Since this past Wednesday when the U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a hoopla has erupted in both the traditional and new media. So far, there have been denunciations from various political and religious quarters. The Coptic Pope cancelled the meeting with Pence over this issue whilst Arab nations are mounting a pressure on Trump to back down on his decision.
There have been clashes leading to the deaths of few persons. Many Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest at the US embassy in Lebanon. I saw a picture of protesting Muslims in Morocco and their visage was of pent-up rage. The hornet’s nest has been stirred up. Our Muslim friends are now getting bent out of shape, throwing fits of rage, foaming at the mouth and attacking their keypads like a hungry bird pecking at a juicy worm.
Even the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) who have otherwise been insouciant about the murderous rampage of Fulani herdsmen and reports of Muslim Arabs enslaving Nigerians in Libya, suddenly found the voice to urge world leaders to reject Trump’s declaration over Jerusalem. The chains of mental slavery that bind many African Muslims compel them to automatically support Arab politics – no matter how irrational – even though these Arab Muslims view them with pure disdain.
Pope Francis, a man who tries to project an image of a “revolutionary thinker” has also (like his predecessors) taken sides with the Palestinian Arabs against Trump’s decision. The Vatican Radio says “the Holy See reiterates its conviction that only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to a stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of two states within internationally recognized borders.”
Some ask, “Why is this such a controversial issue? Does it really matter who occupies Jerusalem? Can’t the Jews just give up the land for the Arabs for peace to reign?” To answer these questions, we need to take a brief look at the Biblical history of the nation of Israel.
In Isaiah 43:10, God declares the Jews as His witnesses to the world that He is God. The specific Bible prophecies interwoven into their history are irrefutable evidence of God’s existence, purpose for man and the authenticity of the Bible:
1. God promised a land of clearly defined boundaries to Abraham (Gen. 12:1). He renewed that promise to Isaac (Gen. 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Gen. 28:13) and to their descendants forever (26:3-5, 28:13, Lev. 25:46). He fulfilled this promise by bringing these chosen people into this “Promised Land” through a series of miracles (Dt. 7:6). Note: God didn’t give Ishmael or his descendants any promised land.
2. When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and depraved sexual sins of the land’s previous inhabitants whom He had destroyed, He would also cast them out as well (Dt. 28:63; 1 Kgs. 9:7). This was what precisely happened.
A scholar noted that: “During the reign of Jehohakim’s, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Judah ([2 Kings] 24:1). The Lord sent other raiders – Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite – against Judah during his reign … just as the prophets had long ago foretold.” 
3. God declared that His people would be scattered “among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other” (Dt. 28:64) and they would become “a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples” (1 Kgs. 9:7). This happened just as foretold. A reference work explains that: “God gave Zedekiah and the nation [of Israel] many warnings through Jeremiah and the other prophets, but they were all ignored. The judgment that came spelt death or exile for the whole nation. The exile lasted until the Persians took over the Babylonian Empire.” 
4. God warned that wherever the Jews wandered, they would be “an object of cursing … of scorn and reproach” (Jer. 29:18) “a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations” (Dt. 28:37). This has been true of the Jews down through history. They have been maligned, hated and treated as scum, not only by Muslims or anti-Semitic political figures, but also by those who claim to be Christians.
A historian recorded that: The [Catholic] “Council of Vienne (1311) forbade all intercourse between Christians and Jews. The Council of Zamora (1313) ruled that they must be kept in strict subjection and servitude. The Council of Basel (1431-33) renewed canonical decrees forbidding Christians to associate with Jews … and instructed secular authorities to confine the Jews in separate quarters [ghettos]…” 
Muslims have mistreated Jews far worse for a total of 1300 years. In Morocco, for example, a historian writes that rape, looting, burning of synagogues, destruction of Torah scrolls and murder were “so frequent that it is impossible to list them.” 
