By James A. Wilson
This author has just finished reading the landmark book of another. The book is Jerusalem, by Jay Sekulow, founder and leader of the American Center for Law and Justice, and counselor to President Donald Trump. In it Sekulow, an attorney who has argued multiple cases before the US Supreme Court, the International Court located at the Hague, Belgium, and the United Nations itself, makes an irrefutable case for the legitimacy of Israel as the single sovereign nation on the land known as Israel and Judea until the Romans re-named the region – not the nation – Palestine as a final insult to the nation that dared rebel in 70 AD.
Sekulow proves beyond reasonable doubt that Israel has been Israel over four millennia despite occupation by empires including modern Iraq and Iran, Rome, Muslim Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottoman Turks, and Great Britain. Occupation does not convey sovereignty and Israel has been sovereignly titled to the land without interruption. In 1948 she began the reclamation of her ancient land – a reclamation unique in world history after millennia of exile and dispossession. Jerusalem has been – for three thousand years – and will always be her capital. No other nation has ever demonstrated a credible claim; none ever will, in law or in justice.
But what about the Palestinians?
Many so-called Palestinians are needy and impoverished people, although a good number live in high rise apartments and drive late model Mercedes; I have witnessed this. Anyone should feel compassion for those languishing in refugee camps for decades. I personally feel even more compassion for the spiritual poverty of people fed nothing but indoctrinated hate all their lives; it is a cancer that devours them virtually from birth. However, this double-barrelled poverty is not the result of Israeli action; it is entirely the work Palestinian leaders who would rather see their people goaded to destroy Israel than live a decent life. And the Palestinian people as an identified national group? There never was such a people prior to 1967; they were Jordanians and Egyptians until Israel reclaimed her ancient lands in the war forced upon them by neighbors who had occupied Israeli lands since 1948.
Sekulow makes the elegant case for three criteria to determine landed nationality. The Latin principle of uti possidetis juris, “as you possess under law,” the principle of international law determining sovereignty for “newly created states formed out of territories that previously lacked independence or sovereignty,” is the first criterion. Modern Israel was created from parts of the defeated (in World War I) Ottoman Empire; those portions coincide with the ancient Kingdom of Israel. The British Empire was placed over the territory by League of Nations mandate and tasked with preparing the nations under the mandate for independence. Israel, in accordance with the 1917 Balfour Declaration, is the only nation mentioned in the mandatory documents. This is because no nation called Palestine has ever existed. These documents maintain the force of law even today.
According to the principle the borders of the new state must be the borders of the old colony or dependency. Israel thus reaches from Lebanon to Jordan and from the Jordan Rift Valley to Egypt. It includes – and always has, even when Israel was forced from her lands by aggression – the so-called West Bank, Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem.
Secondly, Israel holds a valid claim to all her lands according to the Mandate for (so-called) Palestine under which she was re-established by the United Nations in 1948; this is a document of international law as valid today as in 1948 and fully recognized by the UN despite its continuing efforts to undermine what it once-and-forever authorized; Israel’s membership in that body is proof. The same principle governs the existence of – for example – Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as they emerged from the same legislation a mere two years before Israel. No one questions their right to exist and name their own capital under these principles.
Thirdly, the lands called “occupied” by so many nations were taken in a defensive war against nations illegally occupying them since 1948. No principle of civilized nationhood argues that lands reclaimed from illegal occupation in a defensive war should later be returned to the aggressors. If it were otherwise there would be no disincentive to aggression – ever.
Reality is Israel and her allies – especially the United States – have abided by international norms and laws at all times. Conflict has arisen – continued – only when groups ranging from Palestinian terrorist militias, the Arab League and Muslim Brotherhood, to the UN itself have sought to dislodge Israel from her national home by outright invasion and/or attempts to discredit her through libel and resolutions passed in defiance of UN principles and protocols. It is these haters of all things Israeli and Jewish – anti-Semitism is the proper name – who are the law defying. Sekulow’s case is airtight.
Let us all say, “Toda Raba,” Hebrew for “Thank you very much,” to Jay Sekulow for his achievement; I cannot recommend his book too highly. While we are shopping for his book – if we do not already own one – we might shop for a Bible and read it closely. I give thanks for Sekulow and his chiseled legal mind, but I give praise to God who created Israel, Jay Sekulow, and the rest of us, providing us abundant opportunity to cherish all He has done. To cherish is – in this case – to participate.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org