The Israeli vs Palestine Conflict
Israel and the Palestinians
An essay by Joe Boudreault c. April, 2006
The modern nation of Israel was founded in May of 1948 and it has hardly seen a year of peace since. The current turmoil that makes its way into the news almost every day is just one more example of tension between the Jewish people and surrounding nations. This sliver of land along the southeastern Mediterranean Sea has a long history of conflict and it is far from finding an end. It has gone by many names: Samaria, Judea, Phoenicia, and of course Palestine. The current name of Israel comes from the Hebrew patriarch, Jacob, who was given the name Israel by God, if you wish to read the Biblical account in the Book of Genesis.
A quick look at this history will help put things in their place. What is now recognized as the country of Israel is the same land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, between Lebanon and the Sinai desert, as that of the ancient Jewish homeland of ancient Hebrew history. The Jewish people lived there and had control of it since the second millennium B.C. After the beginning of the Christian era the Romans purged the country and the Jews were scattered to the far corners of the earth for another two millennia, a period called the Diaspora. There followed many centuries of persecutions, massacres, pogroms and war against the Jews everywhere. In the mid-1800s they began migrating back to what was erroneously known as ‘Palestine’, and they came mostly from Europe and the rest of the Mediterranean region. Keep in mind that the Jews never surrendered their nation to anyone. Keep in mind also that the Arabs had both Arabia and all the surrounding nations as homelands. Palestine had always been controlled by and belonged to the Jew only, though others lived there in peace.
It was the great dream of the Jews to once again have their own nation, as they were the only ethnic group in the world without a homeland of any kind. This did not necessarily have to be Palestine. But many Jews felt it was appropriate that they have control of Jerusalem once again. In 1897, Theodore Herzl and Leon Pinsker convened the First Zionist Congress in Germany, with the aim of establishing a homeland for the Jews once again. As this homeland was called by the Hebrew designation of Zion, it was the modern beginning of Zionism. The land of Palestine then was under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and it was occupied by Muslims, Christian Arabs, Druze, Bedouins, Greeks, and Jews, who had always had an unbroken presence there. The Jews were a majority by the 1890s and the British agreed, in 1917, to make the plan work, when having taken jurisdiction of Palestine from the Turks during WW1, they passed the Balfour Declaration for the partition of Palestine into both a Jewish nation and an Arab nation.
After the League of Nations assigned Great Britain this mandate, the Jews immigrated in large numbers, particularly during the late 1930s as persecution against them escalated in Europe and Russia. With the infamous Holocaust, Jews fled for their lives into Palestine. After WW2 ended, Britain gave up the mandate and the Jews were going it alone. On May 14, 1948, the British pulled out and Ben Gurion and the Jews declared the formation of the State of Israel according to the Partition Plan as put forward by the League of Nations.
This plan was rejected outright by the Arabs in Palestine. They were not willing to accept a Jewish nation, a stance they continue to this day. The newborn nation of Israel had immediate warfare on their hands, as they were attacked by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Greatly outnumbered, the Israelis repelled the invaders and defended their territory. It is my belief that miracles saved the day for the Jews. The United Nations helped obtain a ‘ceasefire’ but violence went on for years along all the borders.
More Jews immigrated to this new homeland and a national sense of identity began to form. But troubles with neighbors continued. Egypt launched skirmishes over the border, the Suez crisis came and went, Israel captured the Sinai (originally part of ancient Israel) as a buffer zone, and the UN stepped in with peacekeepers at Suez. In June of 1967 the surrounding Arab nations, led by Egypt, attacked Israel with intentions of invasion. In one of history’s most remarkable military efforts, the Jewish nation defeated and destroyed the armed forces of the same five countries which had attacked them in 1948. The war lasted only six days but gave Israel control of Palestine and the Sinai desert. In spite of this, during succeeding years, Egypt, Jordan and Syria continued to attack the border areas. In 1973, Syrian and Egyptian armies were simultaneously repelled. This led to the oil embargo by Arab countries.
Over the next thirty years many attempts were made to force Israel to cede back the captured lands. Peace treaties were made with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994. But Israel was always to suffer incursions from every side at the hands of the Arabs. Various groups opposed to the state of Israel continued to launch strikes against the Jewish homeland. In the last decade of the twentieth century the violence got ugly as Palestinians escalated their internal warfare against the Israelis. With the Muslim intifadas (armed uprisings) of this generation, Israel appeared to be on the brink of civil war. The main complaint from the Palestinians is their claim to a homeland of their own and the withdrawal of the Jews from ‘their’ territories.
