Question – – 02/28/2013
Do religious Jews have an answer to the Palestinian claim that the Holy Land belongs to them?
Answer by Arachim
We will not dwell on the philosophical question of the Land being promised by G-d to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our forefathers. (This sort of claim is dealt with in a separate question under this heading: “What is the basis for your claim that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People?“)
Here we will answer the Palestinian arguments using historical facts, including the prophecies recorded in the Bible and the books of the prophets:
The Bible tells us:
And I shall render the land desolate, and your enemies, dwelling in it, will be astonished … and your land will be barren, and your cities will be a ruin.
This prophecy, written over 3,000 years ago, makes it clear that in Biblical times, the Holy Land was productive and highly fertile. However, when deprived of her children, it is destined to become barren and desolate.
This is exactly what happened when the People of Israel went into exile.
Over a period of nearly two thousand years, various gentile nations made attempts to settle the land, but none succeeded. The Land of Israel reserved its fruits and its blessings only for her own children, the People of Israel. In their absence, the Land became a desolate expanse of wilderness and swamps. Pilgrims and travelers who passed through the region noted that the country had become nearly uninhabitable. Its population remained minimal.
In 1835, the French poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, visited Palestine. He wrote:
Outside the gates of Jerusalem, we saw indeed no living object, heard no living sound. We found the same void, the same silence … as we should have expected before the entombed gates of Pompeii … a complete, eternal silence reigns in the town, on the highways, in the country … the tomb of an entire people.”
Recollections of the East, Vol. I, 1845