The 60th Anniversary of the Modern State of Israel/Program 3
| By: Adnan Husseini, Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Arens, Major General
(retired) Jacob Amidror, Lt. General Jerry Boykin, Itamar Marcus, Dr. Gabriel Barkay,
Benjamin Elon, Hillel Weiss, Daniel Dayan, Abraham Rabinovich, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008
|Visit Hebron, where God gave the Abrahamic Covenant, and discover what it’s like today.|
Today, on The John Ankerberg Show, from Jerusalem, we will be covering The 60th Anniversary of the Modern State of Israel. Why is this nation a monument to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy? We will take you to Independence Hall where it all started in 1948 when David Ben-Gurion announced to the world the new State of Israel. What does it all mean to the Jewish people today?
- Itzik Dror: This building is a historic building, because Israel was born here. And this was one of the greatest moments in the history of our people.
- Lt. General Boykin: I think the very fact that this nation was reestablished 60 years ago, the very fact that it has gone from probably in 1948 less than a half million Jews to a country of almost six million now, is all prophecy being fulfilled. The Jews are being re-gathered to the land of Israel. Christ will eventually reign from here. I think we’re seeing prophecy in many ways being fulfilled.
- Mr. David Weilder: We are seeing in Europe today an extreme influx of extreme Islam in Scandinavia and France. And the Jews are pouring out. They are scared. And they are going to come here. And that is going to create a whole new situation in Israel. It is going to create new facts on the ground, a new reality. And b’ezrat hashem, with the help of God, we’ll see the influx of Jews, we will see the coming of Messiah, we will see the building of the temple.
But it wasn’t until the 1967 war that the Jewish people were able to reunite the city of Jerusalem and gain access to their own Temple Mount for the first time in nearly 2000 years.
- Gabriel Barkay: Now, first of all, you have to remember that the Temple Mount is the soul, heart and spirit of the Jewish people. It is the gem of Jerusalem, one of the most important sites in the history of the world, and the focus of Judeo-Christian belief.
Yet with all of their success, the Jewish people and the modern State of Israel still face threats to their existence.
- Ankerberg: Can you be partners with the Palestinians right now?
- Weilder: No.
- DeYoung: And have a peace process?
- Weilder: No, of course not.
- Ankerberg: Why not?
- Weilder: Because they want to kill us. They want to kill us and they don’t want us here. They say it again and again and again. Nonstop.
Today, the modern State of Israel stands as a monument to fulfilled biblical prophecy.
- Dror: Well, you know Ben-Gurion said once, if you know the history, the modern history of Israel, if you know the story of Israel and what happened here, and you do not believe in miracles, you are not realistic. Something is wrong with you.
My guest today and guide through Israel, is news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1993. He has interviewed every Israeli prime minister over the last 15 years, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah, and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. We invite you to join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Today, we will travel to the city of Hebron, the place where God brought Abraham 4000 years ago, and gave to him the Abrahamic covenant. It is situated some 22 miles SSW of Jerusalem. When Abraham’s wife Sarah died, he buried her in Hebron in the cave of Machpelah, which he bought from Ephron the Hittite. Hebron is very important to the Jewish people because Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their families were all buried here. As we approached the city, we passed through a series of checkpoints and guards. We were met by Mr. David Weilder, the official spokesman for the Jewish community, who accompanied us in the city.
- DeYoung: David, we’re actually now just making our way up to the mound which is archaeological remains of what was the original city of Hebron?
- David Weilder: That’s correct.
- DeYoung: How far back does that date?
- Weilder: Going back 4300-4500 years; going back a long time.
- DeYoung: And so when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, made his way up over the Fertile Crescent coming down through what we know as the center part of the State of Israel today, he came here to Hebron?
- Weilder: That’s correct, probably where we’re driving now he walked around here. And this was all a big field then, it was all open; they didn’t have houses or anything else. But this is it; this is the roots, not only of the Jewish people, but of all of monotheism.
- DeYoung: And this particular location was where he got not only the opportunity to establish a Jewish community, but God gave him the Abrahamic covenant. Is this the same place?
- Weilder: Of course. This is probably, this is where he received the promises from God.