But the claims of the Arab Palestinians needs a closer look to decipher the discrepancies in their claims. The media and the press of the world at large has painted the Palestinians as being the victims of invasion and oppression. Their land, Palestine, was stolen by the Jews and they have been bullied around ever since. Herein resides a great lie. It is typical of the Islamic world to usurp another person’s truth and make it their own; to steal another religion, warp it, and call it God’s testimony; to claim divine ordination for the Muslim world and demonize everything else. Remember, the Jews never surrendered Palestine to anyone, they never claimed nationhood from any other part of the world, and they certainly never invaded Palestine in force and stole land. Throughout history, in fact, the Jews never made war against another nation. Palestine was a desert land, undeveloped and unwanted by most other people when the Jews began to return en mass in the 1800s. Arab landowners willing sold the Jews what properties they didn’t want, and the Jews made it prosper. Arab villagers, in fact, got along well with their Jewish neighbors for the most part. But Islam always carries its fanatical elements everywhere it goes. Their ‘holy’ book teaches hatred for the Jew. It is very illuminating to read some independent histories of these two races. It is interesting to note that the Jews, descended from Abraham through Jacob, were promised the land of Palestine as an inheritance forever. It is further interesting to note that the Muslims, descended from Abraham as well through Ishmael, were promised to be made a great nation of peoples as well, but not in Palestine. Now consider that the Jews only had one nation, the Muslims had many.
The animosity of the Palestinians for the Israelis is beyond reasoning. It seems to be borne out from the very inner make-up of both the Muslim and the Jew. The character of each of these peoples seems to be at complete opposites. There is perhaps no other culture on earth that reveres the individuality and the preciousness of a human life as that of the Jewish culture. For them, each life is a unique universe. Every person is an image of the Creator. Jewish literature, philosophy, legend and myth involves the expression of the singular ultimate worth of each individual. Their history is replete with this. On the other hand, there is perhaps no other culture on earth that despises the individuality and the preciousness of a human life as that of the Muslim. For them, the ‘God’ Allah demands total submission, and one of the creeds of Islam is to give your life for Allah. This is a culture that worships death over life, war over cooperation, martyrdom for paradise over the goodness God ordains for this world. How can this be? These are two nations from the same man, Abraham. Both were offered blessings from the same God, yet while the Jew has the national emblem of light in their candelabra of seven candles (God’s number of perfection), the Moslem has the sword as a national emblem. Peace versus war, the worship of living versus the worship of agression.
There are always exceptions in every case, and there are superb examples of honor, decency, kindness, and compassion in every culture. But in the current picture of Israel versus the Palestinians there seems to be a clash of the most diametrically opposed cultures anywhere on earth. One culture seems capable only of civilization, the other only of conflict. At this point, I would like to offer, if I may, a generalized argument for what is happening here: the Palestinian conflict in Israel is no mere land battle. It is also not a simple gunfight over where to draw borders. What Palestine is giving us is an ideological war between two very real but different ideologies. To be more precise, it is the determined act of aggression by fundamental Islam against nationalistic Jewry. U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay probably put it best, in August 2004, when he said “My friends, there is no Palestinian-Israeli conflict. There is only the global war on terrorism.” And this war is in fact worldwide, a WW3 if you wish to call it that. It is just showing us its most intense face in Palestine.
Yet the world press is trying to paint this as a dual struggle of two equally deserving peoples. Let’s look at a few more facts just to see who is deserving of what. First the Israeli factor. When that first Zionist conference concluded in 1897, the world was put on notice that Jews everywhere wanted an offer of a homeland, anywhere, for their security. No offers were forthcoming. It was a familiar pattern, of course. Almost no nation offered refuge for them from the horrors of anti-Semitism. When they were abandoned in 1945 in Palestine, surrounded on all sides by hostile Arabs, the Jews fought for and obtained their own sanctity. In their declaration of independence, they proclaimed that they would not interfere or impose on any peoples already living in Palestine, and they would welcome non-Jews as citizens, but they would have their own nation back again. World opinion ruled against them. Military supremacy ruled against them. Arab belligerence ruled against them. Even Jews elsewhere were opposed to them. But God, apparently, smiled upon their dream.
