Politically and Geographically:
Israel is a democratic nation 1/19th the size of California, and is one of the smallest nations on the face of the earth.
With only about 8,000 sq. miles of land mass it is roughly two times the size of Rhode Island.
Israel is 260 miles at its longest, has a 112-mile coastline, is 60 miles at its widest, and between 3 and 9 miles at its narrowest.
The nation of Israel is surrounded by twenty-two hostile Arab/Islamic dictatorships that are 640 times her size and 60 times her population. Arab propagandists call Israel "expansionist." There is NO truth to this statement. Israel, occupies
one-sixth of one percent of the lands called Arab. There are 13 million Jews in the world (almost 5 million fewer than they were in
1939) and 300 million Arabs.
Arab propagandists and biased irresponsible news services call Israel "expansionist" and the "aggressor" against Arab peoples. Israel has fought only defensive wars; to the Arabs,
Israels resistance to their aggression — which would lead to Israel’s total destruction if allowed to go unchecked — is
illogically viewed as an "act of aggression." Is
"illogical" the proper term to be using here? Of course it is. But is logic really a considered factor in much of today's news propaganda?
here to see the nation of Israel against the backdrop of a world
tiny yellow spot you see superimposed on the map of the
United States here is an accurately scaled to size map of
There is a propaganda war going on now with regard to the term "Palestine." At one time it might have been argued that Palestine was an innocuous designation of the Middle Eastern area, that is generally thought of as the Holy Land. During the last few decades, however, the term Palestine has been adopted by Arabs living in Israel in the area west of the Jordan River. It is specifically employed to avoid the use of the name Israel, and must be considered an anti-Israel term. In all Arab maps published in Jordan, Egypt, etc., the area west of the Jordan River is called Palestine, without any reference to Israel. Palestine is the term now used by those who want to deny the legitimate existence of Israel as a genuine nation among the family of nations.
The term Palestine is now adopted by the political entity within Israel that is gradually obtaining more and more pockets of territory through the "peace process," is "the PA (Palestinian Authority). Although it must deal daily with Israeli officials, the PA hates to use the term Israel in any of its communications.
Palestine, therefore, must now be considered a political propaganda term with massive anti-Israel implications. The world press uses the term to question the legitimacy of modern Israel. Christians also have used the term Palestine for centuries in referring to the Holy Land. In earlier times this might have been excused (although biblically questionable) because of its common usage. In light of the current propaganda war against Israel, however, Christians must now re-evaluate the term Palestine and consider whether it is biblically, theologically or prophetically accurate.
Biblical use of the name Palestine
The term Palestine is rarely used in the Old Testament, and when it is, it refers specifically to the southwestern coastal area of Israel occupied by the Philistines. It is a translation of the Hebrew word "Pelesheth." The term is never used to refer to the whole land occupied by Israel. Before Israel occupied the land, it would be generally accurate to say that the southwestern coastal area was called Philistia (the way of the Philistines, or Palestine), while the central highlands were called Canaan. Both the Canaanites and the Philistines had disappeared as distinct peoples at least by the time of the Babylonian Captivity of Judea (586 B.C.), and they no longer exist.
In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used. The term Israel is primarily used to refer to the people of Israel, rather than the Land.
It is clear, then, that the Bible never uses the term Palestine to refer to the Holy Land as a whole, and that Bible maps that refer to Palestine in the Old or New Testament are, at best, inaccurate, and, at worst, are a conscious denial of the biblical name of Israel.
History of the term Palestine
Before 135 A.D., the Romans used the terms Judea and Galilee to refer to the Land of Israel. When Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Roman government struck a coin with the phrase "Judea Capta," meaning Judea has been captured. The term Palestine was never used in the early Roman designations.
It was not until the Romans crushed the second Jewish revolt against Rome in 135 A.D. under Bar Kochba that Emperor Hadrian applied the term Palestine to the Land of Israel. Hadrian, like many dictators since his time realized the propaganda power of terms and symbols. He replaced the shrines of the Jewish Temple and the Sepulchre of Christ in Jerusalem with temples to pagan deities. He changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitalina; and changed the name of Israel and Judea to Palestine. Hadrian's selection of Palestine was purposeful, not accidental. He took the name of the ancient enemies of Israel, the Philistines, Latinized it to Palestine, and applied it to the Land of Israel. He hoped to erase the name Israel from all memory. Thus, the term Palestine as applied to the Land of Israel was invented by the inveterate enemy of the Bible, the avowed enemy of the Jewish people, Emperor Hadrian.
It is interesting to note that the original Philistines were not Middle Eastern at all. They were European peoples from the Adriatic Sea next to Greece. Hadrian utilized the Hellenistic term, Philistine, later called Palestine, for the Jewish Land. The original "Palestinians" had nothing to do, whatsoever, with any Arabs.
of the term "Palestine"
One of the first Christian uses of the term Palestine is found in the works of the Church historian Eusebius, who lived in Caesarea. He wrote around 300 A.D., as the Roman persecution of Christians was ending and the Emperor Constantine began to accept Christianity as legal. Eusebius did not accept Hadrian's designation of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitalina, but he did use Hadrian's term Palestine. Eusebius considered himself to be one of the bishops of Palestine. Thus, the anti-Israel, anti-Christian name of Palestine was assimilated into the Church's vocabulary as the Byzantine Empire was being established.
The Church has, since that time, broadly used the term Palestine in literature and in maps to refer to the Land of Israel. It should be noted, however, that the Crusaders called their land the Kingdom of Jerusalem. When the British received the mandate after World War I, though, they called the land on both sides of the Jordan River, Palestine. This became the accepted geo-political term for several decades, and those who lived in the land were called Palestinians, whether they were Jews, Arabs or Europeans.
Click here to see the nation of Israel against the backdrop of a