The 1948 Israeli War of Independence was between the neighboring Arab countries and the newly formed state of Israel. The Arab countries did not send troops to help the people that are today known as "Palestinians" but rather they sent troops to drive the Jews into the sea. Most of the "Palestinian Arabs" fled to avoid the fighting. Remember, in 1948 they were not referred to as "Palestinians". This name was was created by the Soviet disinformation masters in 1964 when they created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The term "Palestinian People" as a description of Arabs in Palestine appeared for the first time in the preamble of the 1964 PLO Charter, drafted in Moscow. The Charter was affirmed by the first 422 members of the Palestinian National Council, handpicked by the KGB. This term was formally used by newspapers around the world after 1967.
United Nations Resolution 181 recommended a partition of the territory from the British Mandate for Palestine into two states - one for Jews and one for Palestinian Arabs. But the rejection of partition by the Arabs left in place as the legally operative Mandate for Palestine, the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. All of the Arab countries objected to the creation of the Jewish state and fought a war against its creation. This was Israel's War of Independence in 1948. Despite their superior numbers, the Arab countries lost the war and the Palestinian state never materialized because of this loss. In the war that was waged, the territory allotted to be the Palestinian state by the UN partition resolution was divided between Israel and Jordan. The "Palestinian Arabs" were rejected by every single Arab country, with the exception of the small percentage that ended up in refugee camps in Jordan where they remain to this day.
To understand the truth of modern day Israel, you must first have a clear understanding of the history of the region.
Judea was an autonomous state in the Persian Empire following the return from Babylonian exile thanks to Cyrus, King of Persia. Following the death of Alexander the Great who had captured the Persian Empire, it became part of two Hellenistic.
Following the Maccabean revolt, Judea became an independent state. Following the death of King Herod, the Romans seized it and it then became a Roman province. Judea was briefly independent during the first revolt against the Romans until it was finally destroyed when the Romans put down the revolt and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70.
Judah lost its independence to Rome in the year 70 and became again a colony. In the year 135, the Romans gave the country the name "Palaestina". The name Palaestina, which became Palestine in English, is derived from Herodotus, who used the term Palaistine Syria to refer to the entire southern part of Syria, meaning "Philistine Syria." This was to add insult to injury against the Jewish people. The intent was to remove any memory of a Jewish presence. The name was kept by the next possessors, the Byzantine Empire, and then by the conquering Arabs and their successors, the conquering Turks. Note that we have a succession of different nationalities, none of whom thought of themselves as Palestinians. They were the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, or Turks.
About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked Jerusalem in support of King Herod. Judea had become a client state of Rome. During the seventh century (A.D. 600's), Muslim Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine. The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule in Palestine lasted less than 30 years.
During the 7th century, Muslims invaded and the Crusaders from Europe ruled for a time until they were driven out. The Crusaders left Palestine for good when the Muslims captured Acre in 1291. During the post-crusade period, crusaders often raided the coast of Palestine. To deny the Crusaders gains from these raids, the Muslims pulled their people back from the coasts and destroyed coastal towns and farms. This depopulated and impoverished the coast of Palestine for hundreds of years.
In the mid-1200's, Mamelukes, originally soldier-slaves of the Arabs based in Egypt, established an empire that in time included the area of Palestine that lasted until the Ottoman Empire defeated the Mamelukes in 1517, and Palestine became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic inquisition to settle in the Turkish empire, including several cities in Palestine. The Ottoman Empire ruled until the British took control of the area in 1917.
In 1922, the British declared that the boundary of Palestine would be limited to the area west of the river. The area east of the river, called Transjordan, which is now the country of Jordan, was made a separate British mandate and eventually given independence. The British maintained control until 1948.
There was always a Jewish population in the region, most of them resided in the religious communities in Jerusalem, Tz'fat, Tiberius, and Hebron. With Jewish immigration suddenly on the rise from the 1880's on, the economy of this very under populated and very poor country began to rise dramatically, attracting a parallel stream of Arabs from the surrounding countries who came in looking for jobs. At the same time, Arab/Muslim nationalism and extremism began to rise, spurred by the influx of what they considered "Infidel Jews" and the breakup of the Turkish Empire followed by the occupation by European countries of much of the Middle East.
From this time through the War of Independence in 1947-49, there were local Arab leaders who called for an independent Palestine (Arab state) in the entire country with not a single inch for a Jewish state. During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the local Arab armies and leaders identified with Syria, Jordan, and Egypt and thought of themselves as such. At the end of the war, the Arab allotted land was divided between Israel, Egypt (Gaza), and Jordan. The Egyptians refused to let the Gazans become independent or Egyptian citizens. Eventually, the Jordanians did allow some refugees become citizens, but not all. The Arab states are content to let their brother Arabs remain in those refugee camps that are really crowded and squalid towns and live like that since the UN supported them. Because of this, they make a great political tool used to invoke sympathy, especially in regard to the European countries. That is crass, unfeeling politics, but these same people do not hesitate to strap bombs to their young men and women.
Another reason why the Palestinian Arabs fled is that they refused to live in a Jewish dominated state. Ironically, had they accepted the partition and those in Israel not fled, Israel would have had a huge and growing Arab population and indefensible borders.
A Few Forgotten Facts
1. Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution, and slaughter.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were intentionally not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
The Modern Day Conflict
From the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, "Palestinian Arabs" have been sacrificed as pawns by all other Arab countries as they are to this day. No other Arab country has ever offered to accept any of these people into their own countries even though they are well able to do so. To the Arab countries and the rest of the anti-Semitic world, the "Palestinian Arabs" are useful only as a tool to exterminate Israel and the rest of the Jews in the Middle East. Otherwise, their welfare is of no concern to the rest of the Arab world.
