The Holocaust decimated the Jewish population in Europe from 1939 to 1945. After the war, the vast majority of the remnant of European Jewry moved to either France, the United States or the Mandate of Palestine. Just three years after the end of the genocide of the Jews, the modern state of Israel was born.
Many people believe that the world endorsed the notion of a Jewish State because of the terrible tragedy which befell the Jews. While some countries may have indeed voted at the United Nations in favor of recognizing Israel because of the Holocaust, its reestablishment was sponsored by the global community years before World War II.
First by the British in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, then by the League of Nations in the 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, the leading countries of the world supported Jews reestablishing their homeland. In the late 1930’s the British specifically called for creating a distinct Jewish State in Palestine. All of these actions were taken before the genocide of European Jewry.
Similarly, God’s promises of the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob predated the Children of Israel becoming slaves in Egypt. The divine promises for a particular family to have a particular plot of land are found throughout the Book of Genesis and include:
- “The Lord appeared to Abram and said ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’” (Genesis 12:7)
- “For all the land which you see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever.” (Genesis 13:15)
- “To your descendants I have given this land.” (Genesis 15:18)
- “And I will give to you and your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8)
- “To your offspring I will give this land” (Genesis 24:7)
The Promised Land is an integral part of Judaism. It is a unique dynamic among world religions that a particular people is tied to a specific parcel of land. The history of Jews in their holy land goes back thousands of years.
Yet people confuse the nature of the Jewish State and how it came to be reestablished in 1948. The global community did not create Israel as a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust; it voted to reestablish the Jewish homeland years before the Holocaust. Further, Zionists do not aspire for a Greater Israel from “the Nile to the Euphrates” the way anti-Semites at the United Nations claim; they want to live, pray and have autonomy in their small patch of the world promised to them by God.
The relevance of the Holocaust to Israel today is about underscoring the absolute imperative of Israel’s security, which means ensuring that the country’s neighbors cannot threaten it. Critical features include: Israel having full control of its borders and airspace; no military for a possible future Palestinian State; no ability for terrorist groups like HAMAS in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon to attack Israel; and most significantly, no nuclear weapons for Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism which has threatened to wipe Israel off of the map.
The anti-Zionist false narrative connecting the Holocaust and the Promised Land spins a web of lies that European countries created a safe haven – a metaphorical “Promised Land” – for Jews as a gift to allay its guilt in permitting and participating in the Holocaust, an act of charity taken on the backs of Palestinian Arabs. The slander of original sin of the theft of “Arab Land” to create a Jewish State leads to noxious claims that Jews will continue to try to steal more land as “colonialists” as well as demands that the British apologize for the Balfour Declaration. It falsely inverts the indigenous Jews to invaders; those needing protection to aggressors who must be held in check.
The Promised Land of Israel is an eternal gift from God to the Jewish forefathers thousands of years ago and to their descendants in the present day, not from European nations in response to the Holocaust. The critical lesson of the Holocaust is to protect the Jews in Israel from neighbors who wish to do them harm, politically, economically, militarily and most definitely, journalistically.
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