- Ankerberg: As we drove along the road leading into the city of Hebron, in many ways it looked like we were entering a war zone. We found out that only about 750 Jews live in Hebron, consisting of 90 families with over 350 children. On the outskirts of the city, another 7500 Jewish people live with their families. Surrounding this small number of Jewish people are 125,000 Palestinian Arabs. It was very apparent to us that soldiers with machine guns guard the inhabitants of Hebron everywhere they go. They were only a few feet away from us during our interviews. As we came into the city we saw a great Muslim mosque, which is built over the place where Abraham and his family are buried. We discovered that Hebron is like a microcosm of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: a piece of real estate highly valued and contested by those in Islam and those in the Jewish world.
- DeYoung: Now, is this the site you were telling us about? Where we can see the Tomb of the Patriarchs?
- Weilder: You’ve got an unbelievable view here. You can stand up here and you look down there.
- DeYoung: Ah, there it is.
- Weilder: That’s it right down there.
- DeYoung: Now, you told us before Abraham, when we were up there, paid cash money, got a title deed to that piece of real estate and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are buried there.
- Weilder: That’s right. You know, we still have the contract. It’s called The Torah. The Torah. You know, we read from it every Sabbath. You know, it’s written there, it’s you know, that’s the word of God.
- DeYoung: Are the Jews allowed to go into that place?
- Weilder: In part of it; into part of it. That site was off limits to Jews and to Christians for 700 years. The building on top of the caves was built 2000 years ago by Herod when he was King of Judea. Back in 1260, the Crusaders were expelled from Hebron by the Mamlukes, and a Mamluke leader named Baibars closed off Temple Mount. And as an aside he closed this off; and that aside lasted for 700 years. Only when we came back in 1967 did we again have access to that. And it’s very important that your viewers should know that our neighbors tell us that if they should ever control that again, they won’t let us in. They won’t let me in, they won’t let you in.
- DeYoung: You mean if the Palestinians control it?
- Weilder: If the Arabs should ever control it, they won’t let anybody in who is not a Muslim. Because they say that it’s a mosque and only Muslims can pray there.
- Ankerberg: As we walked up the hill where Abraham walked, we asked David Weilder why he and the others choose to live in such a dangerous area?
- Weilder: This is where we all started. It’s very difficult to get closer to the roots of the Jewish people and of monotheistic belief than right here. Right? You know, you can’t get any closer. And people say, “How can you live here? Why do you live here?” and I say, “Look, if you take a tree and you cut off the roots, what happens to the tree?”
- DeYoung: It dies.
- Weilder: In 1929 the Jews were expelled from Hebron. They came back in 1931. They were here until 1936; they were thrown out. In 1948 we lost Jerusalem. When we came back to Jerusalem, the next day we came back to Hebron. They go together; you lose the roots, everything else dries up.
- DeYoung: Hebron is the second most sacred state or location for the Jewish people. It is the location where a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ was made in front of Abraham. And the Abrahamic Covenant was given to him at that point in time in Hebron. Of course, he later purchased a cave for a burial site for his wife and for himself, and then for Isaac and his wife and Jacob and his wife. It is the burial site for the Patriarchs. But today it’s the last stand as far as the Jewish people are concerned. There is about 750 Jewish people in the community in Hebron with about 125,000 Palestinians, many of them members of Hamas, of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist element, who surround these Jewish people. And you just mentioned a funeral that David Wielder had to attend for the killing of someone in that Jewish community. It goes on on a continual basis. There is all type of harassment there among the Jewish people by the Palestinian people to try to drive them out of the area. So it’s key, it’s fundamental for the rest of the state to be able to exist as a Jewish state to take a stand in Hebron. That is very key.
- Ankerberg: So why is Hebron a monument today to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy? It’s because this is the place where God promised to give Abraham and his physical descendents the land of Israel forever. In Genesis 17 God appeared to Abraham and said, “I am God Almighty. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between and your descendents after you for the generations to come. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendents after you. And I will be their God.”
