Israel from 1948 to Present
What happens to ISRAEL has been ordained by God. We need to be careful to understand from the past dealings of God with the Jews to realize, in the future, that He is still at work! First we must see that God has Chosen the Jews as His People, God has Chosen the Land of Canaan (not Palestine) as His Land, and God has Chosen the Destiny of the Nation of Israel as His Destined Plan for His Destined People. The Jews, the Land of Israel, and the Nation Israel are a Chosen People of Destiny.
Modern Israel only occupies about one-sixth of 1 percent of the land area which the Arabs possess. The Arab Nations have the oil, the wealth, and the worldwide influence which such seemingly inexhaustible resources command. Israel's postage-stamp piece of land scarcely discernible on a world map, and it lacks all the essentials to make it the center of worldwide concern. Yet, In defiance of all reason, however, it is the focus of world attention, precisely as prophesied.
Let me share a short summary of Israel since the year 1948.
ARAB/ISRAELI WAR OF 1948
On May 14, 1948 David Ben Gurion declared that Israel was a nation again after nearly 2000 years in ruins and dispersion. But it was half a million against 40 Million: As soon as Israel proclaimed its independence, it was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Roughly half a million Jews in Israel were surrounded by over 40 million Arabs who were determined to drive the Jews into the sea. Between February 24 and July 20, 1949, several unsuccessful Arab invasions of Israel occurred. All Arab forces were defeated. Ceasefire agreements were signed with each Arab state—although no peace agreement or guarantee of peace was included.
SUEZ CANAL WAR OF 1956
The Provocation: Since the birth of Israel in 1948, no vessel flying the blue and white Star of David flag has ever fully transited the Suez Canal. Only a handful of ships carrying Israeli cargo have been permitted through the waterway. On July 26, 1956, President Nasser of Egypt seized the canal from its British and French owners, then denied its use to any ship going to Israel.
The War: In October that same year, Egypt, Jordan and Syria signed an agreement placing their three armies under Nasser's command. On October 29, Israel invaded the Sinai. France and Britain joined in the attack against Egypt. Israeli army captured the Gaza strip and occupied most of the Sinai Penninsula east of Suez. Over one thousand Egyptians were killed and almost six thousand were taken prisoner. Israel’s loss was 181 dead and one taken prisoner.
6-DAY WAR OF 1967
The Threats: Several weeks before the war of 1967, Egypt issued a postage stamp showing Nasser with a map of Israel in flames at his right hand. On May 18, 1967, Nasser demanded the withdrawal of UN forces from the Sinai. The UN readily complied. And the Arab nations began massing troops on the borders of Israel. Egypt lined up 80,000 men; Syria 40,000; Jordan 40,000; Saudi Arabia 20,000. Iraq sent 5,000 troops to help Syria. On May 22nd, Nasser announced that the Gulf of Aqaba would be closed to Israeli shipping. Since Egypt had denied Israel’s use of the Suez Canal, the Port of Elath was Israel’s only port to the Red Sea, and the closing of Aqaba threatened its survival. Before fighting started, the radio in Cairo announced: "Our people have been waiting 20 years for this battle. Now they will teach Israel the lesson of death!” Nasser went on the radio to say that any war with Israel “will be total, and the objective will be to destroy Israel.” A Syrian army commander predicted Israel’s destruction in 4 days. Israel was hedged in on 3 sides by Arab forces, and outnumbered 20-to-1.
Arming Egypt: According to Newsweek, the most important new factor in the start of the 1967 war was “the installation of an estimated 60 new missile sites. All told, the Egyptians now have some 180 Soviet-installed SAM-2 ground-to-air missiles and 240 of the more advanced SAM-3s. Egypt’s air defense has been further bolstered by a Soviet radar system along the Mediterranean coast and by the addition of 50 new MIG-21s, giving Cairo an air force of 450 Soviet jets. “Beneath this air umbrella, the Russians have armed the 100,000 Egyptian troops along the canal with a vast array of modern weapons. This includes 750 Soviet-built tanks, 350 Czechoslovakian amphibious craft and perhaps as many as 1,000 artillery pieces. (Three dozen of these are the mighty Russian 203-millimeter howitzers, which can lob a 200-pound warhead on to Israel’s Bar Lev line from 18 miles inside Egyptian lines.) There are also reports that the Egyptians have received Russian “Frog” ground-to-ground missiles which can fire 800-pound warheads 30 to 40 miles. And stiffening the Egyptian ranks, there are some 12,000 Russians—half of them operational troops manning SAM-3 sites and the MIG-21s. … ”
The War: When Israeli radar picked up flights of enemy bombers, they launched a preemptive strike simultaneously against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, attacking 25 Arab air bases. When the air war cleared, 400 Arab war planes were gone. With Israel in control of the air, it was no problem for its army to drive the Egyptians from Sinai and gain control of the Gulf of Aqaba. Disregarding UN cease-fire orders, Israeli troops went on to within 30 miles of Damascus. The hardest fighting however took place in Jordan against Jordan’s cracked Arab Legion. On the second day of the war, the Israelis took the Old City of Jerusalem. Then the Jordanians were driven east of the river Jordan, and the Israelis also advanced to the Dead Sea. The Arabs now called for a ceasefire. Jerusalem, for the first time in nearly 2,600 years, came under Jewish control. In one week’s time, Israel’s land increased from 8,000 to 34,000 square miles, or four times its original territory.
