Europe and Asia since World War 1 provide ample proof of this.

The prophet Micah spotlights the present political furore with these words: "Now also many nations are gathered together against thee, that say, Let he be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they His counsel." (4:11-12)

In order to put the record straight let us retrace some salient events of recent history. In 1947 the U.N. voted for the partition of Palestine and the creations of a Jewish State. When Israel proclaimed its statehood in 1948 surrounding Arab neighbours immediately attacked the infant Jewish state. After the fighting ceased Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank. It is significant that only two countries recognized Jordan's action -- Pakistan and Great Britain.

Nineteen years later the Arabs massed their armies in a further attempt to eliminate the State of Israel. After defeating Jordan and driving King Hussein's Arab Legion back across the Jordan River, Israel occupied the West Bank, known in Bible times as Judea and Samaria.

From time immemorial nations that have occupied territory, established governmental control, the assuming full responsibility for law and order, have been recognized as having sovereignty. Not only has Israel qualified in this regard during the past sixteen years, but she also has the Divinely given title deeds for the West Bank still in her possession.

The West Bank and the Golan Heights were both included in the territory God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their seed after them. (Note: not to Ishmael and his seed after him, they were allotted other territory). It may be that Prime Ministers, Presidents and politicians don't recognize the present-day validity of Israel's title deeds, but as Micah declared, neither do they know the thoughts of the Lord, nor understand His counsel.