The modern Arab-Israeli conflict is the story of a people who have lived peacefully in their own homes and in their own lands for generations. Then came Jewish invaders from across the seas. They thrust the Moslem and Christian inhabitants out of their own homes, vineyards, orchards, and fields, and seized them for themselves.
The Jewish claim to Palestine is falsely based on the ancient biblical promise to Abraham recorded in the book of Genesis. They interpret the “seed of Abraham” as referring only to those who identify themselves as Jewish in religion. But the Bible does not ever say that Abraham’s promise was exclusively limited to the Jews. In the context of the Bible, the words “to thy seed” include Arabs, who claim descent from Abraham through his son Ishmael. God’s promise to Abraham was made at the circumcision of Ishmael, which preceded the birth of Isaac. Ishmael was the father of a large number of Arab tribes and, in addition, Abraham also became the father of many more Arabian tribes through his concubine Keturah. Sarah’s rejection of Ishmael (Gen. 21:10–12) does not negate the clear statement of the account “and also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”
The promise made to the seed of Abraham, moreover, was not unconditional, but clearly revokable as Deuteronomy 28 states. The promises made to the patriarch could be and ultimately have been annulled by national apostacy. This is also in accord with what Christians hold on the basis of their New Testament. The Christian Paul argued that the promises of the Old Testament prophets apply to all mankind. More specifically, he uses such terms as “the Israel of God” to refer to the ideal Christian church and not to physical Jews. Even Gentiles, according to Paul, by accepting Christ could become heir to the promises made to Israel (Gal. 6:15, 16).
Not only are Jews wrongly claiming any exclusive right to the promises made to all Abraham’s seed, religious Jews today and especially contemporary Zionists are not physical descendents from Abraham’s stock. The vast majority of Jews are converts from other stock. There are black Jews, blond Jews, and blue-eyed Jews. The current political leaders in Israel and Jewish immigrants from Russia, Central America, and the United States are mostly of Khazar descent—Caucasian Russians converted to Judaism in the eighth century by Byzantine Jews.
Zionist claims to the land of Palestine, therefore, cannot be based on physical descent or ancient promises. They have no basis in century-long possession of the land. In fact, their sole claim to the land is the right of invasion and conquest.
Contrary to what Zionists would have the world believe, the “miracle” of the restoration of Israel is not to be defended as the sovereign will of God. Rather, Zionists have perpetrated an international crime against the Palestinian people, and it is tragic nonsense to speak of Jews as returning to their “homeland.” They are not “going home”; they are taking a homeland from the Palestinian Arabs, Moslems, Christians, and Jews who for centuries have dwelt in their own land.—GEORGE SHAMA, counselor, Jordan Mission to the United Nations, New York, New York.
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