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Middle East


This page has news excerpts and comments on a variety of topics, mostly pertaining to the Middle East and Israel.  You are welcome to e-mail your thoughts; those deemed of interest to our visitors will be included here.
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Israel creation and history

Comprehensive history

The Jews took nobody's land

Security Fence

Arafat, Hamas, and terrorism

Muslims and Jews

Ethiopian immigration to Israel

Anti-Semitism in Europe

Nobel Prizes . . . comparing Muslim and Jewish recipients 

Rand Study for Independent Palestinian State

Irena Sendler, Polish Holocaust Heroione

Charles Winters, 1948 Aircraft to Israel

Variety of Middle East web sites

Israel creation and history

  The Arabs had what they are demanding now, but still were not satisfied. Almost immediately after Israel was created, armies from five Arab countries (with 80 million Arabs) invaded Israel, determined to drive the Israelis into the sea. About 1/2 million Israelis, with very limited arms, battled for 15 months, lost more than 1% of its people (6000), and finally forced a truce in 1949. The Arabs had full control of Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. The Arabs refused to allow Jews access to their holiest site (Western Wall), when the Arabs controlled it. ( Israel always has allowed all religions access to their holy sites.) Israel was about 4 miles wide near Tel Aviv. Arab tanks could have cut Israel in half in about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the Arabs would not allow the Israelis to live in peace. The Arabs repeatedly broke the truce, determined to destroy Israel. Israel was able to defend itself and improve its defensible borders. Whatever problems the Arabs now have, they themselves are responsible. Perhaps Turkey's partitioning of Cypress is an example of the only possible immediate solution for Israel. Maybe, after several generations without hate being taught in the schools, the walls can come down and both peoples can live in peace. (factsandlogic.org, more info) Very complete web sites with many links: www.geocities.com/truthmustbesaid/Middle-East   http://www.mideasttruth.com/index.html

Egypt (with additional troops from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria), Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon attacked Israel in 1967. Syria said it will drench the land with Israeli blood and throw them into the sea. Against all odds, Israel won the war and took land needed as a buffer zone against further attacks. (OCR, 9/30/01, Commentary 3 letter) [Arabs now want pre-1967 borders, to regain land they lost after attacking and trying to destroy Israel.] ..... The middle east Arab cartel produce oil for $2 a barrel, and sell it for $30 a barrel. (OCR, 9/9/03, Local 9) ..... Oppression of Christians in Muslim countries: "In its October 18 [2003] edition, “La Civiltà Cattolica” published a strikingly severe article on the condition of Christians in Muslim countries. The central thesis of the article is that “in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike and conquering face”; that “for almost a thousand years, Europe lived under its constant threat”; and that what remains of the Christian population in Islamic countries is still subjected to “perpetual discrimination,” with episodes of bloody persecution.",2393,41931,00.html  ..... Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said, "resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe." 

The Arab pogrom that started it all [Jerusalem Post, 4/3/14]

Arab assailants proceeded to attack innocent Jewish men, women and children on the streets, punching, kicking and beating them, as well as hurling stones. This pogrom serves to remind us of some very important truths about the nature of the ongoing conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Jews.

It was the middle of the morning on April 4, 1920, precisely 94 years ago, during the intermediate days of Passover, and the Jews of Jerusalem thought the danger hanging over them had mostly receded.
Muslims were marking the third and final day of the Nebi Musa festival, and despite fears of large-scale Arab violence, the holiday had thus far passed more quietly than anticipated. But all that was about to change.

Tens of thousands of Arabs gathered in Jerusalem’s Old City and several speakers began firing up the horde, including the nefarious Haj Amin al-Husseini, who would subsequently be appointed the city’s Mufti.
Amid chants of “Palestine is our land and the Jews are our dogs!” the crowd descended into a violent frenzy and went on the offensive. Arab assailants proceeded to attack innocent Jewish men, women and children on the streets, punching, kicking and beating them, as well as hurling stones and other objects. They broke into Jewish homes, raped Jewish women, and plundered property. Cemeteries and yeshivot were also attacked, with tombstones and Torah scrolls falling victim to the Arab mob’s fury.

Arab policemen, whose task was to maintain order, instead joined in the fray, while the British Mandatory authorities responded with their characteristic lethargy and incompetence.
Over 100 Jews were injured in just the first few hours, and the rioting intensified the following day, leading the British to impose martial law. Finally, after several more days of unrest, the violence was finally quelled. When the dust had settled, a total of five Jews had been killed and more than 200 wounded, while four Arabs were dead and 25 injured.

Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann along with a senior British military officer insisted that the British Mandatory authorities had actively encouraged Arab leaders to incite the violence due to their hostility towards Zionism.
One month later, in May 1920, the British government dispatched a commission of inquiry, known as the Palin Commission, to investigate.
In predictable fashion, the final report sought to place blame on both sides, criticizing the Zionists for “impatience to achieve their ultimate goal,” as if that would somehow justify an Arab pogrom.

Nonetheless, the commission did note that it was clear that “the incidence of the attack was against the Jews and… was made in customary mob fashion with sticks, stones and knives. All the evidence goes to show that these attacks were of a cowardly and treacherous description, mostly against old men, women and children, and frequently in the back.”
The repercussions of the riots were profound.

Among other things, they led to the organization and establishment of more Jewish self-defense units which became the core of the Hagana, thereby accelerating the process of Jewish independence.
And among the Arabs, the riots crystallized the formation of a “Palestinian national consciousness.” As Dr. Daniel Pipes noted in “The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine” (Middle East Review, Summer 1989), “In January 1920, Palestinian nationalism hardly existed; by December of that critical year, it had been born.”

But beyond the fact that we are still feeling the impact of the riots even today, it is worth recalling what happened so long ago in the streets of Jerusalem because it serves as an important reminder of what the Arab-Israeli conflict is truly all about.
Simply put: it has nothing to do with Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and everything to do with Jews. Unless they had extraordinary paranormal powers enabling them to gaze into the future, the Arab rioters of 1920 did not spill innocent blood because Jews would later settle in Beit El and Kedumim in the 1970s and ’80s.

And they did not go on the rampage because they believed in two states, Arab and Jewish, living side by side in peace and security.
They attacked Jews then, as they do today, because they are unwilling to accept a permanent and sovereign Jewish presence in the region. Their dream today remains what it was back in 1920: to scare us off and clear us out. Then, as now, the Palestinian Arabs are unwilling to recognize the biblical, historical and moral right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. And then, as now, they are willing to employ violence and terror to advance their goals.

And this is why all the plans, from the Rogers plan to the Reagan plan, from the Oslo accords to the Kerry plan, have accomplished little, because they ignore the cold, hard truth that has been staring us all in the face for the past century: there can be no peace because the Palestinian Arabs do not want peace. What they want is Israel.

 Islamized. These were areas from which the Palestinian Jews had been driven out, and that Europe referred to as Jewish colonies. They are called Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. No European nation protested against the Islamic colonization of Jewish-Palestinian areas, the expulsion of their Jewish inhabitants and the seizure of their belongings, or against the persecution of Jews in Arab countries.An artificial Palestinian Arab "people" was created in order to replace the people of Israel. A European army of forger-historians and Arab Christiandhimmis transferred the historic characteristics of the Jews onto them. Names of towns and regions were Islamized: Jerusalem was called Al-Quds and "the West Bank" replaced Judea and Samaria. (1/6/17) https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9725/security-council-resolution-israel

Anti-Semitic Zionists 

The avowed aim of Zionism is to ingather all the Jews in the world in the Jewish State. The avowed aim of the anti-Semites is to expel the Jews from all their countries. Both sides want the same. No conflict. Theodor Herzl, the Founding Father of Zionism, recognized this right from the beginning. He went to Czarist Russia, which was governed by anti-Semites, and offered a deal: we take the Jews off your hands, you help us to convince them to leave. That was in the heyday of the murderous pogroms. But the Jews who left Russia went en masse to America, very few to Ottoman-ruled Palestine.

This was not a unique chapter. Throughout Zionist history, many attempts have been made to enlist anti-Semites to help in the implementation of the Zionist project. Even before the Zionist movement was born, American and British evangelists preached the ingathering of the Jewish exiles in the holy land. They may have been Herzl’s inspiration. However, this message of redemption for the Jews had a secret clause. The return of the Jews to Palestine would allow for the second coming of Christ. But then, the Jews would convert to Christianity. Those who refused would be annihilated.

IN 1939, when the Nazi danger became obvious, the extreme Zionist leader Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky called for a meeting of his followers in Poland. The leaders of the Irgun underground in Palestine attended. One of them was Abraham Stern, whose nom de guerre was Ya'ir. The meeting decided to approach the anti-Semitic commanders of the Polish army and offer them a deal: you arm and train young Polish Jews, and we shall liberate Palestine and transport the Polish Jews there. The officers agreed and training camps were set up in Poland. World War II put an end to the plan.

With the outbreak of the war, Jabotinsky, an ardent Anglophile in spite of everything, ordered the Irgun to stop all such actions and cooperate with the British. Stern proposed the opposite approach. His credo was: our enemy is Britain. The war provides us an opportunity to drive them out. The enemy of our enemy is our friend. Adolf Hitler is an anti-Semite, but now he is our potential ally.

Stern's approach caused a split in the Irgun. A furious debate broke out in all the secret cells. As a 16-year old member, I took part. Being a refugee from Nazi Germany, I rejected Stern's thesis. Stern created his own group (later called Lehi, Hebrew initials of Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, also known as the "Stern gang".) He sent an emissary to neutral Turkey, where he delivered the German ambassador a letter for "Mr. Hitler", offering cooperation. The Fuehrer did not reply. That was, of course, before the Holocaust. Stern was caught by the British and "shot while trying to escape". When the war ended, and Soviet Russia became the enemy of Britain and the West, Stern's heirs approached Stalin and offered cooperation. Stalin, whose anti-Semitism was becoming more pronounced at the time, ignored the offer.

During the war, one of the architects of the Holocaust was Adolf Eichmann, the SS officer who was in charge of organizing the transport of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. In Budapest he established contact with a group of Zionists, led by Israel Kastner, with whom he made a deal. As a good-will gesture he allowed him to send a few hundred Jews to neutral Switzerland.

Eichmann sent one member of the group, Yoel Brand, to Istanbul, with a crazy-looking offer to the Zionist leadership in Jerusalem: if the allies provided the Nazis with a thousand trucks, the deportation of the Hungarian Jews would be stopped. Contrary to his instructions, Brand crossed the border into British-occupied Syria and was arrested by the British. The deportation of the Hungarian Jews - ten thousand a day – went on.

Mahmood Abbas, by the way, as a student at Moscow University, wrote his doctoral thesis on Nazi-Zionist cooperation.

 Uri Avnery (member of the Irgun as a teenager, sat in the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981), 12/31/16,

Indo-Israel ties on the march

Israeli-Indian ties moved up a notch Sunday when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in New York with his Indian counterpart,  Narendra Modi, marking the first meeting between Israeli and Indian prime ministers since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003.

Then, as now, the ruling party was not the Congress Party of the Gandhis and Nehrus, a party deeply sympathetic with the Palestinians, but rather the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party.

Congress’s lack of sympathy for Israel can be traced backed to the country’s founder, Mahatma Gandhi, who in 1938 wrote the following about the prospect of a Jewish state: “The cry for a national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me,” he wrote in 1938. “The sanction for it is sought in the Bible, but the Palestine of Biblical conception is not a geographical tract.” He added that “it is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs.”

Israel and India did not establish diplomatic ties until 1992, and those ties were kept largely under the radar screen until the BJP came into power in 1999. Among the reasons for this was the Congress Party’s historic lack of enthusiasm for the Zionist project, as well as the Indian government’s concern -- partly because of domestic political considerations --  not to antagonize the country’s huge Muslim population, which today stands at some 150 million.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee changed that when he invited Sharon in September, 2003, for a three-day visit that was cut short because the prime minister rushed home following a terrorist attack. But the visit, short as it was, sent a signal: India, thankful for the military help rendered by Israel in its 1999 war with Pakistan, was taking the relationship out of the closet and to a different plane.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Indo-Israel-ties-on-the-march-376555, 9/29/14

History, Reality and Prophecy
The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest
December 04, 2012

Israel promised to respond to the UN General Assembly's recognition of Palestine as a state, in violation of the Oslo Agreement, by building an additional 3,000 settlement units on land claimed by the Palestinians.

This immediately prompted cries from the Arab League-dominated UN about Israel's "expansionist" policies requiring immediate UN intervention.  The UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders. 

If they are pre-1967 borders, then what does that mean?  It means the borders which existed prior to the Six Days War, which means the borders as they existed in 1948.

Let's fire up the WayBack Machine and revisit how the State of Israel came to be in the first place.

During the First World War, Turkey supported Germany against the Allies, so when Germany was defeated, so were the Turks.  The Ottoman Empire was broken up via the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided up the former Empire into Western zones of influence.

Lebanon and Syria were mandated over to France.  What is today known as Jordan and Israel (including the West Bank) was mandated to Great Britain.

Since no other people had established a homeland in the region since the Jews had been expelled by the Romans 2000 years earlier, the British government "looked favorably" upon the establishment of a Jewish homeland on their ancestral territory of Palestine. (Israel, West Bank, Gaza, Jordan).

In 1917, Lord Balfour issued what is known to history as "The Balfour Declaration":

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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."

Everything would have probably proceeded forward from this point without a hitch . . . except there was one. A big one that neither the Europeans nor the Americans could ignore.  As Winston Churchill wrote in 1922:

"In both Houses of Parliament there is growing movement of hostility, against Zionist policy in Palestine. . ."

"Zionist policy . . ." -- what does that mean?  What is a "Zionist?"

A Zionist is one that believes in a national homeland for the Jews.  Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in response to the violent persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe, anti-Semitism in Western Europe.

Zionists recognize the historical reality of Jewish persecution and agree with the Jews that without a national homeland, there is nothing to prevent more pogroms, persecutions and genocidal terror being perpetrated against the Jewish people.  

And more than that, a Zionist recognizes that the reason for the pogroms, persecutions and genocide is because they are Jews.  Zionism recognizes that Jew-hatred is blind, unreasoning and deadly.  

And so, the "Zionist policy" objected to by Churchill and the Parliament was the establishment of a homeland for the Jews as a defense against persecution.

In 1923, the British reneged on their promise and divided the Palestine portion of the Ottoman Empire into two administrative districts, with everything east of the Jordan going to the Arabs and everything west of the Jordan for the Jews.

In effect, the British had "chopped off" 75% of the originally proposed Jewish Palestinian homeland to form an Arab Palestinian nation called Trans-Jordan (meaning "across the Jordan River"). 

The territory east of the Jordan River was given to Emir Abdullah (from Hejaz, now Saudi Arabia) who was not even a "Palestinian".  This portion of Palestine was renamed Trans-Jordan.  Trans-Jordan would later be renamed "Jordan".

So the eastern 3/4 of Palestine would be renamed TWICE, in effect, erasing all connection to the name "Palestine".  The remaining 25% of Palestine (now WEST of the Jordan River) was to be the Jewish Palestinian homeland.

In 1947 the UN passed Resolution 181 partitioning the remaining 25% of the Jewish mandate into a Jewish partition and an Arab partition.  The Jewish Palestinians accepted 12.5% of the Balfour Mandate gratefully.  The Arabs rejected the 1947 Plan (which would have resulted in the creation of a Palestinian state sixty-five years ago).

Israel declared independence on its 12.5% of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948. 

The next day, the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen attacked.

(It is worth noting that all of those Arab states were also created by the same British authority out of the Ottoman Empire following WWI, only years AFTER the 1917 Balfour Declaration.) 

Arabs living inside the newly declared State of Israel were encouraged to leave by the invaders to keep them out of the crossfire. 

Once the Arab Legions had eliminated the Jews, the displaced Arabs could return and reclaim their own property, plus whatever the Jews left behind.  

(Similar to what actually did occur fifty-eight years later when Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005.) 

Some 70% of the Arabs living in the new state of Israel fled.  Not because they feared the Jewish army, but because it was a good deal.  Avoid the war, stay out of the crossfire, and be rewarded with the spoils of war for staying safe.

Those that did not flee are today full citizens of the State of Israel, with the same civil rights as Jews, including Arab representation at the Knesset. 

The borders as they existed in 1948 (essentially pre-1967) puts the Palestinians in possession of East Jerusalem, the Old City, all of Gaza, and all of the West Bank, leaving Israel almost cut in half at the center. 

What would have been the Palestinian State under the UN Partition Plan was immediately occupied by Egypt and Jordan.  Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip and Trans-Jordan occupied the land west of the Jordan River (Biblical Judea and Samaria) all the way to Jerusalem.

In 1950, Trans-Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and since it was no longer divided by the Jordan River, renamed itself Jordan and extended Jordanian citizenship to those Arabs living in the West Bank.

What about those Arabs that fled to neighboring Arab countries to await the destruction of the Jews?  Their Arab brothers interned them in concentration camps that they renamed "refugee camps" and kept them there for sixty-five years.

The Jordanians that lived in the West Bank after 1950 never petitioned Jordan for a homeland -- and Jordan never offered.  Instead, they "discovered" in 1964 that they were really an ancient people called "Palestinians" rather than Jordanians.

(The total lack of evidence of any prior Palestinian indigenous people, Palestinian language, culture, history or unique national characteristics notwithstanding.)

Led by an Egyptian Arab named Yasser Arafat they formed the PLO, which was dedicated to creating a "Palestinian" homeland.  Of course, at the time, they had one -- they were Jordanians!  

In 1967, the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria massed for another invasion of Israel aimed at driving the Jews into the sea. Instead, Israel soundly defeated the invaders, pushing Egypt out of Israel and back inside its own territory and pushing Jordan back across the Jordan River. 

That left Israel in possession of Gaza and the West Bank.  Now the Jews occupied 1/640 of the total land mass of the Arab world and were only outnumbered fifty to one.  

Thus began Israel's "brutal occupation" -- an occupation so brutal that Israeli-Arabs in East Jerusalem voted against being ruled by the Palestinian Authority, preferring to stay under Israeli jurisdiction.  Evidently, freedom trumps Arab nationalism.  

There is a lesson in there, somewhere. 


Consider the situation as it actually exists, devoid of the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Arab world (and a significant portion of mainstream Western Christianity).

From 1948 to 1967, Egypt ruled Gaza, Syria ruled the Golan Heights, while Jordan ruled the West Bank.  They could have set up independent Arab-Palestinian states in any or all of those territories, but they didn't even consider it.

Instead, in 1967 they used the Golan Heights, Gaza and the West bank to launch a war that was unambiguously aimed at destroying Israel, which is how Israel came into possession of those territories in the first place.

The historical reality is that, if there is a Palestinian State, it would be Jordan, since Jordan accounts for 75% of the British Mandate of Palestine.  The "Palestinians" living in the West Bank could have had an independent state sixty-five years ago, but their goal wasn't independence.

It was NEVER independence.  The goal was and is the destruction of the Jewish State.  In every instance where they were offered some measure of independence, they used that independence to attack Israel.

The fact is, until Yasser Arafat invented a Palestinian people, the Palestinians were the Jews! 

The Middle East Conflict was always a war by Arabs against Jews, not a conflict between Israelis and "Palestinians".  The war was repackaged as a conflict between Jews and Palestinians as a public relations gimmick in the early 1970's.

The Palestinians were a regional group of Arabs having virtually no cultural nor national distinctive traits separating them from Syrians, Lebanese, and Jordanians.  The bulk of what are called "Palestinian Arabs" are members of families who migrated into the Land of Israel beginning in the late 19th century.

Palestinian nationalism is a reinvented version of Arab nationalism.  Arab nationalism exists, although it is closely bound up with Islamic nationalism and even Islamism.  Palestinian nationalism, however, is a phantom.  The Arab assaults and aggressions against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1968, and 1973 had nothing to do with Palestinians. 

They were wars of annihilation launched against Israel by the Arabs; Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. -- not a 'Palestinian' in the woodpile.

Having been defeated in every instance, the Arab world focused on using the "Palestinians" as a fifth column inside Israel to facilitate the eventual annihilation of the Jewish State.

The Green Line Is Not Israel’s Border    (7/6/16)

All peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must properly address where Israel’s Eastern border is. The border is the Jordan River, not the “Green Line.”

Under international law, a state has the rights to all the land within its borders. It is likely that Israel will withdraw from territory east of the “Green Line,” but the starting point of negotiations must be that Israel has the rights to the territory up to the Jordan River. Many fail to understand the nature of the line dividing the State of Israel and the West Bank. Even world leaders, such as President Obama, are susceptible to this fundamental misunderstanding.

The “Green Line,” or the “1967 border,” is mistakenly considered Israel’s Eastern border, but it is simply an armistice line. Under international law, armistice lines have no legal significance in constituting a border. To name the armistice line  “the 1967 border” is misleading and factually incorrect.

After the cessation of hostilities of the 1948 War of Independence, Israel signed bilateral armistice agreements with the warring countries, including Jordan. The Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement created the demarcation line along Israel’s eastern front, the “Green Line.” The name “Green Line” stems from the fact that the Israeli general was using a green marker on the map to indicate where the respective armies had to withdraw.

Israel’s preexisting border, as defined by the Palestine Mandate (the League of Nations Resolution of 1922 that gave the Jews the rights to Palestine), left Israel with the Jordan River as its Eastern border. This border was not changed by the armistice agreements, and Israel’s border remained the same even though Israel temporarily lost control of its territory between 1949 and the 1967.

The Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement specifically stated that the purpose and intention of the Armistice Agreement was to “eliminate the threat to the peace in Palestine.” The Agreement reiterates its intention in at least four different instances: (1) “…no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce,” (2) “The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move,” (3) “This article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing … an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement,” and finally (4) “The Armistice Demarcation Lines [shall not] prejudice … future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

Despite Jordan’s conquest of the West Bank in the 1948 War, Jordan cannot be assumed to be the rightful heir to the territory simply because of its conquest.  To determine Israel’s borders, we must refer back to the Palestine Mandate.

Finally, once a peace treaty is signed, any existing armistice agreements cease to have any legal relevance. Therefore, after the ratification of the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty of 1994, which specifies the border between Israel and Jordan as the Jordan River, the Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement became outdated and legally irrelevant. Israel’s Eastern border is the Jordan river, not the “Green Line.” In all peace negotiations, it is critical to be cognizant of this fact.


Jerusalem, Capital of Israel: An Islamic Prophecy

by Ali Salim, January 29, 2013 at 5:00 am


Jerusalem is the capital of the Children of Israel, now called the Jews; and it is forbidden for Musims to demand it, just as a married woman belongs only to her husband. Is it possible that Allah, who on His infinite mercy, calls them the Chosen People, and promises them the Holy Land, also plans to murder them, using the Muslims in Palestine as His intermediary? Every Muslim knows that Allah does not break His promises.

If you listen in Arabic to the hate-speeches made by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; or to Turkish President Erdogan; or to the calls made from Qatar by Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and from the Gaza Strip by the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal for the killing of the Jews, you will understand why Arabs and Muslims believe Allah is punishing them by having them kill each other: It is because His prophecies are not being fulfilled.

For example, it is heresy and a violation of the will of Allah to sidestep calls for recognizing Jerusalem as official capital of the Children of Israel, and moving the American embassy there. It ignores the prophecy of the Noble Qur'an, which predicts the return of the Children of Israel to their land from the four corners of the earth, as it is written in Al-Isra, Verse 104, "And we said to the Children of Israel after him, "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, we shall bring you altogether as a mixed crowd."

Although the stance adopted by the leaders of the Western world in general, and the American administration in particular, may be the consequence of their desire to strengthen their image in the eyes of the Muslim countries, their image is seen only as reflecting their weakness and attempts to ingratiate themselves with both radical Islam and Christian anti-Semitism.

It is not my intention to state that the other monotheistic religions do not also have their place in the holy city of Jerusalem. But political lies come mostly from radical Islamist sources, then somehow become accepted facts. This violates the prophecies of the messengers of Allah, and especially those of the greatest of His prophets, Muhammad (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

The various distortions of history and religion by politically-oriented Islamic sheiks and leaders for the sake of false, infidel, political goals, are legion. The way the Salafist Islamic sheiks and members of the Muslim Brotherhood twist the Noble Qur'an to suit their narrow political goals makes me angry, as it also makes angry the millions of Muslims around the world who know the eternal truth written in Islam's Noble Qur'an.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, for example, invented the fabrication that Palestinians are the descendants of the Jebusites and other Canaanite tribes of the land of the at the time of the Book. Behind this fabrication was Arafat's attempt to "prove" that the Palestinians lived in the Holy Land before the Children of Israel, and that therefore they have a greater right to it,

According to the Qur'an, however, "a race of giants" lived in the Holy Land but were destroyed by the Children of Israel, led by Joshua with the help of Allah the Almighty. There were never "Palestinians" in the Holy Land, nor is there one word of them in the Noble Qur'an, nor any prophecy regarding their existence, nor any right to the Holy Land or any other place in the future or on Day of Judgment in the Noble Book of Allah.

The Palestinians are not mentioned or even hinted at in the Noble Qur'an, but the Children of Israel are mentioned countless times and they are mentioned as the Chosen People, as it is written in Al-Baqara, Verse 47, "O Children of Israel, remember My favor that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds." They are mentioned as inheritors of the Holy Land which, according to all the Islamic commentators, is Jerusalem and the country around it. The Muslim claim that the Divine promise to the Children of Israel appears in the Noble Qur'an in the past tense and therefore is not relevant today is a malicious lie. Everyone knows that most of the Noble Qur'an was written in the past tense, but what was written about the Children of Israel was a promise and a prophecy, and Allah does not change His mind or break His promises.

Anyone who claims that what is written about the Jews is only relevant for the past and that the Children of Israel disappeared turns our beloved Prophet from prophet to mere historian who did not know what the future would bring. Anyone who claims that the "real" Children of Israel disappeared and that the Jews of today are not the genuine Children of Israel of the Noble Qur'an is a liar and a deceiver, because if there are no Children of Israel then the prophecy of Muhammad, (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), is irrelevant and he did not foresee the return of the Children of Israel to their land for the third time and instruct them to settle it, and promise that if they did what was right in the eyes of Allah and acted well they would succeed, as it is written in Al-Isra, Verses 6 and 7, "We gave you back the power against them, and aided you with wealth and children, and made you larger in numbers. Now, if you do well, you will do well for your own souls; and if you do evil, it will only go against them…." And if one prophecy is false then all are false, and the Noble Qur'an has no value. Thus we have to admit that regardless of the mistakes the Jews make concerning our Palestinian brothers, they in fact act well, even to the Arabs in Israel, and they are charitable according to the tradition of Islam, and they are clearly more honest than the Arab and Muslim leaders today who oppress their own people and daily slaughter them and shed their blood.

To the eternal credit of Islam it must be said that in the seventh century the armies of Islam invaded Palestine and wrested it from the Byzantines, and that Jerusalem was turned over without a battle to the Muslims by the Christian Bishop Sophronius. This was the beginning of the Arab presence in the Holy Land, which ended and was renewed for years under various conquests, including the Crusaders, but ended for good nearly a century ago, when the Turks went back home. The Holy Land was then given back into the hands of the Children of Israel, according to the decree of the Noble Qur'an and the prophecy of Muhammad, (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The Children of Israel came from all the corners of the earth, as it is written in Al-A'raf, Verse 137, "And we caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured."

The Palestinian claim that the Prophet Jesus was a Palestinian Arab is also a fabrication, unfortunately characteristic of Palestinian leaders who invent them and invest enormous sums of money to buy weapons, kill the Children of Israel, carry out terrorist attacks and launch Qassam rockets at civilians instead of rehabilitating the Palestinian refugees, their brothers, who, as a result of the establishment of Israel, actually returned to the bosom of the Islamic nation.

The more the Palestinians repeat the infamy that Jesus was a Palestinian Arab, the more likely it is that the Christians themselves will believe it, especially those who, by ignoring and denying the rights of the Children of Israel to Jerusalem, reveal their own baseness and lack of respect for their own religion, based on Judaism and begun in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem. According to such an absurdity, the Jewish prophet Jesus, son of Mary, who opposed the corrupt Jewish priests in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, was a "Palestinian Arab; " but it is just another way of denying the Jews the right to their land. Christians who ignore the Jewish right to Jerusalem are also denying their own religion.

From a religious point of view, the connection between Muslims and Jerusalem began with the "Night Journey," a dream that appears in the Noble Qur'an and was also reported by the Prophet's beloved child-wife, Aisha. According to the dream, Muhammad (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), went on a night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem riding on a marvelous animal named Al-Buraq, and from Jerusalem to heaven, where he received the principles of Islam. Jerusalem was then temporarily designated as the "Kibla," the first direction for Muslims to face during prayers; but Muhammad (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) changed the direction to Mecca. Since that time Jerusalem has been considered as only the third most sacred place for Islam.

It is saddening to think that we deny the Jews, the modern-day Children of Israel, their identity, despite the fact that we know that they preserved their faith for thousands of years in the face of torture, rape, persecution, burning and genocide, all crimes committed against them because they were Jews and were determined to remain Jews. We, however, the faithful of Islam, accept into our ranks every criminal and murderer who converts, in or out of prison, who only has to say, "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet;" all it takes is five minutes. This new Muslim is considered a good Muslim, but a Jew who has adhered to the history and faith of his Jewish ancestors, the faith kept for thousands of years, is not in our eyes a genuine Jew, a Child of Israel. How long will we deny the Islamic faith and the prophecies of our Prophet Muhammad, (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)?

Unfortunately, even those among us who do believe that the Jews in Israel are genuine Children of Israel, the ones Muhammad (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), referred to in his noble Surahs, the ones who have inherited the Holy Land promised to them by the Noble Qur'an, conduct themselves despicably. They adopt the counterfeit, apocalyptic, false sayings which do not appear in the Noble Qur'an and are falsely attributed to the Prophet of Allah. They adopt as genuine traditions those which are lies, and, contradicting the promises made by Allah in the Noble Qur'an, falsely prophesy the destruction of the Jews by the Muslims in Palestine.

These commentators, inspired by Satan, refer to the Jews as "Zionists," as though changing their name makes it permissible to kill the People of the Book and violate the words of Allah and His prophets. Is it possible that Allah, who in His infinite mercy calls them the Chosen People, and promised them the Holy Land, also plans to murder them using the Muslims in Palestine as His intermediary? Every Muslim knows that Allah does not break His promises. Therefore, his promise to the Children of Israel is both relevant and eternal. The Jews, weak and miserable, who came from all over the globe, victims of hatred and murder would not found their state in Palestine unless it were the will of Allah, who supports them.

Jerusalem is the capital of the Children of Israel and it is forbidden for Muslims to demand it, just as a married woman belongs only to her husband. Jerusalem is never mentioned by name in the Noble Qur'an, but it is mentioned there as the heart of the Holy Land given in perpetuity to the Jews. It therefore has to be capital of the Children of Israel in the Land of Israel and not of the planned state of "Palestine." If, as Muslims, we look into our hearts, we have to admit that a state called Palestine never existed but we need to help it come into being, with the help of Allah, next to Israel. Since there never was a state called "Palestine" or a Palestinian people, Jerusalem was never their capital or the capital of any people or country except for the current State of Israel. Therefore the Palestinians cannot demand Jerusalem as its capital, but they can demand the right for all Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque. Actually, the Jews allow freedom of worship to all the religions in Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa mosque is under the management of the king of Jordan, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

In addition, nowhere in the world have Muslims turned a city holy to Islam into a capital. Neither Mecca nor Madinah is the capital of Saudi Arabia and Karbala and Qom are not the capitals of Iraq and Iran. Even Jordan, whose capital is Amman, did not turn Jerusalem into its capital when it controlled the city between 1948 and 1967.

Instead of the monotheistic religions' helping the Jews to construct Jerusalem in preparation for Judgment Day and as proof of the truth of the prophecies in the Noble Qur'an, the infidels protest construction of new housing. If the Muslims used the return of the Children of the Book to Israel as proof of the truth of the prophecy of the Noble Qur'an, they would succeed in fulfilling the mission of Muhammad, the prophet of the entire world (Peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him: sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to Islamize the world. Whoever goes against the will of Allah will fail. The Christians as well suffer from the historical lie and from the denial of the rights of the Jews to Jerusalem. What is happening in the Middle East and the mutual bloodletting of the Muslims is not a consequence of the "problem of Palestine." It is a manifestation of Allah's anger at the infidels of the world who do not accept His prophecy regarding the return of the Jews to their land and establishing their capital in the united holy city of Jerusalem.

Israel and Palestine: A Brief History

Geography and Early History of Israel and Palestine

The land variously called Israel and Palestine is a small, (10,000 square miles at present) land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. During its long history, its area, population and ownership varied greatly. The present state of Israel occupies all the land from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean ocean, bounded by Egypt in the south, Lebanon in the north, and Jordan in the East. The recognized borders of Israel constitute about 78% of the land. The remainder is divided between land occupied by Israel since the 1967 6-day war and the autonomous regions under the control of the Palestinian autonomy. The Gaza strip occupies an additional  141 square miles south of Israel, and is under the control of the Palestinian authority.

Palestine has been settled continuously for tens of thousands of years. Fossil remains have been found of Homo Erectus, Neanderthal and transitional types between Neanderthal and modern man. Archeologists have found hybrid Emmer wheat at Jericho dating from before 8,000 B.C., making it one of the oldest sites of agricultural activity in the world. Amorites, Canaanites, and other Semitic peoples related to the Phoenicians of Tyre entered the area about 2000 B.C. The area became known as the Land of Canaan. (Click here for historical maps and some details of early history)

The Jewish Kingdoms of Ancient Judah and Israel

The archeological record indicates that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana'anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan. Canaan was settled by different tribes including Semitic peoples, Hittites, and later Philistines, peoples of the sea who are thought to have arrived from Mycenae, or to be part of the ancient Greek peoples that also settled Mycenae.

According to the Bible, Moses led the Israelites, or a portion of them, out of Egypt. Under Joshua, they conquered the tribes and city states of Canaan.  Based on biblical traditions, it is estimated that king David conquered Jerusalem about 1000 B.C. and established an Israelite kingdom over much of Canaan including parts of Transjordan. The kingdom was divided into Judea in the south and Israel in the north following the death of David's son, Solomon. Jerusalem remained the center of Jewish sovereignty and of Jewish worship whenever the Jews exercised sovereignty over the country in the subsequent period, up to the Jewish revolt in 133 AD.

The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C. The Babylonians conquered Judea or Judah around 586 B.C.  They destroyed Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, and exiled a large number of Jews.  About 50 years later, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia. Cyrus allowed a group of Jews from Babylonia to rebuild Jerusalem and settle in it. However, a large number of Jews remained in Babylonia, forming the first Jewish Diaspora. After the reestablishment of a Jewish state or protectorate, the Babylonian exiles maintained contact with authorities there. The Persians ruled the land from about 530 to 331 B.C. Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals divided the empire. One of these generals, Seleucus, founded a dynasty that gained control of much of Palestine about 200 B.C. At first, the new rulers, called Seleucids, allowed the practice of Judaism. But later, one of the kings, Antiochus IV, tried to prohibit it. In 167 B.C., the Jews revolted under the leadership of the Maccabeans and either drove the Seleucids out of Palestine or at least established a large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom received Roman "protection" when Judah Maccabee was made a "friend of the Roman senate and people" in 164 B.C. according to the records of Roman historians.

Palestine From Roman to Ottoman Rule

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.  Initially it was ruled by the client Herodian dynasty. The land was divided into districts of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and a small trans-Jordanian section, each of which eventually came under direct Roman control. The Romans called the large central area of the land, which included Jerusalem, Judea. According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Judea, in the early years of Roman rule. Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem, following the failed Bar Kochba revolt. The Romans named the area Palaestina, at about this time. 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." Most of the Jews who continued to practice their religion fled or were forcibly exiled from Palestine, eventually forming a second Jewish Diaspora. However, Jewish communities continued to exist, primarily in the Galilee, the northernmost part of Palestine. Palestine was governed by the Roman Empire until the fourth century A.D. (300's) and then by the Byzantine Empire. In time, Christianity spread to most of Palestine. The population consisted of Jewish converts to Christianity and paganism, peoples imported by the Romans, and others who had probably inhabited Palestine continuously.

During the seventh century (A.D. 600's), Muslim  Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine. Jerusalem was conquered about 638 by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900's. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their religions. However, most of the local population gradually accepted Islam and the Arab-Islamic culture of their rulers. Jerusalem (Al-Quds)  became holy to Muslims as the site where, according to tradition, Muhammad ascended to heaven after a miraculous overnight ride from Mecca on his horse Al-Buraq. The al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site generally regarded as the area of the Jewish temples.

The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule in Palestine lasted less than 30 years. Initially they were replaced by the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Fatimids took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian crusaders. They made an alliance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of Palestine.

The Crusaders, however, broke the alliance and invaded Palestine about a year later. They captured Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1099, slaughtered many Jewish and Muslim defenders and forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem. They held the city until 1187. In that year, the Muslim ruler Saladin conquered Jerusalem. The Crusaders then held a smaller and smaller area along the coast of Palestine, under treaty with Saladin. However, they broke the treaty with Saladin and later treaties. Crusade after crusade tried  to recapture Jerusalem, but they were unable to do so for more than a brief period.

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. Arab-speaking Muslims made up most of the population of the area once called Palestine. Beginning in the late 1300's, Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean lands settled in Jerusalem and other parts of the land. 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.

In 1798, Napoleon entered the land. The war with Napoleon and subsequent misadministration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers, reduced the population of Palestine. Arabs and Jews fled to safer and more prosperous lands. Revolts by Palestinian Arabs against Egyptian and Ottoman rule at this time may have helped to catalyze Palestinian national feeling. Subsequent reorganization and opening of the Turkish Empire to foreigners restored some order. They also allowed the beginnings of Jewish settlement under various Zionist and proto-Zionist movements.  Both Arab and Jewish population increased. By 1880, about 24,000 Jews were living in Palestine, out of a population of about 400,000. At about that time, the Ottoman government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase, and also began actively soliciting/inviting Muslims from other parts of the Ottoman empire to settle in Palestine, including Circassians and Bosnians.  The restrictions were evaded in various ways by Jews seeking to colonize Palestine, chiefly by bribery. 

The Rise of Zionism - Jews had never stopped coming to "the Holy land" or Palestine in small numbers throughout the exile. Palestine also remained the center of Jewish worship and a part of Jewish culture. However, the Jewish connection with the land was mostly abstract and connected with dreams of messianic redemption.

In the nineteenth century new social currents animated Jewish life. The emancipation of European Jews, signaled by the French revolution, brought Jews out of the Ghetto and into the modern world, exposing them to modern ideas. The liberal concepts introduced by  emancipation and modern nationalist ideas were blended with traditional Jewish ideas about Israel and Zion. The marriage of "love of Zion" with modern nationalism took place first among the Sephardic (Spanish and Eastern) Jewish community of Europe. There, the tradition of living in the land of the Jews and return to Zion had remained practical goals rather than messianic aspirations, and  Hebrew was a living language. Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay, who lived in what is now Yugoslavia, published the first Zionist writings in the 1840s. Though practically forgotten, these ideas took root among a few European Jews. Emancipation of Jews triggered a new type of virulent anti-Jewish political and social movement in Europe, particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe. Beginning in the late 1800's, oppression of Jews in Eastern Europe stimulated emigration of Jews to Palestine.

The Zionist movement became a formal organization in 1897 with the first Zionist congress in Basle, organized by Theodor Herzl. Herzl's grandfather was acquainted with the writings of Alcalay, and it is very probable that Herzl was influenced by them. The Zionists wished to establish a "Jewish Homeland" in Palestine under Turkish or German rule. Initially, most Zionists were not concerned about the Arab population, which they ignored, or thought would agree to voluntary transfer to other Arab countries. In any case, they envisioned the population of Palestine by millions of European Jews who would soon form a decisive majority in the land.  The Zionists established farm communities in Palestine at Petah Tikva, Zichron Jacob, Rishon Letzion and elsewhere. Later they established the new city of Tel Aviv, north of Jaffa.  At the same time, Palestine's Arab population grew rapidly. By 1914, the total population of Palestine stood at about 700,000. About 615,000  were Arabs, and 85,000 to 100,000 were Jews. (See population figures).  Additional information about Zionism and the creation of Israel , British Zionism and (off site) Christian Zionism Click here for books about  Zionism. Photo history of Zionism   Zionism

World War I - During World War I (1914-1918), the Ottoman Empire joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies. An Ottoman military government ruled Palestine. The war was hard on both Jewish and Arab populations, owing to outbreaks of cholera and typhus; however, it was more difficult for the Jews. For a time, the Turkish military governor ordered internment and deportation of all foreign nationals. A large number of Jews were Russian nationals. They had been able to enter Palestine as Russian nationals because of the concessions Turkey had granted to Russian citizens, and they had used this method to overcome restrictions on immigration. They had also maintained Russian citizenship to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army. Therefore, a large number of Jews were forced to flee Palestine during the war. A small group founded the NILI underground that fed intelligence information to the British, in order to free the land of Turkish rule. The Turks eventually caught members of the NILI group, but the information they provided is said to have helped the British invasion effort.

Britain and France planned to divide the Ottoman holdings in the Middle East among themselves after the war. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 called for part of Palestine to be under British rule, part to be placed under a joint Allied government, and for Syria and Lebanon to be given to the France.  However, Britain also offered to back Arab demands for postwar independence from the Ottomans in return for Arab support for the Allies and seems to have promised the same territories to the Arabs. In 1916, Arabs led by T.E. Lawrence and backed by Sharif Husayn revolted against the Ottomans in the belief that Britain would help establish Arab independence in the Middle East. Lawrence's exploits and their importance in the war against Turkey were somewhat exaggerated by himself and by the enterprising publicist Lowell Thomas. The United States and other countries pressed for Arab self-determination. The Arabs, and many in the British government including Lawrence, believed that the Arabs had been short-changed by the British promise to give Syria to the French, and likewise by the promise of Palestine as a Jewish homeland.  The Arabs claimed that Palestine was included in the area promised to them, but the British denied this.

The British Mandate for Palestine

The Balfour Declaration - In November 1917, before Britain had conquered Jerusalem and the area to be known as Palestine, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. The declaration was a letter addressed to Lord Rothschild, based on a request of the Zionist organization in Great Britain. The declaration stated Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine, without violating the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities. The declaration was the result of lobbying by the small British Zionist movement, especially by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who had emigrated from Russia to Britain, but it was motivated by British strategic considerations. Paradoxically, perhaps, a major motivation for the declaration may have been the belief, inspired by anti-Semitism, that international Jewry would come to the aid of the British if they declared themselves in favor of a Jewish homeland, and the fear that the Germans were about to issue such a declaration.

At the Paris peace conference in 1919, Zionist and Arab representatives pleaded their case, and met each other. The Zionists presented a map of the area they wanted for the Jewish national home. Remarkably, Dr. Weizmann and the Emir Feisal reached a signed agreement regarding Arab support for a Jewish national home. Feisal also assured the American Zionist representative, Chief Justice Frankfurter, of his support for the Zionist cause (see Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence ). However, Feisal conditioned his support on satisfaction of Arab aspirations in Syria. Instead, Syria was given to the French as a League of Nations mandate and Feisal not only withdrew his support from the Zionist project, but claimed he had never signed any such documents.

At the Paris peace conference and through the League of Nations, much of the Ottoman Empire was divided into mandated territories assigned to the victors of the war. The British and French saw the Mandates as instruments of imperial ambitions. US President Wilson insisted that the mandates must foster eventual independence. The British were anxious to keep Palestine away from the French, and decided to ask for a mandate that would implement the Jewish national home of the Balfour declaration, a project that would be supported by the Americans. The Arabs opposed the idea of a Jewish national home, considering that the areas now called Palestine were their land. The Arabs felt they were in danger of dispossession by the Zionists, and did not relish living under Jewish rule.

Arabs lobbied the American King-Crane commission, in favor of annexation of the Palestine mandate area to Syria, and later formed a national movement to combat the terms of the Mandate. At the instigation of US President Wilson, the King Crane commission had been sent to hear the views of the inhabitants. At the commission hearings, Aref Pasha Dajani expressed this opinion about the Jews, "Their history and their past proves that it is impossible to live with them. In all the countries where they are at present, they are not wanted...because they always arrive to suck the blood of everybody..."

By this time, Zionists had recognized the inevitability of conflict with the Palestinian and other Arabs. David Ben Gurion, who would lead the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) and go on to be the first Prime Minister of Israel, told a meeting of the governing body of the Jewish Yishuv  in 1919 "But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question...We as a nation, want this country to be ours, the Arabs as a nation, want this country to be theirs."

The Zionists and others presented their case to the Paris Peace conference. Ultimately, the British plan was adopted. The main issues taken into account were division of rights between Britain and France, rather than the views of the inhabitants.

In 1920, Britain received a provisional mandate over Palestine, which would extend west and east of the River Jordan. The area of the mandate (see map at right) given to Britain at the San Remo conference was much larger than historic Palestine as envisaged by the Zionists, who had sought an eastern border to the West of Amman.  The mandate, based on the Balfour declaration, was formalized in 1922.  The British were to help the Jews build a national home and promote the creation of self-governing institutions. The mandate provided for an agency, later called "The Jewish Agency for Palestine," that would represent Jewish interests in Palestine to the British and to promote Jewish immigration. A Jewish agency was created only in 1929, delayed by the desire to create a body that represented both Zionist and non-Zionist Jews. The Jewish agency in Palestine became in many respects the de-facto government of the Jewish Yishuv (community). 

The area granted to the mandate was much larger than the area sought by the Zionists. It is possible, that as Churchill suggested in 1922, the British never intended that all of this area would become a Jewish national home. On the other hand, some believe that Britain had no special plans for Transjordan initially. In his memoirs, Sir Alec Kirkbride, the British representative in Amman, wrote that "There was no intention at that stage [1920] of forming the territory east of the river Jordan into an independent Arab state." (Kirkbride, Alexander, A crackle of thorns, London, 1956 p 19) 

However, Abdullah, the son of King Husayn of the Hijaz, marched toward Transjordan with  2,000 soldiers. He announced his intention to march to Damascus, remove the French and reinstate the Hashemite monarchy. Sir Alec Kirkbride,  had 50 policemen. He asked for guidance from the British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel,  and Samuel eventually replied that it was unlikely Abdullah would enter British controlled areas. Two days later, Abdullah marched north and by March 1921, he occupied the entire country. Abdullah made no attempt to march on Damascus, and perhaps never intended to do so

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 (now Jordan), was made a separate British mandate and eventually given independence (See map at right) . A part of the Zionist movement felt betrayed at losing a large area of what they termed "historic Palestine" to Transjordan, and split off to form the "Revisionist" movement, headed by Benjamin Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky.

The British hoped to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine, as required by the mandate. The Jews were alarmed by the prospect of such institutions, which would have an Arab majority. However, the Arabs would not accept proposals for such institutions if they included any Jews at all, and so no institutions were created. The Arabs wanted as little as possible to do with the Jews and the mandate, and would not participate in municipal councils, nor even in the Arab Agency that the British wanted to set up. Ormsby-Gore, undersecretary of state for the colonies concluded, "Palestine is largely inhabited by unreasonable people."

Arab Riots and Jewish immigration - In the spring of 1920, spring of 1921 and summer of 1929, Arab nationalists opposed to the Balfour declaration, the mandate and the Jewish National Home, instigated riots and pogroms against Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, Jaffa and Haifa. The violence led to the formation of the Haganah Jewish self-defense organization in 1920. The riots of 1920 and 1921 reflected opposition to the Balfour declaration and fears that the Arabs of Palestine would be dispossessed, and were probably attempts to show the British that Palestine as a Jewish National home would be ungovernable. The major instigators were  Hajj Amin El Husseini, later Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and eventually a Nazi collaborator, and Arif -El Arif, a prominent Palestinian journalist. The riots of 1929 occurred against the background of Jewish-Arab nationalist antagonism. The Arabs claimed that Jewish immigration and land purchases were displacing and dispossessing the Arabs of Palestine. However,  economic, population and other indicators suggest that objectively, the Arabs of Palestine benefited from the Mandate and Zionist investment. Arab standard of living increased faster in Palestine than other areas, and population grew prodigiously throughout the Mandate years. (see Zionism and its Impact).  The riots were also fueled by false rumors that the Jews intended to build a synagogue at the wailing wall, or otherwise encroach upon the Muslim rule over the Temple Mount compound, including the Al-Aqsa mosque. The pogroms led to evacuation of most of the Jewish community of Hebron. . The British responded with the Passfield White Paper. The white paper attempted to stop immigration to Palestine based on the recommendations of the Hope Simpson report. That report stated that in the best case, following extensive economic development, the land could support immigration of another 20,000 families in total. Otherwise further Jewish immigration would infringe on the position of the existing Arab population.  However, British MPs and the Zionist movement sharply criticized the new policy and PM Ramsay McDonald issued a "clarification" stating that Jewish immigration would not be stopped.

Jewish immigration swelled in the 1930s, driven by persecution in Eastern Europe, even before the rise of Nazism. Large numbers of Jews began to come from Poland owing to discriminatory laws and harsh economic conditions. The rise of Hitler in Germany added to this tide of immigration. The Jewish Agency made a deal, the Hesder, that allowed Jews to escape Germany to Palestine in return for hard currency that the Reich needed. The Hesder saved tens of thousands of lives.

Arab Revolt and the White Paper - In 1936 widespread rioting, later known as the Arab Revolt or Great Uprising,  broke out. The revolt was kindled when British forces killed Izz al din El Qassam in a gun battle. Izz al Din El Qassam was a Syrian preacher who had emigrated to Palestine and was agitating against the British and the Jews. The revolt was coopted by the Husseini family and by Fawzi El Kaukji, a former Turkish officer, and it was possibly financed in part  by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Thousands of Arabs and hundreds of Jews were killed in the revolt, which spread rapidly owing to initial unpreparedness of the British authorities. About half the 5,000 residents of the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem were forced to flee, and the remnant of the Hebron Jewish community was evacuated as well.

The Husseini family killed both Jews and members of Palestinian Arab families opposed to their hegemony. The Yishuv (Jewish community) responded with both defensive measures, and with random terror and bombings of Arab civilian targets, perpetrated by the Irgun (Irgun Tsvai Leumi or "Etsel,"). Etsel was the military underground of the right-wing dissident "revisionist group" headed first by Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky, who seceded from the Zionist movement, and later by Menachem Begin.  The Peel commission of 1937 recommended partitioning Palestine into a small Jewish state and a large Arab one. The commission's recommendations also included voluntary transfer of Arabs and Jews to separate the populations. The Jewish leadership considered the plan but the Palestinian and Arab leadership, including King Saud of Saudi Arabia , rejected partition and demanded that the British curtail Jewish immigration. Saud said that if the British failed to follow Arab wishes in Palestine, the Arabs would turn against them and side with their enemies. He said that Arabs did not understand the "strange attitude of your British Government, and the still more strange hypnotic influence which the Jews, a race accursed by God according to His Holy Book, and destined to final destruction and eternal damnation hereafter, appear to wield over them and the English people generally." 

In response to the riots, the British began limiting immigration and the 1939 White Paper decreed that 15,000 Jews would be allowed to enter Palestine each year for five years. Thereafter, immigration would be subject to Arab approval. At the same time, the British took drastic and often cruel steps to curtail the riots. Husseini fled to Iraq, where he was involved in an Axis-supported coup against the British and then to Nazi Germany, where he subsequently broadcast for the Axis powers, was active in curtailing Jewish immigration from neutral countries and organized SS death squads in Yugoslavia. (More about he Arab Revolt or Great Uprising).

The Holocaust - During World War II (1939-1945), many Palestinian Arabs and Jews joined the Allied forces. though some Palestinian and Arab leaders were sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Jews had a special motivation for fighting the Nazis because of Nazi persecution of Jews and growing suspicions that the Nazis were systematically exterminating the Jews of Europe. These suspicions were later confirmed, and the extermination of European Jews came to be known as the Holocaust.  The threat of extermination also created great pressure for immigration to Palestine, but the gates of Palestine were closed by the British White Paper.  In 1941 the British freed Jewish Haganah underground leaders in a general amnesty, and they joined the British in fighting the Germans.

Illegal Immigration - The Jews of Palestine responded to the White Paper and the Holocaust by organizing illegal immigration to Palestine from occupied Europe, through the "Institution for Illegal Immigration" (Hamossad L'aliya Beth).  Illegal immigration (Aliya Bet)  was organized by the Jewish Agency between 1939 and 1942, when a tightened British blockade and stricter controls in occupied Europe made it impractical, and again between 1945 and 1948. Rickety boats full of refugees tried to reach Palestine. Additionally, there were private initiatives, an initiative by the Nazis to deport Jews and an initiative by the US to save European Jews.  Many of the ships sank or were caught by the British or the Nazis and turned back,  or shipped to Mauritius or other destinations for internment. The Patria (also called "Patra") contained immigrants offloaded from three other ships, for transshipment to the island of Mauritius. To prevent transshipment, the Haganah placed a small explosive charge on the ship on November 25, 1940. They thought the charge would damage the engines.  Instead,  the ship sank, and over 250  lives were lost.  A few weeks later, the SS Bulgaria docked in Haifa with 350 Jewish refugees and was ordered to return to Bulgaria. The Bulgaria capsized in the Turkish straits, killing 280. The  Struma, a vessel that had left Constanta in Rumania with about 769 refugees, got to Istanbul on December 16, 1941. There, it was forced to undergo repairs of its engine and leaking hull. The Turks would not grant the refugees sanctuary. The British would not approve transshipment to Mauritius or entry to Palestine. On February 24, 1942, the Turks ordered the Struma out of the harbor. It sank with the loss of 428 men, 269 women and 70 children. It had been torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, either because it was mistaken for a Nazi ship, or more likely, because the Soviets had agreed to collaborate with the British in barring Jewish immigration.  Illegal immigration continued until late in the war, apparently without the participation of the  Mossad l'aliya Bet.  Despite the many setbacks, tens of thousands of Jews were saved by the illegal immigration.

The Biltmore Declaration - Reports of Nazi atrocities became increasingly frequent and vivid. Despite the desperate need to find a haven for refugees, the doors of Palestine remained shut to Jewish immigration. The Zionist leadership met in the Biltmore Hotel in New York City in 1942 and declared that it supported the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth. This was not simply a return to the Balfour declaration repudiated by the British White Paper, but rather a restatement of Zionist aims that went beyond the Balfour declaration, and a determination that the British were in principle, an enemy to be fought, rather than an ally. 

Assassination of Lord Moyne - On November 6, members of the Jewish Lehi underground  Eliyahu Hakim and Eliyahu Bet Zuri  assassinated Lord Moyne in Cairo. Moyne, a known anti-Zionist, was Minister of State for the Middle East and in charge of carrying out the terms of the 1939 White Paper - preventing Jewish immigration to Palestine by force. He was also a personal friend of Winston Churchill. The assassination did not change British policy, but it turned Winston Churchill against the Zionists. Hakim and Bet Zuri were caught and were hanged by the British in 1945.

The Season ("Sezon") - The Jewish Agency and Zionist Executive believed that British and world reaction to the assassination of Lord Moyne could jeopardize cooperation after the war, that had been hinted at by the British, and might endanger the Jewish Yishuv if they came to be perceived as enemies of Britain and the allies. Therefore they embarked on a campaign against the Lehi and Irgun, known in Hebrew as the "Sezon" ("Season"). Members of the underground were to be ostracized. Leaders were caught by the Haganah, interrogated and sometimes tortured,  and about a thousand persons were turned over to the British.

Displaced PersonsAfter the war, it was discovered that the Germans had murdered about six million Jews in Europe, in the Holocaust. These people had been trapped in Europe, because virtually no country would give them shelter. The Zionists felt that British restriction of immigration to Palestine had cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The Jews were now desperate to bring the remaining Jews of Europe, about 250,000 people being held in displaced persons camps, to Palestine.

United Resistance - In the summer of 1945, the Labor party came to power in Great Britain. They had promised that they would reverse the British White Paper and would support a Jewish state in Palestine. However, they presently reneged on their promise, and continued and redoubled efforts to stop Jewish immigration.  The Haganah attempted to bring immigrants into Palestine illegally.  The rival Zionist underground groups now united, and all of them, in particular the Irgun and Lehi ("Stern gang") dissident terrorist groups, used force to try to drive the British out of Palestine. This included bombing of trains, train stations, an officers club and British headquarters in the King David Hotel, as well as kidnapping and murder of British personnel. In Britain, newspapers and politicians began to demand that the government settle the conflict and stop endangering the lives of British troops.

The US and other countries brought pressure to bear on the British to allow immigration. An Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry recommended allowing 100,000 Jews to immigrate immediately to Palestine.  The Arabs brought pressure on the British to block such immigration. The British found Palestine to be ungovernable and returned the mandate to the United Nations, successor to the League of Nations. The report of the Anglo-American Committee provided a detailed summary of the British mandate period and the security situation in Palestine, as well as a report on the effects of the Holocaust and the condition of European Jewry.

Partition - The United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. The commission called for Jerusalem to be put under international administration The UN General Assembly adopted this plan on Nov. 29, 1947 as UN  Resolution (GA 181), owing to support of both the US and the Soviet Union, and in particular, the personal support of US President Harry S. Truman. Many factors contributed to Truman's decision to support partition, including domestic politics and intense Zionist lobbying, no doubt. Truman wrote in his diary, however,  "I think the proper thing to do, and the thing I have been doing, is to do what I think is right and let them all go to hell."

The Jews accepted the UN decision, but the Arabs rejected it. The resolution divided the land into two approximately equal portions in a complicated scheme with zig-zag borders (see map at right and  see Partition Map and detailed partition map of UNSCOP Proposal  and final map: UN Palestine Partition Plan Map - 1947). The intention was an economic union between the two states with open borders. At the time of partition, slightly less than half the land in all of Palestine was owned by Arabs, slightly less than half was "crown lands" belonging to the state, and about 8% was owned by Jews or the Jewish Agency. There were about 600,000 Jews in Palestine, almost all living in the areas allotted to the Jewish state or in the internationalized zone of Jerusalem, and about 1.2 million Arabs. The allocation of land by Resolution 181 was intended to produce two areas with Jewish and Arab majorities respectively. Jerusalem and environs were to be internationalized. The relatively large Jewish population of Jerusalem and the surroundings, about 100,000, were geographically cut off from the rest of the Jewish state, separated by a relatively large area, the "corridor," allotted to the Palestinian state. The corridor included the populous Arab towns of Lod and Ramla and the smaller towns of Qoloniyeh, Emaus, Qastel and others that guarded the road to Jerusalem. (Click for Large Detailed Map)

It soon became evident that the scheme could not work. Mutual antagonism would make it impossible for either community to tolerate the other. The UN was unwilling and unable to force implementation of the internationalization of Jerusalem. The Arab League, at the instigation of Haj Amin Al-Husseini, declared a war to rid Palestine of the Jews. In fact however, the Arab countries each had separate agendas. Abdullah, king of Jordan, had an informal and secret agreement with Israel, negotiated with Golda Meir, to annex the portions of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian state in the West Bank, and prevent formation of a Palestinian state. Syria wanted to annex the northern part of Palestine, including Jewish and Arab areas.

Modern History

The War of Independence - 1948 War (the 'Nakba') - The War of Independence or 1948 War is divided into the pre-independence period, and the post-independence period. Clashes between Israeli underground groups and Arab irregulars began almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution. During this time, Arab countries did not invade, though the Jordan legion did assist the in the attack against Gush Etzion, a small block of settlements in the territory allocated to the Palestinian state, south of Jerusalem. (See 1948 Israel War of Independence (1948 Arab-Israeli war) Timeline (Chronology) and Israel War of Independence (First Arab-Israel War)

Pre-Independence - During the period before Israeli independence was declared, two armies of Arab irregular volunteers, led by Haj Amin El Husseini in the Jerusalem area, and by Fawzi El Kaukji in the Galilee, placed their fighters in Arab towns and conducted various aggressive operations against the Jewish towns and village under the eyes of the British. Kaukji and his irregulars were allowed into Palestine from Syria by the British, with the agreement that he would not engage in military actions, but he soon broke the agreement and attacked across the Galilee. The Arab irregulars were met by the Zionist underground army, the Haganah, and by the underground groups of the "dissident" factions, Irgun and Lehi.

