History of the West Bank: Past, Present and Future

By Robert Mandel

In 1967, 5 different Arab nations surrounding Israel massed their forces along the edges of Israel’s borders and declared their intention to invade and destroy Israel once and for all. They also blocked Israel’s access to the Straits of Tiran, a narrow passageway at the lower tip of the Gulf of Aqaba through which 90% of Israel’s oil was shipped.

This was tantamount to choking off Israel’s lifeline and the Arabs knew it…that is why they did it! This alone constituted an act of war by international law. In combination with the 5 armies poised to attack, Israel made a decision to attack first in self-defense.

The war was over in 6 days! Israel won a decisive victory! They gained several large pieces of land: the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Over the next 38 years, Israel used the land which they had conquered to obtain promises of peace from their enemies. They returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1980. They returned Gaza (strip of purple color on the map along the Med. Sea) to the Palestinians in 2005.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton held peace talks at Camp David. Israel offered to return 98% of the West Bank (purple color on the map surrounding Jerusalem) to the Palestinians for their own free state, but the Palestinian representative, Yasser Arafat, refused the deal, saying that they would settle for no less than 100%. To this day, President Clinton blames the Palestinians for missing their greatest opportunity to have their own free state in 2000.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit#Accusations_of_Palestinian_responsibility)

Now the world is demanding once again that we return the West Bank. Should we? Perhaps if we did, the Arabs would then grant us peace? But wait, before we decide, let us evaluate the results of those previous initiatives for peace...

The Sinai Peninsula has now been infested by two other terrorist groups, Al Qaeda and ISIS, who have murdered hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police as they work to smuggle weapons (and themselves) into Gaza to further threaten Israel. The Gaza Strip which we returned to the Palestinians has been taken over by Hamas, a recognized terror group which has launched 20,000 rockets at Israel since then, provoking Israel into two wars.

Even southern Lebanon, which we had occupied as a buffer zone from 1982 to 2000 was returned in 2000. The result? Hezbollah moved in and now the entire northern border of Israel is targeted by 100,000 Iranian-made rockets!

2017 will mark a half-century since Israel gained control over the West Bank. Seeing the horrific responses of the Arabic nations to their previous 3 peace initiatives, the Israelis have finally concluded what any reasonable nation would have determined: that there can be no peace with their Islamic neighbors. Therefore, they have decided that it would be suicidal to return the West bank and watch once again, as Islamic terrorists turn it into a fourth heavily-armed and hostile front from which to easily attack all of Israel!

So the Israelis decided to populate the West bank which they had won in a war they did not provoke. Doing so will greatly help Israel to protect its Eastern border with Jordan, one of the 5 nations which attacked them in 1967. Doing so will show those same 5 nations the consequences that can re-occur if Israel is attacked again. Doing so is the right which every other nation of the world has exercised when they have won territories through victory in war.

Finally, consider the cruel nature of the demand that Israel return the West Bank as illustrated in the following example. Seventeen of today’s modern Islamic nations were conquered by Muhammad and his Arabic followers during the first 125 years of the existence of the Islamic religion, 622 to 747 A.D.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Muslim_conquests).

Whatever happened to the peoples who were native to those lands? Were any of their territories ever returned to them? Perhaps when the Islamic nations return those 5,000,000 plus square miles of territory they conquered in their wars of aggression, Israel will consider returning the 2,300 square miles of the West Bank which it won during its war of self-defense!

Dear readers, you have been very patient with me during all of this geo-political prologue regarding the West Bank. Let us now move on to consider the spiritual connections of the recent UN vote against Israel. There are three points which come to mind as being pertinent to the events of the past week at the U.N.

1. There will be a day of reckoning for every nation which has, at any time, attempted to disinherit Israel of any part of their land grant given them by God! Part of the wrath and judgment of God against the nations during the Tribulation is an accounting for the way those nations have dealt with the Jewish people and with the land of Israel.

“I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat.

There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession,

for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land.”

(Joel 3:2 NLT)

2. God’s ancient promise to Abraham is still in force! This double-edged sword has never been returned to its sheath! From the blessings bestowed upon America because of its continual support for Israel, to the curses showered upon Germany for its heinous crimes against the Jews, we can see that God is still committed to His promise to Abraham 4,000 years ago!

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 KJV)

3. The Lord is committed to rejoining Israel and Judah into one land and one people no matter what men may say! The northern tribes were Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Issachar and Ephraim. The land where Ephraim dwelt is a big part of what is now called the “West bank.” This can be easily seen in the map at this link: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg)

This prophecy indicates that the tribes of the Northern Kingdom which were exiled by Assyria in 722 B.C. will be returned to the land will be one land; one kingdom under one king! This may even mean that some time before the Rapture, we may see Israel officially annex the West Bank into the state of Israel.

“Again a message came to me from the LORD: ‘Son of man, take a piece of wood and carve on it these words: ‘This represents Judah and its allied tribes.’ Then take another piece and carve these words on it: ‘This represents Ephraim and the northern tribes of Israel.’

Now hold them together in your hand as if they were one piece of wood. When your people ask you what your actions mean, say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take Ephraim and the northern tribes and join them to Judah. I will make them one piece of wood in my hand.’

Then hold out the pieces of wood you have inscribed, so the people can see them. And give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: ‘I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations or into two kingdoms.’”

A final scripture should be used to conclude this article. It is well known to the readers of Rapture Ready and to students of end-times prophecy everywhere.

“On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.” (Zechariah 12:3)

Let us all be praying that President Trump will have the wisdom to understand and believe what the Scriptures say about Israel’s future!

America’s future depends upon it!

Robert Asher Mandel…is53@att.net