Eretz Yisrael

After centuries of struggling for autonomy, in 1948 Israel finally became a nation again and the Jews were given a home. The area in the Middle East that ran from Egypt to Iraq and from Lebanon to Yemen had been ruled until World War I by the Ottoman Empire. Upon their defeat in the first great war, the League of Nations had to help rebuild the region. It was largely Arab Muslim, but the area that had once been Israel was also still home to a large number of Jews–and during World War II and Sho’ah, hundreds of thousands immigrated to the area. The League of Nations sought to divide the territory and set up smaller governments to keep everything from dissolving into brutal tribal warfare, and creation of a Jewish state had long been promised.

It was not without vehement detractors. All Arabs at the time had one common goal: to prevent the creation of a Jewish state. It didn’t matter what the LoN did or said, there was nothing that could possibly placate the Arabs into accepting giving one inch of land to the Jews for any reason. It wasn’t about being fair. It was purely religious. The Muslims believed that all infidels were beneath them, but the Jews were the lowest of the low. Middle ground was never an option.

Despite the violent refusal to accept such a move, Israel declared her independence officially on May 14, 1948. That same day, her surrounding neighbors–Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan–all attacked with military backing from Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. At first, all the small army of the fledgling nation could do was hold the line to stop Arab soldiers from destroying Jewish settlements in Israel. It didn’t stop Jordanian troops from violently expelling every Jew in Jerusalem from the Old City. In some cases, settlers using little more than light arms and museum cannons fixed to fire again headed off Syrian troops that overwhelmingly outnumbered them.

The first truce, made by the United Nations in June 1948, was broken less than a month later by Egyptian troops. The second truce was broken upon the assassination of the UN mediator. During all of this, most of the Arabs still living in Israel left of their own accord; they were never forced out. Those remaining were offered citizenship in Israel, an unconditional offer that did not come with any religious requirements and would have afforded these Arabs all of the rights and benefits of any other citizen, Jew or Muslim.

The problem was not that the Arabs were being forced out (as this claim, commonly made today, is patently untrue). It was, and still is, that they did not wish to give anything to the Jews. This attitude is still reflected today in the chants heard at pro-Palestinian demonstrations here in the United States:

Itbach al Yahud (slaughter the Jews)
Falastin balad’na w’al Yahud kilabna (Palestine is our country and the Jews are our dogs)
Baruh, badam, nafdeek ya Falastin (with our soul, with our blood, we will cleanse you Palesine)
Al mawt al Yahud (death to the Jews)
Khaybar, Khaybar al Yahud, jaish-Muhammad saya’ud (remember Khaybar oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return)

And they say the Jews are the ones committing ethnic atrocities. We even have a UN Human Rights Councilmember today, Richard Falk, comparing the Israelis to Nazis. That’s funny, considering the history. Hamas has this really bad habit of deliberately targeting civilians. Israel…well, Israel has begun to actually call the homes of the Hamas leaders and give them warning before they bomb them. They’ve also dropped leaflets to warn civilians of what’s coming. I hate to tell you this, but Hamas is deliberately living and hiding among the innocent to force civilian casualties. They’re willing to do anything, go to any length, to bring Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) down. Even if that means discrediting them with lies and distortions so the rest of the world chooses the wrong side. The Arabs wouldn’t really care if the land were uninhabitable as long as the Jews weren’t allowed to have it.

I guess the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes was right. Nothing really changes.


9 thoughts on “Eretz Yisrael

  1. Why is the immediate obvious solution being ignored?

    This current state of affairs started over crude (yet deadly) rockets being shot into Israel. This lead to the blockade. But the blockade would have ended immediately if the rocket fire stopped. So easy, so simple, even a 5th grader can figure that out.

    But the rockets continue to launch and now we have a ground invasion.

    Hamas wants to have it both ways; rocket attacks without retaliation. When will someone with the political will sit Hamas down and tell Hamas leaders they can’t have it both ways?

    On a side note to all of this, I am sick of the good press Hamas is getting. Humanitarian crisis? Gee? Who caused that? It wasn’t caused by the Israelis. That I do know.

  2. Please please please brush up on your Middle Eastern History. Your presenting a very biased opinion, and I understand the background from which it was written, but either way please abstain from slanting the information this much.