What about the ingrained notion that the Palestinians are fighting for their ancient homeland annexed by the Jews? The truth about this matter has been so deliberately obscured that even to raise the issue seems strange to many people.
In the 1967 war, also known as the Six Day War, did Israel annex territory from a Palestinian nation? No, Israel did not take a single inch of territory from Palestine. That is because there is not, nor has there ever been, a Palestinian nation. Israel captured the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem from Jordan's King Hussein and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, after they declared war against the Jewish State. It was only following the Six-day War in 1967 that Arab refugees living in these territories began identifying themselves as the "Palestinian People" because the global media labeled them as such. One cannot help but wonder why these Palestinians suddenly discovered a national identity after Israel won the war, but not during the "Jordanian Occupation" or the "Egyptian Occupation"?
There Was Never A Country Called Palestine
If you consider Palestine to be a "Sovereign" and "Independent" country that goes back through most of recorded history as many would have you to believe, then a few questions need to be answered:
When was it founded and by whom?
What were its borders?
What was its capital?
Who was the President?
What was its form of government?
What were its major cities?
What constituted the basis of its economy?
Who was the Palestinian leader before Yasser Arafat?
Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
What was the language of the country of Palestine?
What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
What was the name of its currency and what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, or Japanese yen on any particular date?
And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
If these so-called "Palestinians" are anything but a generic collection of Arabs from all over the rest of the Arab world and if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, then why did they never try to become an independent and sovereign nation until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War in 1967?
The Ten Commandments of Arab Lies
The "Palestinian People" have an historic connection to the land.
This is very interesting since there is no such thing as a "Palestinian People". When the Romans changed the name of Israel to Palestine, the people living there at the time were Jews, not Arabs. If there had been a "Palestinian People", which there never was, they would have been Jews.
The Palestinian People have been in the land from time immemorial.
For centuries pre-Israel Palestine was a forgotten, desolate wasteland inhabited by a remnant of Jews, along with some Christians and wandering Bedouins who certainly had no thought of a national identity of any kind.
There were no Jews in Palestine until Israel became a state in 1948.
The Romans officially banished the Jews from Israel (Palestine) in 135 CE. However, historical records show there was always a Jewish presence in the land. While many were scattered, other Jews simply moved out of harm's way until a less hostile power ruled the land. Jews were returning to what is now Israel well before 1948. Many left Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
Arabs and Jews lived in harmony before Israel became a state.
Throughout the centuries, Jews as well as Christians, living under Islamic rule suffered persecution and humiliation, the intensity of which was determined by the character of a particular Moslem ruler. As second-class citizens, there was never a "good time" for non-Muslims living under Islamic rule. Because of the way that most Islamic countries look down on non-Muslims, they are always considered second-class citizens and less than equal. Arabs have rarely lived in harmony with anyone if they were the majority.
The returning Jews displaced the Palestinian Arabs
The ancestors of most of the present-day Arab population migrated to the land after Jewish pioneers began to reclaim the land. They came from many different countries and were not original inhabitants of the land.
The Jews stole Arab land
Jews returning to the land settled on unclaimed, unoccupied land or bought land from absentee Arab landowners at outrageously high prices. This is a matter of record.
The Jews forced Arabs to flee Palestine
When Israel was declared a state in 1948, leaders from the surrounding Arab countries declared war on Israel and instructed the Arab civilians living in the land to flee until the Jews were annihilated. Israeli leaders, to no avail, urged the Arabs to stay. Property that they owned was abandoned.
The Jews caused the Arab refugee problem
If Arab countries would assimilate and care for the "Palestinian" refugees, as Israel did for their Jewish refugees, there would be no refugee problem. Instead they use the refugees as political pawns in their struggle against Israel. No Arab country that wants "Palestinian Arabs" in their country as they would rather use the "Palestinian Arabs" as pawns rather than assimilate them into their populations and bring peace to the Middle East.
Israel is the aggressor against defenseless Palestinians
In its brief history, Israel has had one war after another and each time they are blamed as the aggressor. The Arabs do not recognize the right of Israel to exist and are in a constant state of hostility against Israel. Their aim is to destroy Israel.
Jerusalem is holy to Muslims
While Jerusalem is mentioned over eight hundred times in the Bible, it is not mentioned one time in the Koran. Muslims have had little or no interest in Jerusalem until the Jewish presence in modern times.
THE JEWISH SITUATION
A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still do not get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Don't thank me. I am a giver. Here we go:
The Palestinians want their own country. There is just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It is a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan", "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza belonged to Egypt and there were no "Palestinians" then. The West Bank belonged to Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians", weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation." So for the sake of honesty, let us not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they are being taped. Instead, call them what they are: "Other Arabs From The Same General Area Who Are In Deep Denial About Never Being Able To Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that is a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters."
Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they do not. They could have had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living. That is no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course - that is where the real fun is - but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it - for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they are the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you have ever been around God's Earth, you know that is really saying something. It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mideast. Unless I am missing something, the Arabs have not given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.
Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals. Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.
My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshalling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab state into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.
Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that with vital operations coming up against Iraq and others, it is in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that cannot be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of supermodels that have just had their drugs taken away. However, in any big-picture strategy, there is always a danger of losing moral weight. We have already lost some. After September 11th our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week and then every day, start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint. If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan. (Hey, wait a minute, that is actually not such a bad idea... uh, that is, what a horrible thought, yeah, horrible.)
On a final note, in all of the writing and reporting on Israel, there is one undisputed fact that is consistently forgotten and ignored. That fact is that Israel is the only nation in the Middle East who has ever properly protected sites holy to each religion and the rights of all to worship in Jerusalem and all of Israel. No Islamic nation can come close to making that claim.