The Borders & The People of Israel

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk

The Borders and the People of Israel


   The Torah teaches us that Israel is far larger than the land now restored to its original, rightful inhabitants. In Mase, also known as Numbers 34, the limits of Israeli sovereignty are clearly given. The Southern border is 20 miles south of Gaza and continues to the Gulf of Eilath and into an area  east of the Jordan river including 45% of the country now called  Jordan.

   The Western boundaries of Israel run all the way from 20 miles south of Gaza, north past Mt. Carmel and past Tyre, Zidon, past Lebanon all the way to Alexandretta. The northern border then runs eastward, including most of Syria to the Euphrates river opposite Aleppo. The eastern border is clearly the larger part of Trans-Jordan. This entire area of 58,000 square miles was and is Jewish and was the kingdom of Israel under Solomon and David.

   Today Israel is in possession of 8,019 square miles. The Palestinian Arabs inhabit another 1,600 square miles of Israel and the so-called Jordanians occupy the remainder. 

   The political history of Israel reveals how this came about. After the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel by the Babylonians, some Israelites returned to Jerusalem in  539 before the common era. Thereafter they were called Judeans because the tribe of Judah had settled in the south, including Jerusalem. Hence the word Jew in English.

   In the fourth century B.C.E., the Greeks invaded Israel under the leadership of their king Alexander. On his death in 323 B.C.E., his empire was divided. Seleucid, one of his generals, governed Syria and the north, and his general Ptolemy governed Egypt and the south. Thereafter, the Seleucid Greeks and the Ptolemies of Egypt fought over control of Israel for centuries. Their armies usually met at Har Megiddo, the mountain of Megiddo. Therefore, the English contraction of those two words became “Armageddon”.

   In 165 the Jews of Israel revolted against the Seleucid Greek-Syrians and established an independent Jewish state which governed all of Israel until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 and all of Israel in 135. Subsequently, Israel came under the rule of the Greek Byzantine Empire and thereafter fell to the Moslems in 635. European Christians ruled Israel from 1099-1291. Thereafter, the country was controlled by the Egyptians until the Turks came in 1517 and governed there until the British came in 1917-18. The British arbitrarily removed Trans-Jordan from Israel in 1922 and prohibited Jews from living there. 

    The Jewish population of Israel is now reaching 5 million. 700,000 of these Israelis are refugees from Arab countries. Because these Jews are more prolific (Lt. Proles=child) than Jews of European ancestry, they now constitute one half of the Jewish population. Therefore it is to be anticipated that the final status discussions between the Arabs and Israel will include the compensation the several Arab counties owe these 700,000 of their former citizens whose homes and property were stolen from them when they were forced to flee their homelands.

    Around 15%, or 922,000 of the residents of Israel, are Muslims and 2% are Christians. The others belong to a variety of other religions.


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