- Notice that these promises from God were not temporal, or conditional, but everlasting and irrevocable. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God promised that in the last days he would gather the Jewish people from all over the world, from the different nations where they had been scattered. Second, God promised the Jewish people he would bring them to a specific place, the land of Israel. Third, God promised the Jewish people that not only would he gather them to Israel, but he would make them into a nation, and by giving back to them places like Hebron and the city of Jerusalem. All of this has taken place in the last 60 years.
- Mr. Daniel Daya is chairman of Yesha, an organization representing 300,000 Jewish people living in over 200 settlements throughout Israel.
- DeYoung: Dani, you’re the chairman of Yesha, which is an organization of the Jewish settlements throughout all of Israel. Are you having to defend the right for these Jewish people to live in these communities, in what are biblically termed Judea and Samaria?
- Dani Daya: Yes, we have a difficult task. The task we have is to defend the Jewish rights over the heartland of the land of Israel, over the biblical parts in which our ancestors, our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, lived and built the first Jewish national homeland. We returned there to places like the city of Hebron, the city of Shechem, known also as Nablus, Shiloh, where the Ark was located. I mean, when you live in Judea and Samaria, you live in the midst of history, the most sacred, the most important period of our history.
- Ankerberg: There are over 200 Jewish settlements that are at the center of controversy in the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian position is that all Israeli settlements should be dismantled. If some are to remain, they must fall under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority. The public Israeli position is that no existing settlements should be uprooted in a final status agreement.
- In our interview with Adnan Husseini, spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Jerusalem, and presidential adviser to Mahmoud Abbas on Jerusalem Affairs, you will hear that the Palestinians steadfastly maintain that the settlements are nothing more than an obstacle to peace.
- Adnan Husseini: Everywhere you go you see the street is closed. Look now the cities. Go to Hebron. 700,000 people in Hebron. Go to the entrance and see entrance, was huge entrance and they made it like this. This is clear. And President Abbas, he say, if there is a small settlement or big settlement, it’s illegal.
- Ankerberg: But the question is, is the Jewish settlement of Hebron really illegal?
- Weilder: The Israeli government made a decision many, many years ago, 1980, the spring of 1980 to reestablish a Jewish community in Hebron. That was a decision made by the Begin government in 1980 following a terrorist attack here when six men were killed and 20 were wounded. And so we are, in terms of Israeli politics and Israeli law, modern Israeli law, we’re as legitimate as Tel Aviv. But nobody’s talking about Tel Aviv except Abu Mazen and Haniyeh and a few others.
- DeYoung: At what time in history was it that you believe that the Jewish people came in and stole the state, or took away your rights to the nation that was here?
- Husseini: We used to live in Jerusalem in 1948. And when Mr. Ben-Gurion annexed west Jerusalem illegally, violating the international laws, you know, and the laws which established this state, people run from there and they put their hands on their properties.
- And after 1948 when it was established, the State of Israel, you know, with the promises that this is the beginning of this state, and you are saying, the stage is here, you know. They fabricate some story here and there, really. But this is not the fact, really. It’s very clear that they said that if King Hussein will not be interfere in the war of 1967, we will not occupy the West Bank. What the lie this, really.
- Ankerberg: As I listened to Mr. Husseini speak, I asked Jimmy DeYoung if he believed the PLO spokesman was revising history.
- DeYoung: He would have very much difficulty in documenting. When was there was a Palestinian state? If there is a state that was stolen, tell me who the leadership of that state was? Tell me where its capital city was? Just give me the details. That is all I need to know.
- He talked about the fact that in 1917, that’s when the Jews started to steal this piece of land known as Palestine; ultimately to be called Israel. Well, in 1917 the Brits took over. General Allenby had defeated the Turks who had controlled that land from the 1500s. And now the Brits were in charge of the land, not the Jewish people. It was not until November 27, 1949, when the United Nations decided to allow the Jewish people to have a homeland, a piece of land. And it was to be divided. The partition plan was to give the Palestinians a portion of it, the Jews a portion of it. The Palestinians rejected that. In fact the leadership of the Palestinians told their women, their children, their elderly, “Leave. Just go over across the Jordan into Jordan. We will wipe out this nation. They are only 600,000 people. You will be back in a couple of weeks and we will continue on our live style here in Palestine.”
