ISRAEL AND ESCHATOLOGY
1878 Founding of Petach Tikva (“Gate of Hope”) in Palestine, a pioneer village of Jewish immigrants from Russia. The messianic dream embodied in the Passover toast, “Next year in Jerusalem,” begins to be realized.
1882 First aliyah (immigration) of Jews from Russia and eastern Europe to Palestine.
1897 World Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, elects Theodore Herzl as president. The Zionist movement declares its aim to “create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law.” Jewish Zionists believe themselves to be setting up the Holy Land for the coming of Messiah. At this time in history, Palestine has been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. This is comparable to the 400 years of Egyptian captivity. A “new Moses” is expected at this time.
1904-14 Second aliyah increases Jewish population.
1906 British Aliens Act promoted by Lord Balfour curtails Jewish immigration to England.
1914 The Ottoman Empire sides with Germany in World War I. The Muslim forces are viewed by radical adventists as the apocalyptic Eastern hordes that will attack Christendom from beyond the Euphrates River (Rev.9:13,16). (Actually, Turkey is not beyond the Euphrates. This dread attack never comes.)
1917 British forces under General Allenby take Jerusalem from the Turks. The British government issues the Balfour Declaration: His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people...it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. “Christian Restorationists” in England support Zionism and establishing a Jewish return to Palestine in order to facilitate the Second Coming of Christ.
1918 The battle with the Turks at Megiddo, September 19 - 20, is viewed as the apocalyptic Battle of Armageddon by radical adventists. (This proves to be a false assessment, for the Turks are easily defeated, in a two-day battle, which is less than cosmic in scope. It is just ten miles across the plain to Nazareth. This battle is the last use of cavalry in modern warfare; ref. Ezek. 38:4. After the war, 22,000 horses are sold to the Palestinians. The biggest cannon, a 6-inch howitzer, as a range of six miles. General Allenby is called Allah en Nebi, “Prophet of God,” by Christian Arabs. He seems to fulfill prophecy by entering Jerusalem humbly on foot on December 9, 1917, liberating the city from Turkish rule before Christmas.)
1923 The League of Nations makes Palestine a mandate of Great Britain. Arabs riot in protest at continued Jewish immigration. The country has a population of 542,000 Arabs and 61,000 Jews at this time. (Most Arabs are Muslims, but 70,000 are Christians.) By the year 1948, over 450,000 Jews have emigrated to Palestine. The return of the Chosen Race is seen as a sign of the end times by radical adventists.
1936 The Arab Revolt begins, in opposition to Jewish settlement. A six-month general strike is followed by full-scale nationalist rebellion against British authority and Jewish settlers; the revolt is ended in 1939 by a White Paper restricting Jewish immigration.
1937 British investigation under William Robert Peel recommends partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, with a British enclave at Jerusalem having a corridor to the Mediterranean Sea at Jaffa. This is not done. The 20th Zionist Congress meets in Zurich and endorses the Peel Commission’s plan.
1938 The Jewish terrorist group, Irgun, sets off four bombs, killing ninety people in all. Terrorist organizations include:
- the Haganah, “Defense” militia, disciplined underground soldiers
- the Irgun Zvai Leumi, led by Menachem Begin
- the Stern Group (or Stern Gang), assassins.
1939 The Arab Revolt is suppressed by British occupying forces.
1945 By the end of World War II, an estimated 6 million Jews have been executed by the Axis Powers. Jewish emigration from Europe accelerates. The anti-Jewish Arab League is formed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Jordan. Later, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan join. The Shah of Iran abstains. Head-quarters of the League are located in Cairo.
1946 Jewish terrorists bomb the King David Hotel in Jerusalem to disrupt British rule.
1947 The United Nations votes to partition Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state on November 29. The Jews get 54% of the land.
Irgun terrorists massacre the Arab city of Deir Yassin, killing 400 out of a population of 450. Arabs flee from Jewish territories.
1948 The British end their mandate, and the State of Israel is established on May 14. (This miracle of “the restoration” makes 1948 a key date in the calculations of radical adventists. The new Jewish state is seen as a reestablishment of David’s monarchy, which is a prere-quisite to the messianic kingdom.) David Ben Gurion is the first Prime Minister.
On September 17, Irgun terrorists assassinate Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN mediator for Palestine.
On May 15 six armies of Palestinians attack the new state and are defeated by October 1949. Israel increases its territory by fifty percent. Arab refugees are driven from their homes in Palestine, and all but 160,000 of the 750,000 Palestinian Arabs flee to neighboring states. Jordan does not want “contaminated Palestinians.” A new State of Jordan is formed out of Transjordan and West Bank territories with Hussein as king. Jerusalem is divided into two parts: New City in Israel and Old City in Jordan. The United Nations gives administration of the Gaza Strip to Egypt.
Several prominent Zionists, including Albert Einstein, condemn the Irgun terrorists. Their letter to the New York Times characterizes Begin’s party as “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”
1949 Israel is admitted to the United Nations as that world body’s fifty-ninth member. This further legitimizes the Jewish homeland, but it is greatly outnumbered by Arab nations in the membership. Also the United Nations suffers under a stigma, because that international organization is continuously under attack by religious fundamentalists as the evil world empire fated to be ruled by the Antichrist at the end of time.