In Jerusalem, Arab riots broke out on November 30 and December 1 1947. Palestinian irregulars cut off the supply of food, water and fuel to Jerusalem during a long siege that began in late 1947. Fighting and violence broke out immediately throughout the country, including ambushes of transportation, the Jerusalem blockade, riots such as the Haifa refinery riots, and massacres that took place at Gush Etzion (by Palestinians) and in Deir Yassin (by Jews). Arab Palestinians began leaving their towns and villages to escape the fighting. Notably, most of the Arab population of Haifa left in March and April of 1948, despite pleas by both Jewish and British officials to stay.

The British did little to stop the fighting, but the scale of hostilities was limited by lack of arms and trained soldiers on both sides. Initially, the Palestinians had a clear advantage, and a Haganah intelligence report of March, 1948 indicated that the situation was critical, especially in the Jerusalem area.   It is generally agreed that April 1948 marked a turning point in the fighting  before the invasion by Arab armies, in favor of the initially outnumbered and outgunned Jewish forces. To break the siege of Jerusalem, the Haganah prematurely activated "Plan Dalet" - a plan prepared for general defense that was supposed to have been implemented when the British had left. It required use of regular armed forces and army tactics, fighting in the open, rather than as an underground. It also envisioned the "temporary" evacuation of Arab civilians from towns in certain strategic areas, such as the Jerusalem corridor. This provision has been cited as evidence that the Zionists planned for the exodus and expulsion of Arab civilians in advance.

The Haganah mounted its first full scale operation, Operation Nahshon, using 1,500 troops. It attacked the Arab villages of Qoloniyah and Qastel, occupied by Arab irregular forces after the villagers had fled, on the road to Jerusalem and temporarily broke the siege, allowing convoys of supplies to reach the city. Qastel fell on April 8, and the key Palestinian military commander, Abdel Khader Al-Husseini was killed there. Qoloniyeh fell on April 11. In the north, Fawzi El-Kaukji's "Salvation Army" was beaten back at the battle of Mishmar Haemeq on April 12, 1948. These successes helped convince US President Truman that the Jews would not be overrun by Arab forces, and he abandoned the trusteeship proposal that the US had put before the UN earlier.  Following attacks by Arab irregulars, the Irgun attacked the Arab town of Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv. Palestinians fled en masse despite the pleas of the British to remain.

The Arab Invasion - The governments of neighboring Arab states were more reluctant than is generally assumed to enter the war against Israel, despite bellicose declarations. However, fear of popular pressure combined with fear that other Arab states would gain an advantage over them by fighting in Palestine, helped sway Syria, Jordan and Egypt to go to war. While officially they were fighting according to one plan, in fact there was little coordination between them.

On May 14, 1948, the Jews proclaimed the independent State of Israel, and the British withdrew from Palestine. In the following days and weeks, neighboring Arab nations invaded Palestine and Israel (click here for map). The fighting was conducted in several brief periods, punctuated by cease fire agreements ( truces were declared June 11 to July 8, 1948 and July 19- October 15, 1948).

In the initial stage, notable successes were scored by the Egyptian and Syrian armies. In particular, the Egyptians, backed by tanks, artillery, armor and aircraft, which Israel did not have, were able to cut off the entire Negev and to occupy parts of the land that had been allocated to the Jewish state.  In his book, "In the Fields of Phillistia," Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery recounts how the Egyptian army attempted a massed armored strike against Tel Aviv. Palestinian attempts to set up a real state were blocked by Egypt and Jordan. Jordan kept to its agreement not to invade areas allocated to the Jewish state, but Syria and Egypt did not. The strike was turned back by a few recently arrived Messerchmitt aircraft, bought from Czechoslovakia. The Syrians made some advances into the territory that had been allotted to the Palestinian state.

While Jordan did not invade Jewish territory, the Arab Legion blocked convoys to besieged Jewish Jerusalem from its fortified positions in Latroun. Jerusalem was to have been internationalized according to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 and  UN General Assembly Resolution 303.The Jordanian positions at Latroun (or Latrun) could not be overcome despite several bloody attacks. To get around it, the Israelis ultimately built a "Burma Road' that was completed in June of 1948 and broke the siege of Jerusalem.

The first cease fire and the Altalena - A cease fire in June gave all sides time to regroup and reorganize. This marked a critical stage in the fighting. The Arab side made a crucial error in accepting the truce. The Israelis took advantage of the cease fire to reorganize and recruit and train soldiers. They were now able to bring in large shiploads of arms, despite the treaty terms, and to train and organize a real fighting force of 60,000 troops, giving them a real advantage in troops and armament for the first time. The truce probably saved Jerusalem, which had been on the brink of starvation. During the long truce, the underground armies of the Haganah, Palmah, Irgun and Lehi were amalgamated into a single national fighting force, the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The revisionist Irgun movement attempted to bring a shipload of arms into Israel on a ship called the Altalena, in order to maintain a separate fighting force. Israeli PM Ben Gurion ordered the IDF to sink the Altalena when Irgun leader Menahem Begin refused to give up its cargo of arms.  The Palestinians and Arabs did not use the time well. A large shipment of arms intended for the Palestinians was blocked by the IDF/Haganah and never reached Syria. Arab states were reluctant to commit more men to the struggle or to spend more money.

Resumption of the war - The war with the Egyptians had been static, as they were isolated in the "Falluja" pocket in central Israel. After the cease fire expired, Israel took the war with the Egyptians to their territory and entered the Sinai peninsula. The IDF was forced to withdraw after encounters with British aircraft.

In the center, the IDF cut a swath of land to open the "corridor" between Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. During the "ten days" period of fighting between the two truces, they invaded the Arab towns of Lod and Ramla that had been blocking the road to Jerusalem and expelled most of the Palestinians living there, after killing a large number. They destroyed numerous small Palestinian villages surrounding Tel-Aviv, so that virtually no Palestinians were left in central Israel. (Click here for a map of Palestine before 1948)

The Arab defeat and the birth of the refugee problem - Despite initial setbacks, better organization and intelligence successes, as well as timely clandestine arms shipments, enabled the Jews to gain a decisive victory. The Arabs and Palestinians lost their initial advantage when they failed to organize and unite. When the fighting ended in 1949, Israel held territories beyond the boundaries set by the UN plan - a total of 78% of the area west of the Jordan river. The UN made no serious attempt to enforce the internationalization of Jerusalem, which was now divided between Jordan and Israel, and separated by barbed wire fences and no man's land areas. Click here to view a map of the UN plan for Jerusalem and Jerusalem as divided under the armistice agreements. The rest of the area assigned to the Arab state was occupied by Egypt and Jordan.  Egypt held the Gaza Strip and Jordan held the West Bank.   About 726,000 Arabs fled or were driven out of Israel and became refugees in neighboring Arab countries. The conflict created about as many Jewish refugees from Arab countries, many of whom were stripped of their property, rights and nationality, but Israel has not pursued claims on behalf of these refugees (see Jewish refugees of the Arab-Israel conflict).

The Arab countries refused to sign a permanent peace treaty with Israel. Consequently, the borders of Israel established by the armistice commission never received de jure (legal) international recognition. Arabs call the defeat and exile of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 the Nakba (disaster).

The UN arranged a series of cease-fires between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948 and 1949. UN GA Resolution 194 called for cessation of hostilities and return of refugees who wish to live in peace. Security Council Resolution 62 called for implementation of armistice agreements that would lead to a permanent peace. The borders of Israel were established along the "green line" of the armistice agreements of 1949. (Click here for a map of the armistice lines (so called "green line") . These borders were not recognized by Arab states, which continued to refuse to recognize Israel.  Though hostilities ceased, the refugee problem was not solved. Negotiations broke down because Israel refused to readmit more than a small number of refugees. The USSR, initially in favor of the Zionist state, now aligned itself with the Arab countries. Despite continued US support for the existence of Israel, US aid to Israel was minimal and did not include military aid during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were equipped with surplus arms purchased third hand and with French aircraft and light armor. The Arab countries, especially Syria and Egypt, began receiving large quantities of Soviet military aid. The Arab League instituted an economic boycott against Israel that was partly honored by most industrial nations and continued in force until the 1990s.

Map of the Israel  "Green Line" Borders

The Sinai Campaign - Following the overthrow of King Farouk of Egypt by the free officers headed by Naguib and Nasser, Egypt made some moves toward peace with Israel. However, in 1954, an Israeli spy ring was caught trying to blow up the US Information agency and other foreign institutions in Egypt. The goal was to create tension between the US and Egypt and prevent rapprochement. In Israel, both Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion disclaimed responsibility for the action, and blamed each other. This incident came to be known variously as "the Lavon affair" and "the shameful business." (click here for details).  Egypt became suspicious of Israeli intentions, and began negotiating to purchase large quantities of arms. When they were turned down by the West, the Egyptians turned to the Eastern bloc countries and concluded a deal with Czechoslovakia. Egyptian President Gamal Nasser also closed the straits of Tiran and Suez Canal  to Israeli shipping. Israeli strategists believed that Egypt would go to war or force a diplomatic showdown as soon the weapons had been integrated, and began looking for a source of arms as well. Israel concluded an arms deal with France. A series of border incursions by Palestinians and by Egyptians from Gaza evoked increasingly severe Israeli reprisals, triggering larger raids. The assessment of Israeli "activists" like Moshe Dayan was that Israel should wage preventive war before Egypt had fully integrated the new weapons.

In the summer of 1956, Israel, France and Britain colluded in a plan to reverse the nationalization of the Suez canal. Israel would invade the Sinai and land paratroopers near the Mitla pass. Britain and France would issue an ultimatum, and then land troops ostensibly to separate the sides.  The plan was carried out beginning October 29, 1956. Israel swiftly conquered Sinai. The US was furious at Israel, Britain and France. UN General Assembly Resolution 997 called for immediate withdrawal.  Israeli troops remained in Sinai for many months. Israel subsequently withdrew under pressure from the UN and in particular the United States. Israel obtained guarantees that international waterways would remain open to Israeli shipping from the US, and a UN force was stationed in Sinai.

Sinai Campaign - Map

The beginning of the Fatah - Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian Palestinian who grew up in the Gaza strip and had been a member of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brothers) and the Futuwwah or Futtuwah (officially called "Nazi Scouts" according to Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, 1999, page 124, Palestinian armed faction of Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini) was recruited by Egyptian intelligence while studying in Cairo in 1955, and founded the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). In 1957 he moved to Kuwait and together with Khalil Al Wazir (Abu Jihad) Farouq Qadumi, Khalid al Hassan, Mahmoud Abass and others founded the Palestine Liberation Committee, later renamed the Fatah (reverse acronym for Harakat Tahrir Filastin - the Palestine Liberation Movement) modeled on the Algerian FLN.


The 1967 6-Day War - Tension began developing between Israel and Arab countries in the 1960s. Israel began to implement its National Water Carrier plan, which pumps water from the Sea of Galilee to irrigate south and central Israel. The project was in accordance with a plan proposed by US envoy Eric Johnston in 1955, and agreed to by Arab engineers. Arab governments refused to participate however, because of the implied recognition of Israel. In secret meetings, Israel and Jordan agreed to abide by the water quotas set by the plan.

The newly formed Palestinian Fatah movement seized on the Israeli diversion as an "imperialist event" that would catalyze their revolution, and Yasser Arafat began calling for war to eliminate Israel. In the Fatah newspaper, Filastinunah, ("our Palestine") Arafat ridiculed Egyptian President Nasser and other Arab leaders for their impotence, and called for effective action against Israel. Nasser decided to found the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a "tame" alternative to the Fatah, and placed Ahmed Shukhairy, an ineffective and bombastic diplomat at its head.

The Syrians, who had broken with Nasser's pan-Arabism, countered by supporting Fatah and attempted to take over the Fatah group. Syrian army intelligence  recruited terrorists for actions against Israel, giving credit for the operations to Fatah. The first of these actions was announced on December 31, 1964, an attack on the Israel water carrier at Beit Netopha, but in fact no attack had taken place. A second attempt was made on January 2, 1965, but the explosives charge was disarmed. However, successful attacks soon followed on January 14 and February 28. These minor terrorist activities received great publicity in the Arab world, and were contrasted with the lack of action and bombastic talk of Gamal Nasser, challenging Nasser's leadership. This ferment is considered the catalyst of the events that brought about the 6-day war. It is a moot point whether it is to be attributed to Syrian rivalry with Nasser, or as Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians claim, to the Fatah movement. Faced with the "heroic" deeds of the Palestinians under Syrian tutelage, Nasser was pushed to an increasingly bellicose stance.

In several summit conferences beginning in 1964, Arab leaders ratified the  establishment of the PLO, declared their resolve to destroy Israel, and decided to divert the sources of the Jordan river that feed the Sea of Galilee, to prevent Israel from implementing the water carrier plan. The Syrians and Lebanese began to implement the diversions. Israel responded by firing on the tractors and equipment doing the work in Syria, using increasingly accurate and longer range guns as the Syrians moved the equipment from the border. This was followed by Israeli attempts to cultivate the demilitarized zones (DMZ) as provided in the armistice agreements. Israel was within its rights according to the armistice agreements, but Moshe Dayan claimed many years later that 80% of the incidents were deliberately provoked. The Syrians responded by firing in the DMZs (Click here for a map of the demilitarized zones). When Israelis responded in force, Syria began shelling Israeli towns in the north, and the conflict escalated into air strikes.  The USSR was intent on protecting the new Ba'athist pro-Soviet government of Syria, and represented to the Syrians and Egyptians that Israel was preparing to attack Syria. As tension rose, Syria appealed to Egypt, believing the claim of the USSR that Israel was massing troops on the Syrian border. The claim was false and was denied by the UN.

Against this background, in Mid-May, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser began making bellicose statements. On May 16, 1967, a Radio Cairo broadcast stated: "The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. The peak hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel." On the same day, Egypt asked for the withdrawal of the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) from Sinai and the Gaza Strip. UN Secretary General U Thant agreed to remove the troops on May 18. Formally, the troops could only be stationed in Egypt with Egyptian agreement. However, for a long time it was believed that Nasser had really hoped U Thant would not remove the troops, and that he could use the presence of the UN troops as an excuse to do nothing.

On May 23, Nasser closed the straits of  Tiran to Israeli shipping. The United States failed to live up to its guarantees of freedom of the waterways to Israel. A torrent of rhetoric issued from Arab capitals and in the UN. At the UN, PLO Chairman Ahmed Shukhairy announced that "if it will be our privilege to strike the first blow" the PLO would expel from Palestine all Zionists who had arrived after 1917 and eliminate the state of Israel. In a speech to Arab Trade Unionists on May 26, 1967, Nasser justified the dismissal of the UNEF, and made it clear that Egypt was prepared to fight Israel for Palestinian rights. He also attacked the Jordanians as tools of the imperialists, stepping up the constant pressure on Jordan's King Hussein.

Despite the bellicose rhetoric, analysts such as Avi Shlaim (The Iron Wall) and others believe that each country was dragged into the conflict by inter-Arab rivalry and did not contemplate a war. Nasser never intended to attack Israel according to Shlaim. He had been dragged into the conflict by Soviet maneuvers and Syrian fears and his need to claim leadership of the Arab world according to them. Be that as it may, according to Michael Oren, recently declassified documents reveal that the Egyptians in fact planned to attack Israel on May 28, 1967. The plan, codenamed operation Dawn, was discovered by Israel. The Israelis told the Americans. US President Johnson told Soviet Premier Kosygin, and Kosygin wrote to Nasser. Nasser understood that he had lost the element of surprise and called off the attack. Nonetheless, on May 29, 1967, Nasser was still speaking of confrontation with Israel. He told members of the Egyptian National Assembly,  "God will surely help and urge us to restore the situation to what it was in 1948."

IDF officers began pressuring the civilian establishment to declare war, because it was considered that an Arab attack might be imminent, and because Israel's ability to maintain its army fully mobilized is limited, but Prime Minister Eshkol was reluctant to take action, and Foreign Minister Abba Eban opposed unilateral action, which he believed would be against the wishes of the United States. Ariel Sharon now admits that he and others, including Yitzhak Rabin, had discussed the possibility of a sort of coup, in which government officials were to be locked in a room, while the army started the war, but the idea never got past the stage of thinking out loud.  

On May 30, Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt, readying itself for war. Nasser stated: "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations." 

On June 4, Iraq likewise joined a military alliance with Egypt and committed itself to war. On May 31, the Iraqi President Rahman Aref announced, "This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear--to wipe Israel off the map."

US and Israeli assessments were that Israel would win any war handily, despite the huge superiority in armor, aircraft, and troops favoring the combined forces of the Arab countries. Prior to 1967, Israel had gotten almost no military aid from the United States. Egypt and Syria were equipped with large quantities of the latest Soviet military equipment. Israel's main arms supplier was France. On paper, Israel had almost as many aircraft as the Egyptians, but the Israeli aircraft were mostly old, and even the Super-Mirages were no match for the Mig-21 fighters acquired by Egypt from the USSR. On paper, the IDF had a large number of "tanks" matching or almost matching the arms of the Arab countries. However, while Syrians and Egyptians were equipped with late model Soviet heavy tanks, many of the Israeli "tanks" were in fact tiny French AMX anti-tank vehicles, and the heavy tanks were refurbished WWII Sherman tanks fitted with diesel engines. Israel had also been allowed to purchase about 250 M-48 Patton tanks from Germany in 1965.  Most of these tanks were being refitted with Diesel engines in 1967, and the US refused an Israeli request for 100 Pattons to replace the ones that were out of service. The Israeli and Jewish public, and some in the government, believed that there was a mortal threat to Israel. Ten thousand graves were dug in Tel Aviv public parks in anticipation of the heavy casualties.

The Israeli government probably did not want war, and some at least were fearful of war. Ben Gurion berated Chief of Staff Itzhak Rabin for making aggressive statements that had, according to him, escalated the conflict and gotten Israel into trouble. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol appeared hesitant, and stuttered in a dramatic radio speech to the nation. Under great public pressure from opposition parties, a unity government was formed. Foreign Minister Abba Eban tried in vain to obtain from the US a guarantee that they would reopen the straights of Tiran. At first, President Johnson promised an international flotilla, and warned Israel not to attack on its own. However, the US was unable to initiate any international action, and reversed its position, hinting broadly that Israel would have to handle the problem itself.

Israel could not maintain total mobilization indefinitely. When it became apparent that Egypt would not stand down, Israel attacked the Egyptians beginning on June 5, 1967. In the first hours of the war, Israel destroyed over 400 enemy aircraft to achieve total air superiority. Israeli troops quickly conquered the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. Jordanian artillery began firing at Jerusalem on the first day of the war, despite a warning by Israeli PM Levi Eshkol to stay out of the war, and then the Jordan Legion advanced and took over the headquarters of the UN (Governor's house - Armon Hanatziv ) in Jerusalem. After warning King Hussein repeatedly to cease fire and withdraw, Israel conquered the West Bank and Jerusalem. During the first days of the war, Syrian artillery based in the Golan Heights pounded civilian targets in northern Israel. After dealing with Egypt, Israel decided to conquer the Golan heights, despite opposition and doubts of some in the government, including Moshe Dayan, who had been appointed defense minister. (see map of territories occupied in 1967) and despite the fact that the UN had already called for a cease fire.  Israel agreed to a cease fire on June 10, 1967 after conquering the Golan Heights. UN Resolution 242 called for negotiations of a permanent peace between the parties, and for Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied in 1967. More details here: Six day war 1967 Six Day War Timeline (chronology)

The aftermath of the war - The 1967 6-Day war changed the perceived balance of power in the Middle East and created a new reality. Israel had acquired extensive territories - the Sinai desert, the Golan heights and the West Bank, that were several times larger than the 1948 borders. ( Click here to view a map of Israeli borders after the 6 day war). Nasser had been able to attribute the Egyptian defeat in 1956 to British and French support of the Israelis. Though he tried to blame the 1967 defeat on support supposedly given by the US Sixth fleet, this was clearly untrue.

According to analysts such as Fouad Ajami, the disastrous defeat of the Arabs spelled the end of the Pan-Arab approach advocated by Gamal Abdul Nasser and contributed to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. It should be remembered however, that Nasser and the pan-Arabists always viewed themselves as heads of the Islamic world as well as the Arab world.

While Israel had acquired territories and a military victory, it also marked a new day for Palestinian aspirations. The defeat brought about a million Palestinian Arabs under Israeli rule. After the war, the fate of the Palestinians came to play a large role in the Arab-Israeli struggle. The Fatah organization (The Movement for Liberation of Palestine) was founded about 1957 (though it was formalized much later), and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization)  was founded in 1964. Both had the declared aim of destroying Israel. After the 6-day war, Ahmad Shukairy, who had headed the PLO, was replaced as chairman by Yasser Arafat who headed the Fatah. Fatah and the PLO now had freedom of action, without the restraints of the discredited Arab regimes. Since all parts of Palestine were now under Israeli control, Fatah actions did not directly threaten Arab governments.  In time, the Palestine Liberation Organization  became recognized by all the Arab states and eventually by the UN as the representative of the Palestinian people. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat addressed a session of the UN General Assembly in 1974. Israel strongly opposed the PLO because of its terrorist acts against Jews and because of its charter aims of destroying the state of Israel and expelling Jews who had arrived after 1917.

Map of Israel-Arab Cease Fire Lines 1967

The Israeli government was undecided concerning its plans for the territories. The United States pressured Israel to make a statement calling for withdrawal from the conquered territories in return for peace. On June 19, 1967, the government decided to offer Egypt and Syria return of the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights for a peace settlement to be negotiated directly. The offer apparently did not include the Gaza strip, and called for demilitarization of Sinai. In the Golan, Israel offered to withdraw to the international border rather than the 1949 armistice lines, not including the territory conquered by Syria in 1948.  J ordan and the West Bank were not mentioned. The offer was transmitted in secret through the United States, but was turned down. Egypt and Syria refused to negotiate with Israel.

At the request of Jordan's King Hussein, Ya'akov Herzog met with him in the offices of his physician in London, on the evening of July 2, 1967. According to Herzog's notes of the meeting, Hussein discussed the reasons why he had been forced to go to war at length. He said that if there were to be peace, there would have to be peace with honor, however he did not ask for peace. He did not reply when Herzog asked him if he was offering peace, but said he would reply in time. Israel did not have a concrete peace proposal for Jordan. Herzog offered his private view, that there should be an economic confederation. (This meeting is documented in Segev, Tom, Israel in 1967 (1967: Veharetz shinta et paneiha - in Hebrew only), 2005, pp 530-536). 

Religious and nationalist groups began agitating for annexation and settlement of areas in the West Bank and Golan heights. Some government ministers including Pinchas Sapir, Zalman Aran of the Labor party and the NRP's Yaakov Shimshon Shapira feared the demographic problems that would arise from conquering all those Arabs. Shapira also pointed out that annexing the West Bank would lend credence to claims that Israel was a colonialist enterprise. Menachem Begin and Yigal Alon favored annexation. Moshe Dayan proposed that the Arabs of the West Bank should be given autonomy, but Menachem Begin, who was later to favor the plan, objected. He believed large numbers of Jews could now be brought to Israel to settle the territories, and the Arabs would be given a choice between becoming citizens or leaving.

The Mossad had proposed a Palestinian state under Israeli protection in a report dated June 14, 1967 (Segev, 1967, pp 537-538), but this was not accepted. According to some sources, in the summer of 1967, Moshe Dayan received a delegation of notables who proposed self-rule for the West Bank, but he rejected the offer.

By July 1967, Yigal Alon had submitted his "Alon Plan" which called for Israeli retention of large parts of the West Bank in any peace settlement for strategic reasons.   An increasing number of settlements were established as it became evident that Arab states would not negotiate with Israel. A decisive turning point was the Khartoum Arab summit, in August and September of 1967, which seemed to shut the door on the possibility of negotiations with Israel or recognition of Israel in any form. The Khartoum resolutions may not have been an insurmountable barrier to peace. In 1970, King Hussein of Jordan supposedly offered to make peace in return for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and return of the holy places, but the offer was politely turned down.

A second landmark was the "Zionism is Racism" resolution passed by the United Nations in 1975, which gave credibility in Israel to claims of Israeli extremists that opposition to settlements was opposition to Israel, and that Israel was essentially alone in a hostile world and could expect no justice. The resolution was repealed in 1991, but similar sentiments surfaced at a UN conference in Durban in 2001. Likewise in  November 1975, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Harold H Saunders, told a US House Committee that the US now recognized the importance of the Palestinian national issue in the conflict, and hinted broadly that the US would be willing to facilitate a solution that took account of Palestinian rights, if the PLO would recognize the relevant UN resolutions, including Israel's right to exist, and would be amenable to a reasonable compromise.  This policy was to bear fruit eventually in the Oslo Peace Process, after PLO Chairman Arafat announced PLO acceptance of UN Resolution 242 in 1988.

Meanwhile however, settlement expansion became official Israeli policy after the opposition revisionist Likud party came to power in 1977, and continued during the Oslo accords. As of 2003, about 220,000  Israelis had settled in areas of the West Bank and Gaza, and an additional 200,000 were settled in areas of Jerusalem and environs conquered in 1967. About 15,000 Jews were settled in the Golan heights taken from Syria. (Click for Map of Israeli West Bank Settlements-2002)

The War of Attrition - After the 6-Day war, Egyptian president Nasser launched the war of attrition on the Suez canal, breaking the cease fire. In Israel, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had died and was replaced by the hawkish Golda Meir. The sides fought to a standstill in increasingly bloody exchanges that included participation by Soviet pilots on the Egyptian side. Under US pressure, a second cease fire was signed in August 1970, with both sides declaring officially their acceptance of UN Resolution 242. Nasser died shortly thereafter, and was replaced by Anwar Sadat. Sadat tried repeatedly to interest Israel in partial peace deals in return for partial Israeli withdrawal, and the US and UN tried to mediate peace through the offices of Gunnar Jarring. Nothing came of these peace efforts, partly owing to the stubborn attitude of Israeli PM Golda Meir, who insisted that Israeli troops would not budge until there was a peace agreement in place. Sadat continued to alternate peace plans with threats of war, but he was not taken seriously in Israel. Israeli army intelligence as well as the government were convinced that Israel had absolute military superiority and that Egypt would not dare to attack until it had rebuilt its army. Therefore, the best course seemed to be to wait until the Arab countries met Israel's terms.

The October War (Yom Kippur War) - In October 1973, Egypt and Syria launched another war against Israel, after the Israeli government headed by Golda Meir rebuffed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's offers to negotiate a settlement. The Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal on the afternoon of October 6, Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish religious calendar. The Israeli government had ignored repeated intelligence warnings. They were convinced that Israeli arms were a sufficient deterrent to any aggressor. Sadat had twice announced his intention to go to war, but nothing had happened. When the intelligence reports were finally believed, on the morning of the attack, PM Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan decided not to mobilize reserves.

The Israelis were caught by surprise in more ways than one. Egyptians poured huge numbers of troops across the canal unopposed and began setting up a beachhead. The Israel Army had neglected basic maintenance tasks and drill. As troops mustered, it became apparent that equipment was missing and tanks were out of commission. The line of outposts built as watch posts along the Suez canal - the Bar Lev line, was used instead as a line of fortifications intended to hold off the Egyptians as long as possible. A tiny number of soldiers faced the Egyptian onslaught and were wiped out after stubborn resistance. The Soviets had sold the Egyptians new technology - better surface to air missiles (SAM) and hand held Sager anti-tank weapons. Israel had counted on air power to tip the balance on the battlefield, and had neglected artillery. But the air-force was initially neutralized because of the effectiveness of SAM missiles, until Israel could destroy the radar stations controlling them. Futile counterattacks continued in Sinai for several days as Israeli divisions coped with traffic jams that prevented concentration of forces, and with effective Egyptian resistance.

Meanwhile, less than 200 Israeli tanks were left guarding the Golan heights against far superior numbers. Syrians made serious and at first unopposed inroads in the Golan as Egyptians crossed the Suez canal and retook a strip of the Sinai peninsula. After suffering heavily losses, Israel reconquered the Golan.  Click for map of Syrian Front

In Sinai, Israel troops crossed the canal. General Ariel Sharon, disobeying the orders of cautious superiors,  tried to run ahead of logistics and support to develop the bridgehead on the Egyptian side of the Suez canal. This small force was reinforced after bridges were put across the canal, and the Israelis cut off the entire Egyptian third army. (Click for map of Egyptian front )  Cease-fires ended most of the fighting within a month. About 2,700 Israeli soldiers and 8,500 Arab soldiers died in the war As a result of the war, Golda Meir was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Israel, making way for Yitzhak Rabin, who had been Israeli ambassador to the US and previously Chief of staff of the IDF. Click for details of the Yom Kippur War

Oil Embargo - In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war, Arab states led by Saudi Arabia declared an oil embargo, targeting the United States and the Netherlands in particular for their support for Israel. Oil production was reduced by 340 million barrels from October to December of 1973. Prices soared from $3 to over $11 a barrel, due to panic stockpiling as well as actual shortages. Oil sold to European countries eventually made its way to the United States and the Netherlands in any case, but there were nonetheless long lines for gasoline and overnight price increases. The embargo continued until March of 1974. The embargo heightened the perception that Arab countries could exercise political leverage by controlling the oil supply. It probably helped motivate European diplomatic moves that were conciliatory to the Arabs, and played a part in the invitation of Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly, granting of a permanent observer status at the UN to the PLO and passage of the Zionism is Racism resolution in 1975. 

Peace With Egypt - Subsequent shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger resulted in partial Israeli withdrawals from the Sinai peninsula, under much less favorable terms than could have been obtained before the war. Right-wing opposition leader Menahem Begin was adamant in his opposition to any withdrawals. However, in 1978, Egypt led by Anwar Sadat, and Israel, now led by Menahem Begin, signed the Camp David framework agreements, leading to a Peace treaty in 1979. Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982.

The PLO in Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War -  Lebanon became increasingly unstable as Maronite Christians found their once--dominant position threatened by demographic changes which gave Muslims an increasingly large majority. Tensions between different religious groups were exacerbated by clan rivalry. Lebanon also has a relatively large population of Palestinian refugees, who incurred the animosity of native Lebanese, especially the Christians.  A revolt by the PLO against the Jordanian government led to the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan in 1970. PLO fighters streamed into Lebanon, incited tension between Muslims and Christians and turned Lebanon into a base for attacks on Israel. In 1975, an attack by Christian Phalangist militias on a bus carrying Palestinians ignited the civil war.  the Christian Phalangists and Muslim militias massacred at least 600 Muslims and Christians at checkpoints, beginning the 1975-1976 civil war. Full-scale civil war broke out, with the Palestinians joining the Muslim forces, controlling an increasingly lawless West Beirut. Lebanese political and social life descended into chaos, characterized by a grim routine of car bombs, assassinations and harassment and killing of civilians at roadblocks set up by warring militias. 

On January 20, 1976, PLO fighters, possibly reinforced by a  Syrian PLO contingent that had entered Lebanon in 1975, destroyed the Christian towns of Jiyeh and Damour, massacring about 500 people. In March, Major Saad Haddad formed the Southern Lebanese Army (SLA), a militia intended to protect Christian residents of southern Lebanon, which was allied with Israel  In June, 1976, with the Maronites on the verge of defeat,  President Elias Sarkis called for Syrian intervention. With the agreement of the Americans and the Israelis, the Syrians entered Lebanon ostensibly to protect the Christians and the fragile Lebanese multi-ethnic multi-religious constitution, but also to further long-standing Baathist ambitions to make Lebanon as part of Greater Syria.  On August 13, 1976, under the protection and with the probable active participation of the Syrian army, the Christian Phalangist militia attacked the Tel al-Za'atar refugee camp and killed as many as 3,000 civilians.

After an attack on a bus on the Haifa-Tel-Aviv road, in which about thirty people were killed, Israel invaded Lebanon in March 1978. It occupied most of the area south of the Litani River in Operation Litani. In response, UN Security Council resolution 425 called for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces and the creation of a UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), charged with maintaining peace.

Israeli forces turned over positions inside Lebanon along the border to the SLA. The SLA and Israel set up a 12-mile wide security zone to protect Israeli territory from attacks across the border, and to protect local residents from the PLO, which had been occupying their villages and using them as bases for shelling Israel.  This southern area became an "open border" area separated by the "good fence,"  allowing Lebanese residents to find work in Israel. Attacks and counter attacks along the northern border of Israel continued. In July of 1981 a cease-fire between Israel and the PLO was brokered by the US. It was generally honored by both sides. Nonetheless, the PLO continued to gather strength and dig in in southern Lebanon.

The 1982 War in Lebanon (Peace for the Galilee) - On June 3 1982, terrorists of the Abu Nidal faction, not controlled by the PLO, shot Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in the head in London. In response, Israel invaded Lebanon in force. Most analysts believe that the shooting of Argov served only as an excuse for an operation planned by defense Minister Ariel Sharon with the tacit approval of the US administration. The Iranian Islamist regime sent its Pasdaran revolutionary guards, who had previously organized the takeover of the US embassy in Teheran, into Lebanon, and began organizing a resistance movement, The Hizb Allah (party of Allah) or Hizbolla.

The Israel invasion  resulted in expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon to Tunis in August.  The war aroused furor in Israel as the army exceeded the official war aims. On September 14, 1982, the Lebanese President-elect, Bashir Gemayel, an Israeli ally, was killed by a large bomb that was apparently planted by Syrian intelligence. Ostensibly to maintain order, the Israeli government decided to move into West Beirut. They allowed or sent their Lebanese Phalangist Christian allies into the Sabra and Shatilla Palestinian refugee camps.  The Phalangists committed a massacre in Sabra and Shatilla, killing about 700 people and exciting the wrath of the international community as well as the Israeli public. An Israeli commission of inquiry led by judge Kahan indirectly implicated Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and several others in the massacres, noting that they could have foreseen the possibility of the violence and acted to prevent it. The Kahan report resulted in the resignation of Sharon as defense minister. Israel subsequently extricated itself slowly from Lebanon.  As Israel withdrew, Lebanon became increasingly lawless. Beirut life came to be characterized by gunfire, kidnappings and bombings.  Attempts by the US to restore order failed owing to large scale suicide bombings of a marine barracks and the US embassy. The US withdrew and Lebanon, especially Beirut, deteriorated into chaos. Order was restored only after Lebanon became essentially a satellite of Syria. Israel continued to maintain a presence in south Lebanon until 2000, when the last Israeli troops were withdrawn by PM Ehud Barak.

The Pollard Affair - In November 1985, Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American employee of the US Naval Anti-Terrorist Alert Center was arrested for spying for Israel. He pleaded guilty in a plea bargain deal, but the US government apparently reneged on the deal and Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987, an exceptional sentence relative to similar cases. The affair was a severe embarrassment to US-Israeli relations and raised the specter of "double loyalty" accusations for American Jews. At the same time, Pollard became a cause celebre of the Zionist right, who pointed out that he had been used and abandoned by the Israeli government, which did little to secure his freedom.

The First Intifada  - While the fortunes of the PLO waned, Palestinians in the occupied territories took their fate into their own hands. Beginning in 1987, a revolt called the Intifadeh began in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The revolt was initiated by local residents and involved mostly low-level violence such as rock throwing, winning sympathy for the struggle of the Palestinians against the Israeli occupiers.  By 1991 the Intifadeh had all but ended, but massive Israeli repression in this period laid the seeds for future violence (see First Intifada). 

Current History - Click here for The history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict since the Oslo Accords. 

(Latest revision June 10, 2009)    http://www.mideastweb.org/middle_east_center.htm

Ottoman Empire  1300 - 1924

Ottoman Empire- The Ottoman Empire was the last of a series of Turkish  Muslim empires. It spread from Asia minor beginning about 1300, eventually encompassing most of the Middle East, most of North Africa, and parts of Europe, including modern Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia. In the Middle East, the Ottomans ruled Syria, Palestine, Egypt, parts of Arabia and Iraq. Only Persia (Iran) and the Eastern part of the Arabian peninsula remained free of Ottoman rule.  The empire reached around the Black sea and into the Caucasus in Central Asia, including Aremenia. The Ottoman armies reached as far as the gates of Vienna, where they were repulsed for a second time in 1683, the height of their expansion on land. The map below  shows the extent of the Ottoman Empire in 1683.

The Ottoman Empire was founded about 1307 by Osman I, whose father Ertuğrul was a Ghazi mercenary who migrated from central Asia to Western Asia minor, as part of the migration of Turkic peoples under pressure of Mongol expansion in central Asia. In return for services, the Seljuk Turks gave Ertuğrul, a territory in Eskisehir. Osman expanded his Ghazi territory.  and conquered a significant portion of Asia minor, dying before he captured Bursa. Bursa was captured by his son, Orkhan, who made it his capital. Subsequent rulers continued the expansion. The ruler of the Ottoman Empire after its rise assumed the title of Sultan. The Sultan also assumed the role of the Muslim Caliph. The Ottoman Turks were fierce fighters, supplementing their Muslim troops with an elite corps of converted Christian slaves, the Yeni Chery (new troops) or in English, Janissaries.


The progress of the empire was explosive.  In 1453, the Sultan Mohamad II conquered Constantinople (renamed Istanbul) putting an end to the Eastern Roman Empire. The Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent conquered modern Yugoslavia in 1521, and conquered Hungary after his victory at the battle of Mohacs in 1526. However, he failed to take Vienna after winter forced an end to his siege in 1529. The Ottomans went on to take Transylvania and Wallachia as well. The  Ottoman Empire had become a significant part of European politics. It entered into a military alliance with France, England and the Netherlands against Habsburg Spain, Italy and Habsburg Austria. The Ottoman navy aided Francis the I to take Nice from the Holy Roman Empire.


The Ottoman fleet attracted the attention and antagonism of Portugal and other sea powers. In 1571, Ottoman forces suffered a temporary setback when their fleet was defeated at the battle of Lepanto. Authorities differ on whether this battle had a permanent effect on Ottoman power.


In 1683, Ottoman power was checked at its final zenith when the siege of Vienna failed. The empire began a decline marked by increasing backwardness relative to Europe as well as corruption and dissipation and poor judgment of several of the Sultans. The Janissaries became corrupt and ineffective as soldiers and used their power to dictate political affairs. For a time, the empire was ruled essentially by the women of the Harem, mothers of the Sultans.


The victories of Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century and exposure to Western armaments close to home served as a wake up call. Several attempts were made at reform, including the Tanzimat reforms of 1838 and 1858. Ottoman Turkey was clearly in decline however, and Western powers decided to prop it up in order to maintain the balance of power in the Middle East. However the decline accelerated. The Ottomans lost Egypt and then Greece, Serbia and other territories in the nineteenth century. Attempts at modernization and profligate spending bankrupted the empire, which was forced to find financial support where it could. Attempted reform (the Tanizmat) which was aimed primarily at raising new taxes, failed. The backward agrarian lands ruled by the Ottomans did not produce enough, and the tax farmers were too greedy and oppressive. Investment of borrowed capital and new infrastructure failed to modernize the country or the army sufficiently to make it competitive with the West or able to hold its own against European armies.


In 1908, a revolution of Young Turks put into power the government of Enver Bey and the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). They promised greater autonomy to Arabs and to minorities, and efficient constitutional government, but were unable to keep their promises. The Ottoman Empire became involved in several disastrous wars under the CUP, with the usual inevitable loss of territory.


Despite constitutional reforms, the new government failed to check the decline, which was particularly evident in the army, and Turkey lost Bulgaria to the Bulgarian independence movement. The Turks sided with the Central Powers in World War I. They were pressed by the Russians and Armenians from the North, and by British and allied forced from the south. The Russians recruited the Armenians to revolt, and the Turks responded by perpetrating large scale indiscriminate murder of Armenians. Between 600,000 and 1.4 million Armenians are said to have died. The Turks officially deny that any genocide took place.


The British fleet missed an opportunity to open the Bosporus with their navy and allied ships at the beginning of World War I. Had they acted quickly, they might have  separated European and Asiatic Turkey and possibly taken Istanbul and removed Turkey from the war. Instead, they chose to attack by land on the Gallipoli peninsula, wasting nearly two years in a very bloody campaign that achieved nothing. Turkish and Arab troops fought bravely and stubbornly at Gallipoli and inflicted huge losses on British, Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) forces. At Gallipoli, the Ottoman army proved that when properly supplied and officered, it could be a very formidable fighting force.


Failure to open the Bosporus doomed Russia, which could not sell its wheat and could not be resupplied. The British organized an Arab revolt in the Turkish rear however, and ultimately a British expeditionary force under General Allenby conquered Palestine and Syria and forced the Turks to sue for peace under very unfavorable conditions granted at the treaty of Sevres. The Turks were to lose a large part of western Asia minor to the Greeks, leaving a rump Turkey in Eastern Anatolia.


However, an opposition Turkish government was organized by a young army officer who had distinguished himself at Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The allies overextended themselves, and Ataturk won victories over the Greeks in particular. The British had neither the troops nor the will to retrieve the over-extended Greek position and a more favorable peace was granted at the Lausanne conference in 1919, leaving Turkey with all of Asia Minor Ataturk abolished the Caliphate and the Sultanate and set up a Turkish secular republic. The breakup of the Ottoman Turkish empire resulted in about 40 new countries, including 22 Arab states.


Society in the Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire was not really the barbarian despotism that is often pictured in Western accounts. However, Ottoman society remained isolated and more or less frozen in time. What was innovative in 1300 was reactionary and dangerously inefficient by 1700. The Ottoman Empire virtually stood still, while Europe progressed. The agricultural economy was based on tenant farming and plagued by rapacious tax farmers. Slavery was legal in the Ottoman Empire and there were slaves in most Ottoman lands until well after the end of the empire. Women were veiled and repressed, though the mothers of the Sultans and prospective Sultans in the Harem played an important role in deciding the future of the empire at times.


Books and printed matter in Turkish and Arabic were unknown before the end of the 18th century, and even then they were of limited impact because of widespread illiteracy. Jewish refugees from the Spanish Inquisition established a Hebrew printing press about 1494.  Armenians had a press in 1567, and Greeks had press in 1627. These presses were not allowed to print in Turkish or in Arabic characters, owing to objections of the religious authorities.  One result of this delay was to give Greeks, Armenians and Jews an advantage in literacy, and therefore an advantage in commerce, and in having a means to preserve and propagate their culture, that was denied to Turks and Arabs. The major result  was to retard the development of modern literate society, commerce and industry. The first Turkish printing press in the Ottoman Empire was not established until 1729. It was closed in 1742 and reopened in 1784. The press operated under heavy censorship throughout most of the Ottoman era. Elections were unknown of course, though government decisions were usually reached by consultation of the government, provincial chiefs and religious authorities.


Understanding the Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire


The rapid rise of Ottoman Turkey was due to opportunity as well as merit. The Ottomans arrived when the Byzantine empire was in decay. Asia Minor and Eastern Europe were up for grabs. Europeans had not yet devised centralized monarchical states, and were slow to unite against the Turks. Ottoman advances were met by shaky feudal coalitions and took advantage of the divisive political quarrels of the Italian republics and European principalities. The Ottomans were the only power with a standing army for hundreds of years, the  Janissaries, which made them the world's only superpower in effect.


The motives for conquest were probably a mixture of three factors: ordinary greed and power lust, religious fervor, and a system that must rely on expansion to perpetuate itself. Many of the wars, like the siege of Vienna, were declared to be "Jihads" but this may have been in part a political move, to enlist the support of Muslim allies and client states, rather than an expression of true religious fervor. It is hard to draw the line between the motivations or to really separate them. Like the Roman Empire, the Ottoman empire relied to an extent on slavery. It also tended to spend more money than it could get in revenue. Slaves tended to become integrated into society. Their children and grandchildren often were freed, especially if they became Muslims. This progression is generally natural in a slave society and necessitates the constant import of slaves, That is accomplished most cheaply by conquest. Slaves could also be purchased from African slave traders, but this used up foreign exchange. More generally, the opulence of the court and the funds to maintain an army could not be produced by the agriculture-based economy of the Ottoman Empire, providing an important motive for expansion.  Ottoman Turkey controlled the overland spice routes through parts of central Asia. For a while, they benefited from the revival of European commerce as the Middle ages waned. However, the conquest of Constantinople and the hostility of the Ottomans to foreign merchants and foreign influence in general encouraged the search for alternative sea routes to China, which were soon developed by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Central Asia became an unimportant backwater.


Ottoman Turkey never developed extensive industry, though the lands it controlled had extensive natural resources. There were no universities or technical schools that could teach either the basic skills or the theoretical knowledge needed for an industrial revolution and a modern economy. Banks could not develop because of the Muslim prohibition on interest. Turkish guns and ships and railroads had to be purchased from France, Germany and Britain, who vied with each other for the lucrative trade. The Ottoman Empire did not produce much that could pay for these purchases and eventually went bankrupt, forcing its rulers to conclude disadvantageous terms with its European creditors.


In the much of the Middle East, there were no real challenges to Turkish rule at first. But in Europe it met the rising power of nationalism and the industrial economy, and in central Asia it met Russia. Russia was very much like the Ottoman Empire in some ways, but it was nonetheless more developed, and the Turks began to lose some of their over-extended possessions around the Black Sea. In North Africa, Ottoman possessions were picked off one by one by greedy European colonialist powers, or they became independent or semi-independent.


The Ottoman empire built a bureaucratic centralized state, in many ways resembling the Byzantine Roman state it had replaced. Given the vast distances to be traversed and the poor means of communications and transport, as well as the lack of literate personnel to man official posts, this state was vulnerable in the same ways, and for the same reasons, as the Byzantine and ancient Roman empires had been. The means of ensuring that orders were being carried out at remote outposts were meager. There were few clerks to tabulate and report on remote administrators, or auditors to check the collection of taxes and disbursement of funds. A message could take weeks in reaching its destinations, especially as the Ottomans, unlike the Romans, did not develop an adequate system of roads and relay messengers. Local administrators were open to "liberal" interpretation of the laws, especially unpopular ones, since unrest at home was preferable to incurring the ire of the very remote and often weak central government, more especially if the administrators were of the same ethnic group as the local inhabitants, and most especially if they were offered a bribe. The word "Bakshish" - the bribe - became an integral and very essential part of the workings of Ottoman administration.


Attempts at reform were repeatedly frustrated by the Ulema, the religious authorities, who had considerable influence over the empire, and by various regional and essentially feudal lords. Having virtually no industry or commerce, the Ottoman Empire had no middle class that could oppose the feudal classes or the religious establishment.  While the rest of the world had progressed, the Ottoman Empire stood still.


Timeline of the Ottoman Empire


1326: Sultan Orkhan conquers Bursa.
1338: Ottomans drive tje Byzantines  out of all of Anatolia save Constantinople and environs.
1354: The region of Ankara is conquered.
1355: Turks conquer Gallipoli (Gelibolu) peninsula. It becomes an important staging post for the Ottoman's European expansion.
1361: Adrianople (Edirne) on the western side of the Bosphorus, is conquered.
1393: Capture of northern Greece.
1402: Ottomans are heavily defeated by Timerlane near Ankara,
1453: After a long siege, the Ottomans conquer Constantinople.
1466: Conquest of Albania.
1475: Crimea becomes a vassal state.
1514: Iran is defeated at the battle of Chaldiran.
1517: Mamelukes of Egypt and Syria are defeated, and their territories are annexed, including western Arabia and the holy cities. i.
1519: Algiers becomes  a vassal state.
1521: Barka (northeastern Libya) is added to the empire; capture of Belgrade
1526: Victory over Hungary at the Battle of Mohacs.
1529: Sultan Süleyman 1 besieges Vienna, but fails.
1531: Tunis becomes a tributary.

1547: Most of Hungary under Ottoman power.
1551: Tripoli becomes a tributary.
1534: Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) is annexed.
1571: - Turkish fleet defeated at Lepanto

1683: Turks fail to take Vienna.

1699: Turks cede Hungary.

1718: Treaty of Passarowitz. The Ottoman Empire lost the Banat of Temeswar (in Transylvania), northern Serbia (including Belgrade), northern Bosnia and Lesser Walachia (Oltenia) to Austria. Venice lost its possessions on the Peloponnesus peninsula and on Crete, gained by the Treaty of Karlowitz, retaining only the Ionian Islands, cities of Preveza and Arta and Dalmatia.

1739: Turks regain Northern Bosnia, northern Serbia including Belgrade and Lesser Walachia.

1798-1801: Napoleon in Egypt and Palestine

1829: Greece ceded autonomy
1830: Serbia ceded autonomy; Northern Algeria is taken by France.

1831: Revolt of Mehmet Ali in Egypt.
1832: Greece becomes independent.
1839: Beginning of Tanzimat reform.

1853: Crimean war demonstrates Turkish backwardness.

1862: United Romania established.

1875: The Ottoman empire is bankrupt, and stops paying interest on its debt.
1876: Sultan Abdülhamid II grants the first Ottoman constitution.
1877: Second Russo-Turkish war (1877- 1878); Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and part of Bulgaria become independent by the Treaty of San Stefano.

1878: The constitution is suspended.
1881: The Ottoman empire accepts European financial control; Tunisia is taken by the French.
1882: Egypt is occupied by Britain.

1908: Bosnia occupied by Austro-Hungary, without a fight; Bulgarian independence.
1912: Libya is annexed by Italy.
1914: The Ottoman empire enters the World War 1 in alliance with Germany,

1915-16: Between 600,000 and perhaps 1.4 million Armenians died during deportation or were massacred in what is known as the Armenian genocide
1917: Beginning of British campaigns in Iraq, Palestine and Syria. This leads to several Ottoman defeats, and the following year the loss of the Middle Eastern territories.
1919:  Greece attacks Anatolia at Smyrna, conquers part of Western Anatolia. 
1920: The Ottoman empire is forced to sign the Treaty of Sèvres, losing all Middle Eastern territories and part of Anatolia.
1922: Turks drive the Greeks out of western Anatolia under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk; The Ottoman empire is abolished;

1923: Turkish Republic declared. 

1924: March 3: Caliphate abolished.

Sultans of the Ottoman Empire

01 - Sultan Osman Khan Ghazi I (1300-1326)
02 - Sultan Orkhan Khan Ghazi I (1326-1360)
03 - Ghazi Sultan Mourad Khan I (1360-1389)
04 - Ghazi Sultan Yldirim Baiezid I (1389-1413)
05 - Ghazi Sultan Muhammed Khan I (1413-1421)
06 - Sultan Mourad Khan II (1421-1451)
07 - Ghazi Sultan Muhammed Khan II (1440-1481)
08 - Sultan Baiezed Khan II (1481-1512)
09 - Ghazi Sultan Selim Khan I (1512-1520)
10 - Sultan Suleyman Khan I (1520-1566)
11 - Ghazi Sultan Selim Khan II (1566-1574)
12 - Sultan Mourad Khan III (1574-1595)
13 - Ghazi Sultan Muhammed Khan III (1595-1603)
14 - Sultan Ahmed Khan I (1603-1617)
15 - Sultan Mustapha Khan I (1617-1623)
16 - Sultan Osman Khan II (1617-1622)
17 - Ghazi Sultan Mourad Khan IV (1623-1640)
18 - Sultan Ibrahim Khan I (1639-1648) (deposed)
19 - Sultan Muhammed Khan IV (1648-1687) (deposed)
20 - Sultan Suleyman Khan II (1687-1691)
21 - Sultan Ahmed Khan II (1691-1695)
22 - Ghazi Sultan Mustapha II (1695-1703)(abdicated)
23 - Sultan Ahmed Khan III (1703-1730) (abdicated)
24 - Sultan Mahmoud Khan I (1730-1754)
25 - Sultan Osman Khan II (1754-1757)
26 - Sultan Moustapha Khan III (1757-1774)
27 - Sultan Abdulhamid Khan I (1774-1789)
28 - Sultan Selim Khan III (1789-1807)deposed)
29 - Sultan Moustapha Khan IV (1807-1808)(deposed)
30 - Ghazi Sultan Mahmoud Khan III (1808-1839)
31 - Sultan Abdul Majid Khan (1839-1861)
32 - Sultan Abdul Asis Khan (1861-1876) (deposed)
33 - Sultan Mourad Khan V (1876-1876) (abdicated/deposed)
34 - Sultan Abdul Hamid Khan II (1876- April 1909) (deposed, 1909)
35 - Sultan Mehmed VI (1909-1926) (Sultanate abolished, 1922)


Statements of the Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
Regarding Moving the Capital of Israel to Jerusalem

In the fall of 1949 the General Assembly of the United Nations began debating how to implement its decision of 29 November 1947 regarding the establishment of Jerusalem as a separate international entity under the auspices of the United Nations. The Soviet Union supported this proposal. On the eve of the debate, on 5 December 1949, the Prime Minister announced, in a Knesset session, that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel. He added that Israel could not even conceive that the United Nations would attempt to tear Jerusalem from the State of Israel, especially considering what Jerusalem went through during Israel's War of Liberation.

This announcement, however, made no impression on most of the members of the United Nations and they voted by a large majority to internationalize Jerusalem. On December 13 1949 Ben Gurion declared that Israel "would not permit the forced disconnection of Jerusalem from Israel". He requested forthwith that the Knesset conduct its sessions in Jerusalem. Consequently, the Knesset decided that after Hanukah 1949 it would renew its sessions in Jerusalem. In the following months most of the government offices were moved to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

Statement of the Prime Minister on 5 December 1949

As you know, the U.N. is currently discussing the issue of Jerusalem and the holy places. The State of Israel is a member of the U.N., not because of political convenience but because of its traditional, deep-seated commitment to the vision of world peace and the brotherhood of nations, as preached by our prophets and accepted by the U.N.

This membership obliges us, from the podium of Israel's First Knesset, to tell all the nations assembled at the U.N. and all those who love peace and justice in the world what has been in Israel's heart since it became a united nation under King David three thousand years ago as regards Jerusalem its holy city and as regards its attitude to the places which are holy to the other religions

When we proclaimed the establishment of the renewed State of Israel, on 14 May 1948, we declared that, "The State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion and conscience, of language, education and culture. It will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions. It will be loyal to the principles of the United Nations Charter." Accordingly, our delegation to the U.N. announced that Israel would honor all the existing rights regarding the holy places and sacred buildings in Jerusalem, assure freedom of worship and free access to all the holy sites under its control, recognizing the rights of pilgrims of all religions and nations to visit their holy places and assuring freedom of movement for clergymen. We agreed to allow effective U.N. supervision of the holy places and the existing rights in a way that would be agreed to between Israel and the United Nations.

At the same time we see fit to state that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel, just as it is an integral part of Jewish history and belief. Jerusalem is the heart of the State of Israel. We are proud of the fact that Jerusalem is also sacred to other religions, and will gladly provide access to their holy places and enable them to worship as and where they please, cooperating with the U.N. to guarantee this.

We cannot imagine, however, that the U.N. would attempt to sever Jerusalem from the State of Israel or harm Israel's sovereignty in its eternal capital.

Twice in the history of our nation were we driven out of Jerusalem, only after being defeated in bitter wars by the larger, stronger forces of Babylon and Rome. Our links with Jerusalem today are no less deep than in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Flavius, and when Jerusalem was attacked after the fourteenth of May 1948, our valiant youngsters risked their lives for our sacred capital no less than our forefathers did in the time of the First and Second Temples.

A nation that, for two thousand and five hundred years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem. Jewish Jerusalem will never accept alien rule after thousands of its youngsters liberated their historic homeland for the third time, redeeming Jerusalem from destruction and vandalism.

We do not judge the U.N., which did nothing when nations, which were members of the U.N., declared war on its resolution of 29 November 1947, trying to prevent the establishment of Israel by force, to annihilate the Jewish population in the Holy Land and destroy Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jewish people.

Had we not been able to withstand the aggressors who rebelled against the U.N., Jewish Jerusalem would have been wiped off the face of the earth, the Jewish population would have been eradicated and the State of Israel would not have arisen. Thus, we are no longer morally bound by the U.N. resolution of November 29, since the U.N. was unable to implement it. In our opinion the decision of 29 November regarding Jerusalem is null and void.

The attempt to sever Jewish Jerusalem from the State of Israel will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East or in Jerusalem itself. Israelis will give their lives to hold on to Jerusalem, just as the British would for London, the Russians for Moscow and the Americans for Washington.

This is the first time in this country's history that the state controlling Jerusalem willingly accepts the principle of the international supervision of the holy places. It is no coincidence that it is being done by the nation that made Jerusalem an internationally sacred center and by the first government elected by the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

We hope that the religions which honor Jerusalem's sanctity and the nations which share our belief in the principles of peace and justice will honor Israel's rights in Jerusalem, just as Israel honors those of all the religions in its sacred capital and sovereign state.

Prime Minister's Statement on 13 December 1949

Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Knesset. One week ago today, in the name of the Government of Israel, I made a statement on Jerusalem before the Knesset. I need hardly say to you that this statement retains its full force, and that no change in our attitude has occurred or can possibly occur.

As you know, the General Assembly of the United Nations has, in the meantime, by a large majority, decided to place Jerusalem under an international regime as a separate entity. This decision is utterly incapable of implementation - if only because of the determination and unalterable opposition of the inhabitants of Jerusalem themselves. It is to be hoped that the General Assembly will in the course of time amend the error which its majority has made, and will make no attempt to impose a regime on the Holy City against the will of its people.

We respect and shall continue to respect the wishes of all those States which are concerned for freedom of worship and free access to the Holy Places, and which seek to safeguard existing rights in the Holy Places and religious edifices in Jerusalem. Our undertaking to preserve these rights remains in force, and we shall gladly and willingly carry it out, even though we cannot lend our participation to the forced separation of Jerusalem, which violates without need or reason the historic and natural right of the people who dwell in Zion.

From the establishment of the Provisional Government we made the peace, the security and the economic consolidation of Jerusalem our principal care. In the stress of war, when Jerusalem was under siege, we were compelled to establish the seat of Government in Tel Aviv. But for the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only - Jerusalem the Eternal. Thus it was 3,000 years ago - and thus it will be, we believe, until the end of time.

As soon as the fighting stopped, we began transferring Government offices to Jerusalem and creating the conditions the capital needed - effective communications, economic and technical arrangements. We are continuing with the transfer of the Government to Jerusalem and hope to complete it as soon as possible.

When the First Knesset convened in Jerusalem on 14 February 1949 the necessary arrangements to enable it to function normally in the capital did not yet exist, and we had to hold the Knesset sittings temporarily in Tel Aviv. Now that the necessary arrangements have nearly been completed in Jerusalem there is no longer any reason to prevent the Knesset from returning to Jerusalem. We propose that you take a decision to this effect.

In all these arrangements there is, of course, nothing that alters in the slightest degree any of the existing rights in the Holy Places, which the Government of Israel will respect in full, or our consent to effective supervision of these Holy Places by the United Nations, as our delegation to the General Assembly declared.



Israel: the coming energy superpower

The impact of the coming rise of Israel as a regional energy superpower plainly heralds significant and imminent changes in the Middle East, and beyond (4/5/13)

Israel’s transformation from a land of milk and honey into a land awash with oil and gas money is under way. When the country’s offshore Tamar field finally started pumping domestic natural gas direct to Haifa on the last day of March 2013, it meant that Israel was no longer in the thrall of its Arab neighbours for gas imports. And it also signalled the beginning of Israel’s rise to energy superpower status.

But don’t take my word for it. Take the words of Russia’s Vladimir Putin or, much more significant, his recent actions. Shaken by the success of the US shale gas revolution and the threat to Russia’s stranglehold on European gas supplies that a prospective eastern Mediterranean supply carries, Putin’s Kremlin has, in recent months, feted Israel as never before.

In February this culminated in Russia’s Gazprom signing a landmark deal giving Russia a major stake in the future distribution of massive Israeli gas resources. It is also likely to be just an entree deal now that Moscow has a place at the Israeli energy table.