The modern history of Israel tells of miracles happening in the ranks of the Jewish defense forces. Nothing else can explain the incredible success of the formation of the nation in 1948. It was a Biblical prophecy literally fulfilled, right out of the book of Ezekiel. But there are important touches to this story. Witnesses tell of Arab neighbors running up to Jewish soldiers and freedom fighters and begging for protection from their fellow Arab aggressors during the various wars that Israel fought with surrounding nations. Witnesses tell of Israeli soldiers weeping over the destruction of Arab property and the deaths of Arab inhabitants. Arab Palestinians confess of friendships with Jews that lasted through conflicts. With every offer of a land settlement the Arab authorities declined. UN resolutions piled up against Israel for non-cooperation with the Palestinians. It simply showed the decadence of a corrupt United Nations organization, riddled with anti-Semite nationalities and swayed by a biased world press.
Now for the Palestinian factor. By and large, the protesting Palestinians are Muslims. This is important because it explains the belligerence and violence which the Palestinians wage against Israel, for these are Muslims who refuse to accept a Jewish state. They are represented, militarily, by various factions of the Arab League and the Muslim Brotherhood. They get sympathy from, support by, and encouragement in the Arab world. Those same nations that continuously attacked the nation of Israel since 1948 are the nations that bankroll the Palestinians, with additional funding from other Arab and non-Arab countries, including the USA, Britain and France, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian, formed the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1984, supposedly to give a political voice to ‘his’ oppressed people. He gave them more oppression than the Israelis ever did. Shaykh Ahmed Yassin founded Hamas in 1987 as a social agency but it warped into the organization behind most of the suicide bombings of the past decade. Now one of its officials has been elected, and apparently accepted internationally, as the Palestinian president. Murder brigades and terrorist camps prevail, disguised as divisions of the Palestinian Authority. Imams preach the destruction of the Israeli state, and that very destruction is an article of the Hamas constitution. Palestinian schools teach the inferiority of the Jew to the Muslim, and this is straight from the Koran. No Jew has been known to strap on a bomb and detonate it amongst Palestinians, yet Palestinian youths seek ‘paradise’ regularly this way. Israel has Arabs in their parliament, employs thousands of Palestinians in industries the Israelis have developed, and conceded settlement after settlement in negotiations. But the Palestinian Authority has no Jews in their positions. Billions of dollars have been poured into Palestinian coffers but these people are destitute. Why? Rumors circulate about the racism and the apardheid of the Israeli system against the Palestinian system. But consider: Israel allows Arab women to vote, recognizes Arabic as an official language, offers full citizenship to all comers, does not require Arabs to serve in their army. Israel practices the writs of habeas corpus, Palestinians don’t; the economies of all Arab areas improved under Israel control; Israel allows freedom of religion, unlike all nations under Islam; Jewish textbooks recognize the contributions of Arabs and Muslims to the improvements of history, while Palestinian schoolbooks omit Jewish contributions altgether, and in fact denigrate the Jew everywhere. The list goes on and on. Mythological demonization of the Jew by the Palestinians while the state of Israel offers the best loving standard a Muslim can have anywhere. But we should not wonder. Consider also that it was prophesized in the Hebrew Bible that the descendents of Ishmael would be like wild men and at war with even their own brothers.
