PALESTINE: THE EMPIRE THAT NEVER WAS by Merv Watson

Palestine: This may seem obvious to most people, but, having just read an interview reported in the Jerusalem Post, I see there needs to be some clarification as to what Palestine was, is and will be.
 
~ The name “Palestine” is the Romanization of the word “Philistine” (the sworn enemies of Israel) and was chosen to humiliate the Jews after their prolonged and costly revolt against Emperor Hadrian.

He was totally infuriated by the duration of the battle against this puny nation of nothings (in his estimation!). When the revolt was finally overcome, Jerusalem was totally destroyed, covered by 5 inches of salt and left in ruins. Jews were not allowed to live there - ever! The whole area was included in the revolting name of “Palestine”. and though it never was a country, it has retained the name to the present day!

~ In the course of the next several centuries, the land was further impoverished by a continuance of wars and devastation, until the final Turkish overlords claimed it as part of the Turkish empire. Although basically a wasteland, all Turkish rebel leaders plotting against the Turkish homeland leadership, were banished to this political backwater (Palestine) as punishment for defying the leadership.

They were never allowed to return to Turkey, and in a lather of political hatred, they took over the leadership of this dead end wilderness. As a consequence, they hated the area, and set about to exploit it in every possible way. Of the few Arabs that lived there, only a minimal number received any land, and only after much fawning and prostrating themselves before their fellow coreligionists. Some had their requests result in hanging before Jaffe gate along with other rebels. Even today there are only two extremely wealthy Arab families that direct opinion and events in Palestine. When they say “Jump” the Arab populace asks “How high?”

~ Palestine never was a nation, but was only a totally exploited land mass despised by its Turkish overlords. Trees were taxed (and often cut down to avoid the tax) or used as railway ties for the Hijaz narrow gauge railway. Eventually, trees were reduced to almost nothing with the consequence of hillsides being leached, losing all the topsoil, and valleys filled with malaria swamps. This once bountiful land became a dustbowl of privation – dreary, and revoltingly barren. The population shrunk to a minimum, industry was almost non existent, and diseases were rampant. Leprosy, malaria, blindness from syphilis, and infant mortality were common.
 
~ Into this landscape came the conquering British, opening the land to the rightful, covenanted owners. Returned Israel, at tremendous cost of life and substance, began the long road to recovery and fruitfulness.

~ Here is Israel 100 years later, leading the world in humanitarian and technical exploits, while battling to preserve Western civilization in a sea of potential destructive forces all poised for her annihilation. Every nation seeming to hope upon hope that Israel will be again reduced to rocks, disease, and sand. The whole UN organization of thug-led countries cheer on the sidelines while anticipating another holocaust of the Jews. What they do not know is the Bible has said “To the Jew first, then to the Greek”. It is the rest of the world’s turn this time……the Jews have had their holocaust already

~ Incidentally a conference was just convened in Bethlehem this past week, led by such “leading lights” in the evangelical world as Tony Campolo, denouncing Israel, denying its legitimacy as a nation, and recommending total divestment of any investment in Israel’s present or future. In other words, replacement theology which was invented in Rome, and promoted worldwide, is alive and well. If we withdraw from helping Israel, God, the eternal covenant keeper, will not help US in our approaching crises, as He has made clear in Matt. 25, that helping the least of His

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