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Monday, August 20 2012
Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration
The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was one of the most geographically-extensive (see the map below) empires in history. Included within it, over the course of its expansion and contraction, were Turkey, large areas of Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson), Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania - and "Palestine." It was also one of the longest-lasting empires in human history. Centered on a ruling dynasty in Turkey, it existed from the late thirteen century to the early twentieth century.
Jerusalem had already been contested for centuries between the forces of the Church of Rome and Islam (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Rome and Islam), however after the fall of the original Roman Empire in the fifth century, and during one of the cyclical rises and falls of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire" (the full official name for it was the "Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation"; see The Holy Roman Empire) that succeeded it, the land of Israel was taken and absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. It remained under Ottoman control for the next four centuries, subject to the religion of the Ottoman Empire - Islam. It could have remained so until the present day, however early in the twentieth century, Jerusalem was liberated by the British. Throughout its Imperial history, Britain created and gave birth to many nations of today (some of which maintained their recognition and appreciation for their founder, some of which did not); Israel became one of them.
In the First World War (1914-1918), the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany, and so hence found itself facing British and British Empire forces in battle. Jerusalem was taken by the British, under the command of General Edmund Allenby after the Battle of Jerusalem in 1917. At the end of the war, with the fall and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations, at the Conference of Lausanne, established the internationally-recognized legal framework the British "Mandate for Palestine," which would result, by means of the United Kingdom, in the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
The Balfour Declaration
Arthur James Balfour was a Conservative Member of Parliament who held office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905. He later served, from 1916 to 1919, as Foreign Secretary.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 (officially dated November 2 1917) was a letter (the actual letter is shown in the illustration below) from Foreign Secretary Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild), a prominent leader and representative of British Jews, as an official communication to the "Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland." The key statement of the declaration:
"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
The Balfour Declaration became a key document that would lead to the eventual creation of the present-day state of Israel. The original document is today stored at the British Library.
The Battle Of Jerusalem - Liberation On Hanukkah
The Battle of Jerusalem was a culminating event in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Unlike every other conquering force of the Middle East throughout all of history, the British came not to impose their Empire, but to use its power to liberate the Middle East from any Empire - as plainly stated in the Balfour Declaration.
The Ottoman military forces were no pushover - the fact that they took on all challengers, from across all of Europe and the Middle East, for over four centuries, and won, attests to their power and abilities. But the British too were a fine military force (who won most, lost a few, over the centuries), and perhaps they were receiving some help. It was prophetically time for the people of Judah to go home again - and to stay there this time.
After a series of battles through some of the most-familiar "Biblical" places (Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Beersheba, Joppa/Jaffa), Jerusalem was captured by British forces on December 9 1917. Two days later, at the start of Hanukkah, General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem and liberated it from four centuries of Ottoman / Muslim occupation.
The British Mandate
The British Mandate for Palestine, also officially known as the Palestine Mandate, or the Mandate for Palestine, was an internationally recognized (an important factor - no solution is peacefully accepted if it's not recognized by world powers - puppets installed by thug nations don't last) policy, entrusted to Britain, to administer the region, shown on the map below, after it was liberated from centuries of rule and occupation by the Ottoman Empire. Notice that the entire land of Israel, as it was given to all of the tribes of Israel, on both sides of the Jordan River (see the Fact Finder question below), in the time of Moses and Joshua, was within the area of the British Mandate.
The rise of Nazi Germany had a profound effect on what may otherwise have been the much-greater borders of the present-day state of Israel. The Second World War slowed and stopped political progress of the goals of the British Mandate for Palestine. After the war, and the Satanic holocaust that was committed upon the people of Judah, the people of Judah were no longer willing to wait for their own sovereign homeland in which no one could ever again do to them what Adolf Hitler (and the millions of Europeans who had the same anti-Semitic minds as Hitler, just as millions all around the world still do today, regardless of whatever excuse that they hide behind) did to them all across Europe. The impatience led to a deadly and tragic insurgency against the British administration of the land of Israel. Based on the political and military foothold that Britain had given to them, on May 14 1948, the people of Judah unilaterally declared the creation of the State of Israel. Regardless of what would have been, if time had been permitted, the British Mandate was over.
Fact Finder: How and why did the tribes of Israel settle on both sides of the Jordan River?
This Day In History, August 20
14: Agrippa Postumus, the grandson of Caesar Augustus (see Luke 2:1 and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) was executed by his guards. Caesar Augustus had adopted his grandson as a son, thereby making Agrippa Postumus a presumptive heir as Emperor.
636: A Byzantine attempt to drive Muslims out of Syria was thwarted at the battle of Yarmuk.
1667: John Milton published Paradise Lost, an epic poem about the fall of Adam and Eve.
1741: Alaska was "discovered" (native people were already there) by Danish explorer Vitus Bering.
1794: General "Mad Anthony" Wayne slaughtered the last of the Ohio Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers; the genocide effectively ended (native) American resistance in the region.
1914: German troops entered Brussels, the first European capital to be occupied by an invading army since the fall of Paris in 1870. Brussels itself had not been occupied since the time of Napoleon.
1929: The first airship flight around the Earth flying eastward was completed.
1940: As the months-long Battle of Britain air war raged overhead, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in referring to the heavily outnumbered Royal Air Force fighter pilots (2,200 Nazi fighters and bombers to 700 UK Hurricanes and Spitfires) who were giving the attacking Nazi air force the mauling that caused Hitler to cancel his planned land invasion of Britain, told Parliament: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
1940: Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary, was fatally wounded by a Spanish communist with an ax in Mexico City. He died the next day. The Soviet government denied responsibility.
1941: When his air force failed to defeat the Royal Air Force over Britain, Adolf Hitler (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) authorized the development of the V-2 missile that could bomb Britain while the "pilots" remained safely in Germany - beginning the modern age of "kill from the comfort of your desk" warfare.
1944: U.S., British and Canadian forces destroyed the German Seventh Army at the Falaise-Argentan Gap, west of Paris.
1960: 2 dogs and 6 mice became the first earthlings in space, aboard the Russian Sputnik V.
1968: Elements of the Warsaw-Pact armies of Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland and the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to crush Alexander Dubcek's reformist government, ending the "Prague Spring"; Soviet communist leader Leonid Brezhnev warned that USSR could intervene in any communist country whose policies deviated from its standards.
1986: A mail carrier in Oklahoma shot 14 fellow postal workers dead. It was one of the first of such mass killings in the U.S. that came to be called "going postal."
2001: Fred Hoyle died at age 86. The British astronomer invented the term "big bang" - but never accepted the theory as the origin of the universe.