Synopsis of Parts 1-2: Part I of this article outlines the historical connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, beginning with the settlement of that land under Joshua in about 1200 BCE, while emphasizing that none of the ancient people that inhabited Canaan 3200 years ago are still around to claim that land as theirs. Part II deals with the forced exile of the Jews to Europe, their history of persecution there, and the 1900 years of illegal occupation of the Land of Israel by 16 different regimes which, eventually, brought about the establishment of the Zionist movement.
Clearly, any discussion that focuses on Israel’s presence in the West Bank, while at the same time ignoring the long history of occupation around the world by other nations, is not only irrational, it is also hypocritical and bigoted.
Consider, for example, the occupations in Europe by the Beaker, the Celtics, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Gauls, the Nordic Cimbri, the Teutons, the Berbers, the Vikings, and the Normans; in Asia, by the Huns, the Mongols, the Chinese, and the Japanese; in Africa by the Vandals; in the Caribbean Islands and South America by the Spaniards and Portuguese; in North America by Europeans; in Australia and New Zealand by the British, and more recently, the occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco, of northern Cyprus by Turkey, of Kurdish lands by Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, and parts of Ukraine by Russia. Last but not least, and most pertinent to this discussion are the 7th-century’s zealous Muslim tribes, then newly converted to Muhammad’s new theology and religious edicts who, sword in hand (note the sword on Saudi Arabia’s flag), emerged in their thousands from the depth of the Arabian Peninsula and invaded the Middle East and North Africa (and the Iberian Peninsula as well, until their defeat during the Spanish Reconquista in the 13th century.)
Indeed, to this very day, the descendants of those Islamists have occupied North Africa and the Middle East, including Palestine – lands that were never theirs or under their control prior to the 7th and 8th centuries.
Think about it: Unlike the Ubaidians, who arrived in Mesopotamia over 8000 years ago, and who established the first civilization in that region, the Muslims of the 7th and 8th centuries invaded Palestine only to confiscate that land and subdue its people – Jews and Christians – who established there an ancient and highly developed civilization, influenced by Jewish and Christian values, as well as by Greco-Roman culture. In this light, how can anyone of a sound and fair mind claim that these Muslims are ‘indigenous’ to Palestine? Furthermore, what right do Israel’s detractors have to cite, in their anti-Israel rhetoric, Security Council Resolution 242, which states, among other clauses, “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land by force”, while simultaneously ignoring the confiscation of the Land of Israel by the afore-mentioned regimes? Are we to take seriously that all land confiscations in the past are legal because they took place prior to November 22, 1967, the date on which SCR 242 was adopted?
The truth is, that no people or nation’s claim to Israel/Palestine is as old and as legitimate as that made by the Jewish people. In fact, compared to all the aforementioned regimes that illegally occupied the Holy Land, the Jewish people have ruled that land the longest, for a total of about 770 years (1200 to 597 BCE; 163 to 63 BCE, and from 1948 to our own time). In other words, it is not the Jewish people who are occupying a land that belongs to the Palestinians, but rather it’s the Palestinians who have been, to this day, occupying Jewish land.
It may be in order to sidetrack for a moment and mention a familiar argument used by Israel’s detractors which says, “I am not interested in cases of occupations that took place many years ago; old history is irrelevant; all I am interested in is what’s happening right now, and Israel’s ‘illegal occupation’ of the West Bank is a case in point.” Note that those who promote such odd logic never specify when “old” history ends and when “new” history begins.
Their line of demarcation is determined only by their own ideological convenience, not by any substantiated facts. Accordingly, then, the Spaniards’ occupation of South America and the ensuing massacres of the Inca in Cajamarca, Peru, and Vilcabamba, Ecuador, are irrelevant because they took place in 1532 and 1572, respectively. Similarly are irrelevant the Britons’ occupation and massacres of the aboriginal people of Australia at East Gippsland, because they occurred in the 1840s, or the North Americans’ occupation and massacres of the Native Americans at Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, because they took place in 1864 and 1890, respectively.
Ironically, however, this type of selective judgment flies in the face of its promoters, because following such a view, all that Israel has to do is to hold on to the West Bank for another 100 years when, like the events mentioned above, the topic of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank would be considered as ”old history,” and would vanish from the media’s headlines and from the halls of the United Nations.
Part I of this article can be found here.
Part II of this article can be found here.
Part IV of this article can be found here.
Part V of this article can be found here.
Part VI of this article can be found here.