In early 2012, Noble Energy, the US partner of the major Israeli energy companies, announced a new find of 1.2 to 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Tamar prospect. Noble is confident that there may be up to a dozen more such gas discoveries to be made in the Tamar field. Yet the Tamar and Dalit offshore Israeli gas fields are just the beginning.

Others are showing signs of significant quantities of gas, including the Aphrodite 2 field, 100 miles from Haifa. But the enormous Leviathan gas field overshadows them all. Leviathan is estimated to have twice the amount of gas of Tamar and should come online between 2016 and 2018. But Leviathan and Tamar also hold out the further tantalizing prospect of significant amounts of oil. 

Then there is Israel’s eastern Mediterranean partner, Cyprus. In February 2013, the Israeli energy companies Delek and Avner signed an agreement to acquire a 30 percent stake in exploration rights off the southern coast of Cyprus. With equally large gas prospects around Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean basin is on the path to becoming a major player in global energy production, and soon.

All this has not been lost of the energy giants as the Russia Gazprom deal, which includes a commitment to build a floating LNG terminal off Cyprus, makes clear. That hub will convert Israeli and Cypriot gas for onward transmission to Europe or Asia.

For all its mounting gas and oil discoveries, Israel has been having trouble in attracting the investment of the energy majors who fear the threat of their energy investments in Arab states. But that is changing.

Recently the French energy major Total signed an exploration contract to explore two blocks of southern Cyprus. In February, Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s second largest oil and gas producer announced it would pay as much as $2.3 billion for a stake in Israel’s giant Leviathan field. All of this is highly significant as it signals a very real change in the geopolitics of the region.

But it’s not just enormous reserves of natural gas that is set to see the Star of David rising to global energy prominence offshore. Israel has oil too – and a world class amount of it. Most importantly, as well as the great potential for oil finds in its deep offshore reservoirs, Israel is set to develop a major shale oil prospect the Shefla Basin, south-east of Jerusalem

It’s where David slew Goliath. The Valley of Elah lies thirty miles to the south-west of Jerusalem. The World Energy Council estimates that Israel’s Shefla Basin shale oil deposits could yield a cool 250 billion barrels. To put that in perspective, it’s a figure that would catapult Israel into the elite with the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, just behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Such is the significance of the amount of oil in the Shefla Basin that it didn’t take long for big hitting private investors, including Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch, to take a major stake in Genie Oil and Gas, the parent company of Israel Energy Initiatives who are running the project.

In February, the state owned Israel Natural Gas Lines announced that it was seeking $1 billion to fund new pipelines. Whilst developing a vital energy infrastructure has become a priority for Israel, the security implications are only too well understood.

But if OPEC’s members, already feeling the heat of the US shale gas and oil revolution, feel inclined to consider military action, it could only be in the form of utilizing proxy terrorist groups. Anything else would mean taking on a possible grand alliance of Israel, Russia, Greece and Cyprus. Equally, the rise of an energy-driven non-Muslim alternative powerbase in the Middle East offers a serious counterpoint to help offset the growing Islamist threat posed by the growing instability in North Africa.

Neither do the ramifications of the Israeli-led energy developments end there. Some Arab states are already breaking ranks. The fledgling Arab state of South Sudan, which sits on top of around 80 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, signed a new deal in January to keep Israel supplied with oil while developing its own reserves. Jordan too is reportedly in secret talks to buy some of Israel’s Tamar gas to power a potash plant on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. The State Oil Company of Azerbijan (SOCAR) has also turned to Israel as a “proving ground” to help its own development as a major energy producer.

Last Autumn, the Caspian Drilling Company, a subsidiary of SOCAR, bought a five percent stake in Israel’s small Med Ashdod oil field. It proposes to utilize the deal to draw on growing Israeli technical expertise.

Israeli’s reputation for high-tech expertise is already a recognized phenomenon. As one of Israel’s oil pioneers, Tovia Luskin, has pointed out, Israeli tech could “solve the world’s energy crisis if red tape doesn’t tie it up”. Luskin wants to use some of the revenue to fund a university as a global centre of excellence able to train engineers in oil exploration and energy management. Until the bureaucratic issues – how much does the Government take in revenues – are resolved in Israel that vision remains on hold however. But the point is nevertheless well made: Israel is in prime position to give a lead in a new era of Middle East energy developments.

Even so, the impact of the coming rise of Israel as a regional energy superpower plainly heralds significant and imminent changes in the Middle East, and beyond. First, for the fast-diminishing tyranny that is OPEC. Second, in the geopolitical re-alignment the new eastern Mediterranean energy alliance represents. Third, the literal shift of power away from the world’s oil and gas ‘tyrannies’ that the new energy realities – including Israel’s rise to energy superpower status – represent for the democratic world.

Peter C Glover is co-author of the bestselling Energy and Climate Wars and is a contributing editor at The Commentator. For more: www.petercglover.com


The truth about Israel and Palestine

Thursday, February 3, 2011

“Do the Jews even have a right to be in the Middle East at all? Wasn’t there a group of indigenous people called the Palestinians, living there since the beginning of measured history? Didn’t Jews arrive after World War Two and conquer land that did not belong to them?”

This is utterly and completely false! The Jews lived in that land since the time of Moses and despite some upsets from the Syrians and Babylonians, remained in the land for some two thousand years until the Romans displaced them. Prince Titus destroyed the temple in 70 AD. Then in the second century, Emperor Hadrian crushed a new Jewish rebellion. This time, many of the Jews were banished and others were made slaves of the Romans. A small number of Jews did stay in the land and remained there right up through the twentieth century. However, the name of the land at this time was changed because Hadrian wanted to destroy Jewish identity. He renamed the land “Syria-Palestinian.” Palestine was a Latin version of the word Philistine, an ancient enemy of the Jews who were now extinct as a people. Hadrian was deliberately insulting the Jews. There has never been a country called Palestine. This was a nickname for the Holy Land under the Romans. The people who today call themselves Palestinians are Arabs and they referred to themselves as Arabs for centuries until they were dubbed “Palestinians” as a publicity ploy by the terrorist and founder of the PLO, Yassir Arafat, who himself did not use the title “Palestinian” until after the year 1964.

“Even if this is true, well then, OK. These Arabs lived in the land for centuries.”

In ancient times Arabs could be found in many places but they did not occupy the Holy Land in any significant number until after the time of Mohammad and the spread of Islam. Muslims conquered the land from the Byzantine Church (remnants of the converted, Roman Empire) Through the years, with Crusades and other wars, the land switched ownership back and forth between the Catholic Church and the Muslims. Eventually it fell into the hands of another Muslim empire, the Ottomans. After defeating the Ottomans in World War One, the Middle East found itself under the domain of Great Britain.

Even though the Middle East became a prize of the British Empire, England had neither the desire nor ability to run that region of the world forever. For this reason, they began working to create a series of new states in which the Arabs (who had helped them defeat the Ottoman Empire) could administer their own affairs. Although the term “Arabia” was already a general description for a large part of this area, many of the Middle East countries we know of today did not officially become independent nations until the British occupation and subsequent withdrawal from this turbulent region of the world.

While working to create new, multiple states, Great Britain (with the cooperation of the League of Nations, an early proto-type of the United Nations) decided they would also offer an opportunity for Jews all over the world to return to their homeland. This invitation was called the Balfour Declaration. Needless to say, grateful Jews responded with terrific enthusiasm. Indeed, many children of Abraham did migrate from Russia, Western Europe, and other corners of the globe where they had lived for some two thousand years in ghettos at the mercy of pogroms or harsh policies of Ant-Semitic governments. A homeland of their own had been a hopeful vision to the Jews for two millennia. The most familiar Jewish toast (common at Passover celebrations) said “Next year in Jerusalem.” But few thought they were reciting much more than a pipe dream. Now they could really, truly return to Jerusalem! Just imagine how this must have felt!  The Jews were going to sojourn to a country of their own, and not just any country; the very land of their ancestors, a land where a remnant of Jews had remained since ancient times, living side by side with Muslims and Christians who also had interests in Palestine and who viewed it as their Holy Land too.

"What exactly was offered to the Hebrew immigrants by the League of Nations?"

Everything we would today call Israel, everything we would today call Jordan and most of what we would today call “the occupied territories.”

When the Jews arrived, many of them purchased land from Arab lords. In time, a terrain that had been little more than a desolate, flee bitten combination of swamp and desert, swiftly turned green with farmland and transplanted trees.  The economy also boomed, transforming this area in such an amazing way, that the term metamorphoses barely does justice. New jobs were created, resulting in an influx of Arabs from other regions who now saw Palestine as a land of opportunity and employment made possible by Jewish farmers and businessmen recently arrived from Europe.

"What was the proportion of Arab and Jew in Palestine prior to the Balfour Declaration? "

More Arabs than Jews inhabited the land at this time (resulting from previous Muslim expansion) but the truth is, there was really only a handful of each people group, because again, the swamp like conditions limited the kind of life one could realistically enjoy in the Holy Land. The famous author, Mark Twain wrote as much after his own personal visit.  He was surprised how desolate the Holy Land looked, how little was going on there and how few people inhabited the area.

All of this changed when the League of Nations invited Jews to resettle their ancient home. Ironically, it was after Jewish business created a surplus of jobs that Arabs flooded into the territory in mass, creating a situation where the Arabs greatly outnumbered the Jews.

In paradoxical fashion, the British, after inviting the Jews to return, sold over 75 percent of Palestine to the Arabs, creating a new country called, Trans-Jordan. This is an extremely important and seldom taught fact. Please catch this:  75 percent of what had been offered to the Jews was sold behind their backs to the Arabs instead! Not only were the Arabs offered a “separate Palestinian state,” long ago, but they have been living in one since the early part of the Twentieth Century. It’s called Jordan, a country three times the size of what remained for the Jews.

The Jews accepted this betrayal, only because they had no choice. After, all a sliver of the promise was better than no land at all.

But the Arabs didn’t want the Jews to have even a sliver and fresh controversy broke out over what to do with the remaining 25 percent.

To appease the Arabs, the United Nations voted to divvy up the remaining 25 percent between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews accepted this partition. The Arabs did not.

After the partition vote from the United Nations, Israel declared its Independence on May 14, 1948. One day later, five Arab armies invaded Israel from Egypt, Tran Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Important Note: This war had nothing to do with allowing a two state solution. Indeed, the Arabs waged war because they were rejecting a two state solution. Their stated goal was the complete extermination of Israel!

From Abid Saud King of Saudi Arabia 1947:

“ There are fifty million Arabs.  What does it matter if  we lose ten million people to kill all of the Jews.  The price is worth it.”

From Azam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arabs League 1947:

“This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian Massacres.”

From Haj Amin El Hussein Mufti of Jerusalem 1947

“ I declare a holy war my Moslem brothers.  Murder the Jews!  Murder them all!”

Jews pleaded with Palestinian Arabs to remain in their homes.  Although many of the Arabs did flee or join the invading armies, a considerable portion of Arabs remained in Israel.  This interesting fact is seldom discussed. About 300,000 Arabs fled Israel and about 160,000 remained. Today Israel still contains a vital Arab population and these Arabs have more rights in Israel than any other Arab in any Arab country! In fact, shortly before Yassir Arafat’s death, when there was talk (once again) under the Bush administration, of a “separate Palestinian state” the Arab citizens in Israel were asked if they wanted to move, renouncing their Israeli citizenship, and live in the Palestine sector. Guess what they decided!  Some of them probably fell on the floor laughing before saying to the Israeli government, “Oh, I’m sorry.  You were serious.”

In 1948, when Israel beat the odds and defeated five invading nations, the problem of refugees came up.  We always hear about the Arab refugees from Israel.  But they were not the only refugees. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were kicked out of Arab lands too. All of the Jewish refugees were welcomed into Israel where as Arabs who wanted to resettle in Arab countries were (for the most part) denied admission.  Jordan was an exception but even in Jordan most of the refugees were confined to camps. They lived in that condition all the way up to 1967, when Israel annexed Jordan’s West Bank. Prior to 1967 there was no significant ongoing discussion amongst the countries of the world regarding Jordan’s treatment of the “poor Palestinians.”

On December 11, 1948, the United Nations drafted and ratified Resolution 194.  This was a call for the Arab states and Israel to resolve the refugee/resettlement issues but the condition was that all returning citizens would agree to live in peace. Receiving no such guarantee from the Arabs, Israel decided to postpone repatriation until her neighbors would recognize her right to exist.

In 1967, 9 different nations (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq), declared war on Israel and promised to exterminate every Jew.

“Egypt is ready to plunge into a total war that will be the end of Israel” (Radio Cairo, May 17, 1967).

Surprising the world with a preemptive strike, Israel defeated the Arabs in just six days. At that time, their territory was expanded to the West Bank, The Golan Heights, The Gaza Strip, the Sinai, and the remainder of Jerusalem (half of which had been taken over by Jordan after the 1947 war.) This territory is frequently referred to as a part of Israel’s “illegal occupation.” I tend to hate that term and I argue against it for the following reasons:

1) When we think of occupying countries, what usually comes to mind is an aggressive empire seeking to conquer and expand, not a tiny little nation that expanded its borders only as a means of survival, to prevent her untrustworthy neighbors from attacking again.

2) Most of this land had been legally offered to Israel in the Balfour Declaration anyway, before Great Britain sold it behind Israel’s back.

3) Historically, the land had been the home of the Jews for literally thousands of years.

4) The United Nations has become so corrupt, I no longer accept their standard as to what is legal or illegal.

This is not to say that Israel has not given back land or made peace treaties. The Sinai has been returned and other territories have been slowly transferred to the Palestinian authorites. But, when two nations make a peace treaty, there is supposed to be give and take on both sides. Israel’s deal (brokered by the U.S) always goes like this. “You give the Palestinians back some land and here is what they will do:  They’ll promise to stop killing you.”  That’s the deal. Then, shortly after the deal, the promise is broken and missiles are fired into Israel from Gaza (where the Palestinians were finally offered their own autonomous rule) or a suicide bomber kills women and children on a bus.

Let me be as straight with my readers as I possibly can.  Nothing Israel does, no gesture, no concession, no discussion, will make a hill of beans of difference. They can sign a peace treaty. They can jump on board for a two state solution. It doesn’t matter.  Hezbolah wants Israel dead. Al-Qaeda wants Israel dead. Hamas wants Israel dead. But it isn’t limited to the terrorist groups. Muslim Brotherhood wants Israel dead.  Palestine itself wants Israel dead. The surrounding Arab nations want Israel dead. The Persian nation of Iran wants Israel dead.

My advice to Israel: Just do what you have to do. Do what you need to do. Do what is right. The world will hate you no matter what action you take and the Arabs will try to kill you no matter how much flowery talk you participate in with our State Department.  You may as well just do what’s right.


1)  Middle East Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D

2) Philistine, by Ramon Bennett.

NOTE: For a fuller, lengthier, documented look at the history of the Jews and the Palestinians, just clink into the link below and read a 12 part series by Bob Siegel:

The Truth About Israel And Palestine


Palestinian Terrorism

Palestinian terrorism has a decades-long pedigree that far predates Israel's nationhood. In 1929, Haj Amin al Husseini—the grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the official leader of the Palestinian people—ordered his followers to murder hundreds of elderly Jews in Hebron and other cities and towns where Jews had lived for millennia.

During World War II, Husseini moved to Berlin where he met with Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann. At Eichmann's trial for war crimes in 1961, it came out that Husseini had personally prevented nearly 1,000 Hungarian-Jewish children from being sent to neutral countries. Instead he insisted that they be sent to Auschwitz, where they died.

In 1948, Palestinians refused to accept the compromise two-state solution proposed by the U.N., and instead they engaged in the Arab states' genocidal war in which 1% of Israel's population, including many civilians, were killed.

In 1968, a Jordanian-born Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, educated to hate anything associated with Jews or Israel, assassinated New York Sen. and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. Five years later, Palestine Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat arranged to have three American diplomats kidnapped and offered in exchange for Kennedy's assassin. When the U.S. refused to release Sirhan, Arafat personally ordered the torture and murder of the Americans.

In 1972, Arafat ordered the terrorist attack on the Olympics in which several Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered. There followed decades of airplane hijackings, synagogue bombings and other attacks that attracted the attention of the world. These attacks continue, the most recent being this week's killing of Egyptian soldiers near the border with Israel, apparently carried out with the complicity of Palestinian terrorists from Gaza.

 Israel left Gaza in 2005 unilaterally, without a deal or agreement. It left behind farming and other equipment in the hope that the Palestinians would use their new-found autonomy to build a prosperous homeland that could live side-by-side in peace with Israel. Hamas exploited this autonomy to conduct a violent coup, followed by repeated rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3342/terrorism-palestinian-statehood    9/11/12


July 27, 2012 at 4:30 am  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3212/bbc-olympics-israel

Politics and religion have always been intertwined in Jerusalem, a city that bears the weight of a history that started about 3000 years ago. David became the king of Judea around 1010 B.C.; he unified the Israelite tribes, and established Jerusalem as his capital in the City of David. In 964 B.C., during the reign of David's son, Solomon, the Israelites built a Temple to establish a physical expression of their religion in the city they considered sacred. Jerusalem thus became both the political capital and the religious capital: the Holy Place for Jews.

Although Jerusalem was captured again and again by invading armies, the Jewish people maintained its identity until the Second Temple was finally destroyed in 70 A.D.

After a revolt led by Bar Kokba in 132 A.D. against the Roman Empire, and his creation of a State of Israel, the Romans made a determined effort to "dejudaize" the area. They renamed the area of Israel Syria Palaestina. and the city of Jerusalem became Aelia Capitolina.

In 135 A.D., Jews were banned from the city. Since then, their liturgy, every day, has repeated their yearning for a return to the Temple and to Jerusalem.

The First Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. during the Babylonian invasion, which led to the exile of many Jews, whom King Cyrus of Persia allowed to return only in 539. Immediately, they began building the Second Temple in their sacred city, an edifice that became the political symbol of a Jewish state.

Two other religions, Christianity and Islam, also established a presence in Jerusalem. Even though it was the place where Jesus was crucified, the city only became holy for Christians in the 4th century A.D, after the Emperor Constantine and his mother, Helen, converted to Christianity and, in 326 A.D., ordered the building of the Basilica of Saint-Sepulcre, which has become for many Christians the most important destination for pilgrimages. It was with Constantine that the city once again became Jerusalem.

Muslims, commemorating the Prophet's experience in the city about which there are different versions, began building there in 638 A.D, on the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock. Although this is not a mosque, the Al-Aqsa mosque has been built close to it. Mecca and Medina are the two important Holy Places for Muslims; only in recent years have some Muslims regarded Jerusalem as a third Holy Place.

For many years especially during the Abbasid Caliphate starting in the 8th century, Jerusalem had little significance for Muslims. After a brief period of rule by the Christian Crusaders, started by Geoffrey of Bouillion in 1099 after repelling Muslim invaders, the city was retaken by Saladin in 1187 and remained under various kinds of Islamic control until the end of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

Political rivalries over the Middle East have always existed among the great powers. With the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Places became rallying points for both Zionists and Arab nationalists. Political passions were shown at both the Western Wall and at the Dome of the Rock. But, after Britain was given the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1920 at the San Remo conference, it established Jerusalem as the capital of the British Mandate in 1922.

The decisive proposal for settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict was the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, which partitioned the entire area between Jews and Arabs, with Jerusalem as a corpus separatum [separate body] under a special international regime, and under the administration of the United Nations. Whether this was a feasible solution or not was never tested: the armies of five Arab nations invaded the new state of Israel immediately after it declared its birth in May, 1948.

As a result of this 1948-49 war, Jerusalem was divided by the so-called Green Line of April 1949 -- an armistice line between Israel and Jordan where the fighting had stopped. Between 1949 and 1967, Jordan controlled the old city, including the Jewish quarter, and used ancient Jewish gravestone from the Mount of Olives as floors for their latrines. Moreover, Arabs controlled the Holy Places of all three religions,

West Jerusalem was officially declared the capital of Israel; in January 1950. the Israeli Parliament, called the Knesset, moved to Jerusalem.

During the Six Day War in June 1967, after Jordan invaded Israel on the fifth day of the war, despite warnings from Israel not to, Israeli paratroopers landed in east Jerusalem, which remains in Israeli hands. Although the area was not annexed, on July 27, 1967, Israeli law and jurisdiction were extended to east Jerusalem and to a few miles of the West Bank. On July 30, 1980, a fundamental law adopted by the Knesset declared that, "Jerusalem complete and unified is the capital of Israel." It is the seat of the President of the state, the Knesset, the government, and the Supreme Court.

Two Faces: Israel’s Prime Ministers

Two former Prime Ministers of Israel are in the news these days. They represent two of the many faces of Israel.
They also raise a universal question: which is preferable – an honest fanatic or a corrupt pragmatist?

Yitzhak Shamir died two weeks ago and was buried in the cemetery of the “Great of the Nation” in Jerusalem. He was 97 years old and had been vegetating for years in a state of dementia. Most Israelis did not know that he was still alive.

When I described him on TV as “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century”, the interviewer raised his eyebrows. But it was an accurate description.

Shamir was not a great thinker. In his teens he joined the right-wing Zionist youth organization of Vladimir Jabotinsky in Poland, and since then he did not change his world-view one iota. In this respect he was absolutely immovable. He wanted a Jewish state in all of the historical country. Period. No nonsense about Arabs and such.

We both joined the Irgun underground at the same time. I was too young to take part in actual terrorist actions, he, eight years my senior, carried them out. At the time, the Irgun killed scores of Arab men, women and children in attacks on Arab markets, in retaliation for Arab attacks on Jewish civilians. We defied the policy of “self-restraint” ordered by the Zionist leadership.

In the summer of 1940 the Irgun split. One of the commanders, Avraham Stern, founded the organization known to the British as the “Stern Gang”. (Eventually it was called LEHI, acronym for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel.)

Stern was a logical person. The aim was to set up a Jewish state in all of Palestine. The enemy was the British Empire. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore we must cooperate with the Nazis. He sent several emissaries to contact the Germans. Some were intercepted by the British, the others were ignored by the Nazis.

I could not accept this atrocious logic and did not join, though the temptation was there. Shamir did.

He was caught and imprisoned (unlike Stern himself, who was caught and shot on the spot). Within a short time, virtually all the members of the organization were killed or arrested. The group ceased to exist – until Shamir and a colleague, Eliahu Giladi, broke out. The two acted together and brought LEHI to life again. One day Shamir had Giladi tried and shot.

Giladi was not accused of treason, but, on the contrary – of excessive zeal. He made plans for revolutionary actions, such as killing David Ben-Gurion and the entire Zionist leadership. Shamir decided that his adventurous nature endangered the organization and that he must be removed. Afterwards Shamir named his daughter Gilada.

Many years later I asked him which historical personality he admired most. He answered without hesitation: Lenin. I understood that he admired him because Lenin ruthlessly followed the maxim “the end justifies the means”.

Shamir was one of LEHI’s three leaders. He was responsible for operations and organization, meticulously building a deliberately small group of selected individuals, executing incredibly daring actions. He himself planned every single operation in the greatest detail. The most famous was the assassination of Lord Moyne, the senior British functionary in the Middle East, in Cairo.

He was arrested again when the British shut down Tel Aviv and conducted a house-to-house search. Shamir was well disguised but could not hide his most obvious characteristic: he was very small, almost a dwarf, with a big, strong head. The soldiers were instructed to arrest every man below a certain height. This time he was sent to a detention camp in Africa, from which he duly escaped. He reached French Djibouti, was brought by a French warship to Paris where he stayed until Israel came into being. LEHI never amounted to more than a few hundred members. But it played a major role in driving the British out of this country.

In Israel, Shamir disappeared from view. For years he worked for the Mossad. It was rumored that his speciality was sending letter bombs. When he resurfaced, he joined the party of his erstwhile competitor, Menachem Begin. He was appointed Knesset chairman. Once I decided to stage a small demonstration in the Knesset. I wore under my jacket a t-shirt saying “Peace is better than a Greater Israel”. During the plenary session I took the jacket off. After some minutes of shock, an usher asked me politely to see the chairman in his office. Shamir received me with a big smile and said: “Uri, where would we be if every member did something like that? Now that you have made your point, would you please put your jacket on again?” Which I did, of course.

When Begin made peace with Egypt and even I voted for him, Shamir abstained. After Lebanon War I, when Begin resigned saying “I can’t go on any more”, Shamir took his place. As prime minister, his most outstanding achievement was to do nothing, except building settlements – quietly and unobtrusively. Under American pressure, he attended the Madrid peace conference, determined not to budge an inch. As he remarked later, he was quite ready to negotiate with the Arabs for any length of time. He did not dream of making peace, which would have drawn frontiers and barred the way to Greater Israel. His ideology was summed up by his most famous dictum, alluding to the old adage that the Arabs want to throw the Jews into the sea: “The Arabs are the same Arabs and the sea is the same sea.” Another famous statement: “It is permissible to lie for the fatherland.”

Remarkably, this man, who joined the Irgun (like me) in protest against “self-restraint”, exercised self-restraint par excellence when Saddam Hussein rained missiles on Israel during the Gulf War. Shamir was content to let the Americans do the job. His other great achievement was preventing Jews from reaching the US. When the Soviet leadership allowed Jews to emigrate, almost all of them proceeded straight to the US. Shamir persuaded the White House to shut the gates, and thus compelled more than a million Russian Jews to come to Israel (where they now swell the ranks of the extreme right.) For a short time he was the mentor of the young Binyamin Netanyahu, but then he came to detest him. After Netanyahu made a small tactical concession to the Arabs, he called him “Angel of Destruction”. One may assume that he was also disgusted by Netanyahu’s penchant for luxury.

When not lying for the fatherland, Shamir was straight as a ramrod, living in utmost modesty. There never was – or could be – even the slightest hint of corruption. Which leads us straight to Ehud Olmert.

Once upon a time there was a Minister of Education, Zalman Aran, who was known for his dry humor. A party functionary once came up to him and said: “Ziama, you can congratulate me. I have been acquitted!” “Strange,” Aran replied, “I have never been acquitted!”

Olmert has been acquitted many times. During his entire career, he has danced from one acquittal to the next. This week it happened again. After a long trial, in which he was accused on five different counts of corruption, he was acquitted of four. One concerned his habit of letting himself be invited by several charity organizations to lecture in the US, and letting all of them pay separately for the same first class ticket (using the surplus for his family’s private outings.) Another count: reporting to the State Comptroller that his collection of expensive pens was worth a tenth of its real value. The district court decided to acquit him on all counts for lack of proof, except one: that as Minister of Industry he had favored the clients of his close friend, who obliged him by keeping a large amount of cash stashed away in his safe. Olmert celebrated his partial acquittal as a great victory. The media – the same media which celebrated his indictment when it all started – are taking part in the celebration. He is still awaiting the outcome of an even bigger trial. The accusation, this time: taking bribes for the building of a huge multi-billion architectural monster in the center of Jerusalem when he was mayor of the city. Everybody expects that he will be acquitted, as usual. Among the outcries against the Attorney General in the media was the accusation that he, a mere civil servant, had toppled an incumbent Prime Minister on trumped-up charges. Worse, that he had done so just when Olmert was about to make peace with the Palestinians. Nonsense. In his years in the Prime Minister’s office, during which he initiated two dirty wars (Lebanon War II and Operation “Cast Lead”), he had plenty of time to make peace. He did indeed produce a peace plan – but only on the eve of his expected political demise. With peacemakers like this, who needs warmongers? However, Olmert is already hinting that after his next acquittal he will return to political life.

Shamir, the dead honest fanatic, has many followers. Olmert, the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few. Netanyahu, their current successor, has the vices of both and the virtues of neither.

Canada: Anti-Semitic Church Attack on Israel

by Christine Williams
June 22, 2012 at 5:00 am


The United Church of Canada has released the 26 page report of its Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy, which the church will consider introducing as policy when the denomination's 41st General Council convenes in Ottawa August 11-18. The Working Group indicates that its recommendations were put forth in search of truth, justice and reconciliation when in fact it does little or nothing of the sort. It refers to Israel as the "thief," the "occupier," and the "oppressor," and compares Israeli policies to those of South Africa under apartheid, and more shockingly to Sudan, despite the fact that people from Africa risk their lives to get to Israel to escape the Islamist apartheid rampant throughout African countries such as Sudan, South Sudan and Nigeria, to name but a few.

While acknowledging Israel's right to exist, this biased and scathing report against Israel calls for "Christian economic action" against it, and points out that Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967. Nevertheless it omits that these territories -- under dispute -- were taken by Israel in a defensive war, the second that united Arab countries had initiated against it since Israel's founding in 1948. It is difficult to imagine a view advanced by the United Church working group, along with the automatic majority of autocracies in the United Nations, that countries which start wars and then lose them should be rewarded. The Group also omits that Canada is the greatest friend to Israel and that it opposes anti-Israel labels, as well as attempts to exterminate Israel economically by means of divestment, boycotts and sanctions [BDS].

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recognized immediately what this working group failed to recognize: he stated in May that "the world cannot take the words of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran as mere rhetoric and risk appeasing these malicious actors in the same way the world appeased the Nazis.… Under our prime minister, and under this foreign minister, Canada will stand with the Jewish state and people as they struggle to protect their very right to exist."

The three-member working group exerts a feeble attempt to justify the contents of its report by stating that anti-Semitism does not entail calling Israel into so-called accountability. In addressing the report's repeated referral to Israel as the "occupier," the so-called "occupation" must be understood through the lens of the historic 1967 six day war of which an inevitable preventative strike by Israel against the nations of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq occurred as these nations were preparing for a united attack upon the Jewish State.

The Syrian Defense Minister, Hafez Assad, and President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq had both declared that it was time to wipe out Israel's existence (reminiscent of Iran today), and Egypt -- preparing for war -- had illegally closed off the Gulf of Aqaba in preparation for attack. In response, Israel launched a preventative strike and won the strategic territories of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), the West Bank and East Jerusalem (from Jordan), and the Golan Heights (from Syria) – all land which it is accused today of "occupying," even after giving back to Egypt 100% of its land in exchange for a peace treaty that as of this writing might be in danger of being abrogated by Egypt.

Israel's having taken this land in war was not from greed, but for Israel's strategic survival against mortal enemies that sought its destruction. With this in mind, it is worth remembering that nearly every state has achieved its current existence as a result of wars, most from greed. Our continent is no exception. According to the criteria of the stone-throwers against Israel, we too are "occupiers" on native lands, which includes the three-member United Church working group, who, being themselves "occupiers," have their own Christian "sins" to contend with.

Another historic event alluded to by the working group is the war that broke out when the British withdrew from the Palestinian region in 1948. The British Response to Jewish immigration in fact set a precedent of appeasing the Arabs – a practice followed for the duration of the Mandate for Palestine. The British placed restrictions on Jewish immigration while allowing Arabs freely to enter the country. As the British withdrew from the region in May 1948, Israel was attacked immediately (the next day) by five surrounding Arab nations. While acknowledging the attack on Israel, the working group report nevertheless emphasizes the Palestinian refugees created by this war, while leaving out the fact that Palestinian Arabs continued to refuse to recognize Israel, and instead began launching terrorist attacks from the Palestinian Arab community that became increasingly organized and dangerous through the course of time with the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization of which Yasser Arafat would eventually become Chairman. The Palestinian Authority in its revised charter still calls for the elimination of Israel, by stating that the revised charter incorporates everything in the previous version.

As the Working Group zeroes in on Palestinian victimhood, the exponentially growing number of Palestinian refugees each year is, in fact, a calculated scam -- one that is costing Western nations tens of billions of dollars per year in mandatory "donations." The number of refugees is projected to balloon to 20 million in the next 50 years, and would, at that time, include something like the great-great-great-great grandchildren of the original refugees, who by then would long since have died. By that token, is everyone in Greece now a refugee from the Peleponnesian War?

Although there are indeed poverty stricken areas in the Palestinian territories -- and often shocking discrimination against the Palestinians in (and by) their Arab host countries -- according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, GDP growth in the Palestinian Territory of the West Bank was astronomically high at 9.9% in 2011, and the Gaza strip a staggering 23%. Ironically, the Palestinian Territories are, at this moment, enjoying greater growth than the North American taxpayers who are funding them.

The most basic problem at the root of the Palestinian-Israeli issue is not the so-called "occupation," as stipulated by this working group, but the refusal by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel's right to exist, and the murderous hatred expressed by these leaders against the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

Even as Egypt was preparing itself for a runoff election, Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad said a win by Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi would be a boon to Palestinians, ending the frosty relationship between Hamas and Egypt. Hamad added that no one in Hamas supports recognizing Israel as a nation.

While the United Church Working Group acknowledges Israel's right to exist, it does so only in lip service, without taking into consideration Israel's need to protect itself. Israel has long faced threats of suicide bombers seeking to inflict as much injury as possible on victims, as well as trying unsuccessfully to cripple them with fear. The Working Group's objectives do not even take into account the Jihadist call to war against Israel , and children being taught in Palestinian schools to hate and kill Jews. This hatred has nothing to do with the so-called "occupation," as Palestinian children are indoctrinated to believe, but is instead fuelled by Israel having a different ideology of true Democracy and Human Rights in a region where most leaders are hostile to both. Israel is not an Islamic caliphate and herein lies the problem. The the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, worked hand in hand with Hitler during World War II and during the Holocaust to destroy the Jewish people simply because they were Jewish. Al-Husseini blocked attempts to rescue thousands of Jewish children from several countries under German control, effectively sentencing them to death. Few know that Yasser Arafat was a blood relative of the Grand Mufti; and that Arafat's his real name was Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa Al-Husseini. Few also know that Arafat, whose mother was a cousin of the Grand Mufti, was a great admirer of this work.

As this working group attacks Israel, there are those Christians in abundance who support Israel, understand the struggles it faces, and also recognize the plight of the Palestinians as they are used as pawns by their own leadership to feed an agenda of hatred against the Jews and against the West in an effort to distract their people from the true source of their misery: the corrupt and wretched governance at home. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has lauded such Christian support, which even includes Mosab Yousef, the eldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas.

Mosab Yousef, who converted to Christianity, now exposes what is truly behind the "peace process." And speaking of conversions, an admirable moderate Muslim in Canada refers to what happened to a Christian convert in a Muslim regime as he discusses the brutality in Muslim societies where a " young man is pinned to the ground, his head is twisted and a knife held against his throat. In a few minutes the head is severed and held up for display to the public, who are loudly chanting, "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greatest!"]. In the video of this gruesome public execution of an apostate, the victim had converted to Christianity from Islam."

This brutality seen in Muslim societies brings us to a critical point outlined by the United Church working group: "holding Israel, like any other modern democratic state, accountable for its actions is one way civil society strengthens democracy and justice;" and, further, that Israel should be held to a higher standard than the surrounding non-democratic countries. This is nothing short of a highly racist statement, implying that the surrounding "barbarians" are capable of nothing more than savagery, so why expect anything of them or hold them accountable? In other words, they are the brown people from whom we should expect little more than violence and brutality. "Those Muslims" are quite capable of being civilized and should be called to the same -- admittedly flawed but higher -- standard as any other Western nation -- as many Muslim Reformists are trying to do today in efforts to protect the rights of women and human rights overall.

By contrast, in Israel, which is branded apartheid, Arabs are allowed full voting rights; positions in Knesset; employment rights, and for that matter, the freedom to be homosexual – the last, in their own countries, grounds to be murdered.

While all evidence attests to Christians having been driven out of Bethlehem by Muslims, the Working Group asserts, in yet another misinformed allegation, that it was the "occupation" that has driven out the Christians. The Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in fact violated – and continue to violate -- the human rights of Christians through beatings, intimidation, fire-bombings of their institutions, torture, kidnapping, and sexual harassment, thus leading to their exodus from Bethlehem: the very place honored as the birthplace of Christ.

In conclusion, the United Church working group needs to do its homework along with some other Church groups that condemn Israel. Israel is increasingly bullied by the OIC-dominated United Nations, as well as surrounding enemies that have historically sought its destruction. There are still many maps that exclude Israel, including one which was displayed at the U.N. and which was used to mark the commemoration of "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" on November 29, 2005. "The working group takes seriously questions about why Israel is currently the only country in the world being challenged by a global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS)." In asserting this, the United Church would do well to observe its own faith by remembering that Christ, too, was ganged up against; so it is a moot argument to inquire why Israel is being challenged by a global BDS movement -- that is unjust and reprehensible -- as this small nation continues to fight for its existence.

The UN Sham Pampers The Palestinian Sham

by Guy Millière
November 1, 2011 at 5:00 am


In his speech to the UN General Assembly last month, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke of the United Nations as the «house of lies » and the «theater of the absurd.» One could go farther and state the whole truth: The United Nations has become a sham.

The new United Nations Human Rights Council is composed overwhelmingly of countries in perpetual violation of human rights, and should more accurately be called the Council against Human Rights and for the Promotion of Global Anti-Semitism.

The General Assembly is a place where dictators and tyrants have an automatic majority to pass absurd motions and obscene texts, such as the one that defines Zionism as racism, adopted in 1975, and repealed only sixteen years later with the greatest difficulty, thanks to U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. The US veto in the UN Security Council is the sole obstacle to the enactment of equally racist decisions.

Originally intended to foster peace on earth and to end totalitarian regimes, the UN has become a place where Western democracies are hostages to brutal, barbaric regimes. No one has yet even been fired for « the biggest heist in history », over $117 billion, the Oil-for-Food scandal of 2004, in which the UN set up a program supposedly to provide food for impoverished Iraqis under the regime of Saddam Hussein, but instead accepted kickbacks from the Iraqi regime while the food never reached the people. Supposed UN peacekeepers in Africa still continue to distribute goods to underage children in exchange for sex.

The tribune from which Benjamin Netanyahu spoke is the same from which other world leaders also spoke. The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, uttered genocidal recommendations to cheers. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was acclaimed as he accused Israel of using « excessive force » against a Turkish flotilla's attempt to break a perfectly legal naval blockade.

But, as UN recognition of a Palestinian state, or at least an upgrade from which to continue making Israel's existence as unpleasant as possible, was the featured act this year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the General Assembly with lies -- about everything from who was responsible for stalling negotiations for the past two years (the Israelis had agreed to a requested construction freeze, after which the Palestinians still refused to come to the table until few weeks before the deadline, and then demanded another construction freeze) -- to who had failed to fulfill its side of the Oslo accords (the Palestinians had agreed to stop incitement, but, among other violations since day one, never even tried). Abbas descended from the podium to sanctimonious applause.

Western representatives walked out when Ahmadinejad spoke, but when it was Abbas's turn, they remained. Many even applauded. Does this mean they endorse lies? It appears they do, and that is a shame.

Who can fail to understand that when Abbas describes the creation of Israel in 1948 as a « Nakba » [catastrophe] for Palestinians, he deliberately obscures the war of extermination waged against Israel the day of its birth by five Arab nations: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq?
At the time, the Western countries remained passive observers of the war, and Israel's survival seemed a form of miracle.

Who can fail to see that when Abbas speaks of occupation of Palestinian lands for « sixty-three years, » he is saying the whole of Israel is an « occupied land »?

Who can fail to feel addled hearing Abbas describe the security fence as an « annexation Wall » against Palestinians, when everyone knows - or should know - that it was precisely incessant terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arabs that forced Israel to erect the barrier?

Who can fail to know, hearing Abbas refer to « return of all refugees » to Israel as a condition for peace, that Palestinian leaders -- both of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas -- have made clear both in their charters and every day on their media as well as every outlet available [see www.pmw.org], that their aim is to drown Jewish Israel in a stream of millions of Muslim Arabs?

Why would anyone accept Abbas's references to « Palestinian territories » and « Palestinian people » ? The term « Palestinian people » is of recent coinage. The « Palestinian people » was a term invented in the mid-1960s, when the Egyptians and Soviets decided to market the war against Israel as a war of « national liberation .» What was to be "liberated," it turned out, was all of Israel, "from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, " as Faisal al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, put it.

There has never been a « Palestinian territory » belonging to a « Palestinian people, » let alone a Palestinian nation.
Palestine was an area controlled for hundreds of years by the Ottoman Empire until it was disbanded in the 1920s. The area was then governed as the British Mandate of Palestine until Israel was declared a state in 1948, and Arab armies immediately went to war to try to destroy it. Between 1920 and 1948, Jews had « Palestine » stamped on their passports as their country of origin, and were « Palestinians » every bit as much as the Arabs were. The people who now call themselves « Palestinians » are those Arabs who left that land when the war
started: some fled not to be in the middle of the fighting; others were told on bullhorns to leave to make it easier to kill the Jews so the Arabs could sooner come back.

After Israel beat back the invaders, the Arabs who had fled from Palestine wanted to return; the Israelis refused on the grounds that, as they had not stayed to help, they had not been loyal and could therefore considered fifth-columnists. The Arabs who did stay, the Israeli Arabs -- in this allegedly « apartheid » state -- still make up about 20% of the population, over a million and a half. They have their own political parties; their own members elected to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; sit on the Supreme Court; hold senior positions in the Israeli diplomatic corps; work as physicians in the top hospitals and as professors at the leading universities, and even serve in the Israeli army only if they wish.
If they are not as integrated into the society as they might wish to be, it is because they have chosen so -- not because any opportunities have been denied them. As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan used, to say, «Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own set of facts .»

When Abbas returned to Ramallah from his September trip to the UN, the slogans chanted by the crowd were clear: « A million martyrs marching to Jerusalem! » and, « We will liberate Palestine in blood! »; but it seems no Western diplomat heard them and drew the undisguised conclusion.

Most Western countries – the United States apart – have rarely conducted themselves other than disgracefully regarding Israel, right from the beginning. The United Nations is where much of this conduct not only takes place, but is pantingly encouraged.

When the PLO carried out waves of terror attacks that culminated in the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in 1972, the Western world could see it was dealing with terrorists and murderers. When, however, two years later, Yasser Arafat was invited to the UN, and gave a speech as distorted as that recently given by Mahmoud Abbas, no Western UN representative seemed to recall that Arafat was, at that time, chief of all the terrorists and murderers who not only killed athletes in Munich, but also, among other acts, had an elderly, wheelchair-ridden man thrown off a boat into the sea.

When the PLO was admitted to the UN as an observer, no representative of any Western country refused to sit alongside the representative of this terrorist organization. When, in Madrid in 1991, the discussions that would lead to the Oslo Accords were initiated, Western pressure was instrumental in pushing Israel toward a « peace process,» opening the door to the legitimization of the Palestinian Authority and a decade of suicide bombings that killed more than 1,400 Jews. Israeli leaders have bowed to pressure; this does not excuse those who exerted the pressure.

Meanwhile, in speech after speech, the PLO leaders have spread a falsified version of history describing Israel as an artificial and colonial state. After 1921, however, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, virtually all the states in the region -- The Republic of Turkey, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, and the British Mandate of Palestine -- were born, a fact that seems to have been forgotten. Jordan, formerly Transjordan, and now consisting 70% of Palestinians, was created then, too, on 80% of the land of the British Mandate that was supposed to become the Jewish national home -- another fact that seems to have been forgotten.

At that time, what is now called the West Bank was annexed by Jordan, and Gaza by Egypt.
If the PLO had ever spoken about a plan to "liberate" these territories, or had called them « occupied Palestinian territories, » it would immediately have been crushed by the Arab armies.

For many years, the PLO, founded in 1964, was nothing more than an instrument in the Arabo-Soviet aggression against Israel. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the Western world became the PLO's major financier; while the PLO could then have disappeared, the West did everything to save it.

It was at this point that the West gave the PLO massive financial aid that makes the « Palestinians » the world's most subsidized « people .»

The Palestine Liberation Organization agreed in 1993 to Israel's right to live in peace, and accepted the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, rejecting "violence and terrorism." Since that moment, however, the PLO has never ceased embodying terror, hatred, and a rabid desire to destroy Israel. It pretends to be less radical than Hamas, but, as its own charter, which was never rescinded, and Mahmoud Abbas's UN speech guilelessly attest, cherishes the same goal: to exterminate Israel as a Jewish state..

Israeli leaders are constantly badgered to reach out to adversaries who will never sign a peace agreement, not only because they are at war, but because they are committed to wage the war until, they hope, Israel is wiped off the map, just as it is in all of their maps [www.pmw.org].

The United Nations, meanwhile, not only has never even attempted to enforce its own resolutions, but has been enthusiastically working with the PLO to subvert them. If the UN, or the Quartet, or anyone now accepts the unilateral creation of a "judenrein" [cleansed of Jews: in other words, really apartheid] ], anti-Semitic, Palestinian state that still calls for annihilation of Israel, it would be a pitiful surrender, as well as a negation of all the values that both the UN and the West claim to embody.

Although the American position makes creating a Palestinian state impossible at this time, no doubt the pressure on Israel will continue on, as always.

Which leaders in the West, seized by an onset of moral dignity, will have the courage to affirm that just as the UN has become a sham, the « Palestinian cause » is itself just a sham? The problem could be solved overnight if the Arabs cared as much about their people as the Jews do about theirs. In 1948, 800 000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands and arrived in Israel, while at the same time around 700 000 Arabs left Israel for Arab lands. The Jews took in every one of their people; the Arabs, instead, preferred to consign their « brothers » to squalid refugee camps, and let the West pick up the bill.

To maintain the current situation may seem to be the lesser evil, but is not a solution. It might be an worthwhile idea to ask Western countries to suspend funding the Palestinian Authority if it continues to ask for a State, as the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress recently discussed.

Western countries might be asked to suspend funding any branch of the UN that promotes the unilateral creation of a Palestinian State, as the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress also recently discussed.

Western countries might also be asked to set strict conditions for continued funding, and to refuse to pay if anti-Semitic propaganda and the glorification of terrorism continue to appear in Palestinian media and classrooms, or there is no doubt that anti-Semitic propaganda and glorification of terrorism will never disappear.

The territories conquered by Israel in the defensive war of 1967 are not occupied territories; they are disputed territories. Should Israel seriously be expected to hold them in perpetuity for countries that repeatedly wage war on it until such a time as perhaps its militant neighbors might feel like reclaiming them?

As a country constantly threatened and regularly attacked by its neighbors, Israel's right to set its borders in accordance with its security requirements and apply Israeli law within the resulting area, should be recognized. The Palestinian Authority, especially if it links up with Hamas, is a rogue entity and should be treated as such.

The status of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria will have to be resolved from there. Pre-1967, these Arabs had the same status as Palestinian Arabs in Jordan. They are fundamentally one and the same population. Palestinian Arabs constitute the vast majority of Jordan's population, The Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are the same people as Palestinian Arabs living in Jordan -- where millions more Palestinian Arabs live than in Judea and Samaria -- although they have been dispossessed of their rights. They should recover them. Jordan is a Palestinian state already. As Muhdar Zaran recently wrote, « It is not certain that King Abdullah's regime will be able to survive a revolt from the frustrated and angry Palestinian majority, should one take place.» He added, « It might be time to start at least considering a Plan B for Jordan.». I would add: It might be time to consider a Plan B for Palestinian Arabs.

At present the Middle East is a zone of turbulence and extreme Islamist agitation. Nobody in the area cares about the « Palestinian cause » except as a pretext for whipping up hatred toward Israel. What really should concern Western leaders today is Islamist imperialism and the deeper meaning of the hatred of Israel.

Appeasement and cowardice will not decrease Islamist agitation. No one ever won a confrontation by abandoning the battlefield to the enemy.To abandon Israel would not be without far-reaching consequences, resulting in yet another Islamist terrorist State based on heavy Islamist supremacy, malicious lies and anti-Western racism.

The United Nations Should Not Recognize an Apartheid, Judenrein, Islamic Palestine

by Alan M. Dershowitz
September 21, 2011 at 11:30 am


The draft constitution for the new state of Palestine declares that "Islam is the official religion in Palestine." It also states that Sharia Law will be "the major source of legislation." It is ironic that the same Palestinian leadership which supports these concepts for Palestine refuses to acknowledge that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. Israel, in contrast to the proposed Palestinian state, does not have an official state religion. Although it is a Jewish state, that description is not a religious one but rather a national one. It accords equal rights to Islam, Christianity and all other religions, as well as to atheists and agnostics. Indeed, a very high proportion of Israelis describe themselves as secular.

The new Palestinian state would prohibit any Jews from being citizens, from owning land or from even living in the Muslim state of Palestine. The Ambassador of the PLO to the United States was asked during an interview whether "any Jew who is inside the borders of Palestine will have to leave?" His answer: "Absolutely!" After much criticism, the Ambassador tried to spin his statement, saying that it applied only to Jews "who are amid the occupation." Whatever that means, one thing is clear: large numbers of Jews will not be welcome to remain in Islamic Palestine as equal citizens. In contrast, Israel has more than 1 million Arab citizens, most of whom are Muslims. They are equal under the law, except that they need not serve in the Israeli army.

The new Palestine will have the very "law of return" that it demands that Israel should give up. All Palestinians, no matter where they live and regardless of whether they have ever set foot in Palestine, will be welcome to the new state, while a Jew whose family has lived in Hebron for thousands of years will be excluded.

To summarize, the new Palestinian state will be a genuine apartheid state. It will practice religious and ethnic discrimination, it will have one official religion and it will base its laws on the precepts of one religion. Imagine what the status of gays will be under Sharia law!

Palestinian leadership accuses Israel of having roads that are limited only to Jews. This is entirely false: a small number of roads on the West Bank are restricted to Israelis, but they are equally open to Israeli Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. The entire state of Palestine will have a "no Jews allowed" sign on it.

It is noteworthy that the very people who complain most loudly about Israel's law of return and about its character as the nation state of the Jewish people, are silent when it comes to the new Palestinian state. Is it that these people expect more of Jews than they do of Muslims? If so, is that not a form of racism?

What would the borders of a Palestinian state look like if the Palestinians got their way without the need to negotiate with Israel? The Palestinians would get, as a starting point, all of the land previously occupied by Jordan prior to the 1967 War, in which Jordan attacked Israel. This return to the status quo that led to the 6 Day War is inconsistent with the intention of Security Council Resolution 242, which contemplated some territorial changes.

The new boundaries of this Palestinian state would include Judaism's holiest place, the Western Wall. It would also include the access roads to Hebrew University, which Jordan used to close down this great institution of learning founded by the Jews nearly 100 years ago. The new Palestinian state would also incorporate the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, in which Jews have lived for 3000 years, except for those periods of time during which they were expelled by force.

It is contemplated, of course, that Israel would regain these areas as part of a land swap with the Palestinians. But there is no certainty that the Palestinians would agree to a reasonable land swap. Palestinian leaders have already said that they would hold these important and sacred sites hostage to unreasonable demands. For example, the Western Wall covers only a few acres, but the Palestinian leadership has indicated that these acres are among the most valuable in the world, and in order for Israel to regain them, they would have to surrender thousands of acres. The same might be true of the access road to Hebrew University and the Jewish Quarter.

When Jordan controlled these areas, the Jordanian government made them Judenrein—Jews could not pray at the Western Wall, visit the Jewish Quarter, or have access to Hebrew University. There is no reason to believe that a Palestinian state would treat Jews any differently if they were to maintain control over these areas.

The 'Jewish' President

Don't believe Obama when he says he has Israel's back.

Should Israelis and pro-Israel Americans take President Obama at his word when he says—as he did at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday—"I have Israel's back"?


Here is a president who fought tooth-and-nail against the very sanctions on Iran for which he now seeks to reap political credit. He inherited from the Bush administration the security assistance to Israel he now advertises as proof of his "unprecedented" commitment to the Jewish state. His defense secretary has repeatedly cast doubt on the efficacy of a U.S. military option against Iran even as the president insists it remains "on the table." His top national security advisers keep warning Israel not to attack Iran even as he claims not to "presume to tell [Israeli leaders] what is best for them."

Oh, and his secretary of state answers a question from a Tunisian student about U.S. politicians courting the "Zionist lobbies" by saying that "a lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention." It seems it didn't occur to her to challenge the premise of the question.

Still, if you're looking for evidence of Mr. Obama's disingenuousness when it comes to Israel, it's worth referring to what his supporters say about him.

Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time Iraq War advocate who has reinvented himself as a liberal scourge of present-day Israel and mainstream Zionism. Mr. Beinart has a book coming out next month called "The Crisis of Zionism." Chapter five, on "The Jewish President," fully justifies the cover price.

Mr. Beinart's case is that Mr. Obama came to his views about Israel not so much from people like his friend Rashid Khalidi or his pastor Jeremiah Wright. Instead, says Mr. Beinart, Mr. Obama got his education about Israel from a coterie of far-left Chicago Jews who "bred in Obama a specific, and subversive, vision of American Jewish identity and of the Jewish state."

At the center of this coterie, Mr. Beinart explains, was a Chicago rabbi named Arnold Jacob Wolf. In 1969, Wolf staged a synagogue protest in favor of Black Panther Bobby Seale. In the early 1970s, he founded an organization that met with Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization—this being some 20 years before Arafat officially renounced terrorism. In the early 1990s, Wolf denounced the construction of the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

And, in 1996, the rabbi "was one of [Mr. Obama's] earliest and most prominent supporters" when he ran for the Illinois state Senate. Wolf later described Mr. Obama's views on Israel as "on the line of Peace Now"—an organization with a long history of blaming Israel for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mr. Obama had other Jewish mentors, too, according to Mr. Beinart. One was Bettylu Saltzman, whose father, developer Philip Klutznick, had joined Wolf in "his break with the Israeli government in the 1970s." Ms. Saltzman, writes Mr. Beinart, "still seethes with hostility toward the mainstream Jewish groups" and later became active in left-wing Jewish political groups like J Street. Among other things, it was she who "organized the rally against the Iraq War where Obama proclaimed his opposition to an American invasion."

Ms. Saltzman also introduced Mr. Obama to David Axelrod, himself a longtime donor to a group called the New Israel Fund. For a flavor of the NIF's world view, a WikiLeaks cable from 2010 noted that an NIF associate director told U.S. embassy officials in Tel Aviv that "the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic."

Other things that we learn about Mr. Obama's intellectual pedigree from Mr. Beinart: As a student at Columbia, he honed his interests in colonialism by studying with the late pro-Palestinian agit-Prof. Edward Said. In 2004, Mr. Obama "criticized the barrier built to separate Israel and its major settlements from the rest of the West Bank"—the "barrier" meaning the security fence that all-but eliminated the wave of suicide bombings that took 1,000 lives in Israel.

We also learn that, according to one of Mr. Beinart's sources, longtime diplomat Dennis Ross was brought aboard the Obama campaign as part of what Mr. Beinart calls "Obama's inoculation strategy" to mollify Jewish voters apprehensive about the sincerity of his commitments to Israel. Not surprisingly, Mr. Ross was a marginal figure in the administration before leaving last year.

In Mr. Beinart's telling, all this is evidence that Mr. Obama is in tune with the authentic views of the American Jewish community when it comes to Israel, but that he's out of step with Jewish organizational leadership. Maybe. Still, one wonders why organizations more in tune with those "real" views rarely seem to find much of a base.

But the important question here isn't about American-Jewish attitudes toward Israel. It's about the president's honesty. Is he being truthful when he represents himself as a mainstream friend of Israel—or is he just holding his tongue and biding his time? On the evidence of Mr. Beinart's sympathetic book, Mr. Obama's speech at Aipac was one long exercise in political cynicism.   [WSJ, 3/6/12]


While courting the Jewish vote for his re-election, President Obama promised AIPAC (3/4/2012) that he has "Israel's back" and will use force to "prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."   Can Israel risk its existence on Obama's false promises. While running for election on 6/4/08, Obama promised AIPAC that, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. "  On 5/19/11, Obama reversed policy and said that the 1967 borders should be used and Jerusalem should be divided between Arabs and Jews. Can we believe anything that Obama promises. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  [Letter to OCR]

British Methodists Distort History

June 13, 2011 at 5:00 am, Hudson Institute

In 2010, the Methodist Church in Britain produced a report entitled "Justice for Palestine and Israel". The report was adopted as official Methodist policy. Consequently, British Methodists are now called upon to boycott certain Israeli products and support the pro-Palestinian initiatives of the World Council of Churches and Christian Aid.

We have looked at this report, which relies heavily upon a purported history of Palestine in the twentieth century, supported by a bibliography that makes no pretense to impartiality. Anyone who has any genuine acquaintance of that history will be amazed at the continual misrepresentations. In particular, the report repeatedly uses statistics that will mislead an unknowing reader. The report is not the first example of this genre of semi-fact, but perhaps it is the greatest masterpiece to date.

Some time ago, we reviewed a miniature product of the genre in our exposé of the Myth of Palestinian Christianity. To do the same for the Methodist report would require a substantial monograph, not a mere article. Moreover, the task would be a waste of time, since such a report can hardly have come from people who might be prepared to change their minds.

But if the British Methodists ever show interest in salvaging their reputation, they should engage a respectable historian (say Benny Morris) to review the report and list its falsities. Moreover, they should pay that historian handsomely for the mental torture involved. Cheaper and more befitting a Christian institution would be to throw it officially into the waste-paper basket. If that sounds exaggerated, consider just a sample of the report's statements.

Of the Arab revolt (1936-1939), the report says that it "was put down with brutal ferocity by British forces during which 5000 Palestinians were killed and 10,000 wounded". Not mentioned is that up to half of the fatalities were Arabs killed by other Arabs on various pretexts. This includes the fighting between the Husseini and Nashashibi clans, in which the Nashashibi leadership was largely wiped out. Jewish casualties are not mentioned at all.

Similar omissions occur where the report mentions the first Palestinian intifada. It is described in this sentence: "This Intifada, which lasted from 1987 to 1991, was mainly associated with stone throwing and popular unrest within the Occupied territories, together with a corresponding firm response by Israeli forces."

Not mentioned is that as many Arabs were killed by other Arabs as by Israelis, on various accusations of being collaborators and prostitutes, etc. The PLO and Hamas also ordered the resignation of the entire local Jordanian-created police, which Israel had left in place since 1967. As a result, crime multiplied without control and various Palestinian organizations could rob the population in the name of resistance. Those organizations also ordered endless strikes that deprived the middle classes of income. A lot more happened than mere stone throwing.

The 1947 resolution of the United Nations General Assembly is described as a plan "to partition the territory, with 56% going to the third of the population who were Jewish." Sounds very unfair, if you do not know that 82% of the Jewish part was the Negev desert. Its then population, apart from Beersheba (6,490) and 510 in Jewish villages, consisted of uncounted Bedouin nomads. It was allocated to the Jews on the assumption that they alone might make it less of a desert, as indeed happened.

The UN plan, continues the report, "ignited a civil war" in which "750,000 Palestinians" were "forced from their country." Here the report is guilty of the most elementary of mistakes, or rather deceptions: equating the total number of refugees with the number that left the area of the British Mandate. In fact, it is estimated that about a third went to the West Bank, a third went to the Gaza Strip and only a third actually went away "from their country" to Lebanon, Syria or Transjordan. Two-thirds, that is, of the Arab refugees were displaced not from Mandatory Palestine but merely within it. The Jordanians and Egyptians put them in refugee camps; the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, too, keep them in those same camps.

Thus, adds the report, "Israel secured its independence on 78% of the territory, having expelled around 80% of the Arab population." Only it omits to note that 100% of the Jewish population was expelled from the areas that came under Jordanian and Egyptian rule. As for the 78%, three-fifths of it (4,700 out of 8,019 sq miles) was the Negev desert. Once again, the percentages mentioned by the report serve to deceive rather than to inform.

The description of the origins of the Six Day War is even more laconic: "tensions culminated in the Six Day War in which Israel fought against Egypt, Jordan and Syria." In fact, the first belligerent act was committed by Egypt, when Nasser ordered a blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat and told the UN buffer force to leave the border between Egypt and Israel. It was also Jordan that initiated hostilities against Israel, not the reverse. So it was Egypt and Jordan who made war on Israel, who lost, and who thereby gave Israel control of the West Bank and Gaza. The Arab League, meeting in Khartoum on September 1, 1967, thereupon adopted its "Three 'No's": "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel."

