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Crosstalk: May 15, 2018

Chris Katulka is host of the radio program, 'The Friends of Israel Today'. He also serves as a speaker, writer and blogger for The Friends of Israel and writes for 'Israel My Glory' magazine. The Friends of Israel is a worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people.

Why is the 70th birthday of Israel so important? Chris believes it comes down to what Israel has been able to do in 70 short years. 70 years ago, holocaust survivors were making their way to Israel's shores only to have to defend themselves again for their freedom. So the Jewish state has found not only a way to exist, but to also find a place in the global forum as a powerhouse in medicine and technology, one that's only about the size of the state of New Jersey.

Was Israel formed because of the holocaust? While most people may believe that, the truth is, for decades there were Jewish communities throughout the world that were gathering together to find ways to bring Jews back to the land. These Zionist desires go back to well before World War I.

Then how does the Balfour Declaration fit into Jewish history? As World War I came to a close with allied powers defeating the Ottoman Empire, it was a time for land to be divided up among the world powers. Sir Arthur Balfour, the secretary of state for the British government, presented his Balfour Declaration. The declaration promised that the British government would do everything it possibly could to make sure that the Jewish people would have an existence in their homeland. This led to a declaration that came out of the San Remo agreement where nations such as Italy, Japan and others indicated that they agreed with the Balfour Declaration idea that the Jewish people have a right to exist in their ancestral homeland.

How can we know this land doesn't belong to the Palestinians? Chris explained early Zionists believe that they could live alongside their Arab neighbors. In fact, it's written in Israel's declaration of independence that the establishment of the state of Israel did not mean they were kicking Palestinians out of the land. He noted that Palestinians were told to leave, not by Jews, but by their own leaders so that they could push Israel into the sea, come back and take their homes. Israel told the Palestinians that if they left during the war for independence, they wouldn't be allowed back in, but for those who would remain, they wanted to build the nation with them.

Along with these historic points, Chris mentioned other nations that are moving their embassies to Jerusalem. Jim followed that up with audio from President Donald Trump's speech concerning the U.S. embassy move on this milestone birthday for Israel.

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