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Have Jews and Arabs always fought over Palestine?

Have Jews and Arabs always fought over Palestine?


July 18, 2006 – The following commentary is derived from excerpts that appeared in the June 11, 1948 edition of the U.S. News & World Report.  The article referenced, ABC’s of Jewish-Arab Struggle, is found on pages 23-24 of the magazine.  The piece was written in a question / answer format with a supplementary Timetable of Palestine Dispute. 


The opening paragraph of this the article was prophetic.  In it the U.S. News & World Report wrote:


Conflict between Arabs and Jews over tiny Palestine is turning world politics upside down.  A truce, even a lasting truce, is not a permanent peace.  There is more trouble ahead. 


Fifty-eight years have passed since Jews created their state within Palestine.  What benefit this has had for the rest of the world remains to be discovered.  One thing is absolutely certain though: the struggle in Palestine created by the desire of those that call themselves Jews to create their own state within Palestine has most certainly turned world politics upside down.


Please remember, this information was reported on June 11, 1948 - The U.S. News & World Report article continues:


To aid in understanding what is involved, these questions and answers are presented:


Who are the Palestinians?

There are 1,700,000 Moslem Arabs and 700,000 Jews and 140,000 Christians in Palestine today. 


Have Jews and Arabs always fought over Palestine?

No.  Before World War I, when there were about 600,000 Arabs and 60,000 Jews in the country, there was little conflict.  But as the Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in large numbers, Arab opposition increased.


Why do the Arabs object to Jewish immigration?

The Arabs feel that the Jews are trying to shoulder into Arab lands.  They fear that a Jewish state in Palestine will soon try to expand at the expense of neighboring Arab states.  Arab population of Palestine has more than doubled in 30 years, largely because of high birth rate, but the Jewish population, as a result of immigration, is about twelve times as large as it was 30 years ago. 


By all accounts, history proves that the fears of the Arabs were and remain justified.  The Jews have not only shouldered into Arab lands, but in many instances, the Arab land has been confiscated at gunpoint, with the owners and dwellers of the confiscated lands, displaced or murdered.  Why so many Americans shrug off this fact as unrelated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts of today is directly related to the fact that Americans seldom read, hear, or watch balanced reporting on the conflict.  If Americans do see news that implies that the Zionist state is acting inappropriately, it will only be reported as a brief snapshot rather than placed in its historical context. 


 The U.S News & World Report article continues:


Who supports Palestine?

American contributors and investors have put about $700,000,000 into Jewish settlements in Palestine since 1914.  Great Britain has spent about $400,000,000 in the country since the end of World War II, but most of Britain’s money went for upkeep of British troops in Palestine. 


How did Britain get into Palestine?

British troops took Palestine from Turkey during World War I.  Since then, Britain has held the country as trustee under a mandate for the League of Nations and, after World War II, for the United Nations.  At the start, Britain promised to permit the Jews to establish a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. 


What follows is some additional background on the Jewish “national home” in Palestine.[1]

In the 1890’s Theodor Herzel, a Jewish journalist living in Austria, advocated reestablishing a Jewish state in Palestine.  Herzel believed Zionism (the reuniting of Jewish people in Palestine) would match ‘a people without a land with a land without people.’  This quote from Herzel is disturbing because Palestine was not a ‘land without people’.  It had many people – Arab people, living in Palestine already. 


With the defeat of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914-1918), control of Palestine shifted from Muslim to Western powers.  In return for their help in the war Britain had promised autonomy to both Zionists and Arabs.  In a series of letters known as the Husein-McMahon Correspondence, the Arabs were promised the right to a new Arab nation in Palestine.  The promise to the Jews came in the form of the Balfour Declaration.  Issued by the British in 1917, it read:


His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. 


Just take a look at Gaza and the West Bank today.  The non-Jews that live in these areas; areas that are best described as the largest concentration camps existing in the world today; if looked at objectively, it is not difficult to understand that the Zionists never planned to honor the intent of the Balfour Declaration.  They used it to advance their ultimate agenda, which was and remains to maintain overwhelming military might in the region and shape the Middle East according to its desires with little regard for the people they displace or destroy along the way. 