Thus the "Occupied Territories" were born in a war of Arab aggression, after which the Arabs refused to make peace because they refused to accept Israel in any form. That was the permanent reality in which Israel was left to decide alone what areas were necessary for its long-term security and began to settle them. Not that the Methodists would tell you.

Of the origins of the PLO, the report merely declares: "In 1964, the Palestinians finally achieved an independent political voice, through the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization." No mention of the fact that the PLO adopted a charter calling for the destruction of the State of Israel by armed force, etc. This was before the Six Day War, when all that prevented the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza was Arab opposition.

The opposition included the PLO itself, since the PLO charter of 1964 stated: "Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area..." Israel alone must be the target. Only after the war, in 1968, did the PLO revised the charter to eliminate that restriction. Indeed, the Methodist report contains no explanation whatsoever of the Fatah and Hamas ideologies, nor of the constant incitement against Israel today in the Palestinian media and educational system.

And so on and so on. Now, we are familiar with this sort of repetitive deception from banal Palestinian propaganda. But what is left of the reputation of a church that adopts such a strategy?

So let us go on to a further example of the elementary statistical blunders: "There are currently around 125,000 Palestinian Christians in Israel/Palestine." Here they may be quoting a figure recently given by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics of 122,000 Arab Christians in Israel, including Jerusalem. But they forget that there are another 40,000 or so Arab Christians in the West Bank and a few in Gaza. Add to that some tens of thousands, at least, of non-Arab Christians in Israel.

This invalidates the report's central claim that there are "declining numbers" of Christians in "Israel/Palestine." In fact, their numbers have slowly but steadily increased since 1948. It is simply their percentage in the total population that has decreased; for the details see my Myth of Palestinian Christianity. Thus the Methodist report not merely repeats the frequent confusion between absolute numbers and percentages, it sloppily fails to get the absolute number correct in the first place.

Note that the great majority of the Arab Christians live in Israel. From there, during 1948-1967, the Jordanians rarely let them visit the holy places in Jerusalem. After 1967, they could go there whenever they wanted to. But what did the Six Day War mean for Christians, according to the Methodist report? "To Christians, the loss of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was of great significance."

Think, Methodists, what you mean by that. Christians have "lost" the Holy Sepulchre, which is visited by thousands upon thousands of Christians every day? Well, the Holy Sepulchre is technically owned by the Muslim Waqf, while the local churches have to request the key from two Muslim families in order to open the door – and pay for the privilege. But in that sense the Holy Sepulchre was "lost" centuries ago. Some Christians might call it a demeaning and intolerable situation, but not our Methodists.

As for the Muslims themselves, the report complains that "Muslims lost de facto control of their third holiest Mosque – the Al Aqsa Mosque – as well as the Dome of the Rock or Haram-al Sharif." Here the Methodists show that, without any examination of the facts, they are merely capable of making baseless pronouncements of politico-theological dogma.

After the Six Day War, the Muslim Waqf was immediately permitted by Israel to retain its control of the Temple Mount, while Jews were forbidden to pray there. The problem is the very opposite: the State of Israel has been far too hesitant to exercise any authority there, despite grossly irresponsible activities of the Waqf. The Israeli police is satisfied if it can prevent rioting on the Temple Mount and the hurling of rocks from there on Jews down below at the Western Wall. And that is all.

In particular, the Waqf has carried out unauthorized and unsupervised excavations in order to add a third mosque underground. This cultural vandalism also dangerously weakened the support walls of the Temple Mount. The excavated material was dumped outside in the Kidron valley, where the Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay belatedly rescued 400 lorry loads of it. He is supervising a multi-year project to sift through it all. Extremely valuable artefacts going back to the First Temple period have emerged.

The Waqf cares nothing for this, since it claims that any talk of a Jewish temple there is a Zionist fabrication; this is a purely Muslim site. Such claims belie the New Testament along with the Old Testament, since Jesus and the apostles are often described as visiting the Temple. But the Methodists ignore those Muslim claims that their Bible is replete with lies.

The report has a section bemoaning "The Plight of Palestinian Israelis." Among its complaints is that "despite being 20% of the population, only 3.5% of Israeli land is in Arab-Palestinian ownership." What it does not mention is that only about 7% of Israeli land altogether is in private ownership. This is yet another item of statistical trickery that features widely in Palestinian propaganda, but disgraces a church that employs it.

The issue is rather who can live on state land. A landmark decision of Israel's Supreme Court in 2000 cemented the principle that state land must be available to all citizens. The petitioners, the Kadaan family, moved into their newly-built house in Katzir in December 2010. This is an issue on which the last word has not been said, yet it has involved hypocrisy that was not limited to Jewish right-wingers.

Nothing would rouse greater fury in the Israeli Arab sector than a concerted attempt by Jews to buy up houses in Arab villages. Last year, a Jew who bought a house in the Arab village of Ibillin was forced to leave within days after neighbours openly threatened to kill him. Here, by the way, is where the much celebrated Elias Chacour made his name. His intervention would have been appreciated.

There is just one village in Galilee, Peki'in, where for centuries Jews lived alongside Druze and Christian Arabs. In recent years, however, Arab gangs harassed the Jewish families and all the last Jews were driven out in 2007 except for one lady who looks after the synagogue. Basically, it is impossible for Jews to live in an Arab village in Israel.

In its call for boycotts of Israel, the report relies heavily upon the so-called Kairos Palestine Document, which it recommends to all Methodists as coming from "church leaders in Palestine." But apart from Bishop Munib Younan, who subsequently withdrew his signature, the listed authors of the document are a group of minor figures, dissidents and retirees. Note also that one of the authors, Rifat Odeh Kassis, has made it clear that the document does not claim that the Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem support boycotts.

We have exposed the real agenda of the document elsewhere. It has also been severely criticised by a number of leading German theologians, including Rolf Schieder (Neukirchener Theologische Zeitschrift 25/2, 2010, pp. 191-194), Michael Volkmann (also in English) and Klaus Wengst (lecture in Bonn on May 13, 2011). Methodist theology must be at a low ebb in the UK if this sort of material is its staple.

We shall omit the further litany of complaints against Israel (with a couple of token mentions of Palestinian terrorism). They use the familiar propaganda trick of describing incidents without any mention of context. Nor shall we review the long list of variously absurd demands made of Israel, nor the calls upon Methodists to act to enforce those demands. Thus the Methodists uphold "the rights of the refugees," that is, the "right" of the Palestinians to create an Arab majority in the State of Israel. As we said, the Methodists should pay someone to clean up the mess.


Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassen issued a religious edict permitting women to carry out suicide bombings.  (OCR, 1/16/04, News 16) ..... Spain sentenced Iman Mohamed Kamal Mostafa to 15 months in prison because he told Muslim men how to beat their wives, in his book "Women in Islam." (OCR, 1/15/04, News 26) ..... Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, 32, a Lebanese man living in Dearborn, MI, has been accused of fighting. recruiting, and raising money for Hezbollah. He entered the U.S. illegally through Mexico in 2001, resided in the Detroit area, and hid his Muslim identity. His brother is security chief for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. (OCR, 1/16/04, News 14)

After ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and  West Bank between 1948 and 1967, Arabs now claim the land as theirs. fanciful Arab myths to sway world opinion. ..... A few hundred years BC, the Egyptians, who had enslaved the Jews, allowed them to leave Egypt after a series of plagues. The Jews fled through the Sinai, the Exodus. "After 40 years in the wilderness, they emerged to settle in Canaan, the ancient territory  that is now Israel, the occupied territories, and Lebanon." (USN&WR, 10/20/03, 47) [The Jews had settled in the so-called occupied territories more than 2000 years ago.] ..... Arafat's Mufti: No such thing as a 'Wailing Wall': On the same day that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was quoted as saying that he recognizes Jewish sovereignty over the Western Wall, his mufti, Ikremah Sabri, said on Friday that there is no such thing as a "Wailing Wall." The mufti, who was appointed by Arafat, told thousands of worshippers attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque that the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa mosque and that it belongs to the Muslim Wakf (trust). "Seventy years ago the Committee of the League of Nations recognized the Al-Buraq Wall (Western Wall) as being part of the walls of the Al-Aqsa mosque," Sabri said. (Jerusalem Post Online Edition, 12/13/03) ..... With the exception of Egypt, all the countries of the Middle East are artificial creations. After World War I, England and France carved up the Ottoman Empire, with England retaining what are now Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Iraq, and France being in possession of what are now Syria and Lebanon. In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, proclaimed by the British mandatory power, established all of Palestine, east and west of the Jordan River, as the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people. This was ratified by the 52 countries of the League of Nations. Insistence that these are Arab lands and that the Jews are “occupiers” is a myth. http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_88.html   ..... In the “peace” accord with Egypt, Israel foolishly yielded the vast Sinai peninsula to Egypt, together with two thriving cities [partially developed by Israel]; producing oil fields (developed by Israel, of course), that would have made Israel independent of oil imports and would have represented huge savings; the strategic port of Sharm-el-Sheik; two militarily indispensable mountain passes, and more. http://www.factsandlogic.org/0704_mailing_gen.html

In 1948, when the army of the Kingdom of Transjordan, together with five other Arab armies, invaded the Jewish state of Israel, on the very day of its creation. The ragtag Jewish forces defeated the combined Arab might, but Transjordan stayed in possession of the territories of Judea and Samaria and the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem. The Jordanians promptly expelled all the Jews from the area that they occupied, destroyed all Jewish institutions and houses of worship, used Jewish cemetery headstones to build military latrines, and renamed as "West Bank" the territories that had been Judea and Samaria since time immemorial.  In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel regained  possession of Judea/Samaria (now renamed "West Bank"), which the Jordanians had illegally occupied for 19 years; of the Gaza strip, which had been occupied by the Egyptians but which (hundreds of miles from Egypt proper) had never been part of their country; and of the Golan Heights, a plateau the size of Queens (NY), which, though originally part of Palestine, had been assigned to Syria by British-French agreement. The last sovereign in Judea/Samaria and in Gaza was the British mandatory power - and before it was the Ottoman Empire. All of Palestine, including what are now the Kingdom of Jordan and Gaza, was, by the Balfour Declaration, destined to be the Jewish National Home. How then could the Israelis possibly be "occupiers" in their own territory? The concept of "occupied territories" in reference to Judea/Samaria and Gaza is a myth created by Arab propaganda. The concept of "Palestinians" is one that did not exist until about 1948, when the Arab inhabitants, of what until then was Palestine, wished to differentiate themselves from the Jews. Until then, the Jews were the Palestinians. There was the Palestinian Brigade of Jewish volunteers in the British World War II Army (at a time when the Palestinian Arabs were in Berlin hatching plans with Adolf Hitler for world conquest and how to kill all the Jews); there was the Palestinian Symphony Orchestra (all Jews, of course); there was The Palestine Post (now The Jerusalem Post); and so much more. The Arabs who now call themselves "Palestinians" do so in order to persuade a misinformed world that they are a distinct nationality and that "Palestine" is their ancestral homeland.  factsandlogic.org

Jerusalem: Never an Arab capital. But the city of Jerusalem — in contrast to Baghdad, Cairo, and Damascus — has never played any major role in the political and religious lives of the Moslem Arabs. It was never a political center, never a national or even a provincial or sub-provincial capital of any country since biblical times. It was the site of one Moslem holy place, but otherwise a backwater to the Arabs. The passion for Jerusalem was not discovered by the Moslem Arabs until most recent history.  Jerusalem has stood at the center of the Jewish people’s national life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom in 1003 BCE. It remained the capital until the kingdom was conquered by the Babylonians 400 years later. After the return from Babylonian exile, Jerusalem again served as the capital of the Jewish people for the next five and a half centuries. Jews are not the usurpers in Jerusalem. They have been living there since the Biblical era and have been the majority population since the 19th century. Jews have synagogues and other holy sites in most cities of the world. But do they claim sovereignty over those cities because of it? Of course not! It would be preposterous and people wouldn’t accept it. And the Moslem Arab claim to Jerusalem, based on the mosques on the Temple Mount, is just as untenable. Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish life, of Jewish yearning, and of Jewish thinking for over 3000 years. That is the reason that the State of Israel has rededicated the Jewish holy city to be its indivisible capital.    http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_07.html

In 1948, five Arab states invaded Israel, and urged the Arabs to flee the war zone, so as not to impede the invading armies. Once victory was achieved and after all the Jews had been killed or had fled, the Arabs could return, reclaim their property and loot that of the Jews. About 600,000 Arabs followed the call of their leaders and became refugees. About 200,000 accepted the promises of the Israeli authorities that they would not be harmed and that they would become citizens of the new state, with the same rights as the Jews. Hardly any of the original 600,000 refugees are still alive. But five million who claim to be their descendants clamor to “return” to Israel. With the single exception of Jordan, none of their Arab brethren have allowed them to settle in their countries and to become citizens. They have confined them to squalid refugee camps, supported by UNWRA (a dependency of the U.N. and financed mostly by the USA). Those refugee camps are seething hotbeds of hatred against Israel and are the sources for terrorists and suicide bombers. Migrations of populations are nothing new in world history, especially after major wars. About 15 million Germans were (often brutally) expelled from what became western Poland, from what used to be East Prussia and from the Sudetenland. Millions of Muslims and Hindus, following bloody battles, migrated to India and to what became Pakistan. Other major migrations following the World Wars were those of the French from Algeria, Armenians, Turks, Greeks, Cypriots, Kurds and others. It is only the “Palestinians” who insist on being “repatriated.” But more to the point, Israel has absorbed over 600,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and millions of others from all over the world. All of them are productive citizens of their new country. The “right of return” is the one concession that Israel can never grant and can never accept. Israel would be swamped by Arabs, and Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state. http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_80.html

There is no such thing as a “Palestinian people.  The so-called Palestinians are the same Arabs that live in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Never at any time in history did the “Palestinians” have a homeland, nor did they ever demand one. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to set up both a Jewish and an Arab state within the borders of the territories. The Arabs were allotted three contiguous areas and the enclave of the city of Jaffa. The Jews were allotted three discontiguous areas. Jerusalem was to be an international city. In order to get their homeland, the Jews reluctantly accepted the unfavorable deal. The Arabs rejected it out of hand and instead invaded the nascent Jewish state with the armies of six nations. The ragtag Jewish forces decisively defeated the aggressors and stayed in control of most of the area. Egypt retained control of the Gaza Strip, and Jordan occupied Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”). Had the Arabs accepted the United Nations partition plan, they would have had their “Palestinian homeland” for almost 60 years. They spurned the opportunity when it was available to them. For nineteen years, until the Six-Day War, the territories involved were under the control of Jordan and Egypt. Never during those years was there ever a demand for a “Palestinian homeland.” Only after the Six-Day War in 1967, when the territories reverted to Israeli control, did the insistent clamor for a “Palestinian homeland” arise.  The declared goal of the Arabs, a goal never rescinded, is the destruction of Israel. Were they granted an independent state, it would geographically and strategically dominate all of Israel. Within a very short time, this “Palestinian homeland” would be bristling with the most advanced weaponry, in all likelihood including weapons of mass destruction. Arab armies would be invited to participate in what they would hope to be the final onslaught against Israel and against the hated Jews. The quest for an independent homeland for the Palestinians is unwarranted because the Palestinians are not a distinct people which never had or even claimed such a homeland, and because the creation of such a homeland would be an existential threat to Israel. The world and especially the Europeans don’t really care about self-determination – they don’t lose any sleep over the Basques, the Kurds, the Tibetans or others who yearn for a homeland. They care about their own political and economic interests, which they cloak in the language of political morality. And of course, there are quite a few who wouldn’t shed a tear if, at the end of the day, Israel were indeed wiped from the face of the earth. http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_91.html

Arabs have been slaughtering Jews long before the “occupation,” long before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. In 1929, for instance, Arabs killed 133 Jews and wounded 399 in Hebron. Those who were not killed fled, making the city, where Jews had lived for centuries, judenrein. The Mufti of Jerusalem met in 1941 with Adolf Hitler and declared his kinship with Nazi Germany because “we have the same enemy as Germany, namely the Jews.” Palestine, which incorporated what is now the Kingdom of Jordan, had been part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire for centuries. After World War I, Britain was given the Mandate over Palestine, which, in accordance with the Balfour Declaration, was to be the homeland for the Jewish people. This was formalized by the League of Nations and by the 52 nations that comprised it. In 1922, in violation of its Mandate, the British severed all the lands east of the Jordan River – 80 per cent of the Mandate – and gave it to the Arabs who, under the Hashemite rulers, created the Kingdom of Jordan. The Jews acquiesced to this betrayal. Britain finally relinquished its Mandate in 1947 and turned its responsibility over to the United Nations. They came up with a partition plan, by which the Arab sector was to be a contiguous land mass and the Jewish sector three discontiguous pieces. Jerusalem, located in the very center of the Arab sector, was to be “internationalized.” Most of the Jewish sector was the desolate Negev desert. The Jews accepted this plan. But the Arabs rejected it out of hand and invaded the nascent Jewish state with the armies of six nations. It cost thousands of lives and caused over 650,000 Arabs to flee. Had the Arabs compromised, they would now have had their state since 1948. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel again defeated the combined Arab might and remained in possession and administration of the Golan Heights, of Gaza, of Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”), of the Gaza Strip and of the entire city of Jerusalem. Israel had no intention of staying in possession of these territories. It waited for the Arabs to make proposals for peace, but that was not forthcoming. On the contrary, the Arab League met at Khartoum and promulgated their “three no’s”: no peace with Israel, no negotiation with Israel, and no recognition of Israel. On Yom Kippur of 1973, Egypt and Syria once again attacked Israel. And again, the heroic people of Israel defeated the combined Arab armies and drove across the Suez Canal and to within miles of Cairo. In the aftermath of that war, Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat came to Jerusalem and spoke to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. He offered a peace treaty, but imposed very tough conditions, among others, the return of the entire Sinai, with the cities that Israel had built; the return of the oil fields that Israel had developed (and which would have made it energy-independent for the foreseeable future); and relinquishing the strategic mountain passes and early warning systems that protected Israel against any future attack. It was the first time in recorded history that the vanquished imposed conditions on the victor. In what was obviously a major act of folly, and once again in its incessant quest for peace, Israel agreed to recognize the murderous PLO, invited it back into Palestine from its exile in Tunis and signed the Oslo Accord, by which governmental authority was to be bestowed on the Palestinians. But instead of accepting the outstretched hand of peace, the Palestinians launched their “intifadas,” which have cost thousands of lives and which have left the Palestinians impoverished and with their economy in shambles. The above is a mere outline of the “peace process.” In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made unprecedented concessions for the sake of peace: 98 per cent of the land that the Palestinians requested, control over most areas of eastern Jerusalem, and authority over the Temple Mount. To the dismay of Clinton, Arafat curtly rejected this dramatic offer.   http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_93.html

http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/100/maps/index.html has maps showing the changes in the Middle East from the start of WWI to the present time. Of particular interest is the UN 1947 partition, which gave the Arabs more than they are demanding now, all the West Bank with all of Jerusalem internationalized, enlarged Gaza, plus northern areas near Lebanon. Most (75%) of the Jewish land was desert, and the Jewish land was divided into three parts, easily severed from each other. The Arabs rejected the partition and existence of Israel, attacked with five armies, trying to take all the area and drive the Jews into the sea.  Compare the Partition map to the 1949 Armistice map. The Arabs refused to accept Israel and live in peace. They attacked, and despite overwhelming superiority, the Arabs lost land. Now they blame the Jews, and seemingly have convinced the world that the Jews are the aggressors.     More Middle East maps: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~gov46/                     http://www.mideastweb.org/Mewcom.htm (slow loading)   http://directory.google.com/Top/Regional/Middle_East/Maps_and_Views/

The 1947 partition awarded 5 times the land to the Arabs as to the Jews. [80 million Arabs attacked 1/2 million Jews.] The Arabs lost the West Bank and Gaza in their 1967 war against Israel, but refused a land-for-peace deal offered by Israel. In 2000, the Arabs refused 95% of what they said they wanted, and started the second violent intifada. (OCR, 1/31/06, Local 9)


   1947-48 Partition     1949 Armistice      1967  Six-Day War

In November 1947 the United Nations ordered the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, and the end of the British Mandate by May 15, 1948. The above left map shows the Jewish state divided into three hard-to-defend separate areas. Access to internationalized Jerusalem was through Arab territory. The Arab powers of the Middle East rejected the partition plan, and hours after Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion declared Israel a state on May 14, the forces of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Transjordan and Lebanon invaded the new country. In a series of armistices with Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in 1949, Israel established borders similar to those of Palestine during the British Mandate. Jordan retained the West Bank of the Jordan River, Egypt had the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem was divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule. The Jews were not allowed access to the Wailing Wall. The above center map shows the borders now demanded by the Arabs. In late October 1956, instigated by Britain and France during the crisis over Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal, Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula to destroy military bases. Israel captured Gaza and Sharm el Sheikh at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula that controls access to the Gulf of Aqaba. It also occupied most of Sinai east of the canal. According to plan, the British and French intervened in the conflict to enforce a U.N. cease-fire. The crisis ended in December when the United Nations stationed a peacekeeping force in Sinai. Israel withdrew in March 1957. As Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilized their forces in spring 1967 for an evident impending attack, Israel launched a preemptive strike. Starting on June 5, the Israeli air force destroyed Egypt's planes on the ground; then Israeli tank columns and infantry overran the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was over by June 10, ended by a U.N.-arranged cease-fire, see above right map. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in October 1973 (during Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day). Israel suffered heavy casualties but managed to repulse the attacks. It even pushed Egyptian forces back across the Suez Canal and occupied its west bank before the belligerents agreed to another cease-fire arranged by the United Nations. In a series of 1974 agreements Israel withdrew its forces back across the canal into Sinai and came to cease-fire terms with Syria. In the Camp David Accords of March 1979, Egypt and Israel finally ended the war between them. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and Egypt recognized Israel's right to exist. The above three maps and much of the text is from cnn.com, direct link below.

In 1956, President Eisenhower made commitments to get Israel to withdraw from the Sinai. In 1967, President Johnson failed to implement those commitments, and the Six-Day War followed. In 1970, President Nixon made promises to end the war of attrition between Israel and Egypt. Egypt violated the agreement, and the United States failed to live up to its commitments. The 1973 Yom Kippur War followed, which killed 2,800 Israelis. In 1996 and again in 1998, President Clinton promised to refrain from pressuring Israel into making further concessions until the Palestinian Authority altered its charter, which calls for the elimination of Israel. The charter was not altered, but Israel was expected to honor its promises. In 2000, Clinton committed $800 million in special assistance to induce Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon. Israel withdrew, and Hezbollah quickly filled the geographic and military vacuum, increasing terrorist attacks. The promised assistance never arrived. Now President Bush has made a new commitment to Israel. The depth of the problem is revealed in a new study by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, which has been examining what the next generation of Egyptian children are learning about Israel. In Egypt's regular and religious educational system, the books celebrate jihad, or Islamic war, and exalt those who die in the fight against "nonbelievers." The center says jihad is described in military terms, not as a spiritual endeavor, as so many Muslim leaders claim. "Jihad is encouraged and those who refrain from taking part in it are denounced," says the report.     http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2004_04.php

Israel: A Vision of Oil in the Holy Land
John Brown formed Zion Oil in 2000 and bought rights from the Israeli government to explore a 100,000-acre plot in northern Israel. After raising $7 million, mostly from other evangelicals eager to support the Jewish state, he chose a spot near Kibbutz Maanit to begin the 4,500-yard drill based on his reading of the Old Testament. Brown, a born-again Christian, began with Gen. 49:22-26, where he believes a verse about God's giving Joseph "blessings of heaven above [and] blessings of the deep that couches beneath" refers to the presence of oil in an area of ancient Canaan named after the tribes of Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. (The verse also includes reference to a well or spring—evidence, in Brown's mind, of underground treasure. A similar blessing "for the precious things of heaven ... and for the deep that couches beneath" appears in Deut. 33:13-17.) Brown traced the geographic location of the two tribes on a Biblical map he superimposed on a map of modern Israel. A wide area around Maanit corresponded to his interpretation of the texts. It also linked with research by Stephen Pierce, a geologist who had studied the area. Now Brown's consulting geologist, Pierce says there's a Triassic reef deep below the surface of Maanit, a strong sign of oil. The site where they're drilling has been excavated before, but John's team is going much deeper than a previous crew. Some Israelis politely scoff at the project. Zvi Alexander, a veteran of the Israeli oil business, says Brown's chances of hitting pay dirt are slim. He says nearly 500 holes have been drilled in Israel in the past 50 years by geologists looking, unsuccessfully, for oil. "I don't know of any other area in the world this small that has been poked so many times," he says. Brown says God won't let him fail. If no oil is found at Maanit by the time he reaches bottom later this month, Brown has plans to drill at least three more holes. That will require more money, which he says evangelical Christians will gladly provide. "Finding oil will give Israel a huge strategic advantage" over its Arab enemies, he says. "It will change the political and economic structure of the region overnight."  (Newsweek, 6/13/05, 10)

Life After Gaza 
The mutual anguish of Jewish families in Gaza and the Israeli military forcing their removal from their long-cherished homes was intensely moving to witness, even as it was an inspiring demonstration of democracy and the rule of law. Nearly 10,000 Israeli citizens from two dozen thriving towns and agricultural villages in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank now have to start their lives all over again. heir prime minister, Ariel Sharon, shares the anguish and deserves the congratulations he has received for his bold but risky attempt to change the political dynamic of the region. But will it? The response of the Palestinians to a heroic act of statesmanship is contemptible. Not only have their leaders been demanding more, but they have endorsed the baldfaced lie of the extremist Hamas group that "the blood of our martyrs" drove the Israelis out of the Gaza settlements. The implication is that more bloodshed will produce more Israeli concessions. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, has said all the right things in English for a western audience, but what is he doing to counter the notion that terrorism pays? Not a thing. On the contrary. He asserted that the credit of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank goes to the Palestinians who were killed, wounded, and are present during the struggle--the credit for the retreat, he said, goes to the martyrs. This is not just false. It is an incitement to more violence and terrorism. Most Israelis expect that Gaza, after a period of diplomatic quiet, will once again be a base for terrorism aimed not to adjust borders but to drive Israel from its biblical lands into the sea. Indeed, the idea of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel is not credible to anyone who experiences the demonic nature of the hatred or reviews the threats continuously promulgated by the Palestinian leaders in every forum--mosques, schools, radio, newspapers, television, the Internet--everywhere. Friends like these. Since all this poison passes largely unnoticed in the West, it is necessary to spell out a few declarations of intent. Abbas himself, on the occasion of Israel's 57th birthday, proclaimed that the creation of the Jewish state was the "greatest crime in human history." More recently, he said: "Today we are beginning the march of the fishermen towards freedom. Soon you will be able to fish along the whole coast of Palestine." What could he mean when the rest of the coast of Palestine is Israel? Yes, yes, Abbas is busy selling the idea that his strategy is to bring Hamas into peaceful politics, but what kind of people does he think he's dealing with? Just look at some of the recent statements by Hamas leaders. Mahmoud Zahar: "We are part of a large global movement called the International Islamic Movement. . . . [Gaza is] proof that the armed struggle has borne fruit. Neither the liberation of Gaza nor the liberation of the West Bank will suffice [for] us. . . . We don't recognize the State of Israel or its right to hold on to one inch of Palestine. . . . After the victory in Gaza we will transfer the struggle first to the West Bank and later to Jerusalem." The armed struggle is the only strategy that Hamas possesses. Radio al-Aqsa: "[Our] battalions will make you tremble in Haifa, in Tel Aviv. They will strike you in Zefat and Acre. Wait for us in Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv. . . . The knights of Gaza are coming. Our beloved sons of Palestine, we make no distinction between [Israeli-controlled] Palestine and [the West Bank and Gaza Strip] Palestine." Jihad leader Muhammad Hindi: "The resistance will continue until the expulsion of the occupation from all our lands, including the West Bank, Jerusalem, and all of Palestine." The war isn't over, in other words, until there is no more Israel. The truth is Abbas is not so much trying to smash the terrorist organizations as he is trying to reconcile with them, including paying some that engage in acts of terrorism, like the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin, mostly former members of Palestinan security forces, who continue to receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority. Jamal Abu Samhadana, the head of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, announced that at least 500 members of his group have been recruited to the PA. He himself was offered a senior "intelligence" position by the PA. There are over 700 armed gangs like this in Gaza, all connected with Fatah, that have made murder, kidnapping, and extortion a part of everyday life. Whatever emollient words may be uttered on the occasion of the Gaza withdrawal, the violence from the Palestinian side simply cannot be ignored. In the five months between the February cease-fire and July, Palestinians carried out 812 attacks on Israeli targets, and thousands more were disrupted by Israeli security efforts. No fewer than 47 percent of those attacks were claimed by Fatah, the ruling group in the Palestinian Authority, which is headed by Abbas--yet no one was arrested or expelled. How long can Israel negotiate a peace with people who in fact are coconspirators in the efforts to destroy the Jewish state? Diplomacy fails if one side does not deliver on its word. Where is the pro-peace, pro-prosperity, and pro-freedom wing of the Palestinian people determined to dismantle the terrorist groups, as called for by President Bush? Pressure. Far from being disarmed, the terrorist forces are being rearmed, and now they're trying to transfer their technical knowledge on how to build rockets to groups in the West Bank, in order to attack nearby Israeli cities. So what does Israel get in return for giving Palestinians Gaza? An Islamic terrorist state? Even a liberal think tank like the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies has concluded that the disadvantages and the risks of disengagement outweigh the benefits and that it will lead to more terrorism. In a recent paper, the center's scholars concluded: "After the disengagement, terrorism's center of gravity will shift to the West Bank . . . while Gaza will serve as a rear echelon and support base for this activity" and will "offer safe harbor for wanted terrorists and senior commanders," thus providing a place for Hamas and other terrorist groups to build larger militias with a greater degree of immunity.  In these circumstances, Israelis will be wholly justified if they refuse to make any more concessions until the Palestinians change their behavior over an extended period of time. And they will deserve the strongest international support for that. Western sympathy and aid for the Palestinians should now be conditioned on the Palestinians' unequivocal answers to six questions: 1. Will there be a decline in incitement to hatred or a change in the rhetoric of Palestinian officials when speaking in Arabic to their people? 2. Will the Palestinians continue to be directed toward the destruction of Israel, or will they seek to build up their own nation-state? 3. Will there be a stable government with real control of the territory that will stop terrorism and disarm radical groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a terrorist paramilitary group ruled by Fatah? 4. Will Palestinians continue to claim Israeli withdrawal as a victory through terrorism, thereby justifying more terrorism? 5. Will the billions of dollars of new aid disappear into the private bank accounts of their leadership groups, as it has for years, or instead be put into programs for the welfare of their people? 6. Will they dismantle the refugee camps that, despite all the foreign aid, have been a permanent condition of Gaza life and resettle their people in decent housing? Without the right answers to these questions, it will be impossible for Israel to make further concessions and withdrawals, especially when the message from the international community is always that they are never enough--no matter what the Palestinians do.Fortunately, President Bush has long insisted that meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians cannot be held as long as Palestinian terrorism persists and the terrorist organizations are not dismantled and disarmed. His instincts will be to hold to that, but the instincts of a second term in any administration are similar to those of the last Clinton administration--namely, to accomplish some great diplomatic coup in this part of the world before the president's final term ends. The Bush administration would be wise to look not just at the failures of the Clinton administration to hold the Palestinians accountable but also at the Carter administration's participation in the ouster of the shah of Iran in 1979 because of Iran's poor human-rights record. The ensuing revolution brought the ayatollahs to power--a strategic catastrophe for America, for the region, and for Israel, since now the world must contend with a nuclear-ambitious and terrorist-sponsoring regime. Similarly, the danger is that Gaza will become a worldwide terrorist training base, much as Afghanistan was for the Taliban and al Qaeda.The assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, David Welch, said last week that it is critical that the Palestinian Authority disarm Hamas and other terrorist organizations. "In the road map," Welch said, referring to the U.S.-backed plan for peace in the region, "there is a requirement to take steps toward the dismantlement of the terror organizations. Hamas is, for us, a terror organization. I would expect that the PA would do those things. . . . Security is the beginning, the middle, and the end."Until now, Abbas has shown neither the willpower nor the firepower to stop the extremist terrorist groups from resuming terrorism. The next few years will determine whether President Bush continues with his policy of moral, strategic, and diplomatic clarity or abandons it in the pursuit of an illusory solution, pressuring Israel for more concessions, before knowing whether Abu Mazen presides over a Palestinian state or a terrorist state. (USN&WR, 9/5/05, 70)

Israel voluntarily removed roadblocks; so terrorists in a Fatah group, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, put stolen Israeli license plates on a car, sped by a crowd at a hitching post, and opened fire with automatic weapons. Three young Israelis, including a 15-year-old, were killed, and four others were wounded. Now the entire Palestinian population will have to bear the burden of tighter Israeli security. To protect its citizens, Israel has to ban all private Palestinian cars from the main roads, rebuild roadblocks and barriers throughout Judea and Samaria, and end the turnover of West Bank towns (especially Bethlehem) to the Palestinian Authority. The sickening story of Hasan al-Madhoun is worth a little attention, you'd think. At the Sharm al-Sheikh summit in February, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Abbas about the former Palestinian security officer who organized a suicide bombing at Ashdod in March 2004. He even gave him his address. Abbas promised an arrest within 48 hours. More than 48 days later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeated the request to Abbas, who again promised to arrest Madhoun. Madhoun was called into a police station, spent the evening there on his cellphone, and left the next day. No punishment. It gets worse. A few months later, Madhoun persuaded a Gaza woman to blow up the very hospital, Soroka, where she was receiving burn treatment. She was caught with explosives attached to her underclothes. And worse: After extremists killed three Americans working for the State Department in Gaza in October 2003, they were put on trial for relatively minor offenses, then allowed to escape. All we get from Abbas are nice interviews to the western media explaining how he will persuade the militias to give up their guns, and the media write upbeat stories without bothering to note that in the meantime no terrorist has been arrested, tried, or sent to prison. The lawless, virtually feudal, criminal and terrorist factions within Gaza simply refuse to obey Abbas or to stop attacking Israel. He is so scared of them he has even rejected international appeals to dismantle the armed militias, saying the world should stop meddling in Palestinian internal affairs. Gaza will almost certainly determine the future of the region's peace prospects. Sadly, it is essentially becoming a Hamas base for launching missiles into Israeli communities. When Israel pulled out, it left behind, at no cost, thriving greenhouses. Hamas looters stripped a significant portion of them, depriving their own people of the windfall. Hamas's leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said, "If we win the elections, Hamas will not shake Sharon's hand; we will continue to aim our gun barrels at his head." (USN&WR, 10/31/05, 92) ..... TEHRAN, Iran (10/26/05, AP) - Iranian Leader: Israel Will Be Destroyed. Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

JERUSALEM (AP, 11/08/05) - Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service currently uses a red Star of David to identify its ambulances and medical workers, rejecting the red cross used by most countries and the red crescent preferred by Muslim nations. But Israel has not been permitted to use its symbol on international humanitarian missions, and has been denied full membership in the international Red Cross for 57 years because of the issue. The Red Cross has said Israel was excluded because it did not use an accepted symbol, but Israeli officials have suggested the policy reflected international hostility toward the Jewish state. The last major attempt to include Israel was five years ago and failed because of increased Arab-Israeli tensions. The red crystal depicts a square standing on one corner, with a blank white interior and a thick red border. Dr. Noam Yifrach, chairman of Magen David Adom, said Israeli aid workers would be able to insert a Star of David symbol into the crystal when working overseas. The American Red Cross has also been campaigning for full Israeli membership for years. It has withheld six years' of payment owed to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - totaling approximately $34 million - since May 2000 in protest. The American Red Cross itself faces the prospect of being excluded for not paying its dues, a gesture not lost on its Israeli colleagues. "We are a small organization, and if they did not help us, we simply would not be part of the Red Cross," Yifrach said. "We are happy to go to sleep at night, knowing that overseas somebody is thinking about us."

Israel withdrew from every last inch of the Gaza Strip. The Israelis dismantled all military bases, destroyed all their settlements, turned over functioning greenhouses that could employ 4,000 people, expelled all 7,500 Israeli settlers--all at a huge financial and political cost. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even went a step further, declaring the lines that divide Israel from Gaza an international frontier, making Gaza the first independent Palestinian territory ever. Everyone hoped then that the Palestinians would show the world what they could achieve with freedom as a template for a future independent state. Alas, they have shown us all too well. Not one day of peace has followed since then. The pattern was set on the very day of Israel's pullout. Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border, targeting innocent civilians living in the pre-1967 Israel recognized by the international community. The final straw came last month, with the Hamas attack that killed two Israeli soldiers and resulted in the kidnapping of a third. Last week, inspired by the rhetorical threats of Iran's incendiary president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah--like Hamas, another Iranian proxy--attacked Israel from the north, killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two more, and then began raining rockets down onto Israel civilians.

The Palestinians failed to begin building schools, roads, and hospitals; they made no effort to turn Gaza into a thriving state, nor did they create villages of their own out of the settlements the Israeli government forced its settlers to abandon. They vandalized the greenhouses not once, but twice. They elected a radical Islamic Hamas government; they breached the border with Israel, permitting the smuggling of huge quantities of weapons and creating new bases for terrorism. Not only did Hamas fail to become more moderate; Fatah and the Palestinians became even more radicalized, moving closer to Hamas's extremist position, choosing to interpret Israel's voluntary evacuation not as a gesture of peace but as a victory for the armed struggle. Terrorism in Gaza flourished, tunnels were dug, more weapons were imported, militants trained, more Kassam rockets were produced and fired at Israel. At first, the Israelis tried nonlethal deterrence--diplomatic warnings, then sonic booms from fighter jets to remind the Gazans that Israel has the power to retaliate. Those failed. It was a sad demonstration of the truth in the metaphor that in the Middle East the law of nature prevails--an animal perceived as weak invites only attack. The Israelis fell back on targeted assassinations against the terrorist leaders--exactly what America did against Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq, despite the risk that innocents might be killed because the terrorists hide among civilians, moral shields for immoral men.

The core of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute stems not from Israel's unwillingness to compromise, but from the desire among Palestinians to eliminate Israel is too powerful, the adherence to violence too pervasive, to overcome.  As the leading Egyptian paper, Al-Ahram, pointed out: "The Palestinians must be aware by now that they can no longer count on Arab help, economically, politically, or militarily . ... Arab nations have had enough ... of the slogans and rhetoric that have gotten us nowhere. ... The Palestinians have lost Arab backing both on the official and nonofficial levels." And the CEO of the Arab News Agency Al Arabiya wrote, "Was the result worth all the damage it caused?" The Middle East equation today could hardly be more stark or depressing. It reveals once again that Hamas and the Palestinians, now joined by Hezbollah, armed and financed by Iran, wish to get rid of Israel. This will be a "long war" in which victory will be the culmination of a series of unavoidable catastrophes. (USN&WR, 7/24/06, 60)

Israel: A brief history of the fight over a land the size of New Jersey

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011, Washington Times  —  According to the U.S. State Department, Israel is about the size of New Jersey at 7,850 square miles. It’s bordered by the Mediterranean Sea (170 mile coastline), Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Over half of the country is dominated by the 4,633 square mile Negev desert. The areas most vehemently fought over today include the approximately nine-mile Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean; the 2,270 square mile West Bank which includes the cities of Jericho and Bethlehem; a 27 square mile area called East Jerusalem; and the Golan Heights at 444 square miles bordering Syria. 

The struggle began about 3,700 years ago when descendents of Abraham called Israel (the Jews) departed slavery in Egypt bound for a land promised to them by God called Canaan. This land was already inhabited by people generally called Arabs, many who were also descendents of Abraham. The Jewish line comes from Abraham’s son Isaac while the Arab line and future Muslims, in general, comes from another son, Ishmael. After many years of war and assimilation, the Jews formed the first ever recorded constitutional monarchy about 1000 B.C. (Before Christ). Their King David made Jerusalem the nation's capital. 

This same land area would eventually be called Palestine after the Roman General Pompey put an end to Jewish sovereignty in 63 B.C. "Palestine" is likely derived from the Philistines who dominated what is now called the Gaza Strip until they were conquered by the Jews between 1200 B.C. and 1000 B.C. Between 1000 B.C. and 63 B.C. the land and people, including both Jews and Arabs, experienced rule by various aggressor nations including Cyrus of Persia, the Greek Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria.

The Romans, from the classical to the Byzantines, held power from 63 B.C. to 638 A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord”) when Muslim armies from Arabia invaded. During the long Roman rule, the Jews attempted revolt on several occasions. The most notable being the Jewish-Roman War of 66 – 73 A.D. leading to destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and banishment of the Jews. It was not until 317 A.D., that the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Jews were still technically banished. Jerusalem had already become a holy place of worship and pilgrimage for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Around 1096 A.D., Christian Crusaders came from Europe, defeated the Muslims, and re-established Christian rule in the land until around 1290 A.D. At this point, Muslims re-conquered the whole area and would dominate until the end of World War I. In 1917 the League of Nations’ Balfour Declaration gave the region to Great Britain with a mandate to re-establish a national home for the Jewish people. By 1937 the United Nation’s Peel Commission, concluded that a sharing of the land by Jews and Arabs was unworkable.

During World War II, Nazi Germany killed six million Jews and displaced many more across Europe. In 1947 the United Nations would pass a partition resolution dividing the region into a Jewish and Arab state. In 1948 the British left and the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other Arab forces joined Arabs living in Palestine in a full-scale war against the Jews. The war ended with a Jewish state and four United Nations arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Gaza was under Egyptian control and the West Bank under Jordan. Mideast Web says, “Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli-held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.”

Israel was admitted to the United Nations in 1949. The Arab states refused to make peace with Israel. Wars broke out in 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 accompanied by a long string of terrorism and reprisals that continue through today. Palestinian Arab nationalism became a serious political movement after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's capture of the West Bank.


The true nature of Hamas must be fully understood. It is not just another nationalist political party. It is a radical Islamist terrorist group with a totalitarian DNA, just as it has been since its inception. Its leaders continue to support suicide-bombing terrorism. They describe the random murder of innocent civilians as a legitimate form of "self-defense," but they have also made it clear that they will not obstruct those who wish to attack Israel. According to the Arab newspaper al-Hayyat, their leading terrorist, Mohammed Deif, is even holding discussions with al Qaeda. Hamas supported the Popular Resistance Committee, a terrorist group in Gaza, and appointed its leader, Jamal Abu Samhadana, as the head of the new security force, despite the fact that the PRC killed three Americans in the Gaza Strip in 2003--not to mention dozens of Israelis. Samhadana immediately restated his goal, "We have only one enemy. They are Jews. We have no other enemy. I will continue to carry the rifle and pull the trigger." Thus, a self-declared terrorist has been put in command of the Palestinian police force for the first time. Equally telling, the interior minister, Said Sayyam, has stated that Hamas will not sanction any security cooperation with Israel. On the contrary, it will coordinate terrorist activity against Israel.

Hamas is preparing to get rid of the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and it is collecting intelligence on the houses of the senior Fatah commanders in the security service who support him. When Abbas is gone, according to the Constitution, the parliamentary speaker, who is a Hamas member, would then become president in his stead. Eliminating Abbas is the last obstacle preventing Hamas from achieving full control of the Palestinian Authority--its security forces, its commercial authorities and monopolies, and other business interests and associations. It wants the gun and the wallet. No one who knows the Hamas leaders expects them to mellow in office. If they exhibit any restraint at all, it will be short term, merely to improve their military equipment and deployment for the next round of confrontation. They cannot accept a lasting peace with Israel because they cannot accept Israel. The question beyond that, of course, is whether the Palestinian people can accept Israel. Palestinians have known all along what Hamas stands for. Now they are being so incited by Hamas, it seems less and less likely that, for years or even decades, any Palestinian government will be able to make the concessions necessary for a negotiated outcome with Israel.The surprise plan proposed last week by Abbas, giving Hamas 10 days to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, is not to be taken seriously. Rather than a credible peace plan, it is a transparent effort to stop the internal political squabbling among the Palestinians. 

The Israelis were moving closer to a real two-state solution. Israel's leadership and public opinion have declared a willingness to realign their borders and remove all Israeli civilians from 85 to 90 percent of the West Bank. Hamas, to no one's surprise, favors a one-state solution--that is, no Israel. Its hostility, however, also jeopardizes Israel's original scheme for pulling back: To leave Hamas in control of the West Bank would bring the terrorists and their Katyusha rockets within range of Israel's urban population centers and strategic targets. In danger would be Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the major highways between them, along with Ben Gurion Airport.

For Hamas, nationalism exists only "as part and parcel of the religious faith." To Hamas, Palestine is Islamic land, and its covenant states: "God decreed Palestine to be a Muslim Trust for perpetuity," making the dispute not about territory and boundaries but about the need for Muslims to wage jihad until Israel no longer exists. The attitude of Hamas members toward Israel was captured by their foreign minister, who declared, "I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home, which does not show Israel on it." Hamas has rejected prior agreements reached with Israel with such contempt as to exasperate even the dovish former prime minister, Shimon Peres. "If they don't honor agreements," said Peres, "what is the point in negotiating with them?"

The Israeli settlers will have to be moved to settlement blocks cushioned from attack behind the security fence and beyond the range of terrorist rockets and guns. Israel will also have to retain a presence along the Jordan River so as to preclude the inflow of terrorists and weaponry, in order to respond on a timely basis to its intelligence. To continue its remarkable success in thwarting the vast majority of terrorist attacks, Israel must retain its security bases in the West Bank.  It is a modern-day version of the policy of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding prime minister. As he put it: "When it was a question of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose the Jewish state without all the land."   (USN&WR, 6/5/06, 60)

  • Why Israel Needs the Bomb
    OCTOBER 18, 2010, WSJ   

    It's the only country whose right to exist is routinely questioned, and its conventional military superiority in the region is being challenged. 

    Sixty-five years after Germany's campaign to exterminate the Jews, of the many countries in the world Israel is the only one repeatedly subjected to calls for its extinction. Though Pakistan and India, like Israel and the Arabs, have suffered population exchange and territorial wars, neither questions the other's right to exist. So rare and extreme is such a position that one might think the countries of Europe, so many of which cooperated in hunting down their Jews, would do more to recognize its endemic presence in the Middle East.

    They don't—their publics having largely accepted that, in regard to the question of Palestine, Arabs were the victims and Jews the victimizers and colonialists to boot. Even though, strangely for colonialists, the Jews had no mother country and it was their armed struggle that ejected Great Britain from the Levant. Conveniently forgotten is that the Jews accepted partition and the Arabs did not; that half the Palestinians who left in 1948 did so of their own volition; that more Jews left and were expelled from Arab countries than Arabs left and were expelled from Palestine; that Arabs were able to remain in Israel whereas the Arab states are effectively Judenrein; that Israel ceded the Sinai for a paper treaty, and Gaza in return for nothing but rockets and bombs; that, amidst a sea of Islamic states, it has accepted a Palestinian state while the Palestinians indignantly refuse to recognize it as a Jewish state; and that it was ready to compromise even on Jerusalem had Yasser Arafat been willing to take yes for an answer.

    And conveniently forgotten in fallacious references to a cycle of violence is that—following from their oft-stated call for the destruction of Israel— Hamas, Hezbollah (which is more or less an Iranian expeditionary force), Iran itself, and the Arab confrontation states are the parties that want to change the status quo, by violence and by their own flamboyant admission.

    It exists, they assert that it has no right to exist, they act to destroy it, and then they claim that they are resisting it. Last week, the Iranian president traveled 1,000 miles from Tehran to stand on Israel's border and threaten annihilation. One can only imagine the hysteria—not only in Iran but in London and Paris—if Israel's prime minister were to go to the Iranian border and do the same.

    In many quarters, such startling asymmetricality in regard to the question of Palestine, which is also the question of Israel, is made acceptable by the conviction that as long as the Palestinian refugees remain unassimilated by their brethren, and as long as their flag doesn't fly from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, they are the underdog. Of course, the underdog is not always right, and nor are the Palestinians, backed by the power of the Arab states and Iran, exactly the underdog.

    The popular view of Israel as a "regional superpower" that at little cost to itself rolls over its opponents has for decades been sustained by Arab propaganda, Western anti-Semitism, and Israeli braggadocio. It exempts those who subscribe to it from the burden of knowing the orders of battle and the geography and history of the conflict, and—in regard to Israel's ongoing casualties or in the event of its destruction—serves as a preset moral salve.

    But Israel has seldom gotten off easily. In the 1948 War of Independence it had 30,000 casualties, including 6,000 dead, which given its population was proportionally as if today 2.6 million Americans were killed, more than all the deaths in all the wars in our history. In the 1967 War, in just six days of battle that created the legend of its invincibility, the proportional figure is 118,000—20 times the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The numbers for the subsequent War of Attrition are much the same, higher for the October War of 1973, and civilian and military deaths continue even through relatively peaceful interludes.

    In 1973, having overwhelmed the Bar-Lev Line, crossed the Suez Canal, downed a significant portion of the Israeli Air Force, and penetrated deep into the Sinai, an elated Egyptian army found itself with virtually nothing between it and Israel's heartland. The accepted narrative is that the Egyptians could not conceive of going forward, were frightened, and had insufficient supply. They could conceive fighting in Israel. They had fought there in 1948, and sat on the border for all but six years since. Having beaten back the Israelis, they were anything but frightened, and their lines of supply were adequate. But knowing that had they continued, their concentrations of armor would have been vulnerable to tactical nuclear weapons, that if Israel's existence hung in the balance so would Cairo's and Alexandria's, and that the whole of Egypt could drown in the flood of a breached Aswan Dam, they went no farther.

    Partly as a result of the steady development of Saudi air power in response to Iraq and Iran, Israel's potential antagonists are closing the gap in numbers and quality, and the Israeli Air Force does not offer the same margin of safety that once it did. With the Arabs' approaching 1.3/1 advantage in first-line aircraft, 2.9/1 in second-line aircraft, and an enormous 12/1 advantage in mobile air defense, many new options open if Arab unity coalesces as it did prior to the three major Arab- Israeli wars, in all of which Israel's existence was at stake and the result unpredictable. If Turkey is included, as it might be, Israel's prospects become seriously darker.

    Other than a direct nuclear strike, what it most has to fear is that a combination of states will throw all their aircraft against it at once while advancing a surface-to-air-missile umbrella to threaten Israeli planes and provide sanctuary for its own. Though the Israeli Air Force is qualitatively superior and its imaginative responses cannot be counted out, the steadily improving professionalism of the Arab air forces, their first rate American and European equipment, their surface-to-air-missile shield, and most importantly their mass, are potentially a mortal threat. For if the Israeli Air Force is sufficiently degraded, Israel's prospects on the ground will follow proportionately.

    In light of the fact that the conventional balance can change and is changing, one of the many purposes of Iran's drive for nuclear weapons is not merely to wait for a lucky shot at Tel Aviv but to neutralize Israel's nuclear deterrent so as to allow a series of conventional battles to advance Israel's downfall incrementally.

    The military strategy of Israel's enemies is now to alter the conventional balance while either equipping themselves with nuclear weapons or denying them to Israel, or both. Their calls for equation of the two sides in a nuclear-free Middle East leave out the lack of equation in aims. Israel cannot dream of conquering its adversaries and replacing them with a Jewish state. But from war to war its adversaries have made their intentions clear, and as their mass and wealth are applied to their militaries over time, Israel's last line of defense in a continual state of siege is the nuclear arsenal devoted solely to preserving its existence.

    Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, is the author of, among other works, "Winter's Tale" (Harcourt), "A Soldier of the Great War" (Harcourt) and, most recently, "Digital Barbarism" (HarperCollins).  

  • ISRAEL (11/9/05, from an e-mail, unverified)

    The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

    The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

    Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

    The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.

    Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

    The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.

    Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

    Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

    The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in  1996 by four young Israelis.

    Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S., Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

    Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.

    Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

    According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security.  US officials now look (finally) to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

    Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in  the world.

    Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

    In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

    With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.

    Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.

    Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

    Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. 

    The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK. 

    On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

    Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

    Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

    In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at  risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

    When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.

    When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.

    Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.

    Relative to its population, Israel is the largest  immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. (Hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union)

    Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly  process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free." 

    Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.

    Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

    Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

    Medicine... Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer. 

    An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

    Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, cancer and digestive disorders.

    Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the camera helps doctors diagnose heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

    Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

    A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the Clear Light device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

    An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave desert.

    All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other county on earth.


    Special Report: Why Hezbollah Fights

    To understand Hezbollah, it is important to begin with this point: Almost all Muslim Arabs opposed the creation of the state of Israel. Not all of them supported, or support today, the creation of an independent Palestinian state or recognize the Palestinian people as a distinct nation. This is a vital and usually overlooked distinction that is the starting point in our thinking.

    When Israel was founded, three distinct views emerged among Arabs. The first was that Israel was a part of the British mandate created after World War I and therefore should have been understood as part of an entity stretching from the Mediterranean to the other side of Jordan, from the border of the Sinai, north to Mount Hermon. Therefore, after 1948, the West Bank became part of the other part of the mandate, Jordan.

    There was a second view that argued that there was a single province of the Ottoman Empire called Syria and that all of this province -- what today is Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the country of Syria -- is legitimately part of it. This obviously was the view of Syria, whose policy was and in some ways continues to be that Syria province, divided by Britain and France after World War I, should be reunited under the rule of Damascus.

    A third view emerged after the establishment of Israel, pioneered by Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. This view was that there is a single Arab nation that should be gathered together in a United Arab Republic. This republic would be socialist, more secular than religious and, above all, modernizing, joining the rest of the world in industrialization and development.

    All of these three views rejected the existence of Israel, but each had very different ideas of what ought to succeed it. The many different Palestinian groups that existed after the founding of Israel and until 1980 were not simply random entities. They were, in various ways, groups that straddled these three opinions, with a fourth added after 1967 and pioneered by Yasser Arafat. This view was that there should be an independent Palestinian state, that it should be in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, extend to the original state of Israel and ultimately occupy Jordan as well. That is why, in September 1970, Arafat tried to overthrow King Hussein in Jordan. For Arafat, Amman, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were all part of the Palestinian homeland.

    After the Iranian revolution, a fifth strain emerged. This strain made a general argument that the real issue in the Islamic world was to restore religious-based government. This view opposed the pan-Arab vision of Nasser with the pan-Islamic vision of Khomeini. It regarded the particular nation-states as less important than the type of regime they had. This primarily Shiite view was later complemented by what was its Sunni counterpart. Rooted partly in Wahhabi Sunni religiosity and partly in the revolutionary spirit of Iran, its view was that the Islamic nation-states were the problem and that the only way to solve it was a transnational Islamic regime -- the caliphate -- that would restore the power of the Islamic world.

    That pedantic lesson complete, we can now locate Hezbollah's ideology and intentions more carefully. Hezbollah is a Shiite radical group that grew out of the Iranian revolution. However, there is a tension in its views, because it also is close to Syria. As such, it is close to a much more secular partner, more in the Nasserite tradition domestically. But it also is close to a country that views Lebanon, Jordan and Israel as part of greater Syria, the Syria torn apart by the British and French.

    There are deep contradictions ideologically between Iran and Syria, though they share a common interest. First, they both oppose the Sunnis. Remember that when Lebanon first underwent invasion in 1975, it was by Syria intervening on behalf of Christian friends and against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Syria hated Arafat because Arafat insisted on an independent Palestinian state and Syria opposed it. This was apart from the fact that Syria had business interests in Lebanon that the PLO was interfering with. Iran also opposed the PLO because of its religious/ethnic orientation; moreso because it was secular and socialist.

    Hezbollah emerged as a group representing Syrian and Iranian interests. These were:

    Hezbollah had to straddle the deep division between Syrian secularity and Iranian religiosity. However the other three interests allowed them to postpone the issue.

    This brings us to the current action. Three things happened to energize Hezbollah:

    First, the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon under pressure from the United States undermined an understanding between Israel and Syria. Israel would cede Lebanon to Syria. Syria would control Hezbollah. When Syria lost out in Lebanon, its motive for controlling Hezbollah disappeared. Syria, in fact, wanted the world to see what would happen if Syria left Lebanon. Chaos was exactly what Syria wanted.

    Second, the election of a Hamas-controlled government in the Palestinian territories created massive fluidity in Palestinian politics. The Nasserite Fatah was in decline and a religious Sunni movement was on the rise. Both accepted the principle of Palestinian independence. None made room for either Syrian or Iranian interests. It was essential that Hezbollah, representing itself and the two nations, have a seat at the table that would define Palestinian politics for a generation. But Hezbollah was more a group of businessmen making money in Beirut than a revolutionary organization. It had to demonstrate its commitment to the destruction of Israel even if it was ambiguous on the nature of the follow-on regime. It had to do something.

    Third, the Sunni-Shiite fault line had become venomous. Tensions not only in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and Pakistan were creating a transnational civil war between these two movements. Iran was positioning itself to replace al Qaeda as the revolutionary force in the Islamic world and was again challenging Saudi Arabia as the center of gravity of Islamic religiosity. Israel was a burning issue. It had to be there. Moreover, in its dealings with the United States over Iraq, Iran needed as many levers as possible, and a front in Lebanon confronting Israel, particularly if it bogged down the Israelis, would do just that.

    Hezbollah is enabled by both Syria and Iran. But precisely because of both national and ideological differences between those two countries, Hezbollah is not simply a tool for them. They each have influence over Hezbollah but this influence is sometimes contradictory. Syria's interests and Iran's are never quite the same. Nor are Hezbollah's interests quite the same as those of its patrons. Hezbollah has business interests in legal and illegal businesses around the world. It has interests within Lebanese politics and it has interests in Palestinian politics. As a Syrian client, it looks at the region as one entity. As an Iranian client, it looks to create a theocratic state in the region. As an entity in its own right, it must keep itself going.

    Given all these forces, Hezbollah was in a position in which it had to take some significant action in Lebanon, Israel and the Islamic world or be bypassed by other, more effective, groups. Hezbollah chose to act. The decision it made was to go to war with Israel. It did not think it could win the war but it did think it could survive it. And if it fought and survived, it would have a seat at the Palestinian and Lebanese tables, and maintain and reconcile the patronage of Syria and Iran. The reasons were complex, the action was clear.

    Hezbollah had prepared for war with Israel for years. It had received weapons and training from Iran and Syria. It had prepared systematic fortifications using these weapons in southern Lebanon after Israel's withdrawal, but also in the Bekaa Valley, where its main base of operations was and in the area south of Beirut, where its political center was. It had prepared for this war carefully, particularly studying the U.S. experience in Iraq.

    In our view, Hezbollah has three military goals in this battle:

    1. Fight the most effective defensive battle ever fought against Israel by an Arab army, surpassing the performance of Egypt and Syria in 1973.

    2. Inflict direct and substantial damage on Israel proper using conventional weapons in order to demonstrate the limits of Israeli power.

    3. Draw Israel into an invasion of Lebanon and, following resistance, move to an insurgency that does to the Israelis what the Sunnis in Iraq have done to the Americans.

    In doing this, the U.S.-Israeli bloc would be fighting simultaneously on two fronts. This would place Jordan in a difficult position. It would radicalize Syria (Syria is too secular to be considered radical in this context). It would establish Hezbollah as the claimant to Arab and Islamic primacy along the Levant. It also would establish Shiite radicalism as equal to Sunni radicalism.

    The capture of two Israeli soldiers was the first provocation, triggering Israeli attacks. But neither the capture nor the retaliation represented a break point. That happened when Hezbollah rockets hit Haifa, several times, presenting Israel with a problem that forced it to take military steps -- steps for which Hezbollah thought it was ready and which it thought it could survive, and exploit. Hezbollah had to have known that attacking the third largest city in Israel would force a response. That is exactly what it wanted.

    Hezbollah's strategy will be to tie down the Israelis as long as possible first in the area south of the Litani River and then north in the Bekaa. It can, and will, continue to rocket Haifa from further north. It will inflict casualties and draw the Israelis further north. At a certain point Hezbollah will do what the Taliban and Saddam Hussein did: It will suddenly abandon the conventional fight, going to ground, and then re-emerge as a guerrilla group, inflicting casualties on the Israelis as the Sunnis do on the Americans, wearing them down.