To quote a report by Mitchell G. Bard (Human Rights in Israel and the Territories), “Despite all their criticism, when asked what governments they admire most, more than 80 percent of Palestinians consistently choose Israel because they can see up close the thriving democracy in Israel, and the rights the Arab citizens enjoy there. By contrast, Palestinians place Arab regimes far down the list, and their own Palestinian Authority at the bottom with only 20 percent saying they admire the corrupt Arafat regime in 2003.” Accusations of religious persecution against Christians and Moslems by the Jews of Israel are unfounded. There is no state religion in Israel, unlike that which exists in Arab nations under Islam. Under the fair rule of law in Israel, both Moslems and Christians have lived better and grown in population; under the rule of Islam, Christianity and Judaism are forbidden, and even in the jurisdictions of the Palestinian Authority, Christians and Jews have declined drastically. Thousands of Palestinians have recently confessed that they would rather live under Israel authority than that of the Palestinian Authority. As late as 2006, various reports from the countryside tell of non-Jews who fought for the right to be on the inside of the defense wall that the Israelis built across the land. Palestinian politicians and clerics (is there any difference between them?) speak out of both sides of the mouth. Yasser Arafat publicly promised peace with the Oslo Accords and other peace offers, and was (hypocritically) given a Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘efforts’. But intercepted messages by him indicate his duplicity and his lies. He wanted Israel pushed into the sea forever. Faisal Husseini, a Palestinian Authority minister in charge of Jerusalem, publicly declared a bilateral arrangement for Arabs and Jews to share the city as a capital. Then he went on to declare to an Arab newspaper in Egypt (el Arav, June 24, 2000) that “the Oslo agreements were a Trojan Horse ….the strategic goal is to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea.” Husseini went on to say that any peace processes for the Palestinians were “only ‘temporary’ and ‘gradual’ steps. We are setting an ambush for the Israelis and cheating them.” The current Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas backs this claim. It is the typical Palestinian hand of ongoing deceit.
Out in the field, even small mercies cannot be found. Palestinian prisoners are summarily executed; Palestinians have testified that Israeli jails are far more humane. A Palestinian doctor said that Israeli hospitals continued to treat injured Palestinians alongside Jews, after every suicide bombing. In the bulldozing of Jenin in 2004 by the Israelis, reports went out that around 500 Palestinians were massacred. This was typical propaganda, as there were only a few casualties, most of whom were terrorists fighting back. And Jenin proved to be a terrorist cesspool. Yet Israeli police set up a hospital under enemy fire to treat the enemy. In any confrontation, Israeli police and soldiers first use tear gas, then rubber bullets, then real bullets, and they aim at only militant targets. Palestinian terrorists (“insurgents) target shopping malls, busses, bar mitzvahs, and tourist resorts, and aim specifically at civilian targets. So there is the choice: the comparative decency of humane soldiering versus the blessed glory of Allah’s warriors. Take your pick, but look a little bit further: the Al-Aqsa Brigade murders citizens all over Israel without any scruples. Why? Because they hate Jews and want to destroy the Jewish nation, and they are incited to do that by the chief preachers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, sermonizers of hate such as Yusuf Abu Sneineh, and leaders such as Rashid Abu Shbak, a PA security official who declared Israel will be Muslim from “the river to the sea.” It begs the question: when have you heard about Jews routinely donning bombs and murdering Palestinian civilians in areas the Israelis have already ceded authority to the PA for? And while Israeli schoolbooks show these areas as being under Palestinians supervision, Palestinian schoolbooks do not show Israel on their maps at all, and their texts continue to demonize the Jew, in spite of UN protests. This hatred is not confined to this country alone. In England, at The London Muslim Centre, preacher Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais has been heard to proclaim that Jews are “scum of the earth” and “monkeys and pigs” who should be “annihilated.” Other enemies of Islam, he says, are “worshippers of the cross” and “idol-worshipping Hindus” who should be fought. I am quoting a report by journalist Steven Stalinsky here. Al-Sudais is appointed and supported by the government of Saudi Arabia. One further point about total hypocrisy: the world of Islam declares (in the name of Allah, of course) as valid and proper any claim for territory gained in war or armed combat, yet it denies the same claim to Israel which gained its territory back from occupiers in armed battle. Bear in mind also that all of Islam’s wars were invasive, and all of Israel’s wars were defensive.
What is to be made of this lopsided world of the Israeli and the Palestinian? If the political leaders, the teachers, the imams (Moslem ‘holy’ men), the professionals and the propagandists of the Palestinian camp are literally bringing up this generation in a culture of hate toward the Jew and the Christian, what can be expected of them? Today, the situation in Palestine represents an inversion of everything morally correct. There seems to be a complete loss of innocence. In fact when I hear about the death of ‘innocent’ Palestinian children, at the receiving end of allegedly uncaring Jewish defense forces out to protect their own victimized citizens, I can only shake my head in disbelief. A graphic example of distorted reality was given to the world on September 11, 2001. While watching the aftermath of the New York City bombings, I saw video footage of hundreds of Palestinian children shaking jubilant fists at the sky in praise of the slaughter. It was at that point that I personally stopped believing in the idea of ‘innocent Palestinian children’, or the innocence of children anywhere. They may be children but innocent they are not. It is no wonder that in ancient Israel God instructed King David to wipe out the enemy camps including women and children. God knows beforehand who is evil and unredeemable. I do not advocate that these people are evil and deserving of destruction, but they are not innocent. War, in fact, rarely has innocent victims. Civilians support the institutions that promote war in their areas, or else they overthrow them. It is a reality of history. In that other reality of Palestine and in that world of Islam, children now line up for suicide missions. A journalist once said it was “the ultimate child abuse”. The Bible prophesized many centuries ago that this sort of jihad warfare would happen, especially by non-Jews trying to push the Jews out of the Holy Land. There would come a day, it said, that people would kill in the name of God, believing they were doing Him a service when in fact they were killing true believers (see John 16:2).