    Lets begin with demographics. From 1914 (WWI) to 1947 (Independence). These figures come from Sergio DellaPergola in “Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications”:

    Year : Pop Jews : Pop Christians : Pop Muslims

    1914 : 94,000 : 70,000 : 525,000
    1922 : 84,000 : 71,000 : 589,000
    1931 : 175,000 : 89,000 : 760,000
    1947 : 630,000 : 143,000 : 1,181,000

    Other historians, like Justin McCarthy, placed the 1914 population as having 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews.

    Of the diaspora of 2.6 million Jews from Nazi Germany, only 8.5 % of them decided to go Palestine. The majority of them (75.2%) went to the USSR. In spite of all of the benefits the Labor Party in Palestine was offering, free travel and premium land paid for by the Jewish Agency from the Jewish National Fund, German Jews still chose to largely immigrate to other countries. So I do not believe you can clearly argue that Jews were struggling for autonomy because it is not apparent in demographic shifts, and the Political Zionism is a modern idea (the 1880’s).

    So to reiterate: The nationalistic goal to found a secular home in Palestine is not centuries old and not all Jews, or even the majority, at this time supported the idea of living there personally.

    Secondly, the lands southwest of the Mediterranean Sea (modern day Israel and Jordan) were under the authority and sovereignty of Britain, under the name of British Mandate of Palestine. So (A) It was not the “League of Nations” partitioning the lands, it was the superpowers Britain and France taking and deciding the larger segments of Ottoman lands. (B) When it was time for other foreign powers to intervene, it was the United Nations, not the League of Nations (as it was replaced following WWII), who drafted the partition plan of the dual states of Israel and Palestine… after Britain could no longer contain the violence in the region by itself.

    Now combine those last two arguments together and try and understand what the Arabs were going through. The land had been home to the Palestinians for countless of generations (not including biblical times aka 1900 years ago), and all of a sudden there is an influx of Jews coming out of wartorn Europe. They outnumber Jews 5-1, yet outside powers (Britain, or specifically, a single document by Lord Barfour, a secretary, promising British support) are offering their ancestral homes to the Jewish refugees. Then offered a “peace” settlement which took half of the lands away.

    To help you understand, I will give you a more personal metaphor. You live in a house which has been passed down through the generations. Then there is a fire down the street, and now those people are homeless. Turns out that it was their ancestors who built your home to begin with, 1900 years ago. So they decide to move in.

    – They are richer than you (the Yishuv, Israeli Jews, had a higher per capita earning than Palestinian farmers and grazers)
    – Louder than you (Jews had established lobbyists working in Western countries, Palestinians did not)
    – Stronger than you (the Haganah, Yishuv military, were better equipped and had help from British forces) used
    – Your family of 30 begins to get crowded out as everyday, what had started out with just 5 people, increases, as more relatives come (demographic shift and open immigration policies)
    – They take the majority of your belongings (Jews misappropriated the water 7 to 1 in favor of the Jews, in the Gaza Strip)
    – Laugh at your deed (Palestinian held traditional and valid use rights over the lands they worked, aka they owned it through labor rights, and ownership and use rights constituted a lein on the land. However, British Mandate law required title deeds for exclusive rights, and those were bought from a minority >1% who owned a majority of the land)
    – And wont let you move the furniture to what you want (Labor Zionists refused to hire Palestinians, so not only were they kicked out of the land they grew their food for, they couldn’t even find work in the urban sector)

    So try and approach that with a level-head, and you might begin to see why the Palestinians did not want to have peace with these intruders. Imagine that after all of this, these strangers said they would let you live with them, but you get half of your house. (And the second Peel treaty of 1937 would have only been accepted if the proposed state of Israel was increased by 20%. So the Higher Arab Committee would have agreed to allowing Palestinians to occupy 40% of what they originally owned.

    Now for your assertion that “all the small army of the fledgling nation could do was hold the line to stop Arab soldiers from destroying Jewish settlements in Israel” is wrong because
    1 – The small army was actually very skilled, modern, and efficient.
    2 – The Arab attacks were not coordinated and were poorly organized
    3 – The Haganah fought, pushed back the Arabs, and actually gained territory because of it.

    So no, they weren’t this weak nation that you put them out to be. They were a stronger community, supported by a super power, that took advantage of rural farmers in the Middle East to find their new home. The other Arab nations confronted them after Israeli declared independence, as any other bordering nations states would do after it saw a bully picking on someone smaller than it.

    While we are allowed to have our own opinions about the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict and I support that, but please make informed arguments. There are many other things I could help clarify for you, but I felt that this was enough.