    Israel's strategy, as we have seen, will be to destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure but not occupy any territory. In other words, invade, smash and leave, carrying out follow-on attacks as needed. Hezbollah's goal will be to create military problems that force Israel to maintain a presence for an extended period of time, so that its follow-on strategy can be made to work. This will be what determines the outcome of the war. Hezbollah will try to keep Israel from disengaging. Israel will try to disengage.

    Hezbollah sees the war in these stages:

    1. Rocket attacks to force and Israeli response.

    2. An extended period of conventional combat to impose substantial losses on the Israelis, and establish Hezbollah capabilities to both Israel and the Arab and Islamic worlds. This will involve using fairly sophisticated weaponry and will go on as long as Hezbollah can extend it.

    3. Hezbollah's abandonment of conventional warfare for a prepared insurgency program.

    What Hezbollah wants is political power in Lebanon and among the Palestinians, and freedom for action within the context of Syrian-Iranian relations. This war will cost it dearly, but it has been preparing for this for a generation. Some of the old guard may not have the stomach for this, but it was either this or be pushed aside by the younger bloods. Syria wanted to see this happen. Iran wanted to see this happen. Iran risks nothing. Syria risks little since Israel is terrified of the successor regime to the Assads. So long as Syria limits resupply and does not intervene, Israel must leave Damascus out.

    Looked at from Hezbollah's point of view, taking the fight to the Israelis is something that has not happened in quite a while. Hezbollah's hitting of Haifa gives it the position it has sought for a generation. If it can avoid utter calamity, it will have won -- if not by defeating Israel, then by putting itself first among the anti-Israeli forces. What Hezbollah wants in Israel is much less clear and important than what it opposes. It opposes Israel and is the most effective force fighting it.

    Fatah and Hamas are now bystanders in the battle for Israel. They have no love for or trust in Hezbollah, but Hezbollah is doing what they have only talked about. Israel's mission is to crush Hezbollah quickly. Hezbollah's job is to survive and hurt Israel and the IDF as long as possible. That is what this war is about for Hezbollah.      (stratfor.com, 7/22/06)

    Why Bush embraces Israel's hard line

    While past presidents struggled with how far they backed Israel, he is one of its staunchest friends. In the long history of US-Israel relations, President Bush may rank as one of the staunchest friends in the White House that the tiny Jewish state has ever had.

    In part, this attitude appears to stem from Mr. Bush's travel in Israel and his personal relationships with its leaders. In part, it reflects the feelings of the US public, which is generally more pro-Israeli than is the population of Britain, say, or France.

    But - as the White House reaction to the recent fighting makes clear - it may also stem from a stark view of Middle East conflicts. The overall administration calculus may run like this: There are good guys, and there are bad guys, and the role of the United States is not to manage negotiations between them but to facilitate the bad guys' defeat.

    "The Bush administration [has] hoped to change the strategic equation in the region by eliminating or neutralizing regional troublemakers," writes Michele Dunne, a senior associate in the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a recent report on the current crisis.

    Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet approved a UN cease-fire plan, scheduled to take effect Monday morning. The Lebanese government has also approved the truce, which calls for the deployment of about 15,000 foreign troops and an equal number of Lebanese soldiers in southern Lebanon. Despite the cease-fire plan, however, Israeli warplanes and troops continued fighting in Lebanon, and Israeli officials said their country would still be entitled to use force to prevent Hizbullah from rearming.

    American presidents have long struggled to balance support of Israel with other Middle East diplomatic objectives. The balancing act, in fact, goes as far back as Harry Truman, who quickly recognized Israel in 1948 over the objections of Secretary of State George Marshall.

    In 1956, Dwight Eisenhower faced down Israel, France, and Britain in the Suez Crisis, a convoluted scheme by the trio to unseat Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and reseize control of the Suez Canal.

    In 1973, Richard Nixon rushed supplies such as ammunition and fighter jets to the Israeli military to bolster its fight for existence in the Yom Kippur War.

    In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan embraced Israel as a strategic partner in the cold war. But Vice President George H.W. Bush didn't entirely share that attitude. He thought the US should be more of a neutral arbiter between Israel and Arab nations, which held vast reserves of oil.

    When the first President Bush succeeded Reagan in the Oval Office, he for a time withheld US loan guarantees from Israel in an effort to force the curtailment of settlements in Israeli-occupied territory.

    The second President Bush has broken with his father and warmly supported Israel, as Mr. Reagan did. One of the most repeated anecdotes of Bush's political biography is his 1998 helicopter flight over Israel with then-Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon. Bush marveled at how thin and fragile Israel seemed from the air, noting that there were "driveways in Texas" as long as the nation was wide.

    Critics have charged that Bush's support of Israel is a result of his Christian faith and its attitude toward the Holy Land - something administration officials have long denied. Others point to the power of the Jewish vote. Bush received almost a quarter of Jewish votes in 2004, up from 19 percent in 2000. That's a significant increase, but Jews as a political group remain predominantly Democratic.

    Critics also say Bush may be under the sway of pro-Israeli interest groups, long a potent Washington force.

    Overall, "the 'special relationship' with Israel ... is due largely to the activities of the Israel lobby - a loose coalition of individuals and organizations who openly work to push US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction," write political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of a recent cover story on the subject in the journal Foreign Policy.

    Administration supporters reply that, whatever the wellsprings of Bush's attitudes, he's merely reflecting US public opinion. They say Americans generally see Israel as a plucky democracy in a sea of autocracies - and a friend that, like the US, has endured terrorist attacks.

    A recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that 59 percent of respondents judged Israel's actions in the current conflict "justified." That's a stark contrast to opinion in Europe. In Britain, a Daily Telegraph poll found that only 17 percent of respondents agreed that Israeli attacks were "appropriate and proportional." In Germany, a similar survey found only 12 percent approval.

    Then there is the 9/11 factor. Over the past five years, the administration has increasingly seen all Middle East conflicts through the lens of the war on terror. Given the stakes, that's the right choice, say administration officials. But others say longstanding regional conflicts don't lend themselves to an us-against-them style of analysis.

    "I think the administration has had a rather militant and absolutist notion of how to achieve peace in the Middle East, laced with overtones of black-and-white morality," said former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski at a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies conference.

    (The Christian Science Monitor,   August 14, 2006 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0814/p03s03-usfp.html
    Paper: Israel, Syria Reach Understanding

    JERUSALEM (AP, 1/16/07) - Israel and Syria have reached understandings on a future peace deal between the two countries following a series of secret talks between its representatives, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday. According to the report, Israeli and Syrian officials met secretly in Europe several times between September 2004 and July 2006, reaching a framework for a deal that would include an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which it captured in the 1967 Mideast war. David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister's office, said "the Israeli government is unaware of any such meetings." Former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel's Army Radio that he first learned of the talks by reading Tuesday's paper. He said the last contact Israel had with a Syrian representative was in 2003. Haaretz reported that Israel was represented in the talks by Alon Liel, a former top diplomat, and that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was briefed on the meetings and that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had been informed. The Syrian representative in the talks was Ibrahim Suleiman, an American citizen, who had visited Jerusalem and delivered a message on Syrian interest in an agreement with Israel. The report said Syrian President Bashar Assad initiated the meetings, and that Turkish mediators came the first contacts between the two sides. The Turkish involvement ended in the summer of 2004, when an unknown European took over as the leading go-between. Official peace talks between Israel and Syria broke down in 2000. According to the report, Israel agreed to withdraw to the lines of the Sea of Galilee, but would retain control of its waters and those of the Jordan River. A park that will cover a significant portion of the Golan Heights will be set up for joint use by Israelis and Syrians. The border area will be demilitarized along a 1:4 ratio in Israel's favor. According to the terms, Syria also will agree to end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas and will distance itself from Iran , the report said. Not all matters were agreed upon as the timetable for the withdrawal remained open. Syria demanded the pullout be carried out over a five-year period, while Israel asked for the withdrawal to be spread out over 15 years, Haaretz reported. Haaretz published a text of the agreed upon document, described as a "non-paper," which outlines the understandings but is not signed and lacks legal standing. It was prepared in August 2005 and has been updated during a number of meetings in Europe, the last of which took place during last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, the report said.

    [Heavily edited to remove Arab propaganda]


    They produce:

    Morotola consumer products are sold globally, including its cell phones, cordless and corded phones, the Droid phone, accessories, cable modems, digital video equipment, and more. 

    Estee Lauder

    Board Member Ronald Lauder chairs the Jewish National Fund and is former a JNF president. In 1901, the Fifth Zionist Congress established it to "purchase, take on lease or in exchange, or otherwise acquire any lands, forests, rights of possession and other rights....for the purpose of settling Jews ." 

    JNF calls itself "Caretakers of the land of Israel for over a century (and) a global environmental leader by planting 240 million trees, building over 200 reservoirs and dams, developing over 250,000 acres of land, creating more than 1,000 parks, providing infrastructure for over 1,000 communities (and) bringing life to the Negev Desert," exclusively for Jews.

    JNF develops land. It doesn't sell it, but can lease it to Jews or any Jewish-controlled company, organization or entity. It holds these lands on behalf of "the Jewish People in perpetuity." Non-Jews are entirely excluded from renting or buying property, getting financing, opening a business, or doing virtually anything on Jewish land under a strict apartheid policy. JNF policies have been legally challenged, so far without success.

    Besides Ronald, other Lauders are also involved - Leonard, Evelyn and William. The company produces skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products that include Clinique, Aramis, Lab Series, Prescriptives and Origins. Acquired brands include M*A*C, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Jo Malone, Aveda, Bumble and Bumble, Darphin, and Ojon. It's also the fragrance and beauty products licensee for Kiton, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Sean John, Missoni, Tom Ford, and Mustang.

    Other products sold through alternative channels include American Beauty, Flirt!, good skin, Daisy Fuentes, Coach, and Eyes by Design. The company is headquartered in New York, with many stores nationally and in Canada operating Estee Lauder "counters."

    L'Oreal/Body Shop

    L'Oreal Israel makes a line of Natural Sea Beauty products using Dead Sea minerals. In July 2008, the company also gave a $100,000 "lifetime achievement" award to an Israeli Weizmann Institute scientist, a research center that clandestinely develops nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons for the IDF war machine.

    In addition, L'Oreal Israel's chairman, Gad Propper, is the founding chairman of the Israel-EU Chamber of Commerce, and was heavily involved in promoting trade with Australia and New Zealand. Since the mid-1990s, Israel has been L'Oreal's regional commercial center.

    Its brands include Maybelline, Lancome, Matrix, Redken, Vichy/Dermablend, and Helena Rubinstein. It also owns the Body Shop, a company reputed to be socially conscious.


    The technology giant produces computer processors and other hardware components employing thousands of Israelis. It's been one of Israel's major supporters since opening its first development center outside America in Haifa in 1974. Ever since, it's heavily invested in the country and operates an annual billion dollar export business. It has a microprocessor plant in Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem, another development center there as well, a plant in Lachish-Qiryat Gat, a branch for the development of network communications products in Omer, close to Beersheba, as well as other operations.


    It's the world's largest fast food retailer, operating in about 120 countries globally, including in Israel since 1993, with about 150 restaurants. McDonald's is also a major partner of the Jewish United Fund (JUF) and Jewish Federation. Through its Israel Commission, JUF "works to maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitors and, when necessary, responds to media coverage of Israel." 


    The company is the world's largest soft drink maker, with numerous brands sold virtually everywhere globally. Since the mid-1960s, it's been been a staunch Israel supporter, and in 1997, the country's Chamber of Commerce and Economic Mission praised its chairman, Roberto Goizueta, for 30 years of support and for refusing to honor an Arab boycott at the expense of lost regional business. In 2002, Coca-Cola announced plans to build a Kiryat Gat plant, and in 2005, raised its investment in the Israeli-based Tavor Winery to 51%.


    The company's Florida Epcot Center Millennium exhibition depicts  Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a joint effort by Tel Aviv and Disney to Judaize the city preparatory to legitimizing Israel's claim. Israel's Foreign Ministry, in charge of the exhibit, says it highlights the city's importance to Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, but a formal statement asserts: 

    "There is no doubt that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (and) the position of Jerusalem as the key component to the Israeli pavilion....speaks for itself without a clearer or stronger statement being necessary."

    Home Depot

    As the world's largest home improvement retailer, it's second only to Wal-Mart in total retail sales. Its founder and former chairman, Bernard Marcus, actively supports Israel, including through the Marcus Foundation promoting Jewish issues.

    In addition, he's a board member of Emet (Hebrew for "truth") News Service, reporting pro-Israeli propaganda, analysis and commentary to ensure all US media are on board, and why not with a board of directors including Marcus; Lex Wexner, The Limited's founder; Edgar Bronfman Sr., Seagram's former head; Lou Ranieri, a major Wall Street figure and Israeli bank owner; and former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Before he died, Jack Kemp also served on the board.


    The company invests heavily in Israel, and according to former executive, Lawrence Ricciardi, "This wedge of land and the huge ideals it represents are very important to IBM."

    In June 2001, the American-Israel Friendship League praised the company and two others at its Partners for Democracy Award dinner. In May 2002, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce gave IBM the Ambassador's Award "in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the development of the Israeli high-tech industry and (for) advancing trade between the US and Israel."

    IBM began its regional operations in 1949 and was the first large US company with a wholly owned Israeli subsidiary. Its Haifa Research Laboratories employs over 2,000 people doing extensive research cooperatively with the US-based operations. For decades, it's also been involved with Israeli start-ups and venture capital funds.


    Billionaire Ronald Perelman controls the company, a major producer of cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and personal care products. He also supports Israeli causes, and is a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with over 300,000 global members and support from prominent figures like himself, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Senator Charles Schumer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and many others.


    Chairman Howard Shultz is staunchly pro-Israel. In 1998, the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah gave him "The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award" for "playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel." In 2002, Israel's Foreign Ministry praised him for being key to the country's long-term PR success, asking Americans to back Israel against a common enemy, and sponsoring fund raisers for Israeli causes. Jointly with the Israeli-based Delek Group, Starbucks Coffee International operated a joint venture in Israel, opened six stores, then shut them after heavy losses.

    The Limited

    The company is a major retailer with five specialty brands, including Express, The Limited, Lane Bryant, Lerner New York and Structure as well as the major ownership of Intimate Brands.

    Its founder and CEO, Leslie Wexner, is a board member of the pro-Israeli Emet News Service, and through his Wexner Foundation promotes "strengthening Jewish Leadership in North America and Israel." One of its initiatives finances up to 10 Israeli officials at Harvard annually for a year-long Master in Public Administration program (MPA) combined with intensive leadership development. Many alumni return home to high ministerial positions and similar IDF ones. Wexner also sponsors "Birthright Israel" that brings young American Jews to the country for intensive indoctrination. He supports Hillel, Israel's bastion on college campuses.

    News Corporation

    It's the Rupert Murdoch-owned media giant that includes dozens of print publications, motion pictures, book publishing, and Fox News, what Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) calls "the most biased name in news....with its extraordinary right-wing tilt" that includes one-sided Israeli support, and no wonder.

    Murdoch invests heavily in Israel and was one of three US companies the American-Israel Friendship League honored for their support at their June 2001 Partners for Democracy Awards dinner. Murdoch, in fact, co-chaired the dinner, was a close friend of Ariel Sharon, calls himself a lifelong ally of Israel, and shows it through one-sided reporting allowing no wiggle room for staff deviation.

    Sara Lee

    It's the world's largest clothing manufacturer, owning in whole or in part familiar brands, including Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, and Wonderbra. Its food brands include Sara Lee, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, and Jimmy Dean, and its global businesses include Fresh Bakery, North American Retail, Foodservice, International Beverage, International Bakery, and International Household and Body Care. It also owns a 30% stake in the Israeli company Delta Galil. More on it below.

    In 1998, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu awarded Sara Lee Personal Products executive Lucien Nessim (from its European subsidiary) its highest honor, the Jubilee Award, in recognition of those individuals or organizations who've helped Israel's economy most through trade and investments.

    Many other companies and/or their officials have also won it, including Johnson and Johnson, the UK retailer Marks & Spencer, the French food company Danone, Kimberly-Clark, L'Oreal, Nestle, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Volkswagon, De Beers, Goldman Sachs, Archer Daniel Midland, Cisco Systems, Motorola, AOL, formerly AOL/Time Warner, and numerous others.

    Major Israeli companies include:

    Delta Galil Industries Ltd.

    Israel's largest textile manufacturer produces clothing and underwear for popular brands including, Gap, J-Crew, JC Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex, Victoria's Secret, Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, and others.


    From its Mitzpe Shalem settlement facility, the company produces cosmetics using Dead Sea salt, minerals, and mud, natural substances extracted from the Dead Sea.

    Dorot Garlic and Herbs

    Established in 1992 in Kibbutz Dorot, the company is now Israel's largest frozen seasonings supplier to food retainers, hotels, and restaurants in America, Canada and Europe.

    The Strauss Group and Its Subsidiaries

    Israel's second largest food and beverage company supports the Golani reconnaissance platoon, infamous for its decades of slaughtering Palestinians, most recently during Operation Cast Lead.

    In the "corporate responsibility" section of its website, a sub-heading titled "In the Field With Soldiers" states:

    "Our connection with soldiers goes as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and sweeten their special moments....at the front to spoil them with our best products," including Max Brenner Chocolates.

    Sabra is another Strauss company in a joint venture with Pepsico. It produces traditional Arab salads like hummus, baba ghanoush, and fried eggplant.


    The company is half Israeli state-owned, exporting fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from Israel and the Occupied Territories, operating under the Carmel, Jaffa and Coral brands. 


    The Israeli Date Growers' Cooperative sells 65% of all Israeli and West Bank settlement-produced dates under the brand names King Solomon and Jordan River. They also supply supermarkets and retail chains that market them under their own private brands. Customers include UK-based Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose.

    In July 2006, Israeli settlement-made consumer products/factories:

    http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/020210Lendman.shtml       (Baltimore Chronicle, 2/2/10)

    Comprehensive history 
    Gary Katz, CBC News Online

    The land that the State of Israel sits on is small enough to fit into New Brunswick (Canada) three and a half times, but you can't get from Mesopotamia to the Nile by chariot without crossing it. It's been controlled by Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and the British and it's deeply embedded into the passions and the history of Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

    When the Israelites travelled eastward across the Sinai Desert in their exodus from Egypt over three thousand years ago, the land they were aiming for was called Canaan. Their tradition was that God had promised the land to the patriarch Abraham and his descendants. Jericho, the first town in the West Bank lands to be given Palestinian self-rule by Israel (1994), is famous for its place in an Old Testament story involving Joshua, trumpets and tumbling walls. It goes back 10,000 years and is the oldest settlement ever uncovered.

    Around 1000 BC, after successful conquests, the land became the Hebrew state of Israel, named after the patriarch Jacob who was renamed Israel by God. Its first kings were the famous trio of Saul, David, and Solomon. A century later, after Solomon's death, the country was divided into two and the southern portion named Judah. In 721 BC, Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians and its inhabitants disappeared from history as "The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel".

    In 587 BC, Judah was conquered by the Babylonians, and the Jews (from the name "Judah") were deported into exile. 50 years later, when the Persians under Cyrus the Great overcame the Babylonians, the Jews were permitted home again to rebuild Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem which the Babylonians had destroyed.

    Between the Persians and the Roman occupation around the time of Christ, the land was under the control of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies of Egypt, and the Seleucids of Syria. A brief Jewish dynasty resulted from a national uprising by Judas Maccabeus (the source of the festival of Hannuka) but by the middle of the century Before Christ, Romans were in control of the province they called Judea. In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem (and the Temple) and again most of the Jews were dispersed from the land.

    In the early seventh century a new religion came blazing out of Arabia fueled with the word of the prophet Mohammed and afire with his admonition to spread it. Islam (meaning "submission" or "surrender" to Allah's will) was seen by Mohammed as a continuation of Judaism and Christianity, and his God was the same as in both the Old and New Testaments. His followers spread quickly throughout the middle east (and much further). Except for several years of Christian control during the Crusades, Palestine remained in Muslim hands, first Arab then Turk, for 1300 years until the end of World War One.

    The Twentieth Century
    The empire of the Ottoman Turks had existed since the middle of the fifteenth century and included the ancient land of Palestine and much that surrounded it. Turkey had sided with losing Germany in World War One and was carved up afterward by victorious Britain and France. By that time- the early 1920s- Jewish immigration into Palestine had already begun on a small but regular scale. There were 85,000 Jews in Palestine by the beginning of the war. By 1925 it was closer to 110,000.

    Zionism, an organized movement to settle Jews in Palestine, had increased its activity in the late nineteenth century as a result of growing, violent anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Zionists were immensely hopeful when, in 1917, the British foreign secretary Lord Balfour put into writing Britain's support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." He didn't, however, suggest turning the country into a Jewish state. When the League of Nations made Palestine a British mandate after the war, Lord Balfour's declaration was assumed as part of the deal and the allied powers of the Great War all agreed.

    It was the people whose land it was that objected.

    Britain quickly discovered that the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was immensely unpopular among the residents of the area (except the Jewish settlers already there). For the years between the World Wars Jewish immigration and Arab hostility to it both continued while Britain tried to avoid doing anything wrong, which meant avoiding doing anything at all. By 1935 there were 300,000 Jews in Palestine. Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, had 100,000 people.

    As conditions in Nazi Germany worsened throughout the thirties, the need for Jewish sanctuary in Palestine grew but conflicted with British needs to woo Arab support in case of war. In 1939 Britain declared that Jewish land purchases in Palestine would be cut back sharply for the next five years and then stopped altogether.

    Then came the War. When it was over in 1945, the case for a Jewish homeland was stronger than it had ever been. The problem was both practical and emotional. The practical issue was the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe who had no homes to return to and little or no family left alive. 2.3 million of the eight million Jews who had lived in German- occupied Europe were still alive. They had to go somewhere. The emotional problem was the guilt and sadness that resulted from the revelation of the millions who hadn't survived. The Jewish homeland question was front and centre.

    In 1947 Britain, which had been handed the Palestine problem by the now-defunct League of Nations passed it on, with relief, to the newly born United Nations. The UN agreed to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral UN zone containing Jerusalem, a city sacred to three religions. The Jews were thrilled, the Arabs adamantly opposed.

    In late 1947 the plan was ratified by the UN, and the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the country or were evicted, the British pulled out completely, and most of the Arab world- Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, as well as Palestinians- immediately attacked in an attempt to destroy Israel. By the time of armistice in 1949 Israel held three quarters of Palestine- twice as much land as the UN had proposed- Jordan had taken the land on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Egypt had taken the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians had nothing.


    The year of Israel's twenty-fifth anniversary, 1973, marked the fourth all-out war in the area. The state was one day old when the first assault occurred. Surrounded by Egypt on the west, Jordan on the east, Syria and Lebanon on the north, and with Iraq close enough to be a danger, Israel managed to end that war with more land than it started with. Among it was the new section of the city of Jerusalem that was to be part of an international zone administered by the UN. Jordan took the old city, also meant to be in the neutral area.

    In 1956 Egypt moved to nationalize the Suez Canal (up until then owned by a corporation dominated by France and Britain) and, as well, prevent Israeli shipping through the Strait of Tiran into the Gulf of Aqaba, the country's access to the Red Sea. Israel allied with France and Britain and, by the cease-fire, had taken the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. They were convinced by the UN, which set up a peacekeeping force in the area, to return the land to Egypt in return for assurances that Israeli shipping rights would be protected.

    By 1967 Arab nationalism and Egyptian anger toward Israel had both increased dramatically. Egypt demanded removal of the UN troops which had been stationed in the area since the Suez Crisis and, when they were gone, again threatened Israeli shipping by blocking access to the Gulf of Aqaba. In what became known as the 'Six Day War' Israel destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground and, with military supremacy assured, headed west across Sinai. Though they again faced the circle of their Arab neighbours, they gained more ground, capturing Gaza, parts of the Egyptian Sinai desert, taking the West Bank lands and old Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights on Israel's northern border with Syria. This time, they refused to return any part of their spoils of war.

    The Arab world responded with a united policy on Israel: no peace, no negotiation, and certainly no recognition. Guerrilla violence in Israel escalated with neighbouring countries, chiefly Jordan, used as bases for attack.

    In 1973 (the Yom Kippur War), Egypt attacked Sinai while Syria attacked the Golan Heights. Other Arab countries contributed troops and aid. Israel again prevailed, driving further into Syria and encircling the entire Egyptian Third Army in Sinai, clearing a path to Cairo.

    But finally, after a quarter century of warring, everyone seemed to accept the futility of looking for a military solution. Israel was not about to be driven into the Mediterranean. In December, the first Arab-Israeli peace conference was convened in Geneva, Switzerland and the expression "shuttle diplomacy" soon entered the language.

    Ten years after hundreds of thousands of Palestinians left their homes they were still homeless and no one seemed to care. Some had been taken in by surrounding countries but many lived in camps. In the West there was support for the Jewish state based on political expediency (the U.S. needed allies in the region), affiliation (the Jewish population outside of Israel supported the state politically and financially), and humanitarianism (the Holocaust was still vividly and appallingly recent). The West also seemed to think that the Palestinians who left should have been absorbed easily into the lands of their neighbours. That's a bit like giving Saskatchewan to the Kurds and expecting the displaced to be absorbed effortlessly into Alberta and Manitoba.

    In the late fifties an underground group was formed to push for the destruction of the state of Israel. It was called al-Fatah and its leader was a 29-year-old engineer named Yasser Arafat. Arafat was born in Jerusalem and had been involved in '48 smuggling guns to the Arabs, and in '56 as a soldier in the Egyptian army. He'd also trained commandos and edited an anti-Zionist magazine.

    In 1964 the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed to co-ordinate the growing number of Palestinian groups fighting against Israel. In 1969 Arafat became chairman of the PLO. It was a PLO group, Black September, that murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Though the organization was an umbrella for a wide range of pro-Palestinian groups, it was perceived clearly in the West as a purely terrorist organization. It's avowed objective was the total removal of Israel from Palestine.

    In 1974, less than a year after the first Arab-Israeli talks began, the PLO was given official status by the UN and the Arab world accepted it as a Palestinian government in exile.


    From Camp David to Wye Plantation
    It was Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, who made "shuttle diplomacy" a buzzword. Kissinger was already an acclaimed negotiator when he got between Egypt and Israel, having shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in Vietnam. In December of 1973, in the aftermath of the "Yom Kippur War," the first Arab-Israeli peace conference opened in Geneva, Switzerland.

    By early 1974, with Kissinger flitting from side to side, Israeli and Egyptian troops were disengaged, and by May the Israelis and the Syrians were disentangled. Israel returned some of the land it took from Syria and UN buffer zones were created between the antagonists.

    In 1977 a dramatic step was taken toward peace in a region that had known nothing but war for far too long. Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat visited Jerusalem - an unthinkable idea just a short period before - and within a year Egypt and Israel began discussions on implementing a continuing peace between the former bitter enemies. The Arab world was appalled.

    In 1978 Sadat shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin for his courageous initiative but paid dearly for it as well. In 1981 he was assassinated by a Muslim extremist for exactly the act which most of the world applauded.

    The agreement between Egypt and Israel was negotiated at the American Presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland with President Jimmy Carter as host and witnessing signatory. Israel agreed to return the Sinai to Egypt, but an equally important part of the talks involved the Palestinian problem. Both sides agreed to negotiate Palestinian autonomy in Gaza and in the West Bank lands. Sadat was killed, however, before any headway was made on the issue.

    But, for the first time since Israeli statehood, Palestinian self-rule was an issue on the table.

    A decade after Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were no further ahead. In fact, it had been 10 years in which the situation appeared to be getting worse, not better.

    By the early 1980s the PLO, which had been driven from Jordan in 1970 after a brief civil war, was based in Lebanon, on the north of Israel. In 1982, Israel, in response to PLO missile attacks on Israeli settlements, invaded Lebanon in an attempt to drive the PLO out. Before the war was over several hundred Palestinians living in Lebanese camps had been massacred and, though the actual killing was done by Christian militia members, Israel was in control of the camps during the murderous event and had permitted the militia to enter. International condemnation of Israel was small comfort to the Palestinians.

    The Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank were still living in poverty, mostly in squalid camps, and under Israeli rule. To make the situation even worse, Israeli settlements were being constructed throughout the lands occupied since the 1967 war, the lands on which the Palestinians hoped, demanded, to create their own state. Increased Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel (sometimes at the rate of 1000 people a day) had made new housing an absolute necessity, and there were many Israelis who thought of the lands not as "occupied" but as "retrieved."

    In December of 1987, the Palestinians in Gaza, followed immediately by those in the West Bank, erupted with four decades of anguish and anger. The Intifada, the spontaneous uprising of a people with nothing to lose, had begun. Israeli military presence was increased, curfews imposed, the Palestinians answered with a general strike. Violence became as common as poverty. Rocks and homemade explosives faced rubber bullets and tear gas. Over the next several years hundreds of Palestinians were killed and thousands more put into detention camps. The economy of the areas, always poor, worsened. Construction of Israeli settlements continued at an ever-advancing rate as immigrants flooded into the country.

    In 1990, the U.S., in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, formed an international coalition of 28 countries to force them out. The Gulf War, early in 1991 achieved that end. In a wave of international fellow feeling that followed, peace talks were planned to grapple, finally, with the Palestinian situation. A conference in Madrid, Spain, in October of 1991 included representatives from Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians. Both American president George Bush and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the meeting. The issue was clear even if the solution was anything but: both Israel and the Palestinians wanted to live in peace in their own country. Though the Madrid conference settled nothing it had started something and that was a major victory.

    By 1993 Israel and the PLO had met in Washington and signed an agreement that all parties hoped would end almost half a century of violence and hatred. It had been worked out beforehand in secret, in Norway. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and PLO leader Yasser Arafat met and shook hands on the White House lawn, though it must have been a mixed pleasure for both of them. Gaza, and the West Bank town of Jericho were to be transferred to Palestinian rule. The agreement wasn't broad but, to use a word that has so many meanings in the Middle East, it was historic.

    The peace process took a terrible turn when, in November of 1995, the left-wing Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Jewish law student who was opposed to peace talks with the Palestinians. The election, in June, 1996 of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the peace situation even more tenuous. The convoluted history of the agreement regarding the West Bank city of Hebron gives some insight into how tortuous the process can be.

    But a series of talks have followed, most recently at the Wye Plantation in Maryland with President Clinton presiding and, bit by bit, land on the West Bank has been returned to the Palestinians. In return Israel wants to stop sleeping with one eye open as it has for the last fifty years and spending an enormous amount of its economy on fighting. Unfortunately, half a century of hatred is not erased by a contract.

    After Israel under Netanyahu stalled on implementing the Wye accord, the election in May 1999 of Ehud Barak breathed new live into the peace process. Barak's first move was to call for peace with Israel's Arab neighbours, pledging to carry out the terms of the U.S.-brokered agreement. Then, in March 2000, the Israeli cabinet voted to withdraw its soldiers from the zone they had occupied in southern Lebanon for 15 years.

    The Problems
    The two biggest obstacles remaining to settling the land-for-security issue are that the two sides loathe and mistrust each other, and that both sides -- like, say, Canadians -- are made up of people with a range of conflicting needs and opinions.

    Israeli politics remain divided left and right, while in Palestine, Arafat's leadership has been uneasy for at least twenty years. Hamas, a militant Islamic group, wants an end to negotiations and a resumption of the Intifada. Israelis who have settled on the West Bank consider a return of the lands to Palestine a betrayal of them and of the entire nation. Every time a small step toward resolution is planned extremists on one side or the other try to commit acts so heinous as to replace the movement toward settlement with renewed hatred.

    A total absence of good will makes every agreement, every word of every agreement, slippery to handle. The Wye accord, for instance, called for Israeli release of some Palestinian prisoners along with the return of land. Since the Israeli purpose in the plan is to achieve peace and security, they don't want to release from prison Palestinians whom they consider a danger to them. Since the Palestinian requirement is freedom and self-government, they demanded the release of those they consider political detainees.

    From the Israeli perspective there's nothing worse than giving neighbouring land to an enemy who then uses it as a base to destroy you. For the Palestinians, getting back land only to find themselves overrun by Israeli settlements is barely better than their current situation.

    If politics is the art of doing the best you can under the circumstances, then the negotiators on both sides are trying hard to be rational politicians. But the conflicting nationalism of two peoples, a life-long memory of loathing and suspicion, and a list, thousands of names long, of dead and broken relatives, friends and countrymen, can obscure pragmatism.


    What a difference a few bulldozers can make.

    The leaders talk, shake hands, sign documents and sometimes they agree. Then real life and real emotions get in the way. An Israeli housing project on a rural hillside in East Jerusalem is a good example. It helped derail a peace process that had seemed on track just months before.

    The land is known to Jews as Har Homa, and to Arabs as Abu Ghnaim. Though news reports often mention that the plot of land has religious significance for both Muslims and Jews, archaeologists refer to it mainly as the setting for Christian monuments on an old road to Bethlehem. Whoever can lay claim to the most symbols on the site, the real issue is much larger than a plot of new houses on historic lands. The issue is Jerusalem itself, the sacred city of three religions and the centre of the most disputed land in a much-disputed country.

    The Lure of Jerusalem
    Jerusalem is considered among the holiest of cities by Christians, Jews and Muslims, and it contains many of the most revered locations in all three traditions.

    To Jews, Jerusalem is the central and most emotional place in the religion, home of Solomon's Temple which was destroyed twenty-seven hundred years ago then rebuilt. It is the City of David, from which they were driven in 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed the Temple yet again. Jerusalem is the centre of the Jewish dream of return. According to Muslim tradition, Jerusalem the third holiest place in Islam. The Dome of the Rock is there, the place where Mohammed was elevated to heaven, and also the Mosque of Al Aqsa, one of the religion's most sacred shrines.

    For Christians, Jerusalem is the place where Jesus was crucified and resurrected. The city contains the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the traditional tomb of Christ. As well, Palestinian Christians have expressed concern about the Har Homa development's proximity to Bethlehem, Christ's birthplace.

    In 1947 when the UN drew their partition lines in Palestine, the city of Jerusalem wasn't part of the deal. Because of its intense importance to three religions, the UN's plan called for the city to be an international enclave administered by the UN. However, after armistice was declared in 1949, ending the Israeli War of Independence, Jerusalem was a divided city, with the new, or western, section in Israeli hands and the old, or eastern, part annexed by Jordan. By the end of the Six Day War in 1967, the entire city of Jerusalem was in Israeli hands. It remains for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process to decide its future, both in terms of who controls the city and in terms of who lives there. It's not a dispute either side will give up on.

    The Last Suburb
    Har Homa/Abu Ghnaim covers only 2 square kilometres, but the parcel of land is one of the last rural spots in an area of dense suburban development. It is a small piece of land that symbolizes the larger struggle for Jerusalem.

    In the early 1900s, Arabs farmed the territory known as East Jerusalem and established some rudimentary buildings on Abu Ghnaim. In the 1930s and '40s, some of the land was purchased by Jewish businesses. From 1949 until 1967 the Jordanians were in control.

    Since 1967 Israel has initiated a series of settlements in East Jerusalem. The state has provided financial incentives and encouraged immigrants to Israel to move to these suburbs. In 1991 Jewish developers who owned some of the rural Har Homa land asked the Israeli government to expropriate the rest of the land in preparation for development. Both Israeli and Palestinian land owners appealed, but to no avail. Har Homa completes a ring of Jewish-owned homes around the old city. There is a housing shortage for Palestinians in Jerusalem, and fewer Palestinian housing projects have been approved than Jewish projects. Palestinians claim that construction of a controversial thoroughfare, called Road 45, isolates many of their communities in Jerusalem from their neighbors on the West Bank.

    The Diplomatic Crisis
    The Israeli population in the East Jerusalem has swelled since 1967. It is estimated there were 50,000 Israelis in East Jerusalem in 1979. By 1993, there were 168,000 Israelis and 154,000 Palestinians. Palestinians believe the future of the city and control of the West Bank will be determined by local politics, and they believe control of those politics, by virtue of numbers, has shifted to the Israelis. That's one of the reasons they don't want new construction in the area.

    In the Oslo II peace agreement of 1995, Israel agreed that Palestinians- who are residents but not citizens in Jerusalem- would have a vote in future elections. More Israeli citizens means the balance of power shifts in their favour. Jews, of course, believe this is desirable. Arabs will fight strenuously against it. So the bulldozers arrive to do their work. To one community they are building a rightful future. To the other, they are machines of destruction of a homeland.


    Hussein played major role in peace process
    Hussein ibn Talal, whose line stretched back to the prophet Mohammed, ascended the throne of Jordan at the age of 17.

    The Hashemite Dynasty to which he belonged proudly traces their lineage thirteen hundred years back to the founder of Islam. The dynasty had endured through the centuries of Turkish Ottoman control of the Mideast, and the Hashemite Prince Faysal ibn Husayn had fought alongside Colonel T.E. Lawrence during the First World War to overthrow Ottoman control in the area.

    After the war Faysal's brother, Abdullah, became the Hashemite ruler of the newly formed nation of Trans-Jordan, which, like Palestine, was a British mandate.

    Full independence came to Jordan after World War II and in 1946 Abdullah proclaimed himself king.

    From the beginning of King Hussein's rule in 1953 he perpetually found himself, like his country, caught between conflicting forces: Israel and the West on one side, Arabs-- in particular Palestinians-- on the other. And Jordan always between them.

    When the State of Israel was born in May of 1948 on the land that had been Palestine, the Arab world rose up in immediate attack.

    When the fighting was over only Jordan emerged as a significant Arab victor. The lands on the west bank of the Jordan River that were, according to the UN plan, meant to form part of the Palestinian portion of the partitioned country ended up in Jordanian hands.

    In 1950 Jordan officially annexed the West Bank. Israel and Britain quietly agreed to King Abdullah keeping the area, but the Arab countries objected loudly, and the new arrangement was recognized by only two countries: Britain and Pakistan.

    In part it was Jordan's affiliation with the West that was responsible for its victories in the Israeli War of Independence.

    The Arab Legion, formed in Trans-Jordan in the 20s under British influence, and taken over in 1939 by Sir John Bagot Glubb (a.k.a. Glubb Pasha), was the most effective military force in the Arab world. But Jordan's annexing of the West Bank, though it nominally expanded the Hashemite Kingdom, provided few benefits for Hussein.

    The Palestinians were not supporters of the Hashemite Dynasty and an increase in Palestinian population could only be seen as a threat to Hussein's control. As well, the West Bank lands were at the centre of Palestinian hopes for their own homeland.

    Because Jordan is not a nation rich in resources, Hussein knew that satisfying foreign interests in return for economic support was an absolute necessity. The West has been an enormous source of support for Jordan.

    On the other hand-- there was always the other hand for Hussein-- the Arab world demanded Jordan's allegiance. After the armistice ending the Israeli War of Independence, Jordan's control of the West Bank was accepted by Israel and relations between the two countries were tolerable, though intermittent acts of violence on both sides kept tensions always near the surface.

    Jordan retained its claims over the West Bank lands even after Israel occupied them during the Six Day War in 1967.

    Jordan didn't finally relinquish its claims until 1988. But whatever Jordan's relationship to the West Bank, their histories were intertwined and Hussein was never far from whatever battlefield, military or political, was at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    During the 50s, Hussein bowed to nationalism and Arab pressure by purging Western advisors and removing Glubb as head of the Arab Legion.

    He was also talked out of joining in a Western defence arrangement called the Baghdad Pact even though he had been instrumental in initiating it. But an attempted coup d'etat in 1957 by members of the National Guard, many of them Palestinians from the West Bank, caused Hussein to act decisively against the Palestinian nationalists in his legislature. Caught in the middle of too many conflicting demands, he banned political parties and set up a dictatorship.

    When the Iraqi branch of the Hashemite Dynasty was killed in a coup in 1958-- engineered by Egypt-- Hussein turned to the West for protection.

    With the financial and military aid of the U.S. and Britain, Hussein resisted the anti-Hashemite forces-- largely Palestinians supported by Egypt-- and hung on to power.

    His next crisis was the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s. This new force in Palestinian affairs threatened Jordan's sovereignty on the West Bank and caused the Israelis to respond to PLO raids, many launched from Jordan, with violence of their own. It was Israel's hope to force Jordan to stop the PLO. Relations between Jordan and the Palestinians worsened.

    Hussein, understanding the potential for violence and political disintegration, attempted to quiet the situation by stopping guerilla use of his country and, in the process, he strained relations with both Syria and Egypt. But as tensions boiled ever higher, he joined with Egypt and Syria in 1967, putting Jordanian military forces under Egyptian command.

    In the Six Day War in June of 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, pushing Jordan back to the east side of the Jordan River. Jordan not only suffered heavy casualties but also lost much of its best farmland and, as well, had to cope with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who fled the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    Hussein had gambled and, though he lost, he may have lost less than he otherwise might have. His reasoning was that if he didn't support Egypt and Syria, they in turn might well have supported a Palestinian coup in Jordan. He lost the West Bank but he kept his kingdom.

    The post-Six Day War period provided several major problems for Hussein. The increase in Palestinian population in Jordan--angrier than ever at their situation-- threatened his Hashemite throne. The losses in the war had been crippling. And Israel now occupied the West Bank.

    Ever the pragmatist, Hussein kept up negotiations with Israel but out of sight of the Arab world. He refused to sign a peace treaty with Israel and their relationship subsisted as neither friends nor enemies.

    The PLO, under the chairmanship of Yasser Arafat was a constant challenge to Hussein's power.

    In September 1970, PLO guerrillas hijacked several airliners and blew them up on a landing strip in Jordan. Later that month, civil war erupted in Jordan and Hussein was forced to ask for Western help in combating the threat, which included several hundred Syrian tanks sent to aid the PLO.

    By the next year the PLO had been forced from Jordan. When Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in 1973 (the Yom Kippur War), Hussein kept out as much as possible though he sent tanks to help Syria. When the war was over Hussein demanded the return of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Israel but with no success.

    By August 1974, however, Jordan and Israel were discussing a new proposal that would see Jordan representing the Palestinians. Arab leaders disagreed and with a largely unified voice the Arab world proclaimed the PLO as the only official representatives of the Palestinian people. Their objective was a Palestinian State. Hussein recognized that a federation between Jordan and a Palestinian state would give the Palestinian population a majority and he declared that he would never agree to such an idea.

    In the late 70s Hussein, meeting with American President Jimmy Carter, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, discussed the issue of a Jordan-Palestine link but this time it was Arafat, speaking for the Palestinians, who demurred.

    Relations between Jordan and Israel soured with the election of Menachem Begin as Israeli Prime Minister in May 1977. Begin clearly was in favour of keeping all of the West Bank. He sped up construction of Jewish settlements in the land still claimed by both Jordan and the Palestinians.

    Hussein put an end to 15 years of secret negotiations with Israel and for several years, until 1984, Jordan and Israel stopped talking. In the early 1980s Hussein tried to settle with Arafat and the PLO, whose bases in Lebanon had been destroyed by Israel. Hussein needed the Palestinian situation resolved if Jordan was to achieve either peace or prosperity. He also needed to end the continuing threat to his Hashemite throne.

    Hussein let the Palestine National Council meet in Amman, and in 1985 he agreed to aid the PLO in coordinating a joint peace initiative. Hussein wanted a confederation of the West and East Banks with autonomy for the Palestinians but under Jordanian rule. Arafat was happy to agree to confederation between a future Palestinian state and Jordan, but his vision included independence for the West Bank.

    In February 1986 talks between Hussein and Arafat broke down. Hussein needed assurances from Arafat that he would renounce violence and recognize Israel but such an undertaking was never given. Hussein declared that Jordan would be responsible for the economic welfare of the West Bank Palestinians and, as well, he raised the number of Palestinian seats in the National Assembly.

    If he could squeeze out the PLO and reach some accord with Israel, he hoped, he might still hang on to some of the disputed land.

    In April 1987 Hussein and Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister, agreed to a UN-sponsored conference that would include Palestinian representatives as part of a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. In spite of American assent to the plan, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir refused, wanting the conference to include only Jordan.

    Hussein's stature rose with the 1987 Arab League summit meeting in Amman though, interestingly, the Palestinian issue wasn't the main topic of discussion. The Iran-Iraq War, already eight years old, took the floor.

    In December of 1987 the Intifada, the Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in Gaza, changed the entire situation for Jordan. Hussein supported the Intifada publicly and offered aid in an attempt to keep, or regain, Palestinian confidence.

    Hussein's attempts at being seen as a friend of the Palestinians were rejected as Arafat became the spokesman for the Palestinians.

    Any hopes of a Jordanian-Israeli resolution to the Palestine problem were effectively ended and Hussein renounced all claims to the West Bank. He dissolved the Jordanian parliament, half of whom were West Bank representatives, and stopped paying salaries to over 20,000 West Bank civil servants. When the Palestine National Council recognized the PLO as the sole legal representative of the Palestinians, Hussein immediately gave them official recognition.

    With Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent Gulf War, Hussein was again stuck between two worlds, able to please only one. Hussein favoured Iraq over the US. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was an Arab who was widely supported within Jordan. As well, Iraq was one of Jordan's major trading partners. Jordan suffered condemnation and blockades. With the end of the war, however, all was forgiven as Jordan was again solicited to support a peace initiative in the perpetually troubled area.

    With the Gulf War behind them, all the parties involved in the mid-east stepped up attempts to reach a solution to the Palestinian situation, at that point almost half a century old. King Hussein of Jordan, whose land and life had both been in the centre of the controversy for so long, clearly had as much interest in a settlement as the principals themselves.

    In 1991 a conference was convened in Madrid, with Jordan as a major player, at which the PLO and Israel were both in attendance and first steps toward resolution were taken. Israel and the PLO went on to arrange a secret peace plan in Oslo in 1993 and Hussein signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

    In 1997 when President Clinton needed some prestigious heft to break the deadlock at the Wye Plantation talks, he invited King Hussein, in the US for treatment of the cancer that finally took his life, to attend. Though the agreement hashed out at Wye has followed the usual, complex course of mid-eastern affairs, Hussein's input at the conference helped to sway the participants to at least begin to agree.

    Hussein was King of Jordan for over 45 years and in that time was plagued by a single problem that overshadowed every other in his political life. He did not live to see its resolution though he will be remembered as one whose efforts helped his neighbours, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to live in the peace that eluded him most of his life
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/middleeast/questforpeace.html  (links to more info)

    http://www.mideastweb.org/timeline.htm  excellent concise and detailed middle east historical timeline

    The Temple: The crowning achievement of King Solomon's reign was the erection of a magnificent Temple (Beit ha-Midkash) in Jerusalem. His father, King David, had wanted to build a great Temple for God a generation earlier, as a permanent resting place for the Ark containing the Ten Commandments. A divine edict, however, had forbidden him from doing so. "You will not build a house for My name," God said to him, "for you are a man of battles and have shed blood" (I Chronicles 28:3). The Bible's description of Solomon's Temple suggests that the inside ceiling was was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the Temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet). He spares no expense in the building's creation. He orders vast quantities of cedar from King Hiram of Tyre (I Kings 5:20­25), has huge blocks of the choicest stone quarried, and commands that the building's foundation be laid with hewn stone. To complete the massive project, he imposes forced labor on all his subjects, drafting people for work shifts lasting a month at a time. Some 3,300 officials are appointed to oversee the Temple's erection (5:27­30). Solomon assumes such heavy debts in building the Temple that he is forced to pay off King Hiram with twenty towns in the Galilee (I Kings 9:11). When the Temple is completed, Solomon inaugurates it with prayer and sacrifice, and even invites non­Jews to come and pray there. He urges God to pay particular heed to their prayers: "Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built" (I Kings 8:43). Until the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians some four hundred years later, in 586 B.C.E., sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service there. Seventy years later, a second Temple was built on the same site, and sacrifices again resumed. During the first century B.C.E., Herod greatly enlarged and expanded this Temple. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the failure of the Great RevoltDuring the centuries the Muslims controlled Palestine, two mosques were built on the site of the Jewish Temple. (This was no coincidence; it is a common Islamic custom to build mosques on the sites of other people's holy places.) Since any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, the Temple cannot be rebuilt in the foreseeable future. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/The_Temple.html

    JERUSALEM (3/31/05, AP) - Israel's Supreme Court agreed Thursday to recognize non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism that are at least partly performed in Israel, giving a limited victory to the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, which had been marginalized by the religious establishment here. Under current practice, Israel recognizes only those conversions performed by Orthodox rabbis inside Israel, although people converted by non-Orthodox rabbis outside the country are eligible for citizenship under Israel's "Law of Return." The court ruled on a case brought in 1999 by 17 foreigners who studied for Reform or Conservative conversions in Israel but had the ceremonies performed abroad in an attempt to get around the limitations. Israeli authorities objected to their conversions, saying the Law of Return does not apply to foreigners already living in Israel. The ruling Thursday accepted the conversions, granting legal recognition to those who study for conversions in Israel but go through the actual conversion process abroad. The court did not rule on whether those who complete their conversions in Israel would be recognized as Jews. "This is a great ruling. On one hand, all the petitioners received the status of new immigrants, a status they have been waiting for over more than eight years," Nicole Maor, a lawyer for the petitioners, told Israel Radio. "Secondly, while this is limited to overseas conversions, the court ruled emphatically that the government could not create a monopoly on conversions here. If the they want a monopoly for Orthodox conversions, they have to legislate it." The conversion battle cuts to the heart of the identity of the Jewish state and was being watched by Jews outside Israel, where the Reform and Conservative movements are more widely accepted than they are here. The Reform and Conservative movements are the two largest streams of Judaism in the United States, but they have been largely sidelined in Israel. The dominant Orthodox establishment has a virtual monopoly over issues such as marriage, divorce, and burial, as well as sizable budgets from the government for schools and other programs.

    JERUSALEM (4/6/05, AP) - Israel's Arabs will make up 25% of the country's population by the year 2025, according to a projection published Wednesday by the government's Central Bureau of Statistics. The survey predicts that the overall population will rise over the next 20 years to just over 9.2 million from its present 6.6 million, of which 2.3 million will be Arabs and 6.5 million will be Jews. About 435,000 people will be from other groups, the projection says. Israeli Arabs currently make up about 19 percent of the population. The report, covering population growth only inside Israel's pre-1967 frontiers, assumes an average annual growth of 2.7 percent in the Arab population and 1.1 percent for the Jewish community. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates the current population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip at about 4.0 million. Israeli demographers have said Arabs will outnumber Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the coming decades.

    Thomas Sowell notes that Jews are not the only minority hated for economic success. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, overseas Indians and Chinese, Lebanese in Africa, have served as middlemen minorities, intermediaries between producers and consumers, as retailers or lenders.  Typically, they start with little capital, put the whole family to work, and eventually prosper. They then are resented by the society that they have done so much to facilitate. This accounts for much historic anti-Semitism. (OCR, 6/5/05, Commentary 4)

    The Crusades Reconsidered

    One of the idiocies passed off for decades among Western historians is bemoaning the Crusades as evil. The Islamic world -- the Ummah -- has disseminated this imaginary charge against the West, and like fools, we have absorbed Arab lies and taken the blame to heart. But the most superficial reading of Western history should put that canard to rest.

    Shortly before he died in June 632 AD, Mohammed ordered Muslims to prepare to wage war against the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Upon his death, Mohammed's successor, Abu Bakr, planned to fulfill those instructions. Plans were also made to conquer Zoroastrian Sassanid Persia. This vainglorious troop of bandits should have been easily dispatched,

    However. Persia and Byzantine Rome had just come out of a savagely vicious war which ended in 628 AD. Emperor Heraclius had finally imposed the total defeat over Persia that had eluded the earlier Roman Republic and the Caesars -- but Byzantine Rome, though victorious, was severely mauled. Persia was reduced to a state of anarchy; and forced to pay indemnities to Constantinople.

    The Persian and Eastern Roman empires were attacked almost simultaneously around 633 AD, while both were still licking their wounds. So frightening were the Islamic advances that these former blood enemies made a sadly futile alliance. By 644, Persia fell anyway. By 634 AD, Byzantine Palestine and Syria were being attacked. The Battle of Yarmouk in August 636 AD would see Eastern Roman forces beaten. Emperor Heraclius, the victorious warrior, a mere 8 years earlier, would have to sneak out back to Constantinople in a boat.

    Farewell, a long farewell to Syria, my fair province. Thou art an infidel's (enemy's) now. Peace be with you, O' Syria -- what a beautiful land you will be for the enemy hands -- Emperor Heraclius, after the defeat at Yarmouk.

    Roman-held Jerusalem was besieged in November 636 AD, and surrendered by the following April. By 674 AD, the Muslims had taken Egypt and much of Anatolian Turkey, and were besieging Constantinople. The Byzantine Romans, unlike the Persians, still had some fight left and managed to lift the siege using Greek fire, a fearsome weapon similar to a flamethrower. By 709 AD, all of Christian North Africa had fallen to Islam. Though it took the Muslims centuries, eventually all of Christianity was eliminated in the Maghreb.

    In 711 AD, the Muslims invaded Spain, again taking advantage of weakness caused by internecine wars. It would be 781 years before Spain would be free. Among Islamic Andalusia's contributions to civilization were the demanded tribute of 100 white virgins every year to staff their harems. Every other contribution was plagiarized from other civilizations the Muslims had plundered. By 732, the Muslims had advanced to central France, where they were finally repelled by Franks at the battle of Tours. Western Europe had been temporarily spared.

    Sicily fell under Islamic rule for almost two centuries, until finally liberated by Norman Franks around 1091 AD.
    According to tradition, Malta fell to Islam in 870 AD. Islam's contribution's to local culture was piracy. Malta became a staging point for predatory raids on Southern Europe. After two centuries, Malta was finally retaken in 1091 AD.

    Later on, historians would blame the Dark Ages on the Germanic Tribes, but the Goths and Vikings readily Christianized and embraced the higher civilization of the lands they conquered. The reality is that Islamic raiding is what produced the Dark Ages. Trade and the economy collapsed under the Muslim threat, plunging Europe into stagnation.

    In 1095, after centuries of Muslim aggression, Pope Urban II finally had enough, and called Christians to war. He did so after the Byzantine Empire, now broken away from Roman Catholicism, appealed for fraternal help from the Western Christians to save them from Islam. After over 4 centuries of war with Islam, the Byzantines were on the verge of collapse. Most of Spain was still under Islamic tyranny. Malta and Sicily had only been recently freed.

    One may condemn the atrocities of the Crusaders, but what infuriates the objective student of history is that the far greater crimes of Islam are ignored. The Crusades was Christendom finally fighting back, not always honorably, but against a foe which had plunged Europe into darkness for centuries. Instead we allowed our students to be brainwashed, and force fed an Islamic line that we have to feel guilty. The Muslims invaded Southern Europe, yet somehow we Westerners are labeled the imperialists. Islamic aggression did not end with the Crusades.

    The reason Columbus headed West was because the Muslims had blocked all trade routes to the East. Yet, we are never told this. Up until the 16th century, Italy was regularly invaded by Islam. Otranto was taken by the Turks in 1480, and held for only 10 months. Yet, it was time enough to behead over 800 Christians who refused to convert. Piracy and kidnapping was so common that Catholic Churches in Southern Europe had donation boxes where the faithful could contribute to ransom hostages. One could go on and on. The Islamic subjugation of Greece and the Balkans. The kidnapping of hundreds of thousands of Christian boys, over the centuries, to be forcibly converted to Islam, and compelled to serve in the Ottoman Army as Janissaries.

    The Islamic attempt to take Vienna. Twice! In 1529 and 1683. A half million or more slaves from the British Isles were kidnapped on the high seas by the religion of peace. It was not until the U.S. Marines took on the Barbary Pirates and the French razed Algeria that Islamic predation finally stopped in the 19th century; but all of this is forgotten. Somehow, white Christians are the only villains now.

    We hear the Muslims bewail about British imperialism; but the British do not want to go back to Egypt. The Muslim do want Andulasia back. We hear about French crimes in Algeria -- which were real -- but do we remember that Islamic predation that was the real agent which caused the Dark Ages. Europeans were in North Africa for only a century, but Islam pounded Europe for 1200 years. Yet, it is the Arabs who claim victim status.

    But what do our politicians do, but apologize for the Crusades. Why?! Have the Muslims apologized for 1400 years of their crimes?! Part of this idiocy stems from a hyper-liberal view of history which views European Christianity as inherently evil. It permeates the culture of academia; and refuses to see the real evil of Islam. Sadly, a second cause is an ancillary residue of historiography which has a tradition of exaggerating the real crimes of Catholicism out of all proportion. The Spanish call this exaggeration the Black Legend of the Inquisition; and it results in a pseudo-acquittal of Islam, by blaming the Crusades on Catholicism.

    Let us not forget that it was Catholic Europe which insulated Northwest European Protestants from Islam's full fury. It was Catholic Spain which eventually broke the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. It was Catholic Poland's Jan Sobieski who saved Northwest Europe at Vienna in 1683 AD. It was the Catholic French who tamed Algeria in 1830. Let us not forget either that it was Catholic France which saved the Christians of Lebanon in 1860 while the Protestant British were arming the Druze. The time for apologizing to Islam must end.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/08/the_crusades_reconsidered.html#ixzz2biWUXFAN          8/11/13

    Creation of Israel

    In 1947, the British, who had the Mandate over Palestine, decided that they had enough of the decades of fighting and slaughter between Arabs and Jews. They washed their hands of the Mandate and turned it over to the United Nations.

    A solution not accepted. Wishing to end the bloodshed and to create a stable and, hopefully, permanent solution to the decades of conflict, the U.N. decreed a partition of the country west of the Jordan River into an Arab and a Jewish state. In deference to Arab Muslim insistence that it was their “third holiest city,” the city of Jerusalem, the focus of all Jewish aspirations for two millennia, was to be “internationalized.” For the Jews this was bitterly disappointing. Still, in order to create their dreamed-of state, to normalize the lives of the Jewish inhabitants, and to make possible the ingathering of the Holocaust survivors, they accepted the partition plan. They declared their state, Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel – and became a nation. Forever to his credit, US President Harry Truman recognized the nascent state of Israel within minutes of its declaration of independence.

    The Arabs rejected the partition proposal out of hand. Instead, six Arab armies invaded the country from all sides. They vowed to wage a war of extermination. The Jewish population of only 650,000 people was lightly armed and almost hopelessly outnumbered. But in an almost Biblical miracle, the ragtag Jewish forces defeated the combined Arab might. They suffered horrendous casualties – about 1 per cent of the population. It was as if the United States were to lose 3 million people in a conflict. The Arabs also suffered greatly. Goaded mostly by their leaders to make room for the invading armies, about 650,000 fled the fighting. They were not accepted by their Arab brethren. They were interned and live to this day in so-called refugee camps, slum cities, in which they lead miserable and totally unproductive lives, dependent on the dole of the world. They are consumed with hatred against the Jews who, they believe, have deprived them of their patrimony.

    At the end of Israel’s War of Liberation, Jordan remained in possession of Judea and Samaria (which were renamed “The West Bank”) and the eastern part of Jerusalem. Egypt remained in control of the densely populated Gaza Strip.

    Prosperity despite unending attacks. But Israel was not allowed to live in peace. Virtually without interruption, it was victimized by attacks from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. There were two major wars: the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel prevailed in both. It acquired major territories, most of which, in its never-ending quest for peace, it returned. Following these unsuccessful wars, the Palestinians subjected Israel to almost uninterrupted “intifadas,” essentially one-sided civil wars, in which suicide bombings and other assorted terrors were the main weapons.

    Despite these unending tribulations and absorbing close to 4 million migrants from all parts of the world, Israel prospered mightily. Its population is now close to 8 million. Over 1 million of them are Arabs. They are Israeli citizens, have all the rights of their fellow Jewish citizens, serve in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and in the diplomatic corps. They are full participants in the economic prosperity that permeates Israel. Israel’s product per person is on the same or higher order as that of most European countries. It is a center of science and of culture. Its industrial output encompasses some of the most advanced technology and sophisticated production in the world. Next to Canada, Israel is the most represented country on US stock exchanges. Most major high-tech companies have facilities – factories and research establishments – in Israel.