So it is that Israel/democracy fights against Palestine/slavery. If it sounds like there is too much religious rhetoric in this, keep in mind that it is precisely such arguments and rhetoric which the Palestinians use every day in making their accusations and naming their gripes. I once had the question put to me: “What was done to make the Arab Muslim world so mad at the world?” The answer is simple: hatred of western values. We are still the “infidels” in Muhammad’s gun sights. But if the Jew and the Christian, according to the Koran, are mere infidels and godless Crusaders, then I reserve the right to say that the Palestinians, according to my Bible and my conscience, are thugs on the other side of WW3. The sad and awful exceptions to it all are the unnecessary casualties in both camps. Morality can never be forwarded by terrorist acts, as the Palestinians believe (“we are right, you are wrong”) because there is no morality in violent terrorism. A code of behavior that targets neutral non-combatants to press a political or social agenda is a code of insanity, yet that is what the Palestinian state pursues with vigor. If my state is so oppressive to them, for what reason should I abdicate it and join their cause if the consequence of refusing is my own murder? In short, why should I believe the Palestinians would offer me a better life? There are, and always were, pockets of cooperation all over the Middle East where Jew and Muslim live peaceably side by side. But this is dwarfed by the ongoing warfare and the lack of bilateral peacemaking, yet it is only the Judeo-Christian reality that has ever recognized that factor, because while the Koran is not merciful to non-Muslims, the Bible is merciful to non-Christians. The Bible says “blessed are the peacemakers”; where does the Koran teach that lesson, or where does the world of Islam practice it?
And in spite of all the peace offers or arrangements from the world of men, and above and beyond any cry for a homeland for the Palestinians in Israel, the God of that same Bible promised that the Jews would have this land in perpetuity. And that is the ‘forever’ promise of peace that no man, Muslim, Jew, or Christian can ever negate. He is the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He required of the ancient Hebrew that strangers should come and live among them in peace and security, and He commands it of Christian, Jew and everyone else still. God blesses the peacemaker but first it must be understood where true peace really comes from. His promises are promises that will come to pass. What God gave Israel, He will see that Israel keeps. Those who honor God’s plan will in turn be honored, and to my way of thinking, that also includes the Palestinians.
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Some further stuff:
True or not, It is quite clever.
TO WHOM DOES THE LAND OF ISRAEL BELONG??
An Israeli Sense of Humor at United Nations set the record straight.
An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.
A representative from Israel began:
‘Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses.
When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, “What a good opportunity to have a bath!”
Moses removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water.
When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished.
A Palestinian had stolen them!
The Palestinian representative at the UN jumped up furiously and shouted, “What are you talking about? The Palestinians weren’t there then.”
The Israeli representative smiled and said:
“And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.”
A few years ago, the terrorist organization Hamas, sent a gift to the President of Israel in an elaborate box with a note.
After having the box checked for safety reasons, the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, opened the box and saw that
the content was feces ( shit, merde).
He opened the note which said “For you and the proud people of Israel.”
Being a wise and experienced person, he decided to reciprocate, sending Hamas a very pretty package and a note.
The leaders of Hamas were very surprised to receive the parcel and opened it very carefully suspecting that it might contain a bomb.
But to their surprise they saw that it contained a tiny computer “chip.
The chip was rechargeable with solar energy, had a 1800 Terabyte memory and could output a 3D hologram display capable of functioning in any type of cellular phone, tablet or laptop. It was one of the world’s most advanced technologies. Invented and produced in Israel.
The accompanying note to the Hamas leaders stated very courteously:
” Every leader gives the best his people can produce”