NETHERLANDS - Israeli Cities Located in Palestine?

Arno Froese

A Dutch city that in 2014 agreed to change street signs identifying Israeli cities as Palestinian postponed the correction indefinitely.

The city agreed to change the signs in 2014 following an outcry by Dutch Jews and Israel advocates, including Likoed Nederland, which complained the designation was politicized and intended to “wipe Israel off the map.” The cities referred to on the street signs include Jerusalem, Nazareth and Tiberias.

The municipal spokesperson said the reference to Palestine was to “biblical Palestine.” The spokesperson was replying to renewed criticism on Twitter by Esther Voet, editor-in-chief of the NIW Dutch-Jewish weekly, and others.

The New Testament does not mention Palestine. The Hebrew Bible, which many Dutch Christians view as equal in its significance to the New Testament, does not mention Palestine either. It does speak of Pleshet—lands inhabited by the Philistines, an extinct non-Semitic coastal people that lived in the west of the Land of Israel in the 12th century B.C., 10 February 2020

Arno's commentary answers the question, “Who was in Palestine first?” with: “Before Israel became a nation, the majority of people dwelling in the region were Palestinians-Arabs who lived in what was then known as Palestine.” This statement is somewhat incorrect. When the British took over the Mandate of Palestine, passports or travel documents issued read, under nationality, “Palestinian Jews.” The Arabs mostly refused the term “Palestinian,” but insisted that their nationality is Arabic. The name Palestine has been popularized during the last few centuries. For example, Bible maps are usually titled, “Palestine During the Time of Jesus.” That has indoctrinated the European world to call the area “Palestine.”

Wikipedia says: “The history of Palestine is the study of the past in the region of Palestine, generally defined as a … reference to the Palestinians, without qualifying them as Arabs.” writes: “A derivative of the name “Palestine” first appears in Greek literature in the 5th Century BCE when the historian Herodotus called the area Palaistin. In the 2nd century CE, the Romans crushed the revolt of Shimon Bar Kokhba (132 CE), during which Jerusalem and Judea were regained and the area of Judea was renamed Palaestina in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel.”

Jewish ownership of the territory from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt, is rejected by all nations on planet earth.

It is of interest that the six cities of refuge are no longer located within so-called Israel proper. Three—Kedesh, Shechem and Hebron—are east of the Jordan, and Golan, Ramoth Gilead, and Bezer are west. Moreover, the city Bethlehem is no longer officially designated as Israeli, but Bethlehem, Palestine. 

These developments, we realize, are temporary. The last and final word is always found in Scripture. Prophecy always has and always will be fulfilled precisely. Amos concludes: “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God” (Amos 9:15).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety