My respect for the Israeli Prime Minister just went up a few notches after reading this news story. Benjamin Netanyahu is a smart man. You can never go wrong when you turn to the scriptures when looking at the Israeli-Palestinaian conflict, because at it's core, this conflict is neither a a social nor a political issue; but rather, it's a spiritual issue.
This Israel is the land that God gave to Abraham as a possession for him and his offspring forever:
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
And this Jerusalem is that city that Jesus said would be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles (after its coming destruction in AD 70) until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled :
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
This is that same land that God said he would restore to Israel to in the latter days (see Ezekiel chapters 36-39).
23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.”’
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name— 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.”
So the Gentiles, and Israel's Arab nations in particular, can fight against Israel if they want to, but in the end they wont win. Maybe Benjamin Netanyahu is one of those few world leaders who recognizes that.
Article excerpt from Reuters:
Netanyahu turns to Bible in tussle over Jerusalem
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM - Beset by questions about Jerusalem's future in talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached for the Bible on Wednesday to stake out the Jewish state's contested claim on the city.
Netanyahu told a parliamentary session commemorating Israel's capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war that "Jerusalem" and its alternative Hebrew name "Zion" appear 850 times in the Old Testament, Judaism's core canon.
"As to how many times Jerusalem is mentioned in the holy scriptures of other faiths, I recommend you check," he said.
Citing such ancestry, Israel calls all of Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital -- a designation not recognised abroad, where many powers support Arab claims to East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The dispute is further inflamed by the fact East Jerusalem houses al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine, on a plaza that Jews revere as the vestige of two biblical Jewish temples.
Heckled by a lawmaker from Israel's Arab minority, Netanyahu offered a lesson in comparative religion from the lectern.
"Because you asked: Jerusalem is mentioned 142 times in the New Testament, and none of the 16 various Arabic names for Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran. But in an expanded interpretation of the Koran from the 12th century, one passage is said to refer to Jerusalem," he said.