5. In spite of being scattered throughout the world, God promised to preserve the Jews as an identifiable ethnic, national group (Lev. 20:26; Jer. 30:11; 31:35-37). The Jews had every reason to intermarry, change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. There was no reason for them to have preserved their bloodline when they had no land of their own, when their race imposed cruel disadvantages on them and most of them didn’t really believe the Bible. Yet, they didn’t get absorbed into the nations because God’s promises stand sure.
6. God said through His prophets that He would bring the Jews back into their own land in the last days prior to the Messiah’s second coming (Jer. 31:8-12, Ezk. 11:17; 28:25). This prophecy was fulfilled after 19 centuries since Jerusalem was destroyed (in 70 A.D.) when the nation of Israel was reborn in 1948. This restoration of a nation after 25 centuries is a striking event unparalleled in the history of other peoples. It is beyond mere chance or natural means; only God could have done it.
7. God foretold that the Jews would have hostile nations surrounding them (Zech. 12:1-14) and that in the last days before Jesus’ second coming, Jerusalem would become “a cup of trembling” and “an immovable rock for all people” (Zech. 12:2-3). At the time Zechariah uttered this prophecy some 2,500 years ago, Jerusalem lay in ruins and was surrounded by wilderness and so it remained century after century.
This prophecy seemed absurd even after Israel’s rebirth in 1948, since Israel occupies about one-sixth of 1% of the land area the Arabs possess. Nothing could have indicated that the land of Israel would be a centre of worldwide concern, but today we see fulfillment of Bible prophecy as a terrible war over the city of Jerusalem looms on the world stage.
Today, Jerusalem has become a “burdensome stone” around the necks of all nations of the world who fear what would occur there. It’s the most perplexing problem the United Nation faces currently and it is a sign of the last days. These Biblical prophecies offer us sufficient proofs of God’s existence and the sign of the times we are in. God’s “sign” to the whole world is the land and people of Israel.
There are two main reasons why Muslims want the Jews to give up Jerusalem and their entire promised land.
(a) The Quran is an anti-Semitic book. It says that some Jews were turned into apes and swines by Allah (2:65; 7:166). The Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies says Jews “are people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned to swine to punish them. As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews … while the swine are Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.”
Speaking of the Jews, Sura 2:61 says: “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah.” Sura 98:6 says Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures.”
The hadith says that the path of “those who earn your anger” in Sura fatiha Muslims recite daily, refers to Jews while “the path of those who go astray” refers to Christians (Bukhari 1:12:749). Sura 5:64 says: “The Jews say: Allah’s hand is tied up. ‘Be their hands be tied up and be accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter … Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment.”
Muhammad said: “The last hour will not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or tree and a stone or tree would say: Muslim…there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…” (Muslim 41:6985)
That’s why a Muslim scholar, Yusuf Qaradawi said: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler … This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be in the hands of the believers [i.e Muslims].” 
(b) Muslim leaders intend to maintain their hold on Jerusalem so as to sustain the mythical link Muhammad made up to tie his cult to Abraham. Muslims are told that Ishmael was the promised son who inherited Abraham’s covenant promise. But the Quran disproves this long-held theory.
Sura 11: 69-72 say Isaac was the promised son: “And his wife standing by, laughing when We gave her good tidings (of the birth) of Isaac, and after Isaac, of Jacob. She said: Oh woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man?”
The Quran re-tells this story in Sura 37:101-108 where Abraham asked for a righteous son and: “Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said ‘O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice. Now see what is thy view. (The son) said ‘O my father! Do as thou art commanded. Thou will find me if Allah so wills…”
The Quran clearly says it was the same “righteous son” that Abraham asked for that God promised He would give, and God later demanded that the same son be sacrificed to Him. Nowhere in the Quran is the “promised land” given to anyone else other than the Jews, so the land of Jerusalem rightfully belongs to the Jews and they alone.
 John Sailhamer, NIV Compact Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 271-272.
 The Lion Handbook to the Bible, 1983, eds. David and Pat Alexander, London, 303.
 Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster, 1950, IV, 729.
 Andre Chouraqi, Between East and West: A History of North Africa, PA, 1968, 51.
 MEMRI, Feb. 3, 2009