The U.S News & World Report article continues:


Why are the British getting out?

Cost of policing the country is high and British manpower is needed by industry at home.  In addition, Britain’s Palestine policies have brought frequent criticism from America.


What is the “partition plan”?

The “partition plan” called for the division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.  Both Arabs and Jews rejected the idea in 1937. 


This is a clear indication that neither side of the Arab-Jewish Conflict ever intended to live in peace with one another as neighboring states.  Unfortunately for the Arab Palestinians, the Zionist State emerged in 1948 as a direct result of American funding.  Since that time, the United States taxpayer, unbeknownst to most, has paid enormously to create an Israeli Defense Force, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal, that someday could be turned against the United States if the American people were to ever start looking at Palestine objectively instead of through the Zionist media filters that now control the media message in the United States.  However, when dealing with the Zionist state it must be understood that if an Israeli nuke were to ever hit a target in the United States, you had better believe that it will have the flag of Iran, Lebanon, Syria or any other threatening nation’s flag falsely attached to it.  See the U.S.S. Liberty and Connecting the Dots – Zionists & 911 for a few examples. 


The U.S News & World Report article continues:


What is Israel?

Israel is a republic created by the Jews within Palestine on May 15, 1948.  It now contains about 700,000 Jews and 200,000 Arabs. 


Recall that before World War I, there were about 600,000 Arabs and 60,000 Jews in the country, and there was little conflict.  How did the Zionists dispose of 400,000 Arabs in 35 years? 


The U.S News & World Report article continues:


Have the Jews of Israel always lived there?

There have always been some Jews living in the territory now governed by Israel, but more than 90 per cent of the present Jewish population was born outside Palestine. 


Where did they come from?

A majority of the Jews of Israel came from Eastern Europe – Poland, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia.  Before the Nazis took power in Germany, few Jewish immigrants to Palestine came from Germany, but in the two years before World War II, German Jews made up more than 50 per cent of the total number of immigrants to Palestine. 


Do Arabs have a state in Palestine?

No. Arab leadership is in the hands of the Arab League. 


Are Arabs united on Palestine?

No. They all are opposed to a Jewish state in Palestine, but cannot agree on what should be done with the country.  Some want to be an independent Arab state; others like Trans-Jordan want to annex all or part of Palestine. 


It is asinine to look at the military actions of the Zionist state in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank, or the response to those actions by militant groups like Hamas and Hezzbolah, and generalize the sum as a nation defending itself from terrorism.  The Arab people remain outraged that the Zionists got it all in Palestine, when at best; they should have only received half.  No doubt, Zionists would say they share the land with non-Zionists, pointing to the West Bank and Gaza as proof.  But the poor people living in those Israeli controlled zones have no autonomy whatsoever.  If separate but equal was the original intent – the equal part has yet to materialize.  And make no mistake about it; the original goal for Palestine was two equal, sovereign states – one Arab, one Jew.  Today, one state exists – the Zionist state. It’s oppression and brutality inflicted upon Arabs goes mostly unreported in the United States.  What Americans are fed instead is a steady dose of Islamic / Muslim / Arab attacks, which in many instances, are actually counterattacks, that the U.S. media and U.S. Congress, controlled by the Israel Lobby, call terrorism. 


Until the American people demand that the U.S. Congress take a more evenhanded approach towards Israel, until we reach out diplomatically to all Arab people – to really listen and really care about what it is like to live in striking distance of the militarily superior, nuclear Zionist State with a proven appetite for war and oppression of its Arab neighbors, until we begin to demonstrate the actual Christian values we profess as a nation, and not the fascist, racist values of televangelists such as Pat Robertson and John Hagee, until we start treating the Israelis and Arabs as equals instead of bowing to one while kicking the other, nothing will ever get better.  Things will only get worse. 


The conflict between Arabs and Jews over tiny Palestine (Approximately 1/5th the size of New York State) will continue turning world politics upside down.  A truce, even a lasting truce, will not produce a permanent peace.  There will be more trouble ahead.   

[1] MSN Encarta, Arab-Israeli Conflict, http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761588322/Arab-Israeli_Conflict.html, [Accessed July 15, 2006]

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