    All of this is admirable, of course. But there is a flip side to this edifying story. That is the fate of the Arab descendants of those who fled Israel in the 1948 War of Liberation. Had they followed the example of the Jews and agreed to the partition decreed by the U.N., they could today be in the same advanced position as Israel, instead of the misery in which they live. Because there is no question that Israel would have been more than willing to enter into a federation with Palestine, in which citizens of both countries could peacefully partake in common prosperity. Can that dream still come true? Of course it can! Israel has accepted virtually all of the “conditions” for reconciliation on which the Palestinians have insisted, with the sole exception of the demand for the “right of return.” That “right” would swamp Israel with hundreds of thousands or even millions of Arabs. The country could not absorb them and it would with one stroke be the end of Israel as the Jewish state. Even for the thorny question of Jerusalem a compromise could be found. But, having been misled by the thuggish Arafat for decades, Arab Palestine needs a wise leader in order to finally make peace with Israel. Arab children could study at Israel’s splendid universities and technical schools, instead of learning the “science” of martyrdom and the “skills” of suicide bombing. Then the dream could finally be fulfilled and peace and prosperity could be extended over all of the Promised Land. Milk and Honey could indeed flow


    DON'T LOOK NOW, BUT THE MIDDLE East's old diplomatic game of make-believe is back. The peace process is hopelessly deadlocked, but the key players pretend otherwise, hoping that wishing will make it so. There's an old saying in the sands of Araby: "If you can't manage to get control of the camel, at least get control of its saddle." Israel has control of neither.

    What everyone knows but doesn't like to admit is that the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, have, once and for all, given in to the gunmen. Abbas pledged to establish "one authority, one law, and one gun." He has failed on all counts. When radicals threatened to break the cease-fire several weeks ago, he caved, freeing nine of their jailed gunmen. He caved again when the radicals threatened to kill Fatah supporters unless he released another terrorist who had been firing rockets in Gaza. When Israel gave the Palestinian Authority the names of militants involved in a February suicide bombing in a Tel Aviv nightclub, he caved yet again, arresting several, then releasing them. Instead of living up to his promise to keep tabs on a "Most Wanted" list of 495 terrorists, he tried to slip many of them in as employees of the Palestinian security forces, to legitimize and launder their possessions of arms so they could attack again. When Israel provided the names of weapon smugglers, Abbas's security chiefs tipped them off that the Israelis were on their trail.

    Now you have armed gangs playing pretend democracy. Gunmen of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades run Jenin. In Ramallah, dozens of wanted men, joined by 80 members of the presidential guard, opened fire in the courtyard of Palestinian Authority headquarters. In Tulkarm, another gang opened fire on the Palestinian governor's building. In Gaza, Hamas still fires scores of rockets and mortar shells at Israeli homes while Islamic Jihad defies the agreement for a "calm," saying, "We joined the tahdiya [calm] to give the combatants rest. . . . As far as we are concerned, the intifada has not ended; it is still going on."

    What is also still going on is the incitement of hatred. In print and on broadcast media controlled by the Palestinian Authority--and subsidized by Europe and the United States--Israelis and Jews continue to be demonized, their murders blatantly encouraged. Palestinian kids are still taught that the greatest glory is dying for Allah in battle as jihadists. They save terrorist cards the way American kids save baseball cards.

    What is Israel to do? It's amazing that Israelis have kept their patience for this long in the face of such betrayals. It would have been a dereliction of Israel's duty to its citizens not to respond as it has--retaining control of land, sea, and air access to Gaza; resuming arrests and the targeted killings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist leaders; and tightening security all around. The Palestinians have only themselves to blame for the fact that Israel is now slowing the withdrawal program and has delayed transferring more West Bank cities to Palestinian control.

    Victimhood. The Palestinian Authority is in disarray and decline. Abbas ducked elections in Gaza that were scheduled for July 17. Hamas opposes a negotiated peace with Israel, but it is filling the void left by the PA. It provides health and education services, exploiting popular revulsion over the PA's corruption in siphoning off vast amounts of the aid donated to the Palestinian people by the international community.Abbas's strategy has been to present himself as a victim. His desire is that this will take the heat off him to confront terrorism, in the hope that the international community will force Israel to make still more concessions to help him out. But Israelis rightly ask: What's the point of strengthening a leader whose popularity is plummeting, who cannot or will not exert control over terrorists, and who has proved incapable of carrying out his promises?Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is determined to proceed with the disengagement despite the fact that the postponement of the Gaza election means Israel does not know the full extent of Hamas's political strength there, leaving open the risk that it may be transferring territory to enemies who will seek to destroy Israel.The sad fact is that everything is going wrong. Terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are using the relative calm to rearm and regroup for the next intifada. They smuggle longer-range missiles through dirt tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, for use after disengagement against Israelis now across the fence. Sharon has taken a huge gamble with the Gaza withdrawal. But instead of playing weak, Sharon plays strong, determined to complete the disengagement. How sad that there is no comparable leader on the other side, someone with a vision of what a Palestinian state might be and with the courage to save the Palestinian Authority from being a fig leaf for an increasingly anarchic terrorist state. (USN&WR, 8/15/05, 72)

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP, 2/24/06) - Ohio Farmers Seeking Israel's Expertise. Farmers in Israel raise crops in conditions that couldn't be more foreign to their Ohio counterparts. But the arid soils, limited water and cramped spaces have turned Israeli farmers into experts at making crops bloom in the desert. A group of Ohio farmers hopes to use that expertise to improve productivity. A 29-person delegation is leaving Sunday for a 10-day trip to Israel to learn everything from water management to milk processing to handling urban expansion. "I'm extremely intrigued by the ability of them to grow enough crops for 7 million people in the desert," said Daniel Corcoran, 42, who raises soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on his 4,000-acre family farm near Waverly in southern Ohio. "Hopefully, there are things we can bring back here." Israel is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Only about 20 percent of the land can be farmed and half of that has to be irrigated. But Israel not only produces most of its own food, it also has enough to export. Fruit, vegetables and fertilizer are among the most successful exports. Israeli farms have prospered by irrigating crops, seeding clouds to increase rainfall, landscaping to redirect floodwaters toward crops and using drip irrigation so that crops receive the precise amount of water and fertilizer. The Israelis have also developed computer-controlled greenhouses that have curtains, skylights and netting to control sunlight and temperature. The trip is being hosted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Cleveland-based Negev Foundation, a group whose mission is to develop agriculture in the southern, largely desert portion of Israel. The journey is part of a larger initiative to help Israelis benefit from business opportunities in Ohio and from sharing ideas with Ohio agricultural researchers. Last fall, Israeli farmers promoted their products at the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio. Ram Ben-Dor, 52, lived on an Israeli farm for 20 years, raising poultry and fruit. He said the Ohio farmers should be able to help Israelis with technologies that would increase their productivity and make them more competitive in world markets. He said it would be an opportunity to make contacts that could increase soybean imports from Ohio. Sam Hoenig, foundation president, said Israeli farmers are also interested in Ohio's expertise on turf as they seek to develop recreational areas. Among those going on the trip are several Ohio fish farmers. John Bechtel raises trout, perch and bluegill near Fredericktown in central Ohio. He is most interested in how the Israelis prevent the spread of disease among fish. He also wants to tap into their knowledge about fish nutrition, genetics and water-quality management. "They use water over and over again," Bechtel said. "That is the future of fish farming." Bob Peterson raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his farm in central Ohio. But residential and commercial development from Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton keeps creeping in. He hopes to see how Israeli farmers manage to work in densely populated areas while increasing production and profits. "I'm curious how they've handled that," said Peterson, 43. "How do they do that much agriculture surrounded by people?" 
    Israel's population stands at 7,282,000
     JERUSALEM POST, May 7, 2008 8:57 

    On the eve of Israel's 60th Independence Day, the country's population stands at 7,282,000, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS),  18,000 new immigrants have arrived in Israel since last Independence Day. Some 5,499,000 of the population (75.5 percent) are Jews, 1,461,000 (20.1%) are Arabs and the remaining 322,000 (4.4%) are immigrants and their offspring who are not registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry. According to the CBS statistics, since last Independence Day, the country's population has risen by some 130,000, with most of this increase being attributed to natural growth. 156,400 new babies have been born and some 18,000 new immigrants have arrived. When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents, with this number reaching its first and second million in 1949 and 1958 respectively. In 1990, Israel's population hit five million and in 1998, after the wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union, it numbered six million. According to the CBS forecast, the population is expected to reach 10 million by 2030.

    Jews were driven out of Arab lands in roughly the same number as Arabs who fled Israel at the time of the creation of the Jewish state. The difference was the Jews were absorbed into the new state, given jobs and citizenship, while the Palestinians were largely confined to squalid camps in order for their unwilling Arab hosts to exploit them as political pawns to use against Israel.  ( JERUSALEM POST, May 12, 2008) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1209627059753&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

        In 1967, Syria occupied the Golan Heights and were regularly firing artillery shells into Israel. Egyptian troops were moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. Egyptian President Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), stationed to protect Israel’s borders to withdraw and they promptly withdrew. Nasser proclaimed, "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel.” 
        Unbelievably, President Lyndon Johnson imposed an arms embargo on weapon shipments to Israel; while Russia, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria and Saudi Arabia were rushing arms and equipment or troops to Egypt and Syria.  
        On June 5, 1967, Israel struck back.
        The entire Israeli Air Force, with the exception of just 12 fighters assigned to defend Israeli air space, took off at 7:14 a.m. to bomb Egyptian airfields while the Egyptian pilots were eating breakfast (The story I heard while working at a defense company was that Israeli Intelligence learned that Egypt’s air defense radars would be shut down for regularly scheduled maintenance at 7 a.m. that day). 
        In less than two hours, roughly 300 Egyptian aircraft were destroyed. A few hours later, Israeli fighters attacked the Jordanian and Syrian air forces, as well as an airfield in Iraq.
        By the end of the first day, nearly the entire Egyptian and Jordanian air forces, and half the Syrians’ had been destroyed on the ground. The battle then moved to the ground, and some of history’s greatest tank battles were fought between Egyptian and Israeli armor in the Sinai desert. 
        The war was over in six days and Israel conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles.
        The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem. Israeli forces had also captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
        The war was costly for Israel.
        In six days they lost twice as many men in proportion to their population as the U.S. lost in eight years of fighting in Vietnam.  
        The Arabs didn’t give up, and in 1973 they launched a Pearl Harbor like sneak attack on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish religious calendar. This war caught Israel completely by surprise.
        It took several weeks to turn the tide and Israel gained a little more land on the Golan Heights.
        When I visited Israel in 1988, burned out tank hulks lining the roads was a constant reminder of their battles to defend their country.   
        Asking Israel to go back to the pre-war 1967 borders is shear lunacy. 

    The West Bank is Israel's to settle

    The legal birth of modern Israel was formulated at the end of World War I by the League of Nations. As a part of the breakup of the defeated Ottoman Empire, Great Britain was given supervision over what is now Israel, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, the "West Bank" and Jordan. The League's "Mandate for Palestine" was finalized in 1922. Through provisions activated under Article 25 of the Mandate, the Arabs were given 77 percent of the mandated area (what is now Jordan) and the Jews willingly accepted the remaining 23 percent - everything from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, all of the above areas minus Jordan were given to Israel.

    For the Arabs, 77 percent was never enough. The fact is, as verified by declassified documents from the mandate period (1920-1948), Arab leadership initiated first blood almost immediately against the Jewish people, much of the time in complete opposition to the wishes of Muslims who lived peaceably with Jews in the area. In the late 1940s, for example, the district commander for the Muslim's mufti complained that he found the Muslim populace indifferent and even hostile to his call to arms.

    The situation came to a head in 1947 after 10 years of terror attacks by Arabs and revenge attacks by Jews. The U.N. made one last effort at compromise through Resolution 181. R181 gave the Arabs another 45 percent of the Jews' remaining 23 percent territory and made Israel's remaining 17 percent of the original mandate an indefensible patchwork of thirds. Arab protagonists rejected the effort outright.

    Since Israel's 1948 War of Independence, the pattern has never changed. In the 1967 and 1973 wars, Arab states were pushed back, cease-fires were reached, but hostilities continued. The only legal treaties signed by Israel and all other involved parties were the 1922 two-state partition, the treaty with Egypt in 1979 and the treaty with Jordan in 1994.

    In 2013, the only other legal action came from a court of appeals in Versailles, France, and was massively important but has been completely ignored by the United Nations. The court obliterated Palestinian claims to the West Bank and held Israel as the only legal resident and administrator. It was a clarification of existing international legal reality.

    http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20170131/bob-ashby-west-bank-is-israels-to-settle  2/1/17

    Israel's Water Challenge

    Israel's Water Challenge
    Filters at the Ashkelon seawater reverse osmosis plant south of Tel Aviv in 2008. (DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)


    Israel's successful efforts to increase water security will lessen one of the country's geographical constraints. But new sources of water are more energy intensive, and this could increase Israel's short-term dependence on energy imports unless domestic energy sources are successfully developed.


    While Israel enjoys relative national security compared to its neighbors, which are struggling with internal fragmentation, this will probably change eventually. Because concerted military efforts have been required in the past to secure water resources, Israel has had a strong incentive to develop technological solutions to improve water security. Additional domestic water resources -- including increasing desalination capacity and continued efforts to recycle water -- allow Israel to mitigate one of its inherent geographic constraints.

    Israel has substantially increased its capacity to desalinize water over the last decade. The arid country of roughly 8 million already has a number of desalination plants -- including the Sorek plant, the world's largest desalination plant of its kind, which became fully operational in October. Israel has plans to increase total desalination capacity through 2020 such that it approaches the estimated annual amount of internally generated natural water resources.

    Naturally Occurring Water

    Israel's total annual internal renewable natural sources of fresh water stand at 0.75 billion cubic meters. It has roughly 265 cubic meters per year of water per person available. This is well below the U.N. definition of water poverty, which is anything below 1,000 cubic meters per person per year.

    For groundwater, Israel relies on two main aquifers: the Coastal Aquifer and the Mountain Aquifer (which is further divided into subaquifers). Both also lie under the Palestinian territory -- in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. 

    Israel's surface water is concentrated mainly in the north and east of the country. Israel is part of the Jordan River system, which also includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank. The major rivers in the upper part of the basin include the Hasbani, Banias and the Dan rivers. These rivers converge to form the Jordan River near the border of Israel, Lebanon and Syria before flowing into the Sea of Galilee. Downstream, the Jordan River is further fed by the major tributaries of the Yarmouk and Zarqa rivers.

    Crucially, more than half of Israel's total natural water originates outside its borders: 310 million cubic meters come from Lebanon, 375 million cubic meters come from Syria and 345 million cubic meters originate in the West Bank. All the countries in this arid region compete for the limited resources of the basin. The Palestinian Authority has between 51 cubic meters per person and 333 cubic meters per person per year depending on location, while Syria and Lebanon receive water from additional river systems and operate at 882 cubic meters per year per person and 1,259 cubic meters per year per person, respectively. Jordan has 161 cubic meters per year per person.

    Allocations of water from transboundary river systems are often disputed. The last basin-wide allocation scheme for the Jordan River system came in 1955 with the Jordan Valley Unified Water Plan (also known as the Johnston Plan, named after the American ambassador involved in negotiations). By allocating water based primarily on agricultural demand, the plan offered a compromise between participating nations. However, because many of the Arab states did not want to recognize Israel, the plan was never ratified. Attitudes toward cooperative distribution strategies continued to sour during the construction of Israel's National Water Carrier, which diverted water from the Sea of Galilee to other points in Israel. However, Jordan and Israel have used the Unified Plan as the basis for subsequent negotiations. 

    As one of the downstream riparian nations in the basin, protecting Israel's northern borders is essential to maintaining control of surface water resources. Maintaining control of the Golan Heights not only gives Israel a military advantage in dealing with adversaries to the north, it also helps to guarantee access to the Sea of Galilee.

    Israel historically has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to guarantee access to water resources. In 1964, Syria, with the support of the Arab League, began devising plans to divert the Banias River, threatening roughly 10 percent of Israel's water supply at the time. From 1965-1967, Israel launched attacks to destroy the diversion projects under construction in an effort to maintain access to the water source.

    Water rights and distribution parameters were included in the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. The Oslo II agreement in 1995 between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority also outlined parameters for water cooperation in the West Bank, but in practice, joint management has often failed and the Palestinian population remains heavily dependent on Israel for access to water. 

    These treaties also did not remove Israel's imperative to ensure continued access to water resources, nor its willingness to threaten military action to ensure it. In 2002, villages in southern Lebanon installed small pumping stations and irrigation pipelines on the Hasbani River. Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister at the time, claimed these actions constituted a "case for war" and threated military action. While no action was taken, the posturing illustrates Israel's wariness of upstream water management schemes. 

    Expanding Sources of Water: Conservation and Desalination

    The foundations of Israel's current water infrastructure system were laid in the 1950s and 1960s, when Israel faced a more volatile security situation. Subsequent decades saw further development of the efficient use of water and the development of alternative sources. As a result, Israel has expanded internal water resources without expanding its physical borders, helping mitigate the risk of international confrontations over water.


    To the same end, Israel has also developed a highly organized water management system, effectively integrating the whole country. An early project known as the National Water Carrier, which comprises a series of canals, pipelines and pumping stations, moves water from the Sea of Galilee in the comparatively water-rich north to areas of higher demand and greater need in the central and southern zones. 

    Israel is also a pioneer and global leader in water-efficient irrigation technology. Because agriculture remains the largest water consumer in the country, efficient use in this sector is necessary for continued sustainable water management. In addition to the irrigation technology, by effectively treating roughly 400 million cubic meters of wastewater, using it mostly to irrigate crops, Israel further reduces pressure on water resources.

    Although Israel has used desalination technology on a smaller scale since the 1960s, the push for a substantial increase in desalination capacity began only after a major drought in 1998-1999. Several droughts over the course of the last 15 years drove home the vulnerability of Israel's water supply. Meanwhile, the overuse of groundwater resources, especially of the Coastal Aquifer, is degrading the quality of the water.

    Israel currently consumes just under 2 billion cubic meters of water per year, and while water management has the ability to improve the efficiency of water usage, increasing populations in the region will continue to pressure these limited resources. These factors combined have pushed Israel toward desalination.

    When the Sorek plant became fully operational in October, Israel gained 150 million cubic meters per year of desalination capacity. Total seawater desalination capacity is expected to reach 600 million cubic meters per year by 2015 and could reach 750 million cubic meters per year by 2020. The production cost of desalinized water depends on the plant, but averages $0.65 per cubic meter, with the new Sorek plant costing roughly $0.50 per cubic meter. This is compared to $0.15-$0.45 for water from natural sources. Advances in the technology that Israel uses, including technologies that improve the energy efficiency of the plants, have helped drive the costs down compared to previous desalination technology. But desalinated water remains far more energy-intensive than naturally sourced water, and it increases demands for power on the national electricity grid and from independent natural gas generators.

    Short-Term Dependence on Imported Energy

    Because Israel has traditionally been an energy importer, increasing reliance on an energy-intensive water resource could in turn increase Israel's dependence on energy-exporting nations. Natural gas will likely be the predominant fuel used to produce desalinated water. The Israeli electrical grid is projected to shift further toward natural gas and away from coal in the coming years, while the desalination plants often independently employ natural gas generators.

    The total fuel required will vary based both on the type of desalination plant, as well as the type of power generation. Even with newer, more efficient equipment, the operation of more than 500 million cubic meters of desalination capacity could require more than 100 million cubic meters of natural gas or the equivalent energy from some other fuel sources to produce the additional power necessary to run the plants.  

    Israel had previously been an importer of natural gas, but the total volume of imports has declined in recent years. As of August 2013, imports were only accounting for 13 percent of total consumption. Furthermore, offshore discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean, including the Leviathan fields projected to come online as early as 2016, mean Israel has the potential to become a natural gas exporter. While there are many political and technical constraints surrounding the development and subsequent use of these fields, increased levels of domestic energy production could reduce dependence on foreign partners in terms of energy. This is especially important as Israel pursues a strategy of relying on more energy-intensive water resources.


    Israel traditionally requires a third-party sponsor to survive. And even with the added desalination capacity, Israel may still need to use water from external sources. But it has successfully adjusted to the environment and better insulated itself from its neighbors, complementing an established military superiority. And this could provide additional maneuverability in future negotiations.

    Israel is momentarily in a secure strategic position. Syria will likely remain in a state of civil war for an extended period, and Lebanon remains fragile and fragmented. Israel maintains a working relationship with other neighbors, such as the Hashemite regime in Jordan, as well as Fatah and the Palestinian National Authority and the Egyptian military. This status quo seems unlikely to change in the short term. But although Israel is in a relatively stable position, it knows how mercurial the surrounding region is and will likely still behave proactively around national security issues.

    Israel's proactive solution to ensuring water security is to develop additional domestic resources. Though this will require more imported energy in the short term, the continued development of domestic energy resources could act as a counter-balance, even as water resources become more energy-intensive.


    by Joseph Farrah, (Nov 19, 2002,
    WorldNet Daily) - As the most visible Arab-American critic of Yasser Arafat and the phony "Palestinian" agenda, I get a lot of hate mail. I've even received more than my share of death threats. Most of those who attack me - at least those who bother to get beyond the four-letter words and insults - say I just don't understand or have sympathy for these poor Arabs who were displaced, chased out of their homes and turned into refugees by the Israelis. Let me state this plainly and clearly: The Jews in Israel took no one's land.

    WHEN MARK TWAIN visited the Holy Land in the 19th century, he was greatly disappointed. He didn't see any people. He referred to it as a vast wasteland. The land we now know as Israel was practically deserted. By the beginning of the 20th century, that began to change. Jews from all over the world began to return to their ancestral homeland - the Promised Land Moses and Joshua had conquered millennia earlier, historians and Jews believe, on the direct orders of God. That's not to say there wasn't always a strong Jewish presence in the land - particularly in and around Jerusalem. In 1854, according to a report in the New York Tribune, Jews constituted two-thirds of the population of that holy city. The source for that statistic? A journalist on assignment in the Middle East that year for the Tribune. His name was Karl Marx. Yes, that Karl Marx.

    A travel guide to Palestine and Syria, published in 1906 by Karl Baedeker, illustrates the fact that, even when the Islamic Ottoman Empire ruled the region, the Muslim population in Jerusalem was minimal. The book estimates the total population of the city at 60,000, of whom 7,000 were Muslims, 13,000 were Christians and 40,000 were Jews. "The number of Jews has greatly risen in the last few decades, in spite of the fact that they are forbidden to immigrate or to possess landed property," the book states. Even though the Jews were persecuted, still they came to Jerusalem and Represented the overwhelming majority of the population as early as 1906. And even though Muslims today claim Jerusalem as the third holiest site in Islam, when the city was under Islamic rule, they had little interest in it. 

    As the Jews came, drained the swamps and made the deserts bloom, something interesting began to happen. Arabs followed. I don't blame them. They had good reason to come. They came for jobs. They came for prosperity. They came for freedom. And they came in large numbers. Winston Churchill observed in 1939: "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population." Then came 1948 and the great partition. The United Nations proposed the creation of two states in the region - one Jewish, one Arab. The Jews accepted it gratefully. The Arabs rejected it with a vengeance and declared war. Arab leaders urged Arabs to leave the area so they would not be caught in the crossfire. They could return to their homes, they were told, after Israel was crushed and the Jews destroyed. It didn't work out that way. By most counts, several hundred thousand Arabs were displaced by this war - not by Israeli aggression, not by some Jewish real-estate grab, not by Israeli expansionism. In fact, there are many historical records showing the Jews urged the Arabs to stay and live with them in peace. But, tragically, they chose to leave.

    FIFTY-FOUR YEARS LATER, the sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of those refugees are all-too-often still living in refugee camps - not because of Israeli intransigence, but because they are misused as a political tool of the Arab powers. Those poor unfortunates could be settled in a week by the rich Arab oil states that control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land mass, but they are kept as virtual prisoners, filled with misplaced hatred for Jews and armed as suicide martyrs by the Arab power brokers. This is the modern real history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. At no time did the Jews uproot Arab families from their homes. When there were title deeds to be purchased, they bought them at inflated prices. When there were not, they worked the land so they could have a place to live without the persecution they faced throughout the world. It's a great big lie that the Israelis displaced anyone - one of a series of lies and myths that have the world on the verge of committing yet another great injustice to the Jews. 

    After 1948, the land of Arabs who left the territory of Israel was assigned to an administrator of absentee lands, and under Israeli law the absentee Arabs could return and reclaim their land. Thousands of them did so (the figures I have seen are over 15,000). As to those absentee Arab land owners who refused to deal with Israel, their land was taken by eminent domain (called "compulsory purchase" in British law, or "expropriation" in European civil law), and they were paid fair market value plus interest. This is a story that for some reason has not received any publicity, an act of informational neglect that from the point of view of hasbara is positively criminal. This story should be told. Don't take my word for any of this. Check it out with your Israeli sources. I believe that the Office of Administrator of Absentee Property still exists in Israel.  Gideon Kanner, Professor of Law Emeritus, Loyola Law School

    Mainstream Western media coverage of Israel is laced with expressions intentionally crafted to delegitimize the Jewish State. The good news, is that these terms weren't written in stone 3,300 years ago, but they are post-Israel independence creations.

    By using this language, Israel's history is forfeited. Here are 13 phrases people must stop repeating:

    1. "West Bank": Claims that "Judea and Samaria" are simply the "biblical name for the West Bank" stands history on its head. The Hebrew-origin terms "Judea" and "Samaria" were used through 1950, when invading [Trans]Jordan renamed them the "West Bank" in order to disassociate these areas of the Jewish homeland from Jews. The U.N.'s own 1947 partition resolution referred not to "West Bank," but to "the hill country of Samaria and Judea." This term is not shorthand for "Judea and Samaria." Under this formulation, Jordan is the "East Bank" of the original Palestine Mandate, which was designated as the homeland for the Jewish People.

    2. "East" Jerusalem or "traditionally Arab East" Jerusalem: From the city's second millennium BCE origins until 1947 CE, there was no such place as "East" Jerusalem. The 19 years between when invading Jordan captured part of the city in 1948 and was ousted by Israel in 1967 was the only time in history, except between 638 and 1099, when Arabs ruled any part of Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs have not ruled an inch of it for one day in history. In the past three millennia, Jerusalem has been the capital of three native states—Judah, Judaea and modern Israel—and has had a renewed Jewish majority since 19th-century Turkish rule. Eastern Jerusalem is a neighborhood of the city that Israel reunified in 1967.

    3. "The U.N. sought to create Jewish and Palestinian States": It did not. Partitioning Palestine between "Palestinians" and Jews is like partitioning Pennsylvania between Pennsylvanians and Jews. Over and over in its 1947 partition resolution, the U.N. referenced "the Jewish State" and "the Arab" [not "Palestinian"] State.

    4. 1948 was the "creation" and "founding" of  Israel: Israel wasn't "created" and "founded" in 1948 artificially and out-of-the-blue. Israel attained independence that year as the natural fruition into renewed statehood of a people who had twice before been independent in that land, and after centuries of hard work to re-establish a Jewish State in this historic homeland.

    5. "The War that Followed Israel's Creation": Israel did not choose this war; it was forced on Israel by almost every Arab state, which rejected the U.N. partition and tried to push the Jews of Israel into the sea. And it was a homeland Jewish army, the Haganah, which became the IDF, that threw back that multination foreign invasion.

    6. "Palestinian refugees of the war that followed Israel's creation," or the "Palestinian refugee issue": It was the invading Arab nations bent on Israel's destruction that both encouraged and caused the bulk of the Arabs to flee Israel. And a greater number of media constantly ignore the indigenous Middle Eastern Jews who were expelled from vast Arab and other Muslim lands in the wake of the Arab-Israeli War. Their number is greater than the amount of Arabs that fled tiny Israel. That Israel absorbed the bulk of these Jews, while Arab "hosts," including in Palestine itself, isolate the Arab refugees' descendants in Western-supported "refugee camps" does not convert the Arab-Israeli conflict's two-sided refugee issue into a "Palestinian" refugee issue. Had the Palestinian Arabs accepted the U.N. partition plan, they would also have been celebrating their 66th anniversary.

    7.  Israel "Seized" Arab Lands in 1967:  It did not. The 1967 war, like its predecessors, was a defensive war forced upon Israel. Israel's neighbors did not want to compromise; they simply wanted to destroy the Jewish State. The new Israeli territory was meant to provide a security barrier and ensure this could never happen. Moreover, these were not "Arab Lands."

    8. Israel's "1967 Borders": The 1949 Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement expressly declared the "green line" it drew between the two sides' ceasefire positions as a military ceasefire line only, without prejudice to either side's political border claims. The post-'67 war U.N. resolution 242 pointedly did not demand Israel retreat from these lines.

    9. "Israeli-Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem": That the media insistently calls Israeli presence in the heart of Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria "Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories" does not make it so. "Occupation" is an international law term referencing foreign presence in the sovereign territory of another state. The land of Israel's last sovereign native state before modern Israel was Jewish Judaea. The land ratio of Arab lands to Israel is 625-1, 23 states to one.

    10. "Jewish settlers and settlements" vs. "Palestinian residents of neighborhoods and villages": A favorite media news article contrast is referencing in the same sentence "Jewish settlers" in "settlements" and "Palestinian residents" of nearby "neighborhoods" and "villages." Jews are not alien "settlers" in a Jerusalem that's had a Jewish majority since 19th-century times or in the Judea-Samaria Jewish historical heartland.

    11. Israel's "Jewish State" recognition is "a new stumbling block": New since Moses' time. The Jewish homeland of Israel, including continuous homeland-claiming Jewish presence, has always been central to Jewish peoplehood. In 1947, British Foreign Secretary Bevin told Parliament that the Jews' "essential point of principle" was Jewish Palestine sovereignty.

    12. "Palestinians accept, and Israel rejects, a Two-State Solution": Wrong on both counts. Both the U.S. and Israel define 'Two States' as two states for two peoples—Jews and Arabs. Many on the Arab side reject two states for two peoples. Many Israelis, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, support that plan—conditioned on an end to Palestinian terror. The Arabs continuously and consistently deny Israel's right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish People, no matter where its borders are drawn.

    13. "THE Palestinians": The United Nations' 1947 partition resolution called Palestine's Arabs and Jews "the two Palestinian peoples." Nothing is more self-delegitimizing and counter-productive to achieving peace based on Arab recognition of Jews' right to be there, than that people should go around calling Palestinian Arabs "The Palestinians." They have no distinguishing language, religion or culture from neighboring Arabs and have never been sovereign in Palestine, whereas the Jews, with a presence stretching back three millennia, have had three states there, all Jerusalem-based. Most Palestinian Arabs cannot trace their own lineage to the land back more than four generations. 

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/07/israels-supporters-must-stop-using-these-13-phrases/     (7/7/14)


    Palestinian Statehood?

    October 22, 2014 at 5:00 am     http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4805/palestinian-statehood 

    The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"? Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood? On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywherethey chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall. A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. Recurrent and virulent Arab terrorism against the Jews -- who have lived in the area for nearly three thousand years -- began many years before Israel's de jure statehood. The Hebron riots and massacre of 1929 are perhaps the best known example; and Arab terrorism continued throughout the British Mandate period, 1920-1948.

    Organized Arab terrorism against the state Israel began the first hour of Israel's independence, in mid-May 1948. The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza. What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders."Furthermore, the PLO was formally declared a "terrorist organization" in a number of major U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).

    Then, almost ten years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the fratricidal Palestinian factions, in 2005 forcibly expelled more than 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, these ethnically cleansed areas, as a result of relentless and discriminatory Palestinian demands, were transformed by Hamas from productive agricultural and living areas to barren fields and, frequently, extended terrorist rocket-launching sites. Since then, Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that land for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]  It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that bothHamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]

    On June 30, 1922, however, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine -- anywhere they chose -- between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall. One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law. Also widely disregarded is that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were the principal aggressors in the openly genocidal Arab attacks that first began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish State's UN-backed declaration of independent statehood entered into force.

    Already, back in 1918[4], Jerusalem's Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, stated plainly: "This was and will remain an Arab land.... the Zionists will be massacred to the last man.... Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country." The U.S. Administration, Sweden and Britain also disregard that these same Arab states launched yet another aggression -- that of 1967, or the Six Day War. As a direct result, the so-called Israeli "occupation" followed. The Israelis pushed back their aggressors, then immediately tried to exchange the newly-acquired land for peace, recognition and negotiations -- only to be told, by the Khartoum Conference the same year, No, no and no. A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed -- not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.

    During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized – those were the lands that were "occupied" -- by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel; and thereafter claimed, as a fait accompli, as the traditional (and no-longer legal in the post-UN Charter world) prerogative of an armed conflict. These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of "Palestine" state. Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of "Palestine." From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states' non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, had given its full approval. A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, during the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres was signed, in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine," based on the expectation that Britain would correctly prepare the area to become the "national home for the Jewish People": To wit: "The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

    In 1922, however, Great Britain, unilaterally, and without lawful authority, split off 78% of the lands promised to the Jews -- all of "Palestine" east of the Jordan River -- and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern "Palestine" now took the name "Transjordan," which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed "Jordan". From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a grave contravention of its core Mandatory obligations under international law. In 1947, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. Ironically, despite this second allotment again giving complete advantage to Arab interests, the Arab states did not. On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre."[5]

    This unambiguously genocidal declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab, Muslim and Islamist actions against Israel, including those of the supposedly "moderate," U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority leadership of Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the actions and attitudes of Arabs and Muslims toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained genocidal. Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel has a formal name: it is called crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity, which include "Extermination," was one of three original counts of indictment at the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, invoked pursuant to the London Charter of August 8, 1945. In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states after the Six Day War, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the territories could possibly be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated "War of Extermination" in 1948-49, as well as the Arabs repeatedly using that territory to launch aggression against Israel. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967. The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding with "Three Nos": "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

    The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were even any "Israeli occupied territories." From their own candid statements in the PLO Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Charter of 1988 -- it is this very same territory -- all of Israel -- that they are now planning to liberate. President Obama's still-proposed "Two-State Solution" derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance -- legal, historical and conceptual -- of Israel and "Palestine."Even if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish "settlement activity," no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.[6] There was none when Israel left southern Lebanon, none when Israel left Gaza and there is therefore reason to expect there will be none now. Rather, what still seems in place, and backed by the President Obama, Sweden and the UK, is the PLO "Phased Plan" of June 9, 1974, which repeats the principle policies of the Palestinian National Council: to take what one can get, then to use that to take the rest "as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[7] For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution -- and simultaneously create another jihadist, enemy terrorist state

    [1] "PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews", USA Today, Sept. 13, 2011.
    [2] On this point, see Andrew G. Bostom, MD, especially the essay, "A Salient Example of Hajj Amin-al-Husseini's Canonical Islamic Jew Hatred," and also The Legacy of Jihad, 2005). Hajj Amin el-Husseini, preeminent Islamic leader during the World War II era, was viewed by Adolf Hitler, Goebbels, and the Waffen-SS, as a "Muslim pope." As Bostom further indicates, "The Nazi regime promoted this former Mufti of Jerusalem in an illustrated biographical booklet, printed in Berlin in 1943, which declared him Muhammad's direct descendant, an Arab hero, and the "incarnation of all ideals and hopes of the Arab nation." On pertinent connections between the current Palestinian movement and Nazism, see also: Jennie Lebel, The Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin-el-Husseini and National Socialism, Paul Munch, Belgrade, 2007, p. 243; and Jeffrey Herf,The Jewish Enemy - Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, Cambridge, 2006, pp 180-181.)
    [3] See seminal writings by Dr. Andrew Bostom, above.
    [4] Dr. Andrew Bostom in The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism (p. 92)
    [5] Akbar al-Yom, Egypt, October 11, 1947, quoted by David Barnett and Efraim Karsh, "Azzam's Genocidal Threat," Middle East quarterly, Fall, 2011
    [6] See, for consistently authoritative quotations from official Palestinian sources, PA and Hamas,Palestinian Media Watch, especially its regular special section on "Israel's right to exist denied." See: www.palwatch.org
    [7] Article 4: "Any step taken towards liberation is a step towards the realization of the previous Palestinian National Councils." and Article 8: "Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."

    Shows Middle East historic empires. Whose land is it now, first occupiers, later occupiers, or last occupiers?
    Fast interesting link below.


    UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted as a result of the United States abstention, on the instructions of outgoing President Barack Obama, confirmed the historic bigotry against Jews and Israel entrenched within the United Nations, just as it was within its predecessor, the League of Nations. As previously indicated, Arab and Muslim states could not move a single anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council without the complicity of the Western powers, representing the historically Christian nations.

    The collusion of the Western powers and the Islamic countries against Jews and Israel is now ostentatious, without any subterfuge. Resolution 2334 was as sickening a surrender to the Arab-Muslim jihad in the name of "peace," as was the surrender of UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to the Adolf Hitler at Munich in September 1938. The gathering in Paris on January 15, at the invitation of French President François Hollande, was further evidence of appeasing the Arab-Muslim world's jihad against Israel. The timing of the Paris gathering – five days short of the 75th anniversary of the notorious Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942, held in the suburbs of Berlin, in which top-ranking Nazi officials finalized the preparation for the "Final solution to the Jewish problem" in Europe – could not have been more overtly insulting to Israel. Members of the European Union plotted shafting the Jewish state in accordance with the wishes of their Arab and Muslim friends of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – 56 Muslim states, plus "Palestine," and the biggest bloc at the UN.

    "Fake news" and writing "fake" history have long been the modus operandi of tyrants; nothing new. The "big lie," repeatedly broadcast so that people might succumb to believing it, was an art that Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister for propaganda, practiced to devastating results. The most notorious Arab ally of Hitler, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, as an admiring student of Goebbels, passed on the art of "fake" history and "big lie" to his allies. It is grotesque and criminal that the EU and the UN, together in "ganging up," insist that Israel comply with their resolutions – Israeli withdrawal to pre-June 1967 boundaries – without having shown any attempt to have the "Palestinians" of the so-called "occupied territories" end their jihadi terrorism.

    It was not an oversight in the Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967 that there was no mention of "Palestinian" people, or "Palestinian Arabs," or "Palestinians." In the decades after the passage of Res. 242, there was a systematic push by the OIC states in the UN, supported by the EU and its predecessor, the European Community (EC), to refer to disputed territories taken by Israel in a defensive war initiated by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan as "occupied" territories. The Egyptians had closed the Strait of Tiran at the mouth of the Red Sea, an act that was a casus belli, legal cause for war. The UN, before 1967, did not refer to the West Bank and Gaza as "occupied" territories when they were "occupied" by Egypt and Jordan after the 1948-49 war, which the Arab states launched against Israel. The Arab states then were the "occupiers" of parts of Palestine west of Jordan until 1967, and rejected any notion of Jews having a historic connection with Palestine, which they claimed was an integral part of Arab lands.

    The entire jihad of Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, and since, is based on the argument that Jews have no historic rights. From the Arab perspective of religion and politics, there never was a "Palestinian" people, or nation, distinct and separate from Arabs as a people or nation. The jihad called by Husseini against Jews in Palestine after 1921 was in the name of "Arabs" and Islam, and it has so remained since. According to the Hamas charter, "the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Trust] upon all Muslim generations till the day of Resurrection" (Article 11). Hence, that there ever had been a "Palestinian people" was a "big lie," pushed by Arab states after 1967, and that the Western nations unquestioningly swallowed.

    "Palaestina" – in a still earlier effort to strip the area of its Jewish roots, this time by the ancient Romans – was the name the Emperor Hadrian gave to territory on both sides of the River Jordan – Judea and Samaria – after crushing the Jews in the Bar Kokhba Rebellion in 135 CE. Jerusalem, its principal city, was built by King David, a Jew, some ten centuries earlier. In the seventh century CE, Arabs seized "Palestine" from the Christian Byzantine Empire and it became part of the Arab, later Ottoman Empire.

    The Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, and subsequently the surrounding area, to establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the twelfth century. Arab armies evicted the Crusaders from Palestine at the end of the thirteenth century. For the next six centuries, in the name of Islam Arabs, then Turks under the Ottoman Empire, ruled over Palestine until 1917, when the British Expeditionary Forces arrived during World War I.

    The defeat of the Ottoman Empire left its former Arab territories between Egypt and the Persian Gulf, including Palestine, under the control of the victorious Allied Powers, Britain and France. In the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917, the British government committed itself to "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," while noting that this should not "prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities" therein.

    At the San Remo Conference of April 1920, the Allied Powers agreed that Britain, under the authority of the League of Nations, would be the Mandatory Power over Palestine. The League officially handed the Mandate for Palestine to Britain as a trust in London on 24 July 1922. The Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the Palestine Mandate; the twenty-eight articles of the Mandate stipulated how Palestine would be governed until, as everyone understood, the Jews were capable of "reconstituting their [Jewish] national home" – meaning the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. There was no mention of a "Palestinian" people in the Balfour Declaration or in the Palestine Mandate, since speaking about Palestine primarily meant everyone there. Everyone born there at the time – Jews, Muslims and Christians – were Palestinians; that was what was stamped on everyone's passport.

    From the time of the Balfour Declaration and the League's Mandate for Palestine until the UN Resolution 181 (1947), reference to "Palestine" meant land with a historic connection to the Jewish people. It was on this basis that the Jews' (Zionist) claim to reconstitute their national home was given legal recognition by the League, which the UN, as its successor, was legally bound to protect. Britain's record as the Mandatory Power in Palestine between the two world wars was nothing short of shameful. British administrators of the Colonial Office, sent to Palestine, devised policies limiting Jewish immigration and favoring Arabs, as the first of a series of decisions that undermined the primary objective solemnly pledged in the Balfour Declaration and incorporated into the Mandate.

    The subversion began with Sir Herbert Samuel, an English Jew, appointed the High Commissioner for Palestine in 1920, after the San Remo Conference. As the author William B. Ziff, documents in The Rape of Palestine – published in 1938 to the consternation of the British – Britain's "stiffing" of Jews under the specious policy of treating the demands of both Jews and Arabs "equally" was in effect deliberately prejudicial against Jews. The British historian of the Middle East, Elie Kedourie, born in Baghdad, Iraq, also documented inThe Chatham House Version (1970), how Samuel's policy, designed to conciliate Arabs, increasingly hurt Jews. Similarly, Pierre Van Paassen, a Dutch-American Unitarian minister, documented in The Forgotten Ally, (1943), the "stiffing" of Jews in Europe by the Western nations, and especially Britain as the Mandatory power in Palestine.

    Britain's perfidy over Palestine took root with the election in 1921 of a known felon, Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, a younger brother of the deceased Mufti (religious head) and known to be a rabble-rouser, as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini, despite the notoriety surrounding him, was the preferred candidate of Samuel for the position. The Grand Mufti, when World War II began, enthusiastically embraced the Third Reich, Hitler and his "Final Solution" for the Jews, and found his way to Nazi Berlin. The poisonousness of Samuel's choice of Amin al-Husseini as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, however, was exceeded by his role in creating the Emirate of Transjordan (present-day Kingdom of Jordan) at the expense of the Palestine Mandate. This was done at the behest of the Colonial Office under Winston Churchill, reputedly the most ardent English friend and supporter of Zionists, to appease Arabs.

    In 1922, the chunk of Palestine east of the River Jordan, amounting to about two-thirds of the Mandated territory, was sliced off and gifted to Abdullah, son of Sharif Hussein of Hejaz, under whose name the flag of the 1916 "Arab Revolt" against Ottoman rule was raised. After the 1922 partition of Palestine, which gave most of the land promised to the Jews to Transjordan, the substantially reduced Mandated territory remained only west of the River Jordan. Transjordan, as an Arab state, became closed to Jewish immigration. Consequently, the policy of allowing Jewish immigration, according to the formula of "absorptive capacity" adopted during Samuel's tenure in Palestine, turned increasingly restrictive. Arab opposition, with incitement to violence against Jews by the Mufti and his supporters, escalated, and Britain's appeasement of the Arabs became routine. The sordid legacy of Britain, as the Mandatory authority in Palestine, was the restriction of Jewish immigration from Europe when it turned out to be most urgently needed. As the desperation of European Jewry mounted after Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the response of the Western powers was completely to deny entrance to Jewish refugees who had started fleeing the Nazis.

    Finally, a meeting of the Western nations to consider the Jewish plight was called at the initiative of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Thirty-eight countries attended this meeting in July 1938, known as the Evian Conference, held in France. The Evian Conference was doomed even before it convened. Among the countries attending, not one – not even Canada, Argentina or Australia, with vast open spaces – was prepared to accept Jewish refugees from Austria and Germany. Even worse, the United States and Britain refused to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Hitler, while at the same time Britain also prohibited Jews from entering Palestine. The Evian Conference was the last gasp of Western powers to lend assistance to a people threatened with extinction by their enemies. The spectacle of the Evian Conference as a charade, according to the historian Robert Wistrich, could only have firmed the resolve of Hitler to proceed with his plans for the "Final Solution." In his book, Hitler and the Holocaust, Wistrich wrote:

    "If Nazi Germany could no longer expect to export, sell, or expel its Jews to an indifferent world that plainly did not want them, then perhaps they would have to do something even more drastic."

    After the defeat of the Nazis, and after their crimes against Jews were no longer disputed or hidden, the Western powers, through the UN, could have established Israel, as justice demanded, in what was left of the Palestine Mandate on the entire territory west of the River Jordan. But the subsequent history of Palestine, approached by the Western powers with a second partition under the UN resolution of November 1947, turned out predictably as sordid as that of the Mandate under Britain's supervision during the period 1922-48. The Arab states, in failing to achieve their objective of defeating Israel during the 1948-67 period, adopted the unconventional means of jihadi terrorism backed by the repeated broadcast of the "big lie" that the Western nations, or Christendom, willfully accepted. The "big lie" is that the "Palestinians," as a people under a supposed "occupation" by Israel – to which the Arabs hadagreed in the Oslo II Accord (section: Land) – deserve a state of their own.

    The state for the "Palestinian" people (Muslims and Christians) in two-thirds of Palestine was created arbitrarily by Britain in creating Transjordan in 1922. The "two-state" solution in Palestine therefore has been in existence for the past ninety-five years. For the past nine decades and more, however, Arabs and Muslims, with 56 Muslim states in the OIC, have been waging jihad to destroy the one and only state of the Jews. And Christendom, as if oblivious of its own shameful past history of anti-Semitism, has even more shamefully supported the falsification of history. The first time it was done by UNESCO, in calling ancient Biblical sites (including Jerusalem) Islamic, when Islam did not even exist at the time. Now, with UN Security Council Resolution 2334, the UN, with the enthusiastic manipulations of U.S. President Barack Obama and the backing of most European leaders, is complicit in this jihad against Israel.

    The Muslim Colonists: Forgotten Facts about the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    by Ezequiel Doiny, August 15, 2014 at 4:45 am, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4611/muslim-colonists

    The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not "occupiers" or "settlers;" neither are the Jews in Israel. They are both victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

    The current Palestinian narrative is that all Muslims in Palestine are natives and all Jews are settlers. This narrative is false. There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome two thousand years ago, and, as we will see, most of the Muslims living in Palestine when the state of Israel was declared in 1948 were Muslim colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled and living in Palestine for fewer than 60 years.

    There are two important historical events usually overlooked in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    One is the use that Muslim rulers made of the jizya (a discriminatory tax imposed only on non-Muslims, to "protect" them from being killed or having their property destroyed) to reduce the quantity of Jews living in Palestine before the British Mandate was instituted in 1922. The second were the incentives by the Ottoman government to relocate displaced Muslim populations from other parts of the Ottoman Empire in Palestine.

    Until the late 1800s entire ancient Jewish communities had to flee Palestine to escape the brutality of Muslim authorities. As Egyptian historian Bat Ye'or writes in her book, The Dhimmi:

    "The Jizya was paid in a humiliating public ceremony in which the non-Muslim while paying was struck in the head. If these taxes were not paid women and children were reduced to slavery, men were imprisoned and tortured until a ransom was paid for them. The Jewish communities in many cities under Muslim Rule was ruined for such demands. This custom of legalized financial abuses and extortion shattered the indigenous pre-Arab populations almost totally eliminating what remained of its peasantry... In 1849 the Jews of Tiberias envisaged exile because of the brutality, exactions, and injustice of the Muslim authorities. In addition to ordinary taxes, an Arab Sheik that ruled Hebron demanded that Jews pay an extra five thousand piastres annually for the protections of their lives and property. The Sheik threatened to attack and expel them from Hebron if it was not paid."

    The Muslim rulers not only kept the number of Jews low through discriminatory taxes, they also increased the Muslim population by providing incentives for Muslim colonists to settle in the area. Incentives included free land, 12 years exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.

    Bat Ye'or continues:

    "By the early 1800s the Arab population in Palestine was very little (just 246,000) it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s that most Muslim Colonists settled in Palestine because of incentives by the Ottoman Government to resettle displaced Muslim populations because of events such as the Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War and World War 1. Those events created a great quantity of Muslim Refugees that were resettled somewhere else in the Ottoman Empire... In 1878 an Ottoman law granted lands in Palestine to Muslim colonists. Muslim colonists from Crimea and the Balkans settled in Anatolia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine."

    Justin McCarthy, a professor of history at the University of Louisville, writing in his Annotated Map, "Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire," also notes that there were about five million Muslims displaced due to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War, Balkan wars, the Turkish war of independence and World War I.

    Sergio DellaPergola, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his paper "Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications," provides estimates of the population of Palestine in different periods. As the demographic data below shows, most Muslims living in Palestine in 1948 when the State of Israel was created had been living there for fewer than 60 years:

    1890: Arab Population 432,000

    1947: Arab Population 1,181,000

    Growth in Arab population from 1890 to 1947: 800,000

    The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not "settlers" and "occupiers;" neither are the Jews in Israel. They are victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

    The surrounding 22 Arab countries are 640 times larger than tiny Israel yet they expect Israel to turn over all the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and half of Jerusalem... territory the Arabs lost after they started the 1967 war!  


    a. 3 miles wide here
    b. Golan Heights
    c. Sea of Galilee
    d. Jordan River
    ... Sea of Galilee
         to Dead Sea

    e. 1967 "Green Line"
    ... the 1949
         armistice lines separating
         Israel from its heartland of
         Judea-Samaria when Jordanian
         forces illegally annexed it. After the
         1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel
          regained that land... at which time
          the world began referring to Judea and
          Samaria as the "West Bank" in order to
          try to erase any Jewish connection
          to this historically Jewish land!

    f.  9 miles wide here
    g. Tel Aviv
    h. Jerusalem
    i.  Dead Sea
    j.  Gaza Strip

    History, Reality and Prophecy
    Friday, December 07, 2012
    Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

    Israel promised to respond to the UN General Assembly's recognition of Palestine as a state, in violation of the Oslo Agreement, by building an additional 3,000 settlement units on land claimed by the Palestinians.

    This immediately prompted cries from the Arab League-dominated UN about Israel's "expansionist" policies requiring immediate UN intervention. The UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders.

    If they are pre-1967 borders, then what does that mean? It means the borders which existed prior to the Six Days War, which means the borders as they existed in 1948.

    Let's fire up the WayBack Machine and revisit how the State of Israel came to be in the first place.

    During the First World War, Turkey supported Germany against the Allies, so when Germany was defeated, so were the Turks. The Ottoman Empire was broken up via the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided up the former Empire into Western zones of influence.

    Lebanon and Syria were mandated over to France. What is today known as Jordan and Israel (including the West Bank) was mandated to Great Britain.

    Since no other people had established a homeland in the region since the Jews had been expelled by the Romans 2000 years earlier, the British government "looked favorably" upon the establishment of a Jewish homeland on their ancestral territory of Palestine. (Israel, West Bank, Gaza, Jordan).

    In 1917, Lord Balfour issued what is known to history as "The Balfour Declaration":

    "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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."

    Everything would have probably proceeded forward from this point without a hitch . . . except there was one. A big one that neither the Europeans nor the Americans could ignore. As Winston Churchill wrote in 1922:

    "In both Houses of Parliament there is growing movement of hostility, against Zionist policy in Palestine. . ."

    "Zionist policy . . ." -- what does that mean? What is a "Zionist?"

    A Zionist is one that believes in a national homeland for the Jews. Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in response to the violent persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe, anti-Semitism in Western Europe.

    Zionists recognize the historical reality of Jewish persecution and agree with the Jews that without a national homeland, there is nothing to prevent more pogroms, persecutions and genocidal terror being perpetrated against the Jewish people.

    And more than that, a Zionist recognizes that the reason for the pogroms, persecutions and genocide is because they are Jews. Zionism recognizes that Jew-hatred is blind, unreasoning and deadly.

    And so, the "Zionist policy" objected to by Churchill and the Parliament was the establishment of a homeland for the Jews as a defense against persecution.

    In 1923, the British reneged on their promise and divided the Palestine portion of the Ottoman Empire into two administrative districts, with everything east of the Jordan going to the Arabs and everything west of the Jordan for the Jews.

    In effect, the British had "chopped off" 75% of the originally proposed Jewish Palestinian homeland to form an Arab Palestinian nation called Trans-Jordan (meaning "across the Jordan River").

    The territory east of the Jordan River was given to Emir Abdullah (from Hejaz, now Saudi Arabia) who was not even a "Palestinian". This portion of Palestine was renamed Trans-Jordan. Trans-Jordan would later be renamed "Jordan".

    So the eastern 3/4 of Palestine would be renamed TWICE, in effect, erasing all connection to the name "Palestine". The remaining 25% of Palestine (now WEST of the Jordan River) was to be the Jewish Palestinian homeland.

    In 1947 the UN passed Resolution 181 partitioning the remaining 25% of the Jewish mandate into a Jewish partition and an Arab partition. The Jewish Palestinians accepted 12.5% of the Balfour Mandate gratefully. The Arabs rejected the 1947 Plan (which would have resulted in the creation of a Palestinian state sixty-five years ago).

    Israel declared independence on its 12.5% of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948.

    The next day, the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen attacked.

    (It is worth noting that all of those Arab states were also created by the same British authority out of the Ottoman Empire following WWI, only years AFTER the 1917 Balfour Declaration.)

    Arabs living inside the newly declared State of Israel were encouraged to leave by the invaders to keep them out of the crossfire.

    Once the Arab Legions had eliminated the Jews, the displaced Arabs could return and reclaim their own property, plus whatever the Jews left behind.

    (Similar to what actually did occur fifty-eight years later when Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza in 2005.)

    Some 70% of the Arabs living in the new state of Israel fled. Not because they feared the Jewish army, but because it was a good deal. Avoid the war, stay out of the crossfire, and be rewarded with the spoils of war for staying safe.

    Those that did not flee are today full citizens of the State of Israel, with the same civil rights as Jews, including Arab representation at the Knesset.

    The borders as they existed in 1948 (essentially pre-1967) puts the Palestinians in possession of East Jerusalem, the Old City, all of Gaza, and all of the West Bank, leaving Israel almost cut in half at the center.

    What would have been the Palestinian State under the UN Partition Plan was immediately occupied by Egypt and Jordan. Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip and Trans-Jordan occupied the land west of the Jordan River (Biblical Judea and Samaria) all the way to Jerusalem.

    In 1950, Trans-Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and since it was no longer divided by the Jordan River, renamed itself Jordan and extended Jordanian citizenship to those Arabs living in the West Bank.

    What about those Arabs that fled to neighboring Arab countries to await the destruction of the Jews? Their Arab brothers interned them in concentration camps that they renamed "refugee camps" and kept them there for sixty-five years.

    The Jordanians that lived in the West Bank after 1950 never petitioned Jordan for a homeland -- and Jordan never offered. Instead, they "discovered" in 1964 that they were really an ancient people called "Palestinians" rather than Jordanians.

    (The total lack of evidence of any prior Palestinian indigenous people, Palestinian language, culture, history or unique national characteristics notwithstanding.)

    Led by an Egyptian Arab named Yasser Arafat they formed the PLO, which was dedicated to creating a "Palestinian" homeland. Of course, at the time, they had one -- they were Jordanians!

    In 1967, the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria massed for another invasion of Israel aimed at driving the Jews into the sea. Instead, Israel soundly defeated the invaders, pushing Egypt out of Israel and back inside its own territory and pushing Jordan back across the Jordan River.

    That left Israel in possession of Gaza and the West Bank. Now the Jews occupied 1/640 of the total land mass of the Arab world and were only outnumbered fifty to one.

    Thus began Israel's "brutal occupation" -- an occupation so brutal that Israeli-Arabs in East Jerusalem voted against being ruled by the Palestinian Authority, preferring to stay under Israeli jurisdiction. Evidently, freedom trumps Arab nationalism.

    There is a lesson in there, somewhere.

    Consider the situation as it actually exists, devoid of the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Arab world (and a significant portion of mainstream Western Christianity).

    From 1948 to 1967, Egypt ruled Gaza, Syria ruled the Golan Heights, while Jordan ruled the West Bank. They could have set up independent Arab-Palestinian states in any or all of those territories, but they didn't even consider it.

    Instead, in 1967 they used the Golan Heights, Gaza and the West bank to launch a war that was unambiguously aimed at destroying Israel, which is how Israel came into possession of those territories in the first place.

    The historical reality is that, if there is a Palestinian State, it would be Jordan, since Jordan accounts for 75% of the British Mandate of Palestine. The "Palestinians" living in the West Bank could have had an independent state sixty-five years ago, but their goal wasn't independence.

    It was NEVER independence. The goal was and is the destruction of the Jewish State. In every instance where they were offered some measure of independence, they used that independence to attack Israel.

    The fact is, until Yasser Arafat invented a Palestinian people, the Palestinians were the Jews!

    The Middle East Conflict was always a war by Arabs against Jews, not a conflict between Israelis and "Palestinians". The war was repackaged as a conflict between Jews and Palestinians as a public relations gimmick in the early 1970's.

    The Palestinians were a regional group of Arabs having virtually no cultural nor national distinctive traits separating them from Syrians, Lebanese, and Jordanians. The bulk of what are called "Palestinian Arabs" are members of families who migrated into the Land of Israel beginning in the late 19th century.

    Palestinian nationalism is a reinvented version of Arab nationalism. Arab nationalism exists, although it is closely bound up with Islamic nationalism and even Islamism. Palestinian nationalism, however, is a phantom. The Arab assaults and aggressions against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1968, and 1973 had nothing to do with Palestinians.

    They were wars of annihilation launched against Israel by the Arabs; Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. -- not a 'Palestinian' in the woodpile.

    Having been defeated in every instance, the Arab world focused on using the "Palestinians" as a fifth column inside Israel to facilitate the eventual annihilation of the Jewish State.

    Returning to the present, Israel's intention to build 3000 apartment units on land claimed by the "Palestinians" prompted UN Secretary Ban ki-Moon to declare the decision would deal "an almost fatal blow" to the peace process.

    Is he kidding??

    The fatal blow was dealt when the United Nations recognized Palestine, thereby CREATING a failed state where no state existed. Is Gaza part of Palestine? Is it not ruled by a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction?

    The Palestinian Authority is led by Mahmoud Abbas, a co-founder of Arafat's Fatah Party and the PLO. He was elected in 2005 for a four year term, which expired in 2009. The Palestinian Authority feared defeat by Hamas and so they simply canceled elections, allowing Abbas to rule by decree.

    Consequently, based on the actual rules of democracy, Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction, is the only legitimately elected leader of the newly recognized Palestinian State.

    So, you see how insane all this is in the natural. It has no equal in modern history, and certainly no equal in the history of the United Nations.

    Never has a failed non-state entity without a legitimate government and dedicated to the principles of terrorism been offered recognition of statehood without it having, A) an actual indigenous people, B) a functioning economy, C) a functioning legal system, and D) or one that was carved out of, and over the objections of, an existing member state.

