By Kevin O'Neil
I offer the following thoughts in response.
The authors' method in approaching the noble study of Biblical hermeneutics, if adopted, would make nonsense of huge swathes of both the Old and New Testaments and render the surviving texts vague and unreliable for any practical purpose. With them, words don't really mean what they say, they may even mean the opposite, we just can't be sure. The rock becomes a swamp, a shifting and untrustworthy sand. These so-called scholars appear mortified at the suggestion that some poor souls may actually believe these things to be understood literally. They have passed on from that primitive stage, and besides, everything is subjective, the text means whatever you decide it means, if it works for you, then fine, go for it. A far cry from the Covenanter days of 17c Scotland.
When God says that the Land, Haaretz, will be given to Abraham's descendants, as He does in all the verses on which the authors try to cast doubt, He safeguards against the danger of spiritualising this Land by instructing Abraham to physically look north, south, east and west, and that everything he could see was included in what God meant by the Land. At another time God said, get up and walk on it, that's the Land, the place you can feel under your feet! And yet another time God gives actual geographical reference points, a sort of GPS. The Land is modern day Israel, including Judea and Samaria (the misnamed West Bank), and a whole lot more besides.
When God says, as He does in most of the references given, that the Land would be given forever, it seems to elude the minds of the sophisticated ones that the Almighty meant exactly what He said and that forever means forever. It's a sad fact that human beings may not always mean what they say but we may rest assured that God has more integrity than do His creatures. The Hebrew word translated forever is olam and is defined in Strong's Dictionary as follows: Long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, and so on. What is it that the authors of the Report don't understand here? If they doubt that olam is forever then they must doubt the eternality of God's Kingship and the Messiah's Kingdom, for the very same word is used with respect to these also, Jer.10:10, Isa.9:7, etc. Or are we to think that their reasoning only applies to God's promise of the Land to the Jews?
The authors' speak derisively of a literalistic interpretation of the Word of God as though we are now too sophisticated to believe it for what it says, we must treat it, as it were, with a pinch of salt. Contemptible arrogance we call it and lacking in the true fear of God, which is the very beginning of any wisdom.
Regarding the attitude of the Report to the people who have cleverly adopted the name of Palestinians I hardly know where to begin, the authors' ignorance beggars belief. The following brief points are all I can manage, others have done sterling work in refuting these things from a practical and logistical point of view, their work is readily available online.
A little definition of just who the Palestinians are will be useful being as they appear to be such objects of admiration to the authors. The Palestinians were regarding themselves as Syrians as recently as 1939 and it is well-documented that they are the descendants of any number of nations including Afghani, Algerian, Arab, Bosnian, Copt, Egyptian, and so on, almost ad infinitum. The term Palestinian was first used in 1964 in Moscow when the PLO was established and its founding document was drafted. In fact, ironically, the name is derived from a root meaning Dividers, Penetrators or Invaders. This is all fairly elementary history. But the major point is this: the name was an invention which was made with the purpose of lending these non-indigenous people a false history and a supposed link with the land once known as Palestine. And the plan has largely worked, the UN, most of the media, and these authors have swallowed it hook line and sinker.