1950 The Israeli Knesset makes Jerusalem the capitol of the nation on January 23. Israel’s Law of Return gives every Jew anywhere the right to Israeli citizenship. There is a massive airlift of 47,000 Yemenite Jews. In Baghdad, a bomb is thrown at a Passover gathering of Jews. The Jewish Haganah throws this bomb, plus two more, against their own people to frighten them into leaving Iraq for Israel. In 1950, 130,000 Jews live in Iraq. By 1951, only 5,000 remain.
Jordan annexes the West Bank territory on April 24.
1951 Israeli intelligence organization, Mossad, formed by David Ben-Gurion. (Ha Mossad le Teum: “The Institute for Coordination.”)
1956 Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal. Israeli armies, under secret pact with Britain and France, invade the Sinai peninsula.
1957 Despite the threat of United States sanctions, Israel delays its withdrawal from the Sinai until a United Nations force is established as a peace-keeping buffer along the Sinai frontier.
1959 Yasser Arafat founds the Fatah Palestinian guerilla movement with Tanzim, its militia. (Al Fatah: “The Conquest.”)
1962 Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel for crimes against humanity. He is the latest in a long line of arch-villains in Jewish history who have tried and failed to stamp out Israel.
1963 David Ben-Gurion, Premier and Defense Minister for most of Israel’s first fifteen years, resigns and is succeeded by Levi Eshkol.
1964 The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is formed. It is later taken over by Yasser Arafat.
1967 At the demand of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the U.N. withdraws from the Sinai, and Egypt moves in armored forces.
Arab-Israeli Six-Days War of June 5-10: Israel defeats Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Conquered territories are Jerusalem, the West Bank territory, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. More than a million Palestinians come under Israeli military occupation. For Bible literalists, this fulfills Luke 21:24: “...and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” In his book, Israel And The Nations Of Prophecy, 1968, p. 33, Richard De Haan says, “The times of the Gentiles began when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem about 600 B.C. Ever since that time Jerusalem has been under Gentile dominion until 1967.”
1968 Egypt begins artillery and air strikes across the Suez Canal to wear down occupying troops. Israel starts building settlements in occupied territories. On December 28 Israelis retaliate for a terrorist attack on an El Al airplane in Athens by destroying thirteen airplanes at Beirut airport.
1969 Premier Eshkol dies and is succeeded by Golda Meir. Arson is attempted on the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Golda Meir tells a newspaper reporter who asks about justice for Palestinians, “What is a Palestinian? Such a thing does not exist.”
1970 Cease-fire along the Suez Canal is negotiated by United States Secretary of State. Jordan’s King Hussein drives out the PLO on September 17, forcing it to move to Lebanon.
1972 Terrorists kill eleven Israeli athletes on September 5 at the Twentieth Olympiad in Munich.
1973 Israelis raid Arab refugee camps in northern Lebanon and shoot down a Libyan airliner over Sinai, killing 107 on board. Arab-Israeli eight-een-day “Yom Kippur War” begins on October 6, when Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack: Israel drives into Egypt. On this twenty-fifth anniversary of its founding, Israel is the home of 2,600,000 of the world’s 14,000,000 Jews. Under its jurisdiction are 1,400,000 Arabs. The Israeli army stands at 420,000 men and women.
In the Gaza Strip, the “Islamic Jihad” militants are formed.
1974 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat goes to Jerusalem for peace talks on November 19, and sixteen months later Israel returns the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as a token of peace. Turkey invades Cyprus.
1975 The Suez Canal, closed since the 1967 War, reopens.
The United Nations passes a resolution condemning Zionism as racism.
1976 Civil war in Lebanon between the Christian militia and Muslims.
1977 Camp David accord reached between Israel and Egypt under the sponsorship of President Carter.
1979 The Shah of Iran is ousted by Islamic fundamentalists; the Ayatollah Khomeini becomes the new head of the government. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein takes control of the government in a July coup.
1981 Iran frees 53 American hostages. The Republican Party employs a pro-Israel foreign policy. Christian Premillennialists seek to maintain Israel as a nation and thus facilitate the Second Coming of Christ. (Ref. Matt. 11:12, which says some “take the Kingdom by force.”) They see hostilities in this region as leading up to the Battle of Armageddon.
Muslim fundamentalists assassinate Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. He is succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.
1982 Driven out of Jordan in 1970, the PLO settles in Lebanon. Israel invades Lebanon to crush the PLO on June 6 and halts its invasion after 328 Palestinians are massacred by pro-Israel Maronite (Lebanese Christian) militiamen in two refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila. Israeli toops seal off the area, “protecting the camps,” despite sounds of gunfire within. Defense Minister Ariel Sharon is forced to resign.
1983 A suicidal Palestinian explodes his truck and kills 260 U.S. Marines in Lebanon.
1987 Palestinian terrorist group Hamas begins the intifada (“shaking off”) in December. From 1988 to 1993, terrorists kill 155 Jews.
1988 Iran and Iraq conclude their war, both claiming victory.
Persian writer Salman Rushdie writes The Satanic Verses, characterizing the Ayatollah Khomeini s an ominous, evil Imam. When he publishes the book the following year, the Muslim rulers in Iran issue a fatwa, a religious death warrant, against him.
1989 Iran’s revolutionary leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, dies on June 3. “The Temple Mount Faithful,” a Jewish fundamentalist group, transports a three-ton stone to Jerusalem to be used as the cornerstone of the Fourth Temple. This new Temple is to be constructed after the visionary plan given in the Book of Ezekiel (41:2-6, 45:7, 48:10-12).
1991 The United Nations reverses its resolution of 1975, which called Zionism racism.
1992 According to certain radical adventists, the seven heads of the apoca-lyptic Beast (Rev. 13:1) are the seven final rulers of Israel. The eighth ruler is the Beast himself. As things turn out, Yitzhak Rabin, the eighth ruler, is far from being a “Beast.” He is the first liberal leader to actively promote peace with the Palestinians, and for this he is assassinated.) This discredits the whole scheme put forth by date-setting doomsday prophets.
A listing of the Prime Ministers of Israel is given below:
1. David Ben-Gurion
2. Golda Meir
3. Yitzhak Rabin
4. Menachem Begin
5. Yitzhak Shamir
6. Shimon Peres
7. Yitzhak Shamir
8. Yitzhak Rabin (elected 6-24-92 and assassinated 11-4-95)
9. Shimon Peres
10. Benjamin Netanyahu (elected 5-29-96)
11. Ehud Barak (elected May 1999)
12. Ariel Sharon (elected February 2001)
This same scheme was proposed regarding the first eight communist Russian rulers, but it was also discredited with the accession of a ninth ruler. (Incidentally, the passing of the dread year 1984 also disproved the ominous predictions of George Orwell’s famous novel.) A listing of the Russian officials is given below:
1. Vladimir Lenin (1917-24)
2. Joseph Stalin (1924-53)
3. Georgi Malenkov (1953-55)
4. Nikita Khrushchev (1955-64)
5. Leonid Brezhnev (1964-82)
6. Yuri Andropov (1982-84)
7. Konstantin Chernenko (1984-85)
8. Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-91)
9. Boris Yeltsin (1991-2000)
10. Vladimir Putin
1993 Between 1953 and 1993, the United Nations has passed 66 resolutions critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians. (The Arab bloc is the origin of many of these rulings.)
Israel-PLO Peace Accord is signed. The time period from the signing of the Accord on September 13 to January 1, 2000 is exactly 2,300 days, as prophesied by Daniel 8:13-14.
The Jerusalem Covenant is signed on May 19. This Covenant states that Jerusalem is to be the eternal capital of the nation. The date of the signing is seven years before the year 2000. Adventist speculation heats up, and this date is proclaimed as the start of the seven-year interval of the Tribulation before the commencement of the Battle of Armageddon. Since it is prophesied in Daniel 9:27 that the Antichrist will make a covenant with the nations, radical adventists wonder which signer of The Jerusalem Covenant is this evil ruler?
1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Accord is signed on July 25, to be implemented in three stages.
PLO leader Arafat returns after a 25-year exile to govern the Gaza-Jericho autonomy.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions convenes from August 28 to September 5. Religious right-wingers see this as the setting up of the harlot Church of the end times.
1995 Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres agree to the second stage of the Accord: Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank Territory. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated on November 4 by a Jewish exremist.
1997 If the year 2000 is the start of Armageddon, Temple sacrifices must be resumed by mid-1996. Bible prophecy says that Temple sacrifices are to be resumed 3 1/2 years before the great Battle, and the Antichrist must be sitting in the Temple. None of this happens.)
1999 King Hussein of Jordan dies and is succeeded by his son Abdullah II.
2000 Because of speculation about end-of-the-world violence by cult groups, Israel denies some radicals tourist privileges. The dread millennium date passes without the expected portents occurring. So, once again, adventist date-setters are discredited.
On September 28, Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount. The following day the Arabs begin “the Al Aqsa intifada. (“shaking off,” i.e., uprising)” The Arabs designate the Western Wall as “the Al-Buraq wall” based on the legend that the Prophet tied his steed, Al-Buraq, there before his ascension to heaven.
Linking Israel with the End Times is based on several assumptions,
all of which are false.
a. The Jews are still the Chosen People of God.
b. The Antichrist is a literal figure destined to rule the world.
c. The World Empire discussed in Daniel and Revelation is a modern phenomenon.
d. The Messiah’s coming is linked to a Temple in Jerusalem.
e. A Cosmic Battle can take place in the tiny plain of Megiddo.
f. One-World Government is necessarily evil.
g. Christ is interested in creating a world state lasting only a thousand years.
h. Apocalyptic writings are to be taken literally.
Jesus told the Jews that “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing the fruits of it” (Matt. 21:43). Commenting on this, Baptist theologian W. O. Carver said, “God and Israel were once again in direct confrontation as at Sinai. At this time God sets Israel aside on the garbage dump of history.”