    Who Is Being "Intransigent"?

    July 9, 2012 ,  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3155/who-is-being-intransigent

    Forty-five years after the Six Day War, declassified transcripts were released this June of the Israeli cabinet and government committee meetings in the days after war that ended on June 10, 1967. The documents provide a breathtaking insight into the efforts of Israeli leaders to reach a peace settlement with the countries and groups which had been at war with Israel. The evidence of the hard work and the varied opinions on the part of the Israeli ministers, all eager to reach a peace treaty and an understanding with the Palestinians and Arab states, presents a revealing contrast to the long-term refusal of the Arab parties to come to the negotiating table -- an attitude that was reiterated at the summit meeting of the Arab League on September 1, 1967 in Khartoum, Sudan. As has now been revalidated by the declassified transcripts, the Israelis were ready to negotiate land for peace; the Arab leaders instead issued their statement of the three "nos:" no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel -- an unconditionally negative position taken by Arab leaders that still persists.

    The Arab and Palestinian intransigence, the refusal to accept a peace agreement, has a long history and is all too familiar. In 1922 the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine was officially established. Under it a Jewish Agency, set up in 1929, and composed of representatives of world Jewry, would assist the British administration in establishing the Jewish National Home in Palestine. The Jewish Agency then organized an infrastructure of political and social institutions that became the basis for the state of Israel. The Arabs refused the offer to create a similar Agency.

    In 1922 the Arab leaders who refused to participate with the Jews in any plan or in a joint legislature, in which anyone other than the Arabs would have been the majority; rejected the proposal for a Palestinian Constitution with a Legislative Council in which the Arabs would have formed the majority, and boycotted the election for the Council.

    In 1937 the Arab Higher Committee rejected the idea of two states, first officially proposed by the British Peel Commission Report. The Report had recommended a Jewish state in about 20 percent of Palestine, about 5,000 square kilometers, while most of the rest was to be under Arab sovereignty. The Report also suggested a transfer of land and an exchange of population between the two states. The Peel Commission Report was accepted, in principle, by the Jewish Agency, even though it meant that the Jewish state would be a small one, but it was totally rejected by the Arab Higher Committee, which called for a single state in all of Palestine.

    In 1939, in the last attempt before World War II, to reach some agreement, the British Colonial Secretary organized a Round Table Conference in London that February. Failure was inevitable: the representatives of the five Arab states and the Arabs in Mandatory Palestine who were present refused any direct contact or discussion with the Jewish representatives -- even to sit in the same room with them.

    The Arabs also refused to accept United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181(II) of November 29, 1947, which adopted the recommendation of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) that Western Palestine -- the area outside of Jordan -- be partitioned into two states, one Jewish, one Arab, with an internationalized Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, or separate body. The Jewish state would have about 55 percent of the area, but not the historic areas of Judea and Samaria. The Resolution was accepted by the Jewish leaders, but rejected by the Palestinian Arabs and by six of the seven member states -- Jordan being the exception -- of the Arab League, which at that time had replaced the League of Arab States.

    Arab refusal to enter into peace negotiations persists to this day, inflexible as ever. The Palestinians decline to enter into negotiations with Israel unless Israel first accepts the "pre-1967 borders" (borders that have never existed; they are merely the armistice line of where the fighting stopped in 1949), agrees to Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, and ends all construction in areas acquired by Israel as a result of the 1967 war.

    In the Six Day War of June 1967, Israel achieved a remarkably rapid victory over its Arab opponents; it left Israel in control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, Gaza which had been ruled by Egypt, the Jordan River, the Suez Canal, and the West Bank, so named by Jordan which had "annexed" the area despite almost unanimous international disapproval.

    The Israeli documents just released also show among Israeli leaders a startling readiness to compromise, which contrasts with the total disinclination of Arabs and Palestinians to compromise. The documents show clearly that, while there were acute differences among the Israelis about the fate of the territories captured in 1967, almost all Israelis were eager to trade land for peace.

    The discussions and proposals were not initially intended to be policy proposals; they were directives to Israel's Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, who was participating in New York in the Special Session of the UN General Assembly, called to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict. The ministerial discussions have to be put in the context of Israeli concern about any UN action after the memory of at least two issues. The first occurred when Israel was forced to withdraw from the Sinai after the Suez war of 1956 and had to rely there on United States guarantees and the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), which proved ineffective. The second was the speedy compliance in May 1967 of U Thant, Secretary–General of the UN, without the required approval of the UN General Assembly, to accede to Nasser's demand that the UNEF troops in the Sinai be withdrawn. The Israeli ministers feared that pressure would again be exerted on the state as in 1956 and May 1967, leaving Israel vulnerable.

    It is also relevant that the Israeli government was a unity one under Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, and included members of Gahal (Menachem Begin and Yosef Safir) and the Rafi party (Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan). Not surprisingly, there were strong differences of opinion on the issues of security, borders, refugees, and water -- all of which prevented agreement.

    Consensus was reached, however, on some issues. First, Israel should withdraw from captured territories only if the Arab states agreed to make peace and end the boycott of Israel. Most important, Israel would return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for either a peace treaty or strong security guarantees. The Israeli cabinet also agreed that east Jerusalem would not be returned to Jordan, which had ruled it; that Egypt had no greater claim to Gaza than Israel had, and that Jordan had no greater claim to the West Bank than Israel had, as all three countries had acquired the areas through war.

    Some ministers thought that the demand for peace treaties was unrealistic. In the desperate effort to find positions that would both lead to negotiation and also also protect the state of Israel, they grappled with a variety of contradictory alternatives: control over the Gaza Strip, freedom of navigation in the Strait of Tiran; demilitarization of the Sinai and of the Golan Heights; control of the sources of the Jordan River; rule over the West Bank; end of any Israeli rule in the West Bank; military rule during a transition period; and self-rule for the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank while Israel still concerns itself with foreign affairs and national security.

    Although there were differences on the issues of the destiny of the West Bank, and on whether peace treaties should be based on international frontiers, ministers all spoke of peace with security arrangements. The positive answer to the security issue was finally approved by a majority of one, 10 to 9: it was decided that a peace agreement should ensure freedom of navigation in the Strait of Tiran, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Suez Canal; the freedom of flight over them, and the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula.

    The formula agreed to by unanimity on June 19, 1967 was that "Israel proposes the conclusion of peace treaties with Egypt and Syria on the basis of the international frontiers and Israel's security needs." This proposal was presented to both Egypt and Syria, but no positive response came from either. Instead, the Arab Summit leaders at Khartoum announced on September 1, 1967 the three "nos."

    As a result of Khartoum, Prime Minister Eshkol wrote a month later, "I doubt whether the government would approve the decision of June 19 exactly as it stands." In view of the continuing Arab leaders' refusal to negotiate, the decision did indeed become invalid.

    What these newly released Israeli documents show in dramatic fashion is the eagerness of all the Israeli leaders, no matter how they differed on specific issues, to reach peace agreements with their Arab neighbors. If there is any hope for peace at this time among the Palestinians, they might wish to reconsider.

    Israeli Settlements an Obstacle to Peace?

    July 23, 2012 at 4:30 am, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3184/israeli-settlements-obstacle-to-peace

    The settlements  occupy less than three percent of the area of the West Bank, and have a population of about 300,000 there, another 20,000 in the Golan Heights, and 190,000 in east Jerusalem, Israel's capital. The immediate problem is the question of who can legitimately claim sovereignty over the disputed areas of east Jerusalem and the "West Bank," a term coined by Jordan when it controlled the area from 1949 until 1967. For over four centuries, these areas were provinces of the Turkish Ottoman Empire; after that, from 1922 until 1948, they were ruled by Britain under the Mandate given it by the League of Nations. The areas have never been under any Arab sovereignty.

    Jordan declared it had "annexed" the West Bank after the 1948-49 War. Only two countries, Pakistan and Britain, ever recognized that claim; and Britain only de facto, not by full legal recognition. The Palestinians have never had a political state of their own and, when offered the opportunity by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1947, refused to create one. The Golan Heights, about 400 square miles, was ceded to Syria by a Franco-British agreement.

    The boundaries of "Palestine," and the decision about the exercise of sovereign power over it, remain to be determined in an overall peace settlement, as agreed to by all parties concerned in the UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967. As the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were unallocated parts of the British Mandate, the land held by Israel since the 1967 was determined not to be the accepted legal territory of any particular people or country. Moreover, Jewish settlement in the West Bank was never seen as an intrusion into alien territory as a result of war, nor as a violation of international agreements -- either of which would have made settlements illegal.

    International law gives no clear answer on the issue of Israeli settlements. The Fourth Geneva Convention does forbid government deportation or "individual or mass forcible transfers" of population into territory it occupies. This Convention was formulated because of the activities during World War II of the Nazi regime, and by inference the Soviet Union, in transferring population into occupied territory for political or racial reasons, or for colonization. As a result of those activities, millions were subjected to forced migration, expulsion, slave labor, and extermination. On this issue two factors are pertinent. One is that Israeli governments have not aimed at any displacement of the population in any of the disputed areas. The other is that neither the Geneva Convention nor any other law prevents the establishment of voluntary settlements on an individual basis, nor on their location, if the underlying purpose is security, public order, or safety, and as long as the settlements do not involve taking private property. It is absurd to suggest that the state of Israel "deported" or "transferred" its own citizens to the territories.

    This conclusion was buttressed by a report, in July 2012, of the independent Israeli three-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, which held that the classic laws of "occupation" do not apply to "the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria spanning over decades." The committee held that consequently Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria, and that the establishment of settlements is not illegal.

    Israel's Arab Settlements 
    [rightsidenews.com, 1/6/10]

    While the media and politicians wail over Israeli settlements and revisionist historians pen narratives in which Israel's entire history comes down to a plot to seize Arab land (following in the footsteps of how their American counterparts have reinterpreted US history)... very little is said of Israel's Arab settlements.

    But Arab settlements in Israel far outweigh Jewish ones and have far less legitimate roots. Consider East Jerusalem, which Obama and the EU are insisting should be reserved for Arab residency alone. East Jerusalem does indeed have a solid Arab majority because in 1948 the armies of seven Arab nations invaded Israel and occupied half of Jerusalem, dividing it as their Soviet allies divided Berlin, and ethnically cleansed its Jewish population. Jewish places of worship in East Jerusalem were bombed or turned into mosques and toilets, even the dead were not allowed to rest in peace as their tombstones were used to pave roads. Jewish homes were seized by Arabs and East Jerusalem became wholly Arab.

    This is the situation that Obama and the EU are fighting to perpetuate by banning any Jewish housing in the eastern half of the now united Jerusalem. This is what every government that refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is legitimizing by rewarding the ethnic cleansing practiced by the Jordanian Legion and the Holy War Army (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) of the nephew of Nazi collaborating Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad al-Husayni.

    And then there are the so-called Israeli settlements of Gaza, Judea and Samaria-- which indeed were built on territory that Israel captured from Egypt and Jordan in 1967, after Egypt and Jordan had captured the territory in 1948, destroying Jewish villages on the territory in the process. Some Jewish villages like Kfar Darom suffered the fate of being destroyed twice over, once by the Arab occupation armies in 1948, to be reestablished and again destroyed by Fatah's terrorist militias after Israel agreed to ethnically cleanse its own population from Gaza to appease Arab terrorism.

    That is the truth behind the so-called Israeli Settlements issue, but it is not by any means the whole truth. Because the UN, the EU and the State Department have only applied the term "settlements" to Jewish towns and villages, never Arab ones, regardless of their legality. This double standard that is defined purely by ethnicity and religion, and by no other factor whatsoever, represents the real international Apartheid that targets Jews for ethnic cleansing to the benefit of Arab Muslims.

    That means that the Arab Muslim seizure of land for the creation of settlements has been mostly unregulated and is widespread. Not only that it's often aided and abetted by foreign activists who regularly come to "help" Arab villagers harvest olives. In reality this is often a charade in which those same villagers have marked the territory by planting on the land of Jewish villages nearby, resulting in calculated clashes that are broken up by soldiers and police, and filmed by the same activists resulting in international condemnations. To avoid those condemnations, Israel eventually seizes the land from the Jewish farmers and turns it over to the Arab villagers. This only sets the stage for the next stage of the clashes, recreating in a microcosm the entire "peace process", in which terrorism results in concessions, which results in more terrorism and more concessions, creating the cycle of appeasement and terrorism that has bedeviled Israel and most of the First World when dealing with Islam.

    Those same left wing activists, most notably groups such as Peace Now and Rabbis for Human Rights, go on to destroy and damage the land of Jewish farmers. When the farmers attempt to defend their land, the activists videotape the resulting encounter and the farmers are arrested. At which point the land can be easily seized while its owners are tied up by the legal system. Attempting to reestablish ownership then becomes next to impossible in a political system constantly afraid of international condemnation and in a legal system controlled by the Anti-Israel left all the way up to the Supreme Court, which actually refused to seat a Justice for being too conservative.

    And in the process Arab settlements continue to expand on land that they casually appropriate, whether from public domain lands under the authority of the Israel Land Administration or from that of farmers and villages who own the land. Arab villages and towns routinely expand into public lands, fouling water sources and seizing property they do not own, and then defying the government to do anything about it. And while the government occasionally issues a demolition order, then braces itself for the rioting and the international condemnations, these orders constitute only a fraction of the illegal Arab construction.

    While Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states fund Arab land purchases, similar Jewish ventures, such as Irving Moskowitz's developments in Jerusalem meet with aggressive opposition from the EU and the State Department. Once again the double standard is all too clear and it promotes the growth of Arab towns and houses, at the expense of Jewish ones.

    The media, whether the international media, or the Israeli media, which is just as left wing as its American and European counterparts, naturally report the Arab side of the story. The culture of demonization they have created toward Jewish farmers and residents helps justify the terrorist attacks aimed at them. Every time the media reports on the victims of a Muslim terrorist attack as "settlers", the labeling of Jewish residents as subhuman continues.

    Israel's left wing parties have sold much of the secular public on the idea that the "settlers" are the problem. This conveniently allows them to ignore the fact that on Arabs maps and in the Islamic lexicon, all Israeli Jews are settlers, regardless of which side of the demarcation line they happen to be living on. Since non-Muslims cannot live in a Muslim land except by agreeing to become Dhimmis and paying Jizya, under Islamic law no Jews, aside from a handful of collaborators who recognize the area as an Islamic ruled state like the Neturei Karta have any right to live anywhere in Israel.

    When Zionist activists opposed to the Oslo Peace Process shouted that Hevron is Jerusalem in the early 90's, they were laughed at. Today Jerusalem is indeed Hevron, the new slogan should be that Tel Aviv is Hevron, because any dividing lines of legitimacy exist only as a diplomatic fiction. The idea that Muslims are any more reconciled to 1948 than they are to 1967, and that returning to 1948 will somehow win their friendship is the worst form of political and diplomatic delusion. But it is the dominant policy of the EU and successive American and Israeli governments.

    As a result Israel is shrinking and Arab settlement is expanding. The settlement freeze enacted under pressure from Obama has frozen the ability of Jewish residents to build and expand homes, even those already mortgaged and under construction. But Barak has gone even further by barring Jewish residents from planting trees. Jewish residents pay 28 shekels for a cubic meter of water. Arab residents pay less than 50 agorot (cents). The result is that Jewish residents are being charged up to 50 times more for water. And water is the lifeblood of farming in a generally arid part of the world.

    Since Oslo elements within the Israeli political system, aided and abetted by foreign funding from the likes of Soros, have been on a crusade to wipe out Jewish towns and villages in order to destroy the conservative and Zionist parts of the country. The resulting quiet civil war in which hundreds of thousands of Jewish villagers have been pitted against the machinery of government bureaucracy, the judicial system and various left wing activist groups, has only further increased Arab settlements, at the expense of Jewish ones.

    Every institution that was once intended to promote Jewish residency, has instead been transformed into a hostile force that aids and abets Arab settlement, and works against Jewish settlement. Case in point, the Jewish National Fund which normally refuses to plant trees outside the Green Line around areas of Jewish residency, is donating 3,000 trees for Rawabi, a new Palestinian Authority Fatah city set in a strategic location.

    While inspectors march around every Jewish town looking for signs that anyone has lifted up a hammer to bang in a nail on a door, Arab construction is continuing non-stop, including on places like Rawabi, an Arab settlement meant to house 40,000. And while Tony Blair repeatedly warned Israel against building Jewish settlements, he himself visited the headquarters of the Bayti Real Estate Investment Company that is constructing Rawabi. Bayti is co-owned by the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which is itself owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, which is an arm of the Government of Qatar.

    Qatar is an oil rich gulf dictatorship that is one of the biggest funders of Hamas and Al Queda. It is likely that Hamas and Al Queda would have serious trouble continuing their operations without money from Qatar. It is an Islamist Sharia paradise much like the rest of its gulf neighbors and it funds Jihad around the world.

    Rawabi is another expression of the international Islamic Jihad, which in this case takes the form of demographic warfare through Arab settlement. Gulf State construction companies such as the Bin Laden group are tools for promoting Islamic expansionism. And JNF's gestire of appeasement is another example of how Israel's institutions continue to collaborate with Arab settlement, even as they restrict Jewish settlement.

     The global double standard treats Israel's Jewish residents as foreign invaders who must be expelled, despite the fact that the Jewish presence in the land is a matter of record in virtually every major world religion, while treating the Arabs, many of whom came to the area from Egypt after the British conquest and Jewish immigration created jobs, as indigenous natives who have every right to be there.

    This form of political ethnic cleansing has become the de facto narrative, rooted in double talk about settlements and terrorism. But to treat Jewish towns and villages as illegitimate and working to destroy them, while encouraging the construction of Arab towns and villages means that talk of "settlements" and "settlement freezes" is nothing more than an international apartheid and the Islamist agenda dressed up in seemingly reasonable talk. Until Israel's Arab settlements are on the table, as much as Israel's are, the only thing that Israel can do is reject this international mandate for ethnic cleansing.


    We’re not going anywhere
    Sara K. Eisen -- Published: 06.09.10, 17:33 / Israel Opinion

    Here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about poor Helen Thomas, who I believe was probably just saying what everyone thinks and has therefore been made a scapegoat. Not that I really care, because we ought to share the scapegoat status once in a while. It’s the least we can do to dispel the stereotype that we are stingy, us irritating Jews.
    Helen, you know why we were in Germany and much of Eastern Europe in the first place? (And by the way, if I follow your advice, do you think the nice old ladies who got my grandmothers’ large houses and farms from the Nazis in what was once Czechoslovakia will kick the property back two generations? That would be cool because I’d love a vineyard and an agricultural estate.)
    We were in Germany and Hungary and Czechoslovakia and Russia (where we were regularly just plain killed by Cossacks), and also, for many centuries, Poland (ditto), because we were told to get the hell out of England, France, and Spain. (Or, you know, just plain killed by handsome and heroic fairytale knights.)

    And you know why we were in Western Europe to begin with? Because we were told by the Greeks and the Romans – wait for it – to get the hell out of “Palestine,” where we had been living since the beginning of recorded history.
    We also ended up in Babylonia (Iraq) and other Middle Eastern and North African countries, where we stayed as second class citizens for hundreds and hundreds of years, till the Arab world finally caught up with the pagans and the Christians in their hatred of the Jews. Amazing how the student has now far surpassed the teacher. But I digress.
    In any event, there is no way around it: Jews being asked (usually not by old ladies on the White House lawn) to get the hell out of anywhere and everywhere is just the way it goes.
    Persona non grata in East Europe So it came to pass that about 200 years BCE the Macabees got sick of it and established a Jewish state in Palestine, within the Roman Empire, which lasted till about the time of Jesus (another Pesky Jew) and the destruction of the Second Temple.
    And it also came to pass that Jewish settlers began arriving in Ottoman Palestine in the late 1800s, after the Russians and the Poles made it clear that Jews were persona non grata in Eastern Europe. Palestine was as good a place as any to escape to, since it was the last place, about 2000 years before, that the Jews had a sovereign state (see above). Never mind Jewish liturgy and texts pining for Jerusalem, since I know these are inadmissible in the international courts of the mind.
    Anyway, nowhere else wanted European Jews any more than Russia did, not even America really, where there were very strict quotas, although the Americans, again politely, refrained from all the messy European killing, which was apparently in vogue until after Hitler. Besides, those Ottoman Turks, as now, were known around the world for their amazing human rights activism and the Jews were excited to see it firsthand. (No, not really. But…they were better than the Polish peasants. Unless you were Armenian.)
    But when the Jews came back to Land of Israel, it was suddenly necessary, once again, to tell them to get the hell out. There was no living side by side, even though that was an express Jewish desire right up until 1947/8, when the Partition Plan was summarily rejected by the Arab League, who started the war that Israel won. If keeping land you win in a war others provoke (when you wanted to make peace) is called occupation, Helen, the world’s axis of furious justice has a lot bigger fish to fry than Israel.
    The Arab desire to kick the Jews the hell out of Palestine did not begin in 1967, and not in 1948. It began the moment the initial groups of Jews arrived and started to make the land flower and produce crops. The Hebron Massacre of 1929, where marauding Arabs killed nearly 70 Jews and wounded countless others, took place long before a single house was built over the Green Line.
    At any rate, it seems that every time a Jewish minority starts to make a society too successful – so annoying!!!! – the indigenous people start to feel very uncomfortable, and tell them one way or another to get the hell out.
    Nowhere left for us to go But now, alas, there is nowhere left for us to go, except the eternal place Ahmadinejad wants us to go, and Haniyeh and Nasrallah, and Hitler before them, and Khmelnitsky before him, and Haman before him, and so on. And, I suspect, in her heart of hearts, perhaps Thomas and the likes of her, who, the pesky Jew Freud may have observed, seriously let her slip show.
    Let me make it clear: I know that Israel has made mistakes over its 62 years, some clumsy and inept (was there no intelligence regarding the terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara?!?), and some borderline immoral. But none worse than every other democracy on earth has also done, and most much better than the large majority of the UN rogue nations which condemn Israel daily have done…daily.
    But let’s be honest: the international community’s human rights crusades on behalf of the Palestinians are just the latest Crusades, and the ones who really suffer are not the Jews or the Israelis but the poor occupants of the Third World who are ignored while the enlightened First World castigates the Jews… and yes, of course, the Palestinians, who are kept in misery by their own leadership in order to provide the polite Jew haters with a media club to beat them with.
    So here’s the thing: We are not going anywhere this time, Helen. We totally get it: Ya’ll pretty much hate us. It’s just the way it is, like a natural law.
    Nothing we can do – not giving away pieces of Palestine/Israel (witness our evacuation of Gaza in 2005, and handing over the keys to army bases and greenhouses- a new economy! Food for the children! – which were summarily torched as property of the infidels); not donating billions annually to global charity, nor discovering a cure for Polio or the Theory of Relativity, or writing revered legal and religious texts, or co-founding Google, or manufacturing the microprocessor in the majority of laptops that spew Jew hatred to the Internet, or founding Christianity itself, or championing women’s rights and gay rights in the US and helping to bring about a human rights revolution in America in the 60’s. None of those things will absolve us of our real sin: Existing and overcoming.
    I’m really sorry they told you to get the hell out of the White House, Helen. It really wasn’t your fault that you thought you could say what you said. It’s not like it’s a secret: That’s what people think.
    But this time, seriously. Getting the hell out is not in the cards. We’re just sick of moving all the time.
    I know. Irritating.

    The Israelis know that the Jews have lived in the land of Israel without interruption for nearly 4,000 years. They know that, except for a short Crusader kingdom, they are the only people who have had independent sovereignty on this land. And they are the only people for whom Jerusalem has been their capital.

    They are not a foreign occupier because the State of Israel is the child not of European colonialism but rather of Ottoman decolonialization. It was that Jewish historical bond that led the League of Nations 85 years ago to establish the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute a Jewish homeland on all the territories west of the Jordan River, all the way to the Mediterranean. That same right to a national home was sanctioned again 59 years ago by the new United Nations. After an Arab invasion 40 years ago, the U.N. passed a resolution affirming Israel's right to "secure and recognized boundaries." As Winston Churchill noted in 1922, "The Jews are in Palestine by right, not sufferance." And when Yasser Arafat said there was no First or Second Temple in Jerusalem but only "an obelisk," he, too, was trying to deny the history of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. But this is the site of the binding of Isaac by Abraham, the place where David built the altar on the threshing floor of Aravna to halt the plague. The Temple Mount was where Jesus was brought as an infant and where he later chased away the money-changers. Mentioned 20 times in the New Testament, the Temple Mount is one of the cornerstones of the Judeo-Christian ethical tradition of the West. Yet it is all denied by the Palestinians. This obduracy, combined with waves of terrorism, has shattered the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.

    It was Arafat who invoked the Islamic terms of jihad and shahada; it was Arafat who described "all of Palestine," which includes all of Israel, as a "holy wakf," i.e., an Islamic trust that cannot be given away; it was Arafat who introduced children to radical Islamic thinking so that they could become terrorists and suicide bombers. The name that Arafat gave to the violence that began in the year 2000 was not the "West Bank intifada" but the "al-Aqsa intifada," making it clear that religion was an integral part of the struggle. When suicide bombers blow up Israelis, they don't yell, "Free Nablus!" They yell, "Allahu Akbar!" The backdrop is Islamic and not territorial.

    That is why the Middle East is so different from Northern Ireland, which is sometimes falsely used as a comparison. The basic goal of the Irish Republican Army was to create a united Ireland, to bring Ireland to Ulster, not to London. Their goal was never to replace England with Ireland, unlike the Palestinians who wish to rule not just in the West Bank and Gaza but in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. The IRA struggle was primarily a political one, its violence not supported by the Roman Catholic Church. At its core the conflict was over borders, whereas in the Middle East the conflict has become not just a territorial conflict but much more of a religious one.

    Arafat personified the Palestinian problem of leadership, and for a long time the current president, Mahmoud Abbas, has been weak and ineffective. As David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy put it, "The people who are moderate are not effective. And the people who are effective are not moderate." Today, the impossible Arafat has been replaced by an impotent Abbas, but the new figure of Salaam Fayed as prime minister may change the equation. He is the most talented Palestinian to emerge at the leadership level. He recognizes that rather than continually presenting themselves as victims, Palestinians must work to build a credible and honest institution of government, beginning with reforming their security services.

    Absent these reforms, the Palestinians will be unable to confront and subdue Hamas, the jihadists, and the various warlords of the local militias in the West Bank. The Israelis are naturally leery of Abbas because they witnessed how Hamas so humiliatingly chased his men out of Gaza. They remember that Hamas beat Fatah to win a plurality of the vote in the West Bank during the last election; they have been warned by their security services that Hamas could take over the West Bank if the Israeli Defense Forces weren't there. The Israelis will be reluctant to fund, arm, and embrace a new Palestinian leadership that has yet to tackle terrorism, yet to stop instilling hate in the young, yet to stop printing maps without Israel, and yet to confront their own people with the clear message that the end of terrorism is a precondition to progress. Had there been a peace education in the West Bank parallel to that in Israel after Oslo, no one would have joined Arafat's calls for war. Without such a program, signing a piece of paper with the Palestinians is meaningless.

    Fayed knows that Fatah must win popular support by focusing on health, education, law, and order to improve the lives of the Palestinians; he knows this means establishing an honest administration and a civil society that can develop a functioning economy and middle class, rather than support a corrupt, rich elite. (No wonder the Palestinians refer to Abbas's government as the government of salaries.) He knows that the Israelis will be unable to pull out of large sectors of the West Bank while they fear a Gaza-like repetition of rockets raining on Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv. The Israelis fear that even if a Palestinian state is officially demilitarized on paper, it could accumulate within a few years a vast arsenal of weapons that could kill thousands of Israelis. Gaza has shown that a security fence cannot prevent missiles from flying over and killing and wounding Israelis. Then there is the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank would control 60 percent of Israel's water. The Israeli defense minister put it squarely: In those circumstances, Israel could not leave the West Bank until it develops a defensive system against rocket attacks. (USN&WR, 10/8/07, 68)


    The Myth of “Settlements”:  Very briefly: The Ottoman Empire was the sovereign in the entire area. In 1917, while World War I was still raging, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. It designated “Paleatine” — extending throughout what is now Israel (including the “West Band”) and what is now the Kingdom of Jordan — as the homeland for the Jewish people. In 1922, the League of Nations ratified the Balfour Declaration and designated Britain as the mandatory power. Regrettably, Britain, for its own imperial reasons and purposes, separated 76 percent of the land — that lying beyond the Jordan River — to create the kingdom of Trans-Jordan (now Jordan) and made it inaccessible to Jews. In 1947, tired of the constant bloodletting between Arabs and Jews, the British threw in the towel and abandoned the Mandate. The UN took over. It devised a plan by which the land west of the Jordan River would be split between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews, though with heavy heart, accepted the plan. The Arabs virulently rejected it and invaded the nascent Jewish state with the armies of five countries, so as to destroy it at its birth. Miraculously, the Jews prevailed and the State of Israel was born. When the smoke of battle cleared, Jordan was in possession of the West Bank and Egypt in possession of Gaza. They were the “occupiers” and they proceeded to kill many Jews and to drive out the rest. They systematically destroyed all Jewish holy places and all vestiges of Jewish presence. The area was “judenrein.”

    In the Six-Day War of 1967, the Jews reconquered the territories. The concept that Jewish presence in Judea/Samaria is illegal and that the Jews are occupiers is bizarre. It just has been repeated so often and with such vigor that many people have come to accept it. How about the “Palestinians,” whose patrimony this territory supposedly is and about whose olive trees and orange groves we hear endlessly? There is no such people. They are Arabs — the same people as in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and beyond. Most of them migrated into the territories and to “Israel proper,” attracted by Jewish prosperity and industry. The concept of “Palestinians” as applied to Arabs and as a distinct nationality urgently in need of their own twenty-third Arab state, is a fairly new one; it was not invented until after 1948, when the State of Israel was founded. http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_77.html   [USN&WR, 11/2010, 73]


    Mr. Netanyahu took the opportunity of the approaching holiday of Tu Bishvat, a Jewish arbor day, to reaffirm Israel’s claim to the Etzion bloc of settlements just south of Jerusalem. “Our message is clear,” he said during a tree-planting ceremony there. “We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here. This place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity.”

    The Etzion settlements were settled by Jews before the Israeli state was established in 1948. The area became part of the West Bank under Jordanian control after the 1948 war, and the settlements were destroyed. Some settlers returned there immediately after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 war, and the settlements were rebuilt.

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/01/25/world/25mideast_CA1   (NY Times, 1/25/10)

    Did Obama call on Israel to vacate Temple Mount?
    Israeli politicians accuse president of 'misrepresenting history' in U.N. speech

    (JERUSALEM, WorldNetDaily , 9/24/09) – Did President Obama yesterday adopt U.N. and Palestinian phraseology while calling on Israel to give up the biblical West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount? Some members of the Israeli government here reacted angrily to Obama's strongly worded demand – expressed during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly – for the creation of a "viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967."

    The term "occupation" routinely is used by the Palestinians as well as some countries hostile to the Jewish state in reference to Israel's presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It is unusual for U.S. presidents to use the term, although Jimmy Carter once famously called Israel's presence in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem "illegal." "Occupation that began in 1967" is a specific reference to the lands Israel retained after the Six Day War of that year, particularly the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.

    The Palestinians never maintained any official capacity in either territory, lands in which Jews have been present for thousands of years. The territories came under Jordanian rule from 1948 until Israel captured them in 1967 after Jordan's King Hussein ignored Israeli pleas for his country to stay out of the Six Day War. Most countries rejected Jordan's initial claim on the area, which it formally renounced in 1988.

    Commenting on Obama's speech during a WND interview today, Tzipi Hotovely, a Knesset member for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, accused the U.S. president of "misrepresenting history " 
    "Obama is misrepresenting Mideast history," she said. "The Jewish people's right to live in Judea and Samaria is firstly rooted in the Bible and God's promise 2,000 years before 1967." "I really believe the whole 16-year process since the Oslo Accords  (in which Israel gave up land in exchange for promises of peace) has proven the settlements are not the obstacle for peace. The main obstacle is the Palestinians' continued rejection of Israel as a Jewish state even within the borders of 1967."

    Danny Danon, another Likud Knesset member, told WND today, "Obama cannot force this on Israel. We do not have a partner in Israel which is a viable partner." Continued Danon: "Every concession Prime Minister Netanyahu makes was not appreciated by the Palestinian Authority. The Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is an asset for Israeli security . Instead of pressuring Israel, we would like to see the Obama administration deal with the real threat – the global threat coming from Iran."

    The West Bank is considered landlocked territory not officially recognized as part of any country. Israel calls the land "disputed." The Palestinians and the U.N. Security Council claims the West Bank is "occupied" by Israel, which maintains overall control of most of the area while the Palestinian Authority has jurisdiction in about 40 percent. The U.N. Security Council is traditionally considered hostile to Israel. The West Bank borders most of Israel's major cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Military strategists long have estimated Israel must maintain most of the West Bank to defend its borders  from any ground invasion.

    Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as the "biblical heartland," are mentioned throughout the Torah. The Book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in Hebron. The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel meaning "house of God," is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory. And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

    Obama's reference yesterday to "occupation that began in 1967" comes after a top PA official, speaking on condition his name be withheld, said the Obama administration largely has adopted the positions of the PA to create a Palestinian state within two years based on the 1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem. The official said Obama also accepted the PA position that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations begin where they left off under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who went further than previous Israeli leaders in his concessions to the Palestinians.

    Olmert reportedly offered the PA not only 95 percent of the West Bank and peripheral eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods but also other territories never before offered by any Israeli leader, including parts of the Israeli Negev desert bordering Gaza as well as sections of the Jordan Valley. The official claimed the Obama administration will still support the announcement of a Palestinian state within two years. "We understand from the U.S. that the Netanyahu government is not in a position to go against creating a state within two years," the official said. The official claimed the Obama administration was ready to ultimately consider "sanctions" against Israel if the Netanyahu government rejected negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. The official refused to clarify which sanctions he was referring to or whether he was specifically told by the U.S. government it would consider sanctions.


    No Room in Obama's Jerusalem for the Jew  
    (rightsidenews.com, 11/22/09)

    The same media which can't be bothered to notice that there is a proxy war going on between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen, with Saudi jets bombing civilian targets. Who have paid no attention whatsoever to a week of violence between Algerians and Egyptians that included stonings and death threats, are up in arms over the building of 900 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem.

    The Obama Administration and the media are naturally not upset by the Jerusalem municipality's decision to build 500 housing units for Arabs in Jerusalem. No they're upset by a private Jewish housing project built on privately owned land. And that double standard aptly conveys their premise that a Jewish house in Jerusalem is a "settlement", while an Arab house in Jerusalem is just a house. A Jewish home violates the "status quo" and is "unhelpful for peace", while an Arab home is just a home. There is of course a name for that sort of policy, it's one that Jimmy Carter who is still continuing his tour on behalf of Hamas knows quite well, Apartheid.

    In response to the Nof Zion construction, Obama warned that, "additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security".But Nof Zion is not about security, as much as it is about an overcrowded Jewish population in Jerusalem looking for someplace to live. When the Arabs seized half of Jerusalem in Israel's War of Independence, they forcibly expelled the Jewish population of Jerusalem in a brutal act of ethnic cleansing that goes ignored by the same leftists who focus on elderly Arab men waving keychains in the air. Homes belonging to Jewish families were replaced by Arab families, who in turn were not expelled when Israel liberated and reunited both halves of Jerusalem in 1967.

    While countries such as England recognized Jordan's annexation of East Jerusalem, they have failed to recognize Israel's reunification of the city. This has led to the ongoing absurdity in which children born in Jerusalem are treated as stateless by the US government and the US embassy remains in Tel Aviv, while the US Consulate in East Jerusalem does its best to pretend that it's in the capital of Palestine, completely refusing to recognize Israel's existence.

    Were security the issue, Gilo which faces the Arab towns of Beit Jala and Al Khader, and has been shot at repeatedly from them, would be a poor choice to live in. But Jerusalem is bulging at the seams. The price of housing has shot up, and while US Ambassador Richard H. Jones may have told Jewish residents of Jerusalem that "Sometimes people do have to move to a different location. They cannot always stay close to their families", the reality is that living next to their families is exactly what people want to do. Regardless of what the State Department thinks about the matter.

    1800 years ago the Romans expelled the Jewish population of Jerusalem and renamed it Aelia Capitolina, a pagan city, and renamed Israel, Syria Palaestina. Today Obama and the State Department seem determined to do the very same thing. By calling a Jerusalem neighborhood, a "settlement", Obama is actively attacking the right of Jews to live in Jerusalem. If Jewish Jerusalem is a settlement, then effectively every other part of Israel where Jews live is a settlement too.

    When even liberal US news outlets such as CNN have described Gilo as a Jewish neighborhood, in contrast to radical left wing British outlets such as the BBC and Reuters, who branded it as a "settlement", Obama's shift is a deliberate one. Helpful as always, UN Secretary General Ki Ban Moonbat stepped in to denounce Gilo as a "settlement built on Palestinian land that undermines efforts for peace". Considering that Gilo already holds a population of 50,000, the land was privately owned and the Jewish presence there goes back to the Book of Joshua, but the facts are no obstacle to the lies.

    In Time Magazine, the increasingly unhinged Joe Klein claimed that Gilo "would be the capital of Palestine", with presumably a Hadrianiac or Jordanian style ethnic cleansing solution for the 50,000 Jews who live there right now. Not that I imagine that would stop him in the least, so long as he had someone else to do the dirty work for him.

    But finally what is the basis for calling the Gilo neighborhood a "settlement"? The land on which Gilo was built was bought and owned by its Jewish residents. That land was occupied and seized by Jordan in 1948, until Israel liberated the territory in 1967. To call Gilo a "settlement", recognizes the Jordanian invasion and seizure of the land as legitimate, while treating the Jewish presence there as illegitimate.

    And that is the real basis behind all this madness. The reason why a Jewish home in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is a settlement. To speak of "settlements" is to claim that the Jewish presence in Israel is illegitimate. And while some Israeli leftists may fondly imagine that settlers are religious Jews who live in caravans, as the case of Gilo once again demonstrates, all of Israel is a settlement.

    And that is why as far as the world's diplomats are concerned, an Arab terrorist has more right to open fire on a Jewish family driving down the road, than the Israeli army has to shoot that same terrorist. And by giving in to US pressure to negotiate directly with the PLO, by signing the Oslo accords and by repeatedly agreeing to talk peace with Arafat and Abbas, the door was opened to greater and greater delegitimization of Israel.

    Israel's global diplomatic position is far worse than it was 17 years ago. Israel's strategic position is far worse than it was 17 years ago. The most rabid bigotry and the ugliest incitement has become the norm, the sort of language you would once hear in Ridyah or Damascus has now become cocktail party chatter in London, Paris and Washington D.C. All of Israel's concessions have combined to put a gun to Jerusalem, and then to the rest of the land for a great going out of business, everything must go sale.

    The case of Gilo is one more wake up call that not only our terrorist "peace partners", but even the so-called honest brokers of the world community do not believe that Jews have the right to live anywhere in Israel. Their backing of a Palestinian state has nothing to do with peace, as the fact that peace has failed to emerge over 17 years has not in any way dampened their ardor and enthusiasm for the project. Nor is it about a Two State Solution bringing regional stability. Even the dimmest paper pushers in the State Department and Foreign Ministry know that even were a Palestinian state to be created, the result would be more regional instability, not less. Only a One State Solution can succeed, and that solution is an Arab state and no Israel. The "Peace Process" and the "Two State Solution" are an incremental approach to bringing about that final solution.

    The men and women who toiled and worked the land, who turned swamps and desert into farmland and cities, understood that if there was no room for Jews in Israel, there was no room for Jews anywhere. Palestinian Islamic terrorism in turn is driven by the national and religious imperative to destroy the only non-Muslim country in the Middle East. And while America and Europe decry Israel's capital as a Jewish settlement, Muslim settlements are springing up in their own capitals. While the cocktail party chatter is that serving up Israel on a platter to the beast will keep them safe, the violence is already in their streets. The same violence that Israel was built as a refuge against. And if Israel falls, they will be the next item on the menu.


    Israel's Historic Achievement

    Jews have lived in the land of Israel for over 3,300 years since 1312 B.C They had lived there at least 1,800 years before the Arab conquest of 635 C.E., which lasted only 22 years. Jerusalem was the Jewish capital for over 3,300 years and never was the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. King David founded Jerusalem; Muhammad never set foot in it. Jews pray facing Jerusalem, and Muslims face Mecca. Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Old Testament and not once in the Koran. The Jews have never had any other national homeland. When the Roman Empire later extended its rule to Israel and colonized the land, the Romans decimated the Jewish population and exiled the Jews to Europe and other parts of the empire. In A.D. 70, the Second Temple was destroyed by Titus, who returned to Rome in 71 with 14,000 Jews as slaves and forced them to build the Roman Coliseum. But the Jews never lost the connection to their ancestral home.

    Through the centuries of Ottoman rule and the years of the British mandate after World War I, the Jews kept faith in their history and came back—to the displeasure of the others ("Arabs" for short) who had moved in. Deadly Arab riots against Jews occurred in 1920, 1929, and 1936-1939. In World War ii, the Jews themselves fought on two fronts, fending off attacks by the Arabs who favored the Nazis and serving alongside the British against Hitler. There was not one inch on all the surface of the Earth that the Jews could call home until the 1947 vote of the United Nations in favor of the establishment of Jewish and Arab states. Thus ended the longest exile ever endured by a people. After almost 2,000 years of homelessness and wandering since the Romans sacked Jerusalem, the Jewish people came miraculously home.

    This is a story without parallel, of a love of a people for the land of Israel. In this land in ancient times, the Jewish people were born. In this land in modern times, the Jewish people were reborn. They have never left Israel voluntarily and returned when they could, from more than a hundred countries speaking more than 80 languages, a modern-day gathering of the exiles. More than 3,000 years earlier, Moses had prophesied, "Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back." And so it was.

    The day after the vote for partition, Arab gunmen began ambushing Jews, and then five Arab armies invaded. That marked the start of the tragedy that persists today. The Palestinians who were urged by Arab leaders to leave Israel have never been integrated with their coreligionists. All these years since 1948, their "host" countries have held them hostage in camps (and the integrated refugees have now grown to several million people). They cannot be returned, for if that were to happen, there would be no state at all for the Jewish people. The Republican nominee for the presidency in 1940, Wendell Willkie, summed up the competing claims this way: "The Arabs have a good case in Palestine. There is only one thing wrong with it—the Jews have a better case." Time and again, the Palestinians have been offered an Arab state next to Israel: first, in the partition plan of 1947; then, in the Oslo accords; then at Camp David in 2000; and finally, in countless declarations since then by both Israeli and international leaders. All have met with a violent rejection by the Palestinians and by the Arab countries

    The refusal to accept the existence of Jews in a separate state of Israel is worse than anti-Semitism. It is, as former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler described it, "a genocidal anti-Semitism, the public calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people," wherever they may be. Listen to the state-sanctioned genocidal anti-Semitism in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran, made clear by the publicly avowed intent to acquire nuclear weapons for this purpose. It is in the language of the covenants, charters, platforms, and policies of the terrorist movements and militias of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda, which call not only for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews but also for acts of terrorism in furtherance of that objective, supported by religious fatwas in which these genocidal calls are held out as religious obligations. All this comes from a culture that greets brutal deeds of terrorism with glee and celebrates martyrs and their families.

    The Jews who became Israelis have built a thriving economy, based to a large extent on their human capital. They revived as a spoken language an ancient language, Hebrew. They have integrated new arrivals from around the world and resolutely maintained a vibrant, free, and democratic society; they have created the political and economic infrastructure of a nation; and they have survived in war after existential war as Psalm 129 foretold. "Sorely have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me." They have cultivated desolate lands with one of the world's most innovative agricultural economies; they have established legal systems that protect civil liberties against the backdrop of the most lethal security threats. They have made a home for the world's largest Jewish population, passing America by about 1 percentage point. They have fulfilled Israel's destiny to give Jewish communities threatened from without, or assimilated to the point of extinction from within, a place to survive and thrive. This is the dream that has come true. Even though Israel seeks no allegiance and loyalty from anyone who is not an Israeli citizen, the realization of the dream and the remarkable historical event that Israel represents with its rebirth have evoked the spirit of kinship and emotional and association with those who share the Judeo-Christian community throughout the world.

    They have failed in one respect. They have been unable to make peace with terrorists, but it is because the terrorists reject all compromise. But Israel fights those bent on its destruction within the rule of law and within reasonable constraints of human rights and civil behavior, a remarkable model in an era of terrorism. The achievements are without parallel, but Israel remains a permanently embattled nation. Today, as Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, Iran develops nuclear weapons, Kassam rockets are daily fired into Sderot from Gaza, and Hamas continues to threaten Israel with more and more terrorism. In the north, Hezbollah remains a potential threat, building up its inventory of longer range, more lethal rockets; prospects for peace with Syria look as dim as ever; and negotiations with those few Palestinians who seem to wish to live in peace are barely progressing. Israel is in a long-term struggle for its security in a region with virtually no margin for error. But President Bush, in his speech last week to the Knesset, gave the members comfort when he said, "Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you." (USN&WR, 5/26/08, 72)


    Arabs launched terrorism against unarmed Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1936 to 1939, murdering hundreds of Jewish civilians. In 1929, the grand mufti of Jerusalem ordered the slaughter of more than a hundred rabbis, students, and others whose ancestors had lived in Hebron for millenniums.  The Saudi Prince Bandar said that Arafat's refusal to accept 95 percent of the West Bank and all of Gaza was "a crime" and his account of the circumstances was "not truthful." (USN&WR, 5/5/08, 72)

    Israel through the years

    November 29, 1947: U.N. General Assembly proposes partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

    May 14, 1948: State of Israel proclaimed. Neighboring Arab states invade the next day, ending in October 1949.

    [In late October 1956, instigated by Britain and France during the crisis over Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal, Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula to destroy military bases. Israel captured Gaza and Sharm el Sheikh at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula that controls access to the Gulf of Aqaba. It also occupied most of Sinai east of the canal. According to plan, the British and French intervened in the conflict to enforce a U.N. cease-fire. The crisis ended in December when the United Nations stationed a peacekeeping force in Sinai. Israel withdrew in March 1957.]

    June 1967: Israel captures Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank and east Jerusalem in Six Day War against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. More than one million Palestinians come under Israeli military occupation.

    October 6, 1973: Egypt and Syria launch surprise attack against Israel, making initial gains. Israel recoups, aided by massive U.S. arms airlift, and a cease-fire takes effect Oct. 24.

    September 1978: Egypt and Israel agree on frameworks for peace in the Middle East. A treaty is signed in Washington on March 26, 1979, under which Israel is to withdraw from the Sinai in three phases.

    June 1982: Israeli forces invades Lebanon and do not withdraw until February 1985, leaving behind an Israel-backed Christian Lebanese force to act as a control over and buffer against attacks by Palestinian guerrillas and Islamic militants.

    December 1987: Palestinian uprising in West Bank and Gaza breaks out. The revolt lasts six years.

    September 1993: In secret talks in Oslo, Norway, Israel and the PLO produce an interim framework for autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the first stage, Israel pulls out of most of the Gaza Strip and area of Jericho in West Bank.

    October 1994: Jordan and Israel sign peace treaty calling for close economic and political cooperation; Jordan becomes Israel's closest ally in region.

    September 2000: Violence flares again and Israel eventually reoccupies most Palestinian towns in the West Bank.

    July 2006: The Lebanon war begins after Hezbollah guerrillas cross the Israel-Lebanon border and attack an Israeli patrol, killing three soldiers and capturing two others. Israel bombards Lebanon from the air and then invades, and Hezbollah launches nearly 4,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In 34 days of fighting, 159 Israelis were killed, including 119 soldiers. (OCR, 5/4/08, News 3)

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP, 2/24/06) - Ohio Farmers Seeking Israel's Expertise. Farmers in Israel raise crops in conditions that couldn't be more foreign to their Ohio counterparts. But the arid soils, limited water and cramped spaces have turned Israeli farmers into experts at making crops bloom in the desert. A group of Ohio farmers hopes to use that expertise to improve productivity. A 29-person delegation is leaving for a 10-day trip to Israel to learn everything from water management to milk processing to handling urban expansion. "I'm extremely intrigued by the ability of them to grow enough crops for 7 million people in the desert," said Daniel Corcoran, 42, who raises soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on his 4,000-acre family farm near Waverly in southern Ohio. "Hopefully, there are things we can bring back here." Israel is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Only about 20 percent of the land can be farmed and half of that has to be irrigated. But Israel not only produces most of its own food, it also has enough to export. Fruit, vegetables and fertilizer are among the most successful exports. Israeli farms have prospered by irrigating crops, seeding clouds to increase rainfall, landscaping to redirect floodwaters toward crops and using drip irrigation so that crops receive the precise amount of water and fertilizer. The Israelis have also developed computer-controlled greenhouses that have curtains, skylights and netting to control sunlight and temperature. The trip is being hosted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Cleveland-based Negev Foundation, a group whose mission is to develop agriculture in the southern, largely desert portion of Israel. The journey is part of a larger initiative to help Israelis benefit from business opportunities in Ohio and from sharing ideas with Ohio agricultural researchers. Last fall, Israeli farmers promoted their products at the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio. Ram Ben-Dor, 52, lived on an Israeli farm for 20 years, raising poultry and fruit. He said the Ohio farmers should be able to help Israelis with technologies that would increase their productivity and make them more competitive in world markets. He said it would be an opportunity to make contacts that could increase soybean imports from Ohio. Sam Hoenig, foundation president, said Israeli farmers are also interested in Ohio's expertise on turf as they seek to develop recreational areas. Among those going on the trip are several Ohio fish farmers. John Bechtel raises trout, perch and bluegill near Fredericktown in central Ohio. He is most interested in how the Israelis prevent the spread of disease among fish. He also wants to tap into their knowledge about fish nutrition, genetics and water-quality management. "They use water over and over again," Bechtel said. "That is the future of fish farming." Bob Peterson raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his farm in central Ohio. But residential and commercial development from Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton keeps creeping in. He hopes to see how Israeli farmers manage to work in densely populated areas while increasing production and profits.


    1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., 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 B.C.E. 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 C.E. 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. Arab and Jewish Refugees: 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 pogroms. 
    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 peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey. 
    13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: 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 P.L.O.'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 with weapons. 
    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 U.N. 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 
    18. The U. N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians. 
    19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives 
    20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.   http://a-voice.org/discern/islam.htm

    In a complete turnabout from previous positions, but probably also yielding to enormous pressure by President Obama, Israel’s Prime Minister “Bibi” Netanyahu has declared his willingness to accept a Palestinian state.A generous offer. Since the “two-state solution” has long been declared to be the Holy Grail of the Palestinians, one would have expected that Mr. Netanyahu’s announcement be greeted with cheers and hosannas. That, however, not surprisingly perhaps, was not the case. In fact, the Palestinians and all others involved declared it to be an insult and a “non-starter.” The principal objections were that Mr. Netanyahu insisted that the newly created Palestinian state would have to be totally demilitarized, and that its air space would be available to the IAF (Israeli Air Force); that Jerusalem would remain undivided as the capital of the Jewish state; that the “Palestinian refugees” would, if they so desired, be returned to the newly formed state and not to Israel; that the Palestinians acknowledge Israel as the state of the Jews; and, finally, that he did not commit for the “settlements” to be dismantled. 

    The “Settlements.” Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) is the ancient Biblical homeland of the Jewish people. This area is part of the Palestinian Mandate, which was declared by the Balfour Declaration and by the mandate of the League of Nations, to be the homeland of the Jewish people. After the 1948 War of Israel’s Liberation this area remained in possession of the Kingdom of Jordan, which declared sovereignty over the area. The only possible rationale for the conclusion that this area is Palestinian land is that it is encompassed by the 1949 armistice line. There is absolutely no other reason. This area has never been Palestinian land. In fact, never before the creation of the State of Israel has there ever been a Palestinian people or a Palestinian country anywhere in the long course of human history. The Palestinians were never until recent times in any control over the area. At the very most, the area could be described as “disputed.” In fact, a very good case could be made that Jews have a better right than the Arabs to live there. What a shame that even the leaders of our country cannot see this fundamental truth. And don’t let’s forget that over one million Arabs live in Israel unmolested and nobody gets exercised about that.

    Demilitarization. Not so long ago, Israel unilaterally evacuated every last Jewish family from Gaza. One would have hoped that the Palestinians, grateful for being rid of the hated Jews and no longer having to suffer their presence, would have shown their gratitude for that “liberation.” Instead, almost from the very first day, they bombarded Israeli cities with thousands of rockets. Eventually, the patience of Israel snapped and it invaded Gaza to put a stop to this outrage. It has to be clear to all that having had such bad experience with Gaza, Israel is fully justified to expect that if statehood were ultimately granted to the Palestinians, and if demilitarization were not imposed and strictly supervised, the Palestinians of the “West Bank” would be equally inclined to attack Israel on a daily basis. Instead of being confronted by the insular Gaza, Israel would be surrounded totally by those who are sworn to destroy it. Full demilitarization would have to be a key requirement of any Palestinian statehood. Without it, virtually all of Israel – its population centers, its industries, its military installations and its international airport – would be under the gun. Life in Israel would be virtually impossible. How could anybody possibly think otherwise?

    Return of the “Refugees.” During the 1948 War of Liberation, about 650,000 Arabs, goaded by their leaders, fled the nascent state of Israel. They and their descendants wish to “return” to Israel. That is a bizarre request. The principal purpose of a Palestinian state would obviously have to be the ingathering and settling of the “Palestinian refugees” and not to foist them onto Israel. Injecting them into Israel would undermine the Jewish state and smooth the path to its destruction. And that is, indeed, the rub. The principal intent of the Arabs is not the creation of a state, but, as they repeat over and over, the destruction of Israel, which they call the “cancer on the Arab body.” And don’t let’s forget that about 800,000 Jews, who escaped barely with their lives from Arab countries during the War of Liberation in 1948 and during the Six-Day War in 1967, were quickly absorbed into the state of Israel and are now at least one-half of the total population. The Arabs, in contrast, have kept their “refugees” in miserable refugee camps for the last 60+ years, on the dole of the world – mostly that of the United States.

    There is little likelihood that Mr. Netanyahu’s generous offer, however it might ultimately be modified, will be accepted by the Arabs. Because, if that were the objective, they could have had their own state for over seventy years. But whatever was offered was never sufficient. As Abba Eban, Israel’s former Foreign Secretary, so well put it: “The Arabs will never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Sadly, therefore, there is little question that Mr. Netanyahu’s generous offer of a separate state for the Palestinians will again be rejected – most likely even being followed by another “intifada.”

    http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_117.html    (USN&WR, 9/09, 97)

    The War Against Israel Goes On

    The « Gaza flotilla » failed. Only one boat reached the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Most of them could not even leave their ports of departure. An attempt to replace the fleet with a « flytilla » of demonstrators on a plane to Tel Aviv failed miserably.

    It would, however, be dangerous to consider this failed attempt more than a limited and short-lived victory. « Pro-Palestinian » organizations in Europe and the United States continue to spread their venom and are already preparing for their next battles : the quest for a U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state within the « 1967 borders », and the organization of the Durban III summit on September 22nd in New York.

    These organizations must be seen for what they are : instruments in a war against Israel that has never stopped since 1948, and that has simply undergone a change in tactics.

    Israel's enemies initially resorted to conventional armies fighting on behalf of the « Arab nation ». Each time, they were defeated.

    They then decided to resort to terrorism, propaganda and disinformation. They created movements to carry out attacks; bloody and deadly attacks took place. These attacks only stopped when Israel undertook security measures -- such as a long, electronic barrier – that reduced to almost zero the possibility of successfully carrying them out. Propaganda and disinformation, however, have not stopped.

    We have now reached the next phase : the effects of propaganda and misinformation. These are firmly anchored in the minds of millions, and have begun to take root in reality,

    The aim is still to wipe Israel off the map, but to do it by using other means: demonization, suggesting that Israel is a criminal state whose demise is perhaps even necessary; exploitation of prejudices; boycotts that, if pursued literally, would only deprive the boycotters of medicine and technology that they they have no intention of going without; willful blindness over both the history and the facts of the growth of the state of Israel, and falsifications leading to other falsifications.

    No one had heard of a « Palestinian people » before the mid-1960s. They did not exist. Israel under the British Mandate until Israel' s Independence in 1948 was called Palestine. All Jews who were born there until i948 had the word « Palestine » stamped on their passports. The current Palestinians are those Arabs who, for a variety of reasons, decided to leave the land during the 1947 War of Independence, when five countries - Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq - attacked the 600,000 people in the fledgling state of Israel the day after its birth, hoping to kill it in the crib. After all five countries were stopped, repelled and defeated, and after the Arabs who had fled asked to return, they were told that as they had not stayed to help fight, they were regarded as a fifth column, and were therefore not welcome. The Arabs who did stay are the Israeli Arabs who live there now, and who comprise 20% of the population, or over a million and a half out of seven million people. They live freely among the Jews ; freely elect members of Israel's parliament [Knesset]; operate their own independent political parties ; hold judgeships on Israel's Supreme Court; practice as physicians alongside Jewish doctors in Israeli hospitals and as professors in Israeli universities ; and often volunteer to fight alongside Jews in the Israeli army, even though they are not required to join Israel's defense forces.

    At this moment, however, multitudes are certain that a « Palestinian people » have existed for centuries; were dispossessed of their rights and are now engaged in a « national liberation struggle » to free themselves from their « oppressors. » The fact is : there has never been an independent Palestinian State or any Palestinian territory – the word comes from the Philistines of the Bible who sailed up from what is now North Africa. But those who are sure that a « Palestinian people » exists, however, are also sure there are « Palestinian territories » occupied by Israel but that used to belong to the « Palestinian people, » and must therefore be returned to their « legitimate » owners.

    The idea that millions of human beings were driven by force from the territory of Israel and therefore have a full « right of return» may easily be deduced from that fictitious version of events. The idea that the day Israel was created was a « catastrophe » (naqba) for the « Palestinian people » may be deduced from it as well. It then become simple enough to add that the « Palestinian people » are victims of a « genocide » committed by the Israelis.

    The fact that Jews have lived for over two millennia in Judea-Samaria and throughout the city of Jerusalem is erased from memories and history books. Also erased is the ethnic cleansing that banished Jews from the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1947-48. And in the name of the « rights » of the « Palestinian people, » a new ethnic cleansing -- banishing the Jews again from the West Bank and East Jerusalem -- may perversely be considered a « moral » imperative, and anyone who disagrees may perversely be called an « extremist. »

    Leaders of terrorist movements who never renounced terrorism were given a quasi-State, the Palestinian Authority, which is now treated in may countries throughout the world as a legitimate entity.

    Leaders of Hamas, who openly call for a holy war [jihad], from their Charter on down, and who created a totalitarian regime in Gaza, recently nearly made an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but no one in the West seems to worry. No one dares say anything : « Palestinians » are almost universally regarded as the epitome of the wretched of the earth -- without anyone asking why the Arabs should not be blamed for insisting they be penned in camps, or the United Nations, which not only keeps them penned in these camps, but also reinforces and promotes the Palestinians' revisionist version of events -- so that with this tonnage of disinformation, the « Palestinian cause » is almost unanimously considered as holy.

    Meanwhile, in several European countries, Israeli politicians are subject to prosecution for alleged « war crimes, » which seem mainly to consist of efforts to defend themselves from people pledged to their destruction.

    Israel is compared to South Africa in the apartheid era or to the Third Reich.

    The electronic security fence, erected to keep terrorists out and protect Israelis' freedom, is recklessly and maliciously compared to the Berlin Wall, erected to keep East Germans in and deprive them of freedom.

    Despite massive evidence to the contrary, the blockade of the Gaza Strip is described as a means to prevent the entry of food and medicine into Gaza ; it is said to create unbearable suffering. The fact that the border between Gaza and Egypt was recently opened -- but then closed by Egypt again a few weeks later - - is totally ignored. Why are there no flotillas demanding that Egypt open its border to Gaza ?

