I''ve got to thank the Arabs of the Land of Israel. Every year, they hand the world a stark reminder that God gave the Land of Israel to Nation of Israel as a national, collective inheritance - in the past, in the present, and for all time.
Some Israeli Arabs, along with their sympathizers throughout the world, think they can wrest our precious national patrimony from us with force. Often times they threaten us with violent demonstrations. Though they rarely follow the good things that are written in their own tradition, their own faith makes it clear that God (“Allah”) designated the Land of Israel for the Jewish nation:
"I (Allah) gave the persecuted people (the Children of Israel) dominion over the Eastern and Western Lands (the east and west sides of the Jordan River), which I had blessed. Thus was your Lord''s gracious word fulfilled for the Israelites, because they had endured with fortitude. And I destroyed the edifices and the towers of Pharaoh and his people."
- (The Quran, Sura 7:137, "The Heights")
Yes, I know. There are those Israelis and Jews throughout the world who have doubts. They side with the Arabs and other hostile gentiles, and call our living here in the Land that God gave to us a kind of occupation.
Some refer to the lands of their doubt as existing over a green line. Others side with the Arabs and question the legitimacy of our living anywhere in Israel. They call it land wrestled from the Arabs by force. For them, 200 years of the Zionist enterprise of buying the Land from Arabs isn’t good enough. Or the fact that as a newly-replanted nation in the historic Land of our ancestors, we had to fight for our very existence because our Arab cousins wished to help us become extinct.
But all this talk of national rights because of the Holocaust or other such historical event is nonsense. The real reason we are here is because the God of the Jews, Christians and Arabs has willed for us to be here.
Fundamentally speaking, God gave the land to Adam the first man, and then to Noah, and Shem his son. He then gave it to their descendants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He then gave it to their descendants, the twelve sons of Israel. And then, after a hiatus of the nation in Egypt, He took the People of Israel out of that land and, with Moses and Joshua leading them, brought them back to repossess the Land.
True, God promised to expel our nation if we did not behave appropriately, if we worshipped other gods than God Himself. And admittedly, we dropped the ball, and did abandon our faith at one point. So God was true to His word. He booted us from the Land and sent us to wander in Exile. But at the same time that God promised to kick us out of the Land, He also promised that He would one day bring us back to our Land.
And so He has.
But this is just the beginning. For all Christians, Muslims and some Jews know: the return of the Nation of Israel to the Land of Israel marks a watershed event. God promises that when He returns the captivity of Zion back homeward, it will signal the beginning of a new age for all of humanity. An age of peace and brotherhood, of prosperity and respect, of caring and health and understanding and of ecological responsibility.
All this, states the traditions found in each of the Abrahamic faiths, will happen to those who wait. And all this will happen to those who do not oppose God’s fulfillment of His promises to our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Yes, it''s true. And not too complicated either.
So, Arab folks living in Israel: Thank you for Land Day. Thank you for forcing the forgetful Jewish People, who sometimes do not notice the great things that God has done for them, to remember. Not the Holocaust. The Holocaust is done and over with. We’ve been there, and we’ve done that. Land Day forces us to remember that God lives up to His promises. God intends for the Nation of Israel to be in the Land of Israel.
Whether we - or them, or you – want it, or not.