- Well, the fact was, they did not wipe those Jews into the Mediterranean as they predicted they would. And the Jewish people were victorious in that War of Independence, who many say has never actually been won. The War of Independence is continuing on, because the Palestinian people continue to fight them.
- Though the Jews want to coexist, they want to give them a State; they want to legitimize this lie that has been told throughout the centuries, they don’t want to take what the Jewish people are offering. They don’t want coexistence, they want the whole thing.
- Ankerberg: What’s this deal about the war was a myth?
- DeYoung: If he is referring to 1967, that war is as real as you and I sitting here in this studio would be. In fact, from the north the Syrians attacked the Jewish nation of Israel. From the south Egypt attacked. King Hussein of Jordan did not want to come in. But he was duped by the leader of Egypt to come in. He said, “We are dying. If you don’t enter the war right now, we’re going to be totally destroyed.” And that brought King Hussein in, and he came in to attack Israel. And all that Israel did was just to protect itself. It drove the Egyptians back through the Sinai Desert, set up a buffer zone. It drove the Jordanians back across onto the east side of the Jordan River, set up a buffer zone. And it drove out of the Golan Heights the Syrians to set up a buffer zone. They were trying to protect themselves. No myth. And in six days they did this. That’s a miracle of God.
- Ankerberg: Christians understand why many of the Jewish people feel God gave them the right to live on the land at Hebron, and to live in the land of Israel itself. Yet, in spite of the historical and biblical background, and in spite of the legal right of the Jewish settlers to live in Hebron, it has constantly been placed on the negotiating table in the Middle East peace process.
- DeYoung: If indeed the Palestinians were victorious, they got this piece of real estate as their State, would you as a Jewish community stay here and continue to live here?
- Weilder: I don’t see anybody picking up and leaving, okay? This is our home. First of all, I don’t think it’s going to happen, okay? God did not bring us back here to throw us out again. He didn’t bring us back to the land of Israel after 2000 years of exile to throw us out again. And he didn’t bring us back to our roots, to a place like Tel Hebron, which is property that we’ve owned, legally, since the beginning of the 1800s, but we’ve owned in reality since 4000 years ago. He didn’t bring us back here to say, “Okay, guys, take off”. So I don’t think that’s going to happen. But nobody here has any plans on leaving. This is our home and this is where we’re planning on staying.
- Ankerberg: Can you be partners with the Palestinians right now?
- Weilder: No.
- DeYoung: And have a peace process?
- Weilder: No, of course not.
- Ankerberg: Why not?
- Weilder: Because they want to kill us. They want to kill us and they don’t want us here. They say it again and again and again. Nonstop. And they mean what they’re saying, they mean what they say. And until people pick that up, until they understand that we are dealing with terrorists who human life means nothing to, and they continue to attack us. Look, in my apartment, my house down in Beit Hadassah, two months ago somebody started shooting and there is a hole in my son’s clothing cabinet, in the door of the cabinet. Fortunately it was 10:30 in the morning and no one was home. If he had been standing there, God forbid. Last week a rock, a huge rock, went through the window of one of my neighbors. People continue to be attacked.
- Ankerberg: So why is Hebron and the nation of Israel a monument to biblical prophecy today?
- Weilder: I know that God has a plan, and I know that we are part of his plan. I know that we came back here for a reason. He is implementing that plan, and we are part of it. And we are going to reach that. And we are going to see all of the Jewish people come to the land of Israel. That is one of the solutions. People, somebody asked me a few days ago he said, “Well, what is your solution?” And I said “You.” I said, “When you come live here, and you know, if instead of having 10,000 people in Gush Katif, there had been 50,000 people, they never could have thought of throwing them out. The same thing here.” And as Jews continue to come over, and they are going to come over. We are seeing in Europe today an extreme influx of extreme Islam in Scandinavia and France. And the Jews are pouring out. They are scared. And they are going to come here. And that is going to create a whole new situation in Israel. It is going to create new facts on the ground, a new reality. And b’ezrat hashem, with the help of God, we’ll see the influx of Jews, we will see the coming of Messiah, we will see the building of the temple.