    « Boycott, divestment and sanctions » campaigns are being organized around the world against Israeli companies, against the sale of Israeli products, and against Israeli academics, artists and scientists.

    The results are evident in Europe. In surveys conducted year after year, Israel is regarded as the « most dangerous country for world peace » and as the main cause of unrest in the Middle East. During televised debates in France and Germany, voicing the idea that Israel is a « parenthesis in history » or a « mistake » that must be corrected, is no longer taboo. Books that viciously denigrate Israel and cast doubt on the existence of the Jewish people become best sellers. One of them, The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand, received a prestigious literary prize, the Prix Aujourd'hui, in France in 2009.

    Polls showing that a huge majority of the « Palestinian people » are murderously anti-Semitic and want Jews annihilated are never quoted in the press ; if there are any mentions of such views, they are carefully « sanitized» to seem more benign than they actually are.

    The situation is not as catastrophic in the United States, but is deteriorating ; it could continue to deteriorate unless strong vigilance comes into play and the intelligence community face realities they would rather not know about.

    The failure of the « Gaza flotilla » and the « flytilla » should not be allowed to conceal the « pro-Palestinian » agitation that goes on, and that the aim of the agitators and those they support remains unchanged: They are at war; they want the destruction of Israel; they will not stop. They create a hatred of Israel that never ceased to grow, and that looks as if the agitators are hoping for a return to all kinds of attacks.

    Arsenals are growing fast in Lebanon and Gaza. Iran, extremely unstable, may soon have nuclear weapons. The Syrian regime is engaged in a crackdown suitable to that government's hazardous decisions. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is at the gates of power. In the Gaza Strip Hamas, the « Palestinian » branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over political control within a few weeks of being democratically elected by throwing PLO and Fatah sympathizers off the top floors of high buildings, is eager to take over the West Bank should the opportunity arise.

    A war ends only when there is a winner and a loser. For now, Israel's enemies have not lost. But Israel has not yet won.

    http://www.hudson-ny.org/2304/war-against-israel    August 8, 2011 at 5:00 am

    In the West, the so-called "Green Line" is usually referred to when the "peace process" is being evaluated. Someone usually states that Israel should retreat behind this Green Line in order to maintain legitimacy and legality. The Green Line is allegedly synonymous with "the Borders of 1967." This is a highly misleading semantic trick. By asserting the Green Line as the borders of 1967, the case is made to sound as if this is the border from whence the Israelis started an aggressive expansion. The truth is the opposite. The Green Line is in reality the armistice line of 1949: the border where the Arab war of extermination was halted and where the Israelis finally prevented the attempted genocide of their people. The term "occupied territories," even if not correct, is enough to nonplus the average Israel supporter and send left-wing and Muslim front groups into a twist. It is probably worthwhile to examine the legal accuracy of the term "occupied" as it is applied to the West Bank. First, it is important to realize that the West Bank had no legally recognized sovereign prior to 1948. After the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948, which then counted a scarce 660,920 Jewish inhabitants, Israel, literally on the day of its birth, was immediately faced with a war of extermination launched by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, complemented by Saudi Arabian forces fighting under Egyptian command and a Yemeni contingent. During this effort to obliterate the nascent state, Jordanian forces took control of the area that had, from biblical times, been known as Judea and Samaria. The Jordanians, in 1950, changed this name to the "West Bank" [of the Jordan River], apparently in an attempt to semantically strengthen their case of "occupation" by making the territory sound as if it were a legitimate part of their East Bank. The move also appears to be an attempt to delegitimize Israel's claim to the area by de-Judaizing its name -- a strategy first adopted by Roman emperor Hadrian, when he changed the country's name from Judea to Palestine, after a nomadic maritime people, the Philistines, who had been in constant armed conflict with the Jews. Moreover, only Britain, Iraq and Pakistan recognized the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria. The rest of the world, including Jordan's Arab allies, never recognized the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria as legitimate, let alone legal. The same goes for the Gaza Strip, only there, it was the Egyptians who ended up illegally occupying the area after the 1948 war of extermination. During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel was faced with another war of extermination launched by its Arab neighbors. To survive yet another attempted genocide, Israeli forces conducted, in response, a war of defense in which the Israel Air Force destroyed Egyptian aircraft before enemy troops could reach Israel's fragile borders. In the process of this defensive war, the Israelis ended up expelling the Jordanians from the part of Jerusalem they occupied and the West Bank of the Jordan River: Judea and Samaria. Because Judea and Samaria had no recognized sovereign, apart from the Ottoman Empire, prior to the illegal Jordanian occupation, the current Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria cannot possibly be designated as illegal. After all, from whom are they occupying the area, save from the former Ottoman Empire? The area can only be correctly designated as "disputed" territories, just like Kashmir, the Western Sahara, Zubarah, Thumbs Island, and a lengthy parchment of other disputed territories. It has been alleged -- originally by diplomats of the Arab and Muslim world, and later parroted by a gullible European political elite -- that to leave this dispute unresolved blocks not only the peace process but also the general stability of the region. Any impartial examination of facts, however, shows that the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria has no significant relationship to either the "peace process" or regional stability. It is probably just irresistibly convenient for autocrats to keep telling diplomats to focus on Israel and the Palestinian problem to throw them -- as well as their own people -- off the scent of their own questionable governance. If the Israeli presence in the West Bank, and the "settlements" from 1967 on, are the root cause of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, then why does Article 14 of the 1964 PLO charter call for the destruction of all of Israel? "The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty. Its responsibilities fall upon the entire Arab nation, governments and peoples, the Palestinian peoples being in the forefront. For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize its military, spiritual and material potentialities; specifically, it must give to the Palestinian Arab people all possible support and backing and place at its disposal all opportunities and means to enable them to perform their role in liberating their homeland." In 1964, there was not a single Israeli in Judea and Samaria, nevertheless the PLO called for the obliteration of Israel. It is this '64 PLO mentality that has pervaded the upper echelons of Palestinian administration ever since. With the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords, although PLO leader Yasser Arafat said 'yes' to peace, in the period following his actions led to the first massive wave of terror attacks, known as the "Second Intifada." In 2000, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak made Arafat an offer that shocked the world. Barak offered the PLO nearly everything it demanded, including a state with its capital in Jerusalem; control of the Temple Mount; the return of approximately 97% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees.  Arafat turned this deal down. In 2008, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas almost 98% of the West Bank, and again accepted nearly all Palestinian demands. Olmert too, was turned down. (Gatestone, 3/28/14)    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4227/european-boycott-west-bank

    Security Fence

    A growing number of Israeli politicians believe that the only way to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian terrorist attacks is to build a fence between Palestinian and Israeli territory. "There are nearly no instances of suicide bombers, Palestinian guerrillas or weapons infiltrating through the border fences in Gaza." (LAT, 8/20/01, A3) ..... "Suicide attacks left 25 Israelis dead and about 220 injured in less than one day's time." (LAT, 12/3/01, A1) ..... 25 Israelis  would be equal proportionally to 1,130 Americans. (LAT, 12/4/01, B4) ..... "During 14 months of fighting with Israel, Yasser Arafat mostly looked the other way as Islamic militants and some of his own supporters killed more than 230 Israelis with guns and bombs." (OCR, 12/4/01, News 20) [Proportionally equivalent to 10,396 Americans] ..... Two suicide attacks [about 3/28/02, Passover] killed 40 and injured 200, because Hamas now is using weapons-grade explosives. (OCR, 4/4/02, News 7) ..... The Mossad hunted down and killed nearly all the Palestinians responsible for killing 11 Israelis during the 1972 Munich Olympics. (OCR, 11/29/02, News 10) ..... There are 5.2 million Jews and 1.3 million Arabs in Israel, with 3.5 million Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza. The Arab birth rate exceeds the Jewish birth rate. If the Arab and Jewish areas are not partitioned, the entire area may become dominated by Arabs. (OCR, 12/13/03, News 31) ..... The intifada has failed because of the Israeli Army's killings or arrests of several thousand Palestinian militants, its seige of Palestinian cities, villages, and refuge camps, and its erection of a high concrete and barbed-wire security barrier in the West Bank. (USN&WR, 1/10/05, 24)

    Sharon endorsed a buffer zone separating Israel from the West Bank. It could be a mile or two wide in places, to stop suicide bombers and other attackers from slipping across the porous borders from the West Bank. (OCR, 9/8/01, News 34) .....  The Gaza neighborhood, where the homes were demolished, has been a hotbed of violence. Palestinian gunmen routinely lob grenades at Israeli army outposts guarding the border with Egypt, and fire at the outposts and at Israeli patrols. The army had previously destroyed homes in the area in an attempt to create a buffer zone near the border. (LAT, 1/14/02, A3) ..... "In Sharon's Feb. 21 [2002] speech, he said he would implement a Cabinet decision calling for buffer zones between Israel and the Palestinian territories." (OCR, 3/2/02, News 23) ..... The "idea of partition - or unilateral separation - which seemed a radical idea a year or so ago, has become a live option in Palestinian and Israeli politics. Nobody knows how separation would work - whether it would require a large structure like the Berlin Wall or simply a fence - but there are already factions within the separation movement." (OCR, 3/11/02, Local 6) ..... Sharon said that once Israel withdrew from the West Bank, "our forces will deploy to constitute a buffer between Palestinian territories and our territories in order to prevent any penetration in Israeli communities." This may involve Israeli forces remaining  in some areas of the West Bank. (OCR, 4/9/02, News 6) ..... Israeli military and civilian officials said that Israeli troops plan to withdraw from Palestinian areas and perhaps establish a several-mile wide buffer zone in an effort to fend off future attacks. (OCR, 4/14/02, News 8) ..... Israel plans to build physical barriers to separate the West Bank from Israel proper, to erect fences and giant obstacles to make it more difficult for terrorists to penetrate Israel. (OCR, 4/22/02, News 4) ..... A 9-foot high barbed-wire fence and broad 6-foot deep trench stretch several miles separating two towns, Jewish Gila and Palestinian Beit Jalla. Similar fence and trench systems are in other parts of the West Bank. (OCR, 5/25/02, News 46) ..... To prevent suicide bombings, Sharon approved a fence between part of the West Bank and Israel, defying supporters who fear it will lead to Israel's giving up most of the territory. (OCR, 6/5/02, News 13) ..... To protect Israel from West Bank suicide bombers, Israel started a 75-mile electronic fence, costing $2 million per mile. Eventually the fence will be 215 miles. No suicide bombers have come from Gaza, which is fenced in. (OCR, 6/17/02, News 9) ..... Israel is building 300-yard wide buffer zones around some of the Jewish settlements to make it harder for Palestinian attackers to infiltrate. (OCR, 12/27/02, News 36) ..... Sharon said, "Tens of thousands of Arabs had been infiltrating illegally into Israel and has to be stopped. ... Arafat's strategy is to make terror part of political negotiation. ... The security fence, when it is finished, will close off this strategy. Losing this negotiating weapon bothers them." (OCR, 7/31/03, Local 9) ..... "The plan to erect a security barrier between Israel and the West Bank is popular in Israel as a way to block suicide bombers. No Palestinian bombers have come from the Gaza Strip, which is fenced." (OCR, 9/15/03, News 11) ..... Israel should complete the fence to stop suicide bombers, or nothing serious will happen with the peace process. (USN&WR, 9/29/03, 67) ..... To stop Palestinian suicide bombers, Israel had built almost 100 miles of security fence, that eventually will be up to 400 miles. The Gaza Strip has been fenced for years, and no suicide bombers have crossed that fence. (OCR, 10/1/03, News 17) ..... Sharon said that the Palestinians must halt terrorist groups in the next few months or he will unilaterally partition the land along the security fence, whose construction will be greatly accelerated. (OCR, 12/19/03, News 29) ..... The security fence may be renamed the "Terror Prevention Fence." (OCR, 1/16/04, News 16) ..... Sunday's double bombing at Ashdod port, some 16 miles north of Gaza, dealt a new blow to Israel's sense of security because Palestinian attackers managed to sneak out of the fenced-in Gaza Strip for the first time in more than three years of conflict. (Reuters, 3/16/04) ..... Military officials said there is concern that the bombers, a pair of 17-year-old high school students, used forged IDs and permits to get through the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel. A militant leader in Gaza said he believed the bombers crawled through tunnels. (AP, 3/16/04) ..... Israel's main concern is keeping Palestinian attackers out. About 100 suicide bombers have infiltrated Israel from the West Bank in more than four years of conflict, but the current, relatively simple fence around Gaza has prevented most infiltrations by armed Palestinians. The military laid out its plans for the new barrier, including new army bases and 22-foot concrete walls around nearby Israeli communities to stop Palestinian sniper fire. The new Gaza barrier draws on experience from the West Bank barrier Israel is building and the high-tech border fence with Lebanon, the army said, but it will be more advanced. Palestinians trying to infiltrate into Israel - like a would-be suicide bomber who managed to penetrate the old fence with wire cutters last week before being captured - will first encounter fence made of coils of razor wire. They would then have to cross a patrol road before reaching the current barrier, a fence with electronic sensors that sends a signal to a central command whenever it is touched or cut. If they pass this barrier, they would have to traverse a 130-yard swath of land - codenamed Hoover - filled with motion sensors and scanned by an array of day and night optical devices, before reaching the third and newest electronic fence. Watchtowers armed with remote-controlled machine guns are to be built every 1.2 miles and within a year, remote-controlled, unmanned vehicles will begin patrolling the area. Running about 35 miles around the seaside territory, the new barrier will cost about $220 million and will be completed by mid-2006, military officials said. (AP, 7/28/05)

    There is only one course for Israel. That is to continue building its defensive physical barrier between itself and the West Bank. In a recent poll, 59 percent of Palestinians wanted to see terrorism against Israel continue, even after the creation of a Palestinian state, and in all of the territories, including East Jerusalem. Only 26 percent wanted to give up the armed struggle. Israelis have concluded that the reason the Palestinians reject peace is not because Jews live in the West Bank city of Hebron but because they live in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The Palestinian leaders have made no bones about it. Their own magazine stated long ago their aim clearly: "Not to impose our will on the enemy but to destroy him in order to take his place." Palestinians have few qualms in admitting that the original accord negotiated in Oslo was worse than a sham. The bloody bookends are a statement--within days of the signing by Arafat--that Oslo was part of the "plan of stages" to destroy Israel and the June 24, 2001, affirmation by the relatively moderate Faisal Husseini that the Oslo agreement constituted a "Trojan horse," whose pure essence was deception. The fence would transform the Israeli role from that of fighting terrorists in the West Bank to preventing terrorists from breaching the security fence. This would make it possible for the Israelis to withdraw their soldiers from the West Bank, to end their roadblocks, and give up their remaining responsibility over the Palestinian population. Thus, the Palestinians would lose the propaganda benefit of TV pictures of the Israeli Army in the West Bank. (USN&WR, 12/15/03, 72) ..... "The wall will encompass less than 10 percent of the West Bank, and leave 99.4% of the Palestinian population on the east side." (USN&WR, 5/3/04, 76) ..... Israelis have discovered that they have the resources to wage war against terrorism, including the determination to complete the security barrier that saves lives. Israel has put down the intefada the old way, by fighting back. (OCR, 7/23/04, Local 9) ..... The facts are conclusive: Before the fence was erected, the average number of terrorist attacks was 26 per year. Since its partial construction, the number has dropped to three per year, while the death toll has dropped by over 70 percent from 103 to 28, and the number of injured has dropped by more than 80 percent, from an annual average of 628 to 83. Terrorist penetration into Israel from the northern West Bank, where the initial portion of the fence was completed, has dropped from 600 a year to zero--as Israel was able to foil every suicide bombing originating from the northern West Bank and specifically from the cities of Nablus and Jenin, areas that had previously been infamous for exporting suicide bombers. Under the new court ruling, about 75 percent of Israeli settlers would be incorporated into roughly 8 percent of the West Bank on the Israeli side of the barrier. Fewer than 1 percent (13,000) of West Bank Palestinians would be stranded in these Israeli areas, while over 99 percent (1,970,000) would be left in the approximately 92 percent of the West Bank on the other side of the fence, which would be a contiguous area. Building a fence is a civilized way for a nation to defend itself. The U.N. built a fence in NY to protect itself. India built a 460-mile barrier in Kashmir to contain terrorist infiltration from Pakistan, and  is building  an Israeli-like fence to stop Muslim terrorists coming in from Bangladesh.  Saudi Arabia build a 60-mile barrier to stop smuggling of weapons from Yemen. Morocco and Turkey have built fences. (USN&WR, 8/2/04, 88) [The great wall of China was built for protection.]

    Gaza was fenced in 1994; since 2001 not one suicide bomber has entered Israel. The new security fence in northern West Bank has reduced attacks from 59 to 3 in the same month period, a year apart. Captured Arab infiltrators confirmed the fence blocked them, and they had to go south to an unfenced part to enter Israel. 83% of Israelis favor construction of the fence.  (USN&WR, 2/23/04, 88)

    Sharon's  most ambitious construction scheme is a 150-mile security barrier currently going up along the Green Line that divides Israel and the West Bank. (Newsweek, 6/9/03, 33) (pictures too) 

    About 70 miles of the 370-mile fence have been built. The average width is 198 to 330 feet. The fence is composed of razor-wire coils, 13-foot trench, patrol road, path for detecting footprints, 10-foot high fence with electronic sensors, 13-foot trench, razor-wire coils. (OCR, 7/30/03, News 13) (picture below)

    SEPARATE: This aerial view shows Israel's separation barrier running between an Israeli town (bottom) and a Palestinian one (top), just south of the West Bank town of Qalqilya
    (AP, 2/27/06)


    Ethnic violence erupted in Cypress in December 1963, three years after independence from Britain. The violence escalated until 1974, when Greece attempted to make Cypress a part of Greece. Turkey invaded, resulting in 6700 dead or missing, and 215,000 displaced on both sides. 35,000 Turkish troops partitioned Cypress, with 1/3 going to the Turks, who were 25% of the population.  An uneasy peace has existed since then. Now, 27 years later, serious talks are underway to resolve the differences, form one nation, and join the European Union. (LAT, 1/16/02, A1) [An example for mideast peace: partition, cooling off period, serious peace negotiations?] ..... Talks to reunify Cypress are deadlocked, with Turkey threatening to annex the Turkish area. (OCR, 6/14/02, News 38)

    The Hefer Valley is a narrow nine-mile wide strip of land where Israelis are squeezed between between the Palestinian West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. A thick concrete wall, 8 feet high and one mile long, separates an Israeli town (Bat Hefer) and a Palestinian city (Tulkarm), about one mile apart. The wall is being extended 600 yards with a 10.5-foot high fence. An electric fence, with surveillance cameras, also is being installed. (LAT, 9/10/01, A1) ..... Palestinian gunmen evaded an electric fence and night-vision equipment to attack a heavily fortified army base in southern Gaza. Three Israelis were killed and seven wounded, before two gunmen were killed. (LAT, 8/26/01, A1) ..... In the 10 cease-fires since 1993, Hamas used the time to regroup and rearm. Hamas recently said that they reject a two-state solution and there can be no compromise. The security fence is in response to 1000 days of terrorism and 800 deaths, mostly women and children. The fence is needed because the Palestinians refuse to live in peace. Not one suicide bomber has come from the fenced-in Gaza Strip, compared to 300 from the West bank with no fence. Israel had to fence its borders with Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. U.S. has fenced parts of the Mexican border. There is a wall between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. (USN&WR, 8/11/03, 60) ..... American troops in Iraq are enclosing entire villages in barb wire, demolishing buildings, imprisoning relatives. The counterinsurgency campaign is similar to that used by Israel. (OCR, 12/7/03, News 27) ..... Fences of razor wire, watch towers, and minefields separate Israel from its other neighbors Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. But most of the 320 km (200 mile) border with Egypt is literally just a line in the sand. At least seven militants from the Gaza Strip have slipped into Israel by way of Sinai. Three gunmen, and an Israeli army patrolman, were killed in ensuing clashes -- prompting Israel to set up an airborne special forces unit that is always on standby. The other militants were arrested. (Sex, Flies and Videotape on Sinai Smuggling Routes, by Dan Williams, Reuters, 8/26/04)

    JERUSALEM (06/17/05, AP) - Israeli Navy building a sea barrier to keep out Gaza attackers, The Israeli navy is building a sea barrier off the coast of northern Gaza to keep out potential attackers once Israel pulls out of the coastal strip this summer. The navy concluded the barrier, stretching 950 meters (yards) into the sea, is necessary because of the loss of surveillance systems in the planned pullout. Designed to keep potential attackers from swimming to the Israeli coast, the barrier's first hundred meters (yards) will consist of cement pilings buried into the sandy bottom; the structure will extend another 800 meters (yards) in the form of 1.8-meter-deep fence floating beneath the surface. The navy is also refurbishing its radar system at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel. Construction of the new sea barrier will begin soon and that it will be a major project costing millions of dollars. The barrier is not expected to be complete in time for Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza, set to begin in mid-August. Gaza, home to 1.3 million Palestinians, is surrounded by an Israeli fence built to keep back attackers and which prevents Gazans from being able to come and go. Israel is also building a barrier between itself and the West Bank. ..... A Palestinian suicide bomber attacked a bakery in this southern Israeli resort town on Monday, killing three people and himself, police said. It was the first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months and the first ever to hit Eilat, Israel's southernmost city. It was the first suicide bombing in Israel since last April, when a bomber struck a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing 12 people. Suicide bombings were at their height four years ago, when hundreds of Israelis were killed in dozens of attacks. (AP, 1/29/07) http://www.wkrn.com/nashville/news/ap-suicide-bomber-kills-at-israeli-bakery/74361.htm

    "Today there is no [peace] process and no hope, said Dennis Ross, long time American mediator in the middle east. "What we're facing is not even an attempt to defeat the other side, but a kind of exhaustion. Israel doesn't think it has a partner for peace any more. It just wants to be done with it, just to build a high wall." (OCR, 8/12/01, News 12) [Turkey was condemned for partitioning Cyprus in 1974. It may have been unfair and wrong, but it seems to have stopped the fighting there.] ..... Ariel Sharon said that Israel would create buffer zones to achieve security separation from the Palestinians, and any Palestinian state be demilitarized. (OCR, 2/22/02, News 23) ..... Cyprus reunification talks failed when Turkey demanded full recognition of Turkish Cyprus and Greece demanded that refugees be allowed to return to their homes. (OCR, 3/11/03, News 15)

    For Israel, the barrier is a 'life and death' issue

    Israelis call it a "security fence." Palestinians call it an "apartheid wall." Call it what you like, Israeli officials say, but the barrier has been a effective means of warding off suicide bombings.

    "The fence is a success story and the fence is saving lives. In areas where the fence has gone up, there has been something like a 90-percent success rate in stopping suicide penetration," says Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. "In 2006, we've had fewer successful suicide bombings than we had in one week in 2002. That's in large part because of the fence."

    In response to new information indicating that the barrier's route was motivated by the demographic struggle that is one of the underpinnings of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Regev says that it is natural that the mappers of the barrier took Israel's concerns about a rising Arab population into consideration. "The government's positioning of the fence does take into account demographic realities, topographical realities, and security concerns," Regev says. "The object of the fence is to have as many Israeli citizens as possible protected by the fence."

    Regardless of the route, he adds, Israel is bound to be the subject of criticism here.

    "If this were a land grab, then we should have included all of Shuafat in the area of the fence," he says. "Look at Jerusalem. If we put areas of East Jerusalem inside the fence, we're accused of annexing Jerusalem. But if we leave them out, we're cutting off Palestinians from their brothers on the other side of the fence. I think the arguments about the route tend to be disingenuous."

    "The route can be changed, and one day when there's peace, the fence will come down," Regev says. "This is the fence that is designed to keep suicide bombers out. We have an obligation to let people pass through it and that's why there are gates in the fence."

    The Israeli government calls the barrier a fence, he says, because more than 90 percent of the route from north to south is made of fencing. The difficulties it causes, he says, pale in comparison with its success.

    "We understand that there has been a negative impact on the quality of life, and it's our obligation to do everything we can to minimize that negative impact," he says. "But we're talking about a quality of life issue, while on my side of the fence, it's a life and death issue."  

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1219/p01s04a-wome.htm     (CSM, 12/19/06)

    Palestinian Suicide Attacks Since 2001

    -- During more than six years of Palestinian-Israeli violence, 540 people have been killed in 130 Palestinian suicide bombings. Some of the deadliest suicide attacks in Israel:

    _ Jan. 29, 2007: A bombing at a bakery in the southern town of Eilat kills three.

    _ April 17, 2006: A bombing kills 11 Israelis in Tel Aviv.

    _ Dec. 5, 2005: An attacker kills five at a shopping mall in the coastal town of Netanya.

    _ Oct. 26, 2005: A bomber kills five people at a falafel stand in Hadera.

    _ July 12, 2005: Bombing kills five at a shopping mall in Netanya.

    _ Feb. 25, 2005: In the first attack after a truce, a bomber blows himself up in crowd near a nightclub in Tel Aviv, killing four.

    _ Aug. 31, 2004: Two bombers set off explosives in buses in Beersheba, killing 16.

    _ March 14, 2004: Two bombers attack Ashdod port, killing 10.

    _ Jan. 29, 2004: Bomber on a bus on Gaza Street in Jerusalem kills 11 people.

    _ Oct. 4, 2003: Bomber kills 19 people at a seaside restaurant in Haifa.

    _ Sept. 9, 2003: A bomber kills eight Israeli soldiers at a bus stop near an army base outside Tel Aviv.

    _ Aug. 19, 2003: A bomber blows up a bus in Jerusalem, killing 23 people.

    _ June 11, 2003: A bus bombing on central Jerusalem's Jaffa Street kills 17.

    _ March 5, 2003: A bombing on a bus in Haifa kills 17 people.

    _ Jan. 5, 2003: Two bombers strike the Neve Shaanan pedestrian mall in Tel Aviv, killing 23.

    _ Oct. 21, 2002: A bombing on a bus in northern Israel kills 14 people.

    _ June 18, 2002: A bomber kills 19 in southern Jerusalem.

    _ June 5, 2002: A bus bombing near Megiddo Junction in northern Israel kills 17.

    _ May 7, 2002: A bomb attack at a pool hall in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Letzion kills 15.

    _ March 31, 2002: A bomber kills 15 at a restaurant in Haifa.

    _ March 27, 2002: An attacker kills 29 people in Netanya during a ritual Seder meal at a hotel dining room at the start of Passover.

    _ March 9, 2002: A bomber kills 11 at Jerusalem's Moment Cafe.

    _ March 2, 2002: An attack kills 11 in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood.

    _ Dec. 2, 2001: A bomber kills 15 on a bus in Haifa.

    _ Dec. 1, 2001: Two bombers strike Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, killing 11.

    _ Aug. 9, 2001: An attack at a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem kills 15.

    _ June 1, 2001: A bomber kills 21 people, mostly teenagers, at a seaside disco in Tel Aviv.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/29/AR2007012900703_2.html    (AP, 1/29/07)


    Firstly, there was less violence, both between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Palestinians and Palestinians, than there had been for years. Among other landmarks, 2009 was the first year in a long time without any successful suicide bombings against Israel.

    Then, there was the strong economic growth in both Israel and the Palestinian territories relative to most of the rest of the world, for which 2009 was a bleak year. (While Gaza is not undergoing the same kind of economic growth enjoyed by the West Bank, the standard of living there is nonetheless considerably better than you would suppose from the distorted picture provided by certain partisan journalists and NGO workers, and much better then in many other areas of the world.) And most importantly, 2009 was the year that a Likud Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, not only recognized the principle of an independent Palestinian state, but also made the most sweeping freeze on Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank since 1967.

    Every informed observer knows that for a realistic two-state solution to be achieved, Israel cannot return to what Abba Eban famously referred to as Israel's "Auschwitz borders" (i.e., borders that were indefensible), and that there will be land swaps between Israelis and Palestinians so final borders will more closely reflect demographic and security considerations. Indeed as long ago as 1967, the international diplomats who carefully crafted U.N. Resolution 242 acknowledged that the 1967 borders would not and should not necessarily constitute Israel's final boundaries. They made clear in the wording of their text that they believed that not all of the land previously occupied by Jordan (land that has come to be known as the West Bank) should necessarily be relinquished by Israel. (Wall Street Journal, 1/27/10)


    Arafat, Hamas, and terrorism    
    Arafat wants all the land taken by Israel in the 1967 war to be placed under Palestinian control. Sharon is less concerned about a belief in Israel's birthright to the land, but more about a cold appraisal of security and resource needs, and a pessimistic view of the possibility of reconciliation with Arab neighbors. (OCR, 10/12/01, News 38) ..... "The Palestinians who claim that every inch of the West Bank must be returned should learn some history, The world is full of territory lost by those who start and then lose wars. The Arabs have no right to the land they lost by their own folly. ..... Israel cannot trust Arafat as a negotiator and must see to its own security. A fence and separation for a generation seem the best chance." (OCR, 4/21/02, Commentary 1) ..... Yasser Arafat "saw the Oslo peace accord not as a means to a two-state solution but as a means to the substitution of a Palestinian state for the State of Israel." "Arafat violated most of the essential elements of Oslo, inciting Palestinians to hatred while erecting and empowering a murderous terrorist network."  (USN&WR, 7/12/04, 140) 

    The terrorists understand only the language of force and can be stopped only by means of force. There can be no appeasing of terrorists and no apologies for states like Syria that coddle them. Abu Mazen refuses to rein in the Palestinian Authority's anti-Semitic, anti-Israel rhetoric that spews endlessly from TV and other public platforms. Listen to the words of hate, and you'd never guess there's a cease-fire in place. Palestinian rhetoric leaves no lines to which Israelis can withdraw from the collective Palestinian desire to annihilate the Jewish state. Hezbollah, is sponsoring most of the terrorist activity in the West Bank. Like Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah has headquarters in Lebanon and Damascus and is, thus, less susceptible to Israeli pressure. Supported by Iran and Syria, Hezbollah recently increased the bounty for spilling Jewish blood from $5,000 to $20,000. (USN&WR, 3/14/05, 72) ..... GAZA - Hamas militants said  they would not disarm despite Israel's planned Gaza pullout, so they could carry on their fight against the Jewish state. Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, made clear it has not budged from its historic goal of a creating an Islamic state that would encompass not only the West Bank and Gaza Strip but also what is now Israel. "We will draw the map of Palestine from the sea to the river and from Lebanon to Egypt." (Reuters, 08/12/05) 

    Palestinians will have to detoxify their society before anything like a real peace can exist. Too many Palestinians have devoted themselves for far too long not to the creation of a two-state solution but to the eradication of one state and one people: Israel and the Jews. Arafat made moderation synonymous with treason. He established a cult of total victory and a culture of hatred toward Israel; he legitimized terrorism and suicide bombings; he used the mosques, the media, and the schools to instill his animus in his people, even among the youngest children. A temporary cease-fire is no solution. It will simply raise Israeli suspicions that time is being bought to give Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades a respite to rebuild their arsenals. None of them will forswear the destruction of Israel. Why? Simply because terrorist groups are rarely, if ever, truly neutralized unless they are disbanded and disarmed, for their credo is "I kill, therefore I am." Abu Mazen is also a Holocaust denier who asserts that the Temple never existed in Jerusalem. He supported Arafat when he rejected the Camp David proposals four years ago. Abu Mazen mouthed Arafat's doctrines, including a pledge to return all of Palestinian refugees, now totaling 4 million, to the pre-1948 original home of their ancestors in Israel and to oust Israel from all of the West Bank. The "right of return," he said, was a nonnegotiable prerequisite. The implementation of this demand would destroy the Jewish character of Israel and is clearly a nonstarter. Abu Mazen has attacked Israelis as "Zionist enemies" and vowed that he would not only never attack members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and al-Aqsa but defend them instead. Palestinians see Abu Mazen as a member of the old guard, the Tunis thugocracy that came to Palestine and became rich men. (USN&WR, 1/24/05, 60)

    Yasser Arafat was personally responsible for the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics; he directed the execution of two American diplomats in Sudan; he masterminded the cold-blooded murder of 25 people – 21 of them children – in Ma’alot, a city in northern Israel; he authorized the takeover of the Italian cruise ship ACHILLE LAURO, and the murder of a wheelchair-bound American citizen. He was the originator of the infamous crime of suicide bombings and brought it to a horrified world. He was the inventor of the hijacking and bombing of airplanes that killed thousands. And that is just the tip of the evil iceberg. Arafat rejected a more than generous offer that gave virtually everything he ever demanded, except the “right of return” of the descendants of the Palestinian “refugees,” which would have been the end of the Jewish state. Arafat decided instead to start his bloody “intifada,” which by now has cost over 1,000 Jewish lives – and three times as many Arab lives and untold thousands wounded on both sides. The Palestinian economy is in ruins. More than one-half of its population is without work; famine would be rampant were it not for the constant infusion of cash by the U.S. and other western countries (most of it pilfered by Arafat and his cohorts and stashed in secret accounts all over the world). But the greatest harm, the greatest crime that Arafat committed was to poison the minds of two generations of Palestinian Arabs against Israel and against the Jews. Evil propaganda permeates all Palestinian media. Palestinian children, beginning with pre-school, learn to hate Jews and Israel, and to become “shahids” – martyrs and suicide bombers. The State of Israel does not appear in Arab textbooks; the area is described as “Occupied Palestine.” Even with the best effort, it may take at least two generations to change that mind set. It seems almost incredible and a cruel joke that such a man, such a fiend, would have received the Nobel Peace Prize and that presidents, prime ministers and secretaries of state of major countries would have attended this man’s funeral in Cairo.  Arafat left his people and the territory that the Israelis had generously yielded to him in a shambles. He refused to create any institutions that could possibly become precursors to a government. He looted the treasury that foreign countries – mostly, of course, the United States – had generously provided for the welfare of his constituents. He implanted hate and poisoned the minds of his people. His main interest never seems to have been the creation of a Palestinian state; his primary goal, ceaselessly pursued, was the destruction of Israel. With that heritage, it will take a very long time, if it can ever happen at all, that peace between Arabs and Jews can come about.  http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_89.html

    JERUSALEM (09/09/05, AP) - Arafat's Death Remains a Mystery. Newly revealed medical records have failed to solve the mystery of Yasser Arafat's death, although they do cast doubt on popular conspiracy theories about poisoning or rumors of AIDS. But the main question - what led to the massive stroke that killed the longtime Palestinian leader - may never be answered. Arafat, 75, died Nov. 11, 2004, in a French military hospital near Paris after a sudden, rapid decline in his health. Arafat's wife, Suha, refused an autopsy and Palestinian leaders have never given a definitive cause of death. French doctors who treated Arafat concluded he died of a "massive brain hemorrhage" after suffering intestinal inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC. But the records are inconclusive about what brought about DIC, which has numerous causes ranging from infections to colitis to liver disease. Since Arafat's death, rumors have swirled throughout the Middle East that Arafat died from either AIDS or poisoning. Many Palestinian officials insist that Israeli agents somehow poisoned him. Poisoning was highly unlikely; toxicology studies done by the French doctors were negative and said Arafat did not suffer extensive kidney and liver damage typical of poisoning. Arafat's condition improved in the hospital and that he was able to walk and talk before slipping into a coma Nov. 3. Such improvement would make poisoning unlikely. An unidentified Israeli infectious-diseases expert as criticized the French medical team for not testing for AIDS. But the expert said after studying the records, AIDS was unlikely due to the sudden onset of an intestinal illness.

    For two decades, Hezbollah's Islamic fanatics have been a foreign legion for Iran in Lebanon, dedicated to hate and violence. When thousands of them cried, "Death to America! Death to America!" in response to a speech last year by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, they meant it. Before 9/11, Hezbollah was responsible for more American casualties than any other terrorist organization. What of the civilian deaths, exemplified by the tragedy of Qana? A truer picture is summarized by a cartoon showing an Israeli soldier standing defensively in front of a baby carriage, while a soldier of Hezbollah fires at Israel from the other side of the baby carriage. To kill Israelis, Hezbollah cynically hides behind women and children, just as it deliberately dug bunkers in the crowded suburbs of Beirut. Yet these abuses don't attract much international condemnation, especially from the anti-Israel United Nations. It is only luck and tough security measures that have prevented large-scale Israeli tragedies. By contrast, Israel warns the Lebanese population in advance of attacks and urges people to leave the area. Warnings preceded the bombing of the Hezbollah rocket site in Qana--which is still a mystery. The building collapse came seven hours after the bomb fell on or near it. If the blast was perceived as a danger, why didn't Hezbollah or the Lebanese get the civilians out? Hezbollah has clearly violated the most basic laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions, which require parties to a conflict to "avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas" and state that "the presence of a protected person [i.e., a civilian] may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."The Geneva Conventions also forbid exactly what Hezbollah was doing at Qana, that is, concealing weaponry among civilians, as revealed in video footage from an Israeli drone showing a Hezbollah rocket launcher firing from a spot directly adjacent to the building struck in Qana. Israeli forces didn't know that dozens of civilians had found refuge there. Hezbollah did when it set up its rocket launcher there. International law is not a suicide pact. (8/6/06) http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/060806/14edit_3.htm

    Israel pulled out of Gaza more than a year ago, but instead of using their independence to build a Palestinian state, the Gaza Arabs have been killing each other, as well as trying to kill Israelis. Factional fighting between Hamas forces loyal to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the Fatah forces more or less loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas verges on a civil war. The turmoil will threaten Israel, which cannot be expected to stand aside as it did to its cost in southern Lebanon while Hezbollah grew strong enough to rocket Israeli cities. In Gaza, every intelligence, police, military, and security agency predicted violence if the security of the Gaza-Egypt border, the Philadelphia Route, was left to those parties when Israel withdrew. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice forced the Israelis to agree to the deal-and the border has indeed become a sewer for terrorists and weapons. The Egyptians have betrayed their obligations, even though Hamas is a threat to Egypt. The Israeli Defense Forces have discovered as many as 100 transborder tunnels, through which some 20 tons of explosives, tens of thousands of rifles, RPGs, rockets, and missiles of all kinds have been shipped. The Gazans have made matters worse by building hundreds of short-range Kassam rockets to rain on southern Israel. None of this is in the interest of the people of Gaza. Their vote for Hamas back in January has brought anarchy, corruption, chaos, and tribal wars. Abdallah Awad, columnist for the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, writes: "The factions, which not long ago were, in the eyes of the public, the guarantee for ridding ourselves of the occupation and for freedom and independence, have become ... another occupation, more repressive than the [Israeli] occupation itself." Hamas simply isn't interested in peace; in the latest survey, two thirds of Gazans reject peace with Israel while almost as many believe in shelling Israeli cities. Hamas ensures further bloodshed by indoctrinating Palestinian children. They are not born hating, but from the age of 3 their radical leadership incites them to murder. The hate pervades the educational system, TV broadcasting, summer camps, children's trading cards, movies, music, even games that make martyrdom a major theme. A Palestinian psychiatrist recently reported that over half the Palestinian children between the ages of 6 and 11 dream of becoming suicide bombers. And in this perverse and tragic pursuit, they are urged on by their prime minister, Haniyeh. "One of the signs of victory," he told a rally recently, "is the Palestinian mother who prepares her son to be a warrior and then receives the news of his death for the sake of Allah with cries of happiness." Hamas prefers to let the Gazans suffer in the hope that sympathy for the victims of its own intransigence trump reason and sound judgment. Hamas, in truth, is not a nationalist force. It is part of the global movement of jihad, a Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood founded in Egypt with the goal of eliminating Israel with help from its Syrian and Iranian backers. Middle East diplomats, so enamored of process, keep hoping the right dose of concessions will somehow result in mutually reinforcing perceptions of security. This is hopelessly naive. For now and the foreseeable future, the seat on the other side of the table across from Israel is occupied only by a death's-head. (11/5/06) http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/061105/13edit_2.htm

    A captured Hamas leader, who recruited and trained Palestinian suicide bombers, said they could strike anywhere and anytime they wanted. He claimed that most Palestinians would be willing to sacrifice their lives to accomplish their goal to destroy Israel. They are promised martyrdom, which includes everlasting happiness with 70 virgin  wives. (CBS, Sixty Minutes, 8/19/01) ..... Hamas, sworn to wipe out Israel, wants the Jewish state and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for a future Palestinian state run in accordance with Islamic law. (Reuters, 03/25/04 11:10 ET) ..... Islamic terrorists in suicide missions are told they will be rewarded in heaven with 72 virgin brides. However, females are promised little rewards, possibly explaining why so few volunteer. (USN&WR, 2/25/02, 6) ..... UCLA Islamic Law Prof. Khaled Abou El Fadl said that studies of the Koran suggest that the rewards for martyrdom should actually be translated as "raisons," not "virgins."  (USN&WR, 4/15/02, 36)  More complete info at   http://win4sports.com/terror.htm#virgins ..... Despite past feuds, Hamas now is allied with (PLO) Fatah. Hamas' goal is the eradication of Israel as a Jewish state, dismantling of Jewish settlements, return of 4 million Palestine refugees, establishment of Islamic state with Islamic law. (OCR, 4/4/02, News 7) ..... Hamas repeated "its demand that all of historic Palestine - including all of modern-day Israel - should be in Arab hands." (OCR, 8/23/02, News 40) ..... Dogs are a new weapon against terrorists. Dogs can detect bombs from surprising distances. "Islamic radicals believe that dogs are dirty, and if Fido's blood is mixed with that of a 'martyr,' he will not ascend to paradise and win his 72 virgins. As a result, some officials want to place dogs at sites most threatened by suicide bombers." (USN&WR, 9/29/03, 2) ..... Hamas leader Ahmed Yassen said that Muslims will defeat America,  and those carrying bombs and blowing themselves up (suicide attackers) are destined for paradise. (OCR, News 15, 9/25/03)

    Hamas teaches children to hate Jews.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8

    There are one million male students studying in Pakistan's 10,000 mostly militant Islamic religious schools. The students range from 8 to 35 years, are taught to hate and kill Americans, and  many become Pecharich terrorists. (Reader's Digest, 1/02, 70) ..... "More than a million of the [Palestinian] refugees from the 1948 war live in 59 camps scattered throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The camps have supplied most of the fighters willing to kill themselves." (OCR, 3/10/02, News 4) ..... On 3/9/77, About a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The siege ended two days later. (OCR, 3/9/02, Accent 7)

    Three 14-year old Gaza male classmates left suicide notes about martyrdom, attacked a Jewish settlement in Gaza with homemade pipe bombs, and were killed. Interviewed Palestinians blamed the deaths on Israel for causing a sense of hopelessness and traumatizing the boys. [The Palestinians refuse to accept any responsibility for the deaths of the boys. The boys have been taught in school to hate the Jews, that Israel must be destroyed, and to die for the cause leads to martyrdom. Either the Palestinians are lying to us, lying to themselves, or both.] (OCR, 4/25/02, News 21) ..... "The Arab world seethes with hatred of the Jews as rabid as the Nazi's. ... it is the Arab world that preaches 'Kill the Jews!' and dances in the street when terrorists do so." (OCR, 9/29/02, Commentary 6)

    "Ahmed Tibi, a former advisor to Arafat and now a member of Israel's parliament, accused Arab states of hypocrisy when they cite Palestinian corruption as an obstacle to financial aid. Many of the regions other leaders are every bit as corrupt, he said." (L. A. Times, 3/27/01, A4) ..... Bush urged Arafat to purge his administration of the corruption that is the source of much criticism from Palestinians themselves. European leaders echoed those comments. (OCR, 5/3/02, News 4) ..... "Palestinians resume their calls for democratic reform and an end in what is widely seen as rampart corruption." (OCR, 5/14/02, News 11) ..... Israel estimates that Arafat's personal property is worth $2 billion. (Newsweek, 1/27/03, 46) [Rags to riches!] ..... For ten years it has been alleged that Arafat, and a few close advisors, have diverted millions of dollars to secret bank accounts. The Palestinian Authority's first public accounting claims it has $600 million in liquid assets. (OCR, 3/1/03, News 38) ..... Arafat has violated every agreement he has made. Arab leaders also have stopped trusting him. (USN&WR, 9/29/03, 68) ..... Arafat appropriates $800M, By the JPost.com Staff November 7, 2003 The CBS-News program 60 minutes will report Sunday that PA Chairman Yasser Arafat has diverted $800 million to his private accounts from Palestinian Authority aid money. According to the report, Arafat continues to send his wife Suha an additional $100,000 – also from PA aid funds – each month to Paris, where she lives with their daughter. PA Finance Minister, Salam Fayad is currently tracking down missing PA finances, and is reported to have assisted CBS in their report. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1068185482292  

    Arafat's principal legacy is hate, his gift to the world a kind of terrorism whose techniques have been aped from Indonesia to Iraq. Arafat was resolute in refusing to prepare his people for peace. He used every platform--radio, TV, newspapers, the mosques, schools, even summer camps for kids--to inculcate a hatred of Jews, Israel, and the West. The Jews, Arafat declared, "never lived in or ruled Palestine. They were relying on false mythological sources," i.e., the Bible. Canaan, for Arafat, was not the Promised Land for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants; it was the land of banishment. For good measure, he added that "there was no temple in Jerusalem," thus denying that Jesus ever walked there, preached there, or was crucified there. A Palestinian poll in Gaza asked whether rockets and mortar attacks on Israeli towns should continue even after Israel's full withdrawal: 51 percent approved of more attacks. Only 42 percent said no. A couple of years ago, another poll found only 26 percent of Palestinians favored stopping terrorist attacks--even if they were to receive all of the West Bank and Gaza, East Jerusalem, and sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Hundreds of millions of dollars Arafat received to improve life for Palestinians were diverted to support a terrorist network. Now the Palestinians are to be guided, it appears, by some 10 feuding groups and their warlords who have about 40,000 guns (to say nothing of the criminal gangs that control swaths of the West Bank and Gaza). (USN&WR, 11/29/04, 68)

     Yasser Arafat ‘has £1.8bn fortune’ A TELEVISION documentary is to claim that Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian president, has amassed a personal fortune of up to £1.8bn and his wife is given tens of thousands of pounds each week to fund a lavish lifestyle in Paris. The £1.8bn estimate of Arafat's personal fortune is almost six times higher than had been previously been touted. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the CBS show 60 Minutes will claim on Sunday that he has amassed a personal fortune of between £602m and £1.8bn. It will also claim that Arafat's wife, Suha, 40, who lives away from the struggles of her homeland, is given more than £60,000 a month from Palestinian Authority funds. Lesley Stahl, a CBS correspondent, told the newspaper that Raymonda Tawil, Mrs Arafat's mother, is apparently enjoying life in Paris at the expense of the Palestinian taxpayers. http://ww1.theherald.co.uk/news/4130-print.shtml ..... "Yasser Arafat has run a system built on corruption and repression. His aids reap money from many sources in all corners of the dirt-poor territories -- brazenly showing off their newfound wealth with grand new homes and fancy cars. ... The most senior PA officials are stealing the money that belongs to the people. ... hundreds of millions of dollars have disappeared from the PA treasury." Palestinians are fed up with PA repression, extortion, and demand for bribes. (USN&WR, 7/1/02, 16) [Many horrifying examples in article.] ..... Arafat Fends Off Challenge Over Reforms, By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, AP,  RAMALLAH, West Bank (Aug. 26, 2004) - Veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat turned back another effort by critics to force him to reform his bloated, corruption-plagued administration. The recommendations included forming a viable government capable of fighting corruption more effectively and restoring law and order. It also called on Arafat to follow through on promises made in a speech last week to crack down on graft. ..... Starting in 1979, Arab countries gave the PLO about $200M per year for 10 years. They stopped when Arafat supported Saddam Hussein, who gave $150M. From 1993 to 2000, Israel gave about $4B in tax rebates to the PA. From 1994 to 2003, other countries donated $6.5B to the PA. Thus, more than $12.5B has been given to Arafat, who refuses to give an accounting of his financial empire. Arafat's wealth is estimated to be between $3B and $5B. When he was 62, he secretly married a 28-year-old woman. His wife flew to Paris to give birth because she said conditions in Gaza were terrible. His wife and daughter live a lavish life style in Paris on $100,000 per month. $11.4M allegedly was transferred to the wife's bank account between 7/02 and 9/03. (OCR, 11/9/04, News 14) ..... The Palestinian attorney general said that senior officials in the authority may have stolen billions of dollars of public funds. (OCR, 2/6/06, News 11)

    On Sept. 9, 1993, Yasser Arafat signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin pledging that the Palestine Liberation Organization "recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security." That was a lie. The list of crimes the PLO chairman has incited or been associated with over the years would stain every page of a good-sized book. Highlights, however, would include the slaughter of athletes at the 1972 Olympics by Black September; the assassination of U.S. diplomats in Sudan in 1973; the massacre of schoolchildren at Maalot in 1974; a bus hijacking that killed 35 civilians in 1978; the slaying of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro in 1985; the torture and execution of Palestinian dissidents, especially during the intifada of the late 1980s and early '90s; and the suicide bombings of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in more recent years. Even those incidents provide but a flavor of Arafat's culpability in the decades-long terrorism that sabotaged the likelihood of Middle East peace. Given an opportunity in '93 to lead the Palestinians in setting up a state of their own, Arafat botched it utterly, staffing a soon-to-be corrupt Palestinian Authority with cronies and thugs. At every turn, meanwhile, he walked away from the possibility of a settlement with Israel. Most notably in the fall of 2000, he left on the table a two-state solution that gave the Palestinians nearly everything they could realistically expect in terms of territory and a capital in East Jerusalem. In the four years of violence that have followed, Arafat has made no serious efforts to halt suicide bombings against Israeli civilians or to rein in the violence that has made a shambles of the economy. No doubt part of the reason for this feeble performance is that his Fatah movement and the PA itself are implicated in the attacks. (Rocky Mountain News, 11/5/04) ..... Arafat realized early that Arab dictators would pay to keep the Palestinian issue alive because it gave them an all-purpose diversion from the disaster they were wreaking on their own societies. Arafat became the custodian of the Palestinian grievance for everyone. (OCR, 11/5/04, Local 7) ..... "Arafat has said he was born in Jerusalem, though biographers have concluded that his birthplace was Cairo." (OCR, 11/6/04, News 4)

    Marwan Barghouti, a senior official in Arafat's Fatah movement, said, "I think that President Arafat is not only supporting the uprising but also the leader of it." Israel has long charged that Arafat has directed the violence. Arafat has denied that he is behind attacks on Israelis by Palestinian militants and has suggested he is doing everything he can to stop the violence. (LAT, 9/1/01, A4) ..... Netanyahu said that Arafat tells his people in Arabic every night that they ought to annihilate the Jewish state. He has violated dozens of cease-fires, using them just to rearm. (OCR, 4/4/02, News 2) ..... President Bush said Arafat has not earned his trust. "I mean, here's a man who said he has signed on at Oslo that he was going to fight off terror. We thought we had a cease- fire arranged. We were close to a cease-fire, and the next thing we know, there's a suicide bomber that hits. We thought a couple of months ago that ... we had an agreement. The next thing we know, he's ordered a shipment of arms from Iran.  He's got a long way to go." (OCR, 4/6/02, News 11) ..... After Arafat rejected Israel's offer at Camp David, he said, "Look, we've got 150 years, and we'll throw them into the sea." Arafat has lied about everything and to everyone. Arafat's colleague Mazen Izz al-Din said on a PLO television broadcast "One day history will expose the fact that the whole intifada and its instructions came from Brother Commander Yasser Arafat." Dennis Ross wrote that he never met an Arab leader that trusted Arafat. (USN&WR, 7/8/02, 68) ..... Arafat told Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci: "We don't want peace. We want war, victory. Peace for us means the destruction of Israel and nothing else. " (USN&WR, 5/20/02, 60) ..... However, Hamas will not oppose Palestinian statehood despite its announced desire to destroy Israel, he said. "It is the right of Palestinian people to have a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem." "What we will not accept ... is if a state was (created) in return for giving up any of the rights of the Palestinian people," Abu Marzouk said. Hamas says all of Israel and occupied Palestinian territories belong to the Palestinians. He warned that no Israeli would be safe until the Israeli government caves in. (DAMASCUS, Dec 9, 2004, Reuters)

    International human-rights group Human Rights Watch said Palestinian suicide attacks against Israeli civilians are "crimes against humanity" and Arafat has not done enough to deter them. No Israeli military action or violations of international law justified such attacks. (OCR, 11/3/02, News 29) ..... For 50 years, an idealistic Jewish group from Argentina, believing in coexistence, lived in a kibbutz in Israeli territory bordering the West Bank. Arabs from neighboring villages shared meals and events with the settlers. The kibbutz even offered their own land to be used in place of Arab land for a security zone. A Palestinian gunman from an Arafat associated group infiltrated the kibbutz and killed five, including a mother and her young sons (4 and 5). (OCR, 11/12/02, News 11) ..... Palestinian gunmen in Gaza killed a pregnant Israeli woman and her four young daughters as they headed into Israel. (OCR, 5/2/04, News 9)

    Arafat "has shown a contempt for working democracy. Corruption and nepotism are rampant ...... a judicial system is virtually nonexistent, most media are state-controlled and the legislature is powerless." (LAT, 12/11/01, A18) ..... "Yasser Arafat denounced Israel on Friday night as a racist colonial power at a U.N. conference on intolerance, just hours after one of his senior aids [Nabil Shaath] announced that the Palestinians would reject a proposed declaration that labeled Israel as a racist state." (OCR, 9/1/01, News 29) ..... Arafat arrested two people for making explosives used in a 1996 attack. They were allowed to make more explosives in jail, and were recently released so they could make the bombs used in a terrorist attack on a pizzeria that killed 15 innocent civilians. (USN&WR, 3/25/02, 60) ..... One day before Arafat condemned terror against civilians, his wife told an Arab-language magazine that she endorsed suicide attacks, and it would be an honor for her son to do it, if she had one. She and her daughter (she has no son) live in Paris. (OCR, 4/15/02, News 4) .... Arafat said that Palestinians are against all forms of terrorism. Then he said that terror doesn't serve their interests, not that it is morally wrong. A few days prior, Arafat said he would outlaw suicide bombings, but that was omitted from his speech. (OCR, 9/10/02, News 13) ..... An IMF official said Arafat diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account he controlled. Palestine legislator Hanan Ashrawi said she and others have been aware of past misuse of funds for some time. (OCR, 9/21/03, News 35) ..... Gunmen in Arab Beit Jala fired on civilians in Jewish Gilo. Israel sent in troops to stop the attacks. The troops withdrew after two days when the Palestinians promised to stop firing on Jala. An American official said, "This shows that Arafat can stop the shooting." (USN&WR, 9/10/01, 19)

    Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said "I have no reason to believe anything a Taliban representative would say." First they said they do not know where Bin Laden is. Then they said the Taliban have been been constantly guarding and protecting Bin Laden for more than two years. (LAT, 10/1/01, A1) 

    "Israeli authorities contend that Bin Laden has not made greater inroads in their nation and the Palestinian territories because of the tight control the Jewish state maintains over its borders and the ability of Israeli-paid agents to penetrate and spy on Palestinian groups." (LAT, 10/3/01, A6)

    A survey found 46% of Palestinians and 41% of Israelis believe there will be no peace in the foreseeable future, 59% of Palestinians and 46% of Israelis expect the conflict to continue for 5 to 10 year. Hatred has soared among Palestinians, with wide support for suicide bombings and other armed attacks on Israelis.  "Saleh, 69, once served as agriculture minister in the government Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, but he quit to protest rampant corruption. ..... He is one of a daring handful of prominent Palestinians who speak out in favor of nonviolent resistance." (LAT, 8/22/01, A6) ..... A Palestinian poll of 1179 randomly selected adult Palestinians during May 2002 shows 51% support eliminating Israel and 43% wanted to push Israel out of Palestinian areas. During December 2001, the numbers were 43% and 49%, respectively. (OCR, 6/12/02, News 33)

    JERUSALEM (AP, 4/11/06) - Israel on Tuesday stood by its new policy of firing artillery shells at Palestinian rocket squads operating from populated areas in Gaza.  The Israeli military intensified its offensive against Palestinian rocket fire after the Hamas militant group took charge of the Palestinian Authority two weeks ago. In a major policy shift, it has begun allowing guns to fire close enough to hit populated areas. "As long as it's not quiet here (in Israel), it won't be quiet there (in Gaza)," Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday. Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim  said the military operations would continue as long as Palestinian militants continue to launch rockets at Israel. The military's task is to defend the security of the citizens of Israel," Boim said. "If the Hamas government will not control these terrorists from firing Qassam (rockets) against Israeli civilians in cities and communities, we will continue to push these citizens out of the range of these rockets." Since the beginning of the month, Israel has retaliated against the estimated 32 rockets that landed in Israeli territory with 16 air strikes and more than 1,000 artillery rounds, the military said. Seventeen Palestinians, including 13 militants, have died in the offensive since Friday. There have been no Israeli casualties from the rocket fire. Palestinian militants have threatened revenge for the Israeli military crackdown, but the Hamas government is quietly urging them to refrain from launching rockets at Israel without permission, officials from both sides have confirmed. While Hamas says it still supports armed resistance against Israel, a halt in violence would enable it to focus on other brewing crises. Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in January on a platform of ending government corruption and improving public services. But since being sworn into office, the government has found itself facing tough Western aid cutoffs, Palestinian infighting and now, growing violence with Israel.

    An Israeli military report expects the conflict to continue for another 5 years. An influential Israeli adviser has said the Palestinians "will never stop shooting until they drive us into the sea." (OCR, 8/20/01, Local 6) ..... "The Palestinians were attacking Jews even when they [Palestinians] controlled the land now under dispute." (LAT, 8/26/01, M4 Letter) ..... "The 'right of return,' meanwhile, is a rallying cry for Arabs, particularly hard-line opponents of Israel. Many Arab states, in hope of keeping anti-Israeli fervor alive, deny Palestinians property, citizenship and other rights that might make their lives as refugees easier." (OCR, 4/16/04, News 28) ..... "Israel is better, more moral in conduct of its affairs, than any Arab nation you can name. ... Arab nations oppress their own people and seek the destruction of Israel. They encourage, finance and celebrate the most horrible acts of terrorism directed against innocent Jewish citizens. (OCR, 11/1/04, Local 6)

    Al Jazeera, started 11/96,  is a 24-hour satellite uncensored television station from Qatar. It is "a nightmare  for Arab governments accustomed to determining what kind of information their masses receive." Protests have been received from Jordan, Kuwait, Arafat, Libya, Morocco, and others. Algeria has cut off power to prevent receiving its broadcasts. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will not permit the reporters on their soil. Israel is concerned that the broadcasts incite Palestinians to riot, yet "continues to allow its correspondents to operate freely within its borders." Faisal al Kasim, an Arab current affairs show host on the station said, "For fifty years, the media in the Arab world have been feeding people nothing but lies." (LAT, 5/7/01, A1) 

    "The governments of the Arab nations are among the most repressive in the world. In most of the countries, there is no free press. There is no freedom of association. Dissent is crushed. Torture is common. Opposition parties are weak or ineffective. ..... The lack of a democratic outlet in Arab countries fosters a breeding ground for Islamic extremists." (LAT, 10/8/01, A4 R)

    The writer of this article was talking to a Palestinian friend in 1994 in Jerusalem. The Palestinian confided, "We have many caches of weapons buried there and all over Israel. Arafat will make the 'peace' with the Israelis and when the time is right and when we get more  of the land, we'll take the guns out and take the rest of the land." (O. C. Register, 4/1/01, Commentary 4)

    Faisel Husseini, the Palestinian leader who headed the Orient House, compared the 1993 Oslo peace accords with the Trojan horse, an attempt to subvert and ultimately destroy Israel through territorial concessions. The Oslo agreement is a phased goal, while ambushing and cheating the Israelis. The ultimate goal is the liberation of all Palestine, even if this means conflict for another 1000 years. (LAT, 8/20/01, B11) ..... In 1949, one year after Israel was established, Arafat published the Voice of Palestine