Sunday, June 26, 2005

Who Owns Palestine?

Who owns Palestine? What are Israel's rights with regard to the Land? Is there a divine right for the nation of Israel?

Both John Frame's short essay Who Owns Palestine? and John Piper's sermon, Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East attempt to answer these questions--and their perspective is rather similar.
Frame argues: "The political issue itself must be settled either by negotiation, or by war, or by some combination of these. Neither Jews nor Palestinians have such a clear claim to the land that everyone must instantly recognize it. The Arabs gained the territory through military conquest. The Jews gained some of it back through their own conquest in 1948 and subsequent wars. This is the time-honored way of establishing sovereignty throughout human history. Modern observers should not be scandalized at the thought of such issues being settled by military force, nor should we refuse to recognize a regime simply because it was established through force. Most every government today owes its existence to someone in the past who conquered its territory by war or revolution."

And Piper think that a peaceful settlement should be sought not on the basis of "present divine rights, but on international principles of justice, mercy, and practical feasibility."

If this issue interests you, I encourage you to read their pieces for fuller explanation and argumentation.