  3. Oh, Michael? You forgot that the Jews bought the land they lived on from other Muslim absentee landlords.

    The absentee landlords sold them the crappiest land (deserts, marshes), which the Jews then made bloom.

    Your analogy doesn’t hold up, because you forgot to mention that the neighbors whose house burned down BOUGHT your house to move into, and after selling, you refused to move.

    If the Muslim world were so damn interested in the Palestinian plight, they would have given up some of their MUCH BIGGER countries to allow the Palestinians more room. They didn’t, because they don’t care. They just want Palestinians to kill more Jews.

    Golda Meir was absolutely right – there will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews.

  4. We have to go back even further.

    Judaism was first, Christianity was second and very popular among all Europen countries because of its “liberal” offering. The concept of Christ dying for the sins made it a lot easier to live then following every pesky rule of the Old Testament as required by the Jews. That’s why all of Christ’s Jewish disciples became Christians after he was crucified.

    Then came Islam in 622 A.D. with the Prophet Mohammed. Just 8 years after its inception, Mohammed died. The Muslims started their own Crusades wars and began imposing taxes and consequences on those that would not convert.

    They then placed in the front of the Koran (still there today) that relations with Christians and Jews was forbidden.

    Then in 1100 A.D. the Muslims tried taking over the Holy Land. The Christians said “hell no!” and beat their asses.

    Today, many liberals portray the Crusades war as an evil Christian war where millions of poor Muslims were slaughtered when indeed it all could have been avoided if Muslims were not so determined to convert the entire world.

    This is one planet, one world. We seem to understand that in the case of global warming. But the fact is now there are more Christians on this Earth, as there have always been, than there are Jews or Muslims.

    But unlike Muslims, we are allowed to peacefully coincide with Jews because Jews don’t demand that we convert or die.

    Muslims now figure that if they can wipe out the Jews, the Christians won’t be far behind – especially with Hollywood backing them now.

    But it’s not going to happen.

  5. Michael, just becuase all the German Jews didn’t go to “Palestine” at that time doesn’t mean they didn’t want their own nation. It can easily and rightly be argued that many of them were just as afraid of the Arabs as they were of the Nazis, reflected in how they’ve been treated by the Arabs.

    And I beg to differ that the League of Nations wasn’t involved in the Palestinian Mandate. Britain and France may have headed the movement, but it was the League of Nations that started the whole thing. Yes, the UN finished the job, and I believe I pointed that out. It all started, however, with the LoN.

    That “metaphor” you offered? Go a little further back in history. Muhammad made the Jews dhimmis, then later the caliph Umar violently drove most of the Jews out of the region. AFW is correct in that the Jews did, in fact, buy a large portion of the property back, but they were only allowed to buy the worst portion of the land and they STILL managed to make the desert bloom where the Arabs had refused to work to improve it. I’ve brought that up before, too.

    Also, at first, Israel was not well-armed and yes, all they really could do was hold off the invaders. It took time and more immigrants coming to the region (such as the Jews that went to the USSR, by the way) for them to have the numbers to do more than simply hold the line. It was NOT, as you suggest, Arab farmers attacking Israel. They may have been poorly organized at times but they were heavily armed and had plenty of their own big-power backing.

  6. “Michael, just becuase all the German Jews didn’t go to “Palestine” at that time doesn’t mean they didn’t want their own nation. It can easily and rightly be argued that many of them were just as afraid of the Arabs as they were of the Nazis, reflected in how they’ve been treated by the Arabs.”

    A former boss of mine got out of Nazi Germany in 1938. He was 13 years old. His family fled to Argentina.

    In the early 1960’s life in Argentina was not easy for Jewish people due to government sanctioned anti-Semitism. My now fully grown boss had three choices:

    1. Emirgrate to Israel.
    2. Return to Germany.
    3. Emigrate to the U.S.

    The thought of going to Israel scared him more than staying in Argentina. Would Israel survive? That was his biggest concern.

    Going back to Germany to live among the people who slaughtered Jewish people? I think not.

    He and his wife decided to come to the U.S. I imagine plenty of Jewish immigrants came to the U.S. and many more wish they could have.

  7. Now THAT was intelligent. I’m absolutely floored with your wit and wisdom there.

    Oh, and I love your absolutely cowardly manner of refusing to identify yourself to the rest of the community here.

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