30 Other Nations: While the war was in progress, the Pentagon reported that 30 nations in all were giving military or financial support to the Arab combatants. Soviet advisers were active in both Syria and Egypt, and 30 North Korean pilots were flying in combat in the Egyptian Air Force. President Nixon on October 19th asked Congress to provide 2.2 billion dollars in emergency military aid for Israel.
Shortest War In History: Between June 5 to 10, 1967, Israel won the “shortest war in history.” All three “confrontation states” of Egypt, Syria and Jordan were defeated. Israeli troops captured over $1 billion worth of Soviet-supplied armaments. Israeli army seized most of the Sinai Peninsula, the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem and all the West Bank region, plus the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.
Its war booty is tabulated below:
Ten thousand trucks and other vehicles, some brand-new, straight from Russia; 100 immediately usable Russian T-54 tanks, and perhaps 200 others; hundreds of field guns and more than 70,000 tons of ammunition; a complete missile base with Soviet surface-to-air rockets. Add to that the supplies and food of seven shattered Egyptian divisions. Add also arms and stores at a half-dozen abandoned military bases. The result is that Israel emerges by far the best armed country in the Mideast, with an arsenal so large it will take months to sort out.
YOM KIPPUR WAR OF 1973
Background: In the Scripture, the Lord provided for His people a day to repent of their sins. This most sacred command is found in Leviticus 23:6-7, “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” This was calculated to be yearly, on 10 Tishrei in the Jewish calendar, and called Day of Atonement or “Yom Kippur.” That day happened to be October 6, 1973. In accord with Scripture, all Israel was virtually closed down. No work was being done, no broadcasting and no newspaper. The people were fasting. Because sacrifice by fire is not possible without a temple, and the temple had been lost since AD 66, the modern Jews afflict their souls by fasting for the full 24-hour period. And so, Israel was quiet in national prayer, and the people were weakened with hunger by the time of the attack at 2 PM—some 20 hours into the fast period.
The War: On the Jewish Day of Atonement in 1973, Israel was attacked by the combined forces of Egypt and Syria, assisted by armed forces from Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia—a ratio of 12 to 1. At first, there were serious setbacks for Israel. But when the Israeli forces were fully mobilized, the enemy forces were driven back. Israel first defeated Syria and then counter-attacked Egypt which had crossed the Suez Canal. In a little more than two weeks, the Israelis were on the march toward both Cairo and Damascus. In a bold move, Israel armour forces cut between the Egyptian 2nd Army in the north and the 3rd Army in the south of Great Bitter Lake, crossed the Suez, and swept both north and south. By October 22, Israel had seized almost 500 square miles of Egypt west of the canal. The UN ordered a ceasefire.
Ceasefire: When the USSR was observed trying to ship nuclear arms to Alexandria, the United States put its armed forces worldwide on alert and moved units of the 6th Fleet closer to Egypt. Russia also alerted its forces. The world came one step closer to nuclear war. Under mutual agreement, the UN ceasefire was put into effect. Seven thousand UN troops were placed into a narrow strip of no-man’s land between Egyptian and Israeli forces. Later, the no-man’s land was moved further west in the Sinai peninsula. Israel controlled 6 times more territory that it did in 1948.
The Armaments: The Arab forces outnumbered the Israelis in the field by 12 to 1, and their arsenal for this war was simply unbelievable. The Syrians alone fielded more tanks than are under the command of the whole NATO forces! Altogether, Russia delivered 15,000 tons of equipment to Egypt and Syria on 934 flights—through Eastern Europe to Cairo or Damascus. The United States delivered 22,400 tons on 566 flights—over a route four times as long. The Yom Kippur War, although victorious for Israel, was a horror story. Of the 3 million Jews in Israel, she lost 2,500 in 18 days. This would be equivalent to the loss of about one-quarter million American soldiers at once.
The history of our Salvation is inextricably bound up in the history of God’s Chosen People of Destiny – The Jews. One nation on Earth was picked by God to be: His bearers of Truth, His Begetors of the Line of Messiah, and His Blessing to All Nations – ISRAEL. The Jewish People are God’s People, the Jewish Custom’s are God’s Shadow of things even yet to come.
Within Israel, consider that city the entire world has heard of-Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a small city with neither commercial nor strategic location. When the Old Testament prophets wrote of the future they did so with precision. Their astonishing accuracy singled out Jerusalem as the world focus. They didn’t say Damascus, Cairo, London, or Paris would become the center of action in the last days, but Jerusalem. Yet the eyes of the world are upon it as upon no other city. Jerusalem is indeed a "burdensome stone" (Zech 12. 1-3) around the necks of all nations of the world, the most vexing and volatile problem the United Nations faces today. There is no ordinary explanation for this! What the Hebrew prophets declared thousands of years ago and what seemed utterly fantastic in their time is being fulfilled in our day. This is only part of the evidence, as we shall see, that the prophesied "last days" are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of Bible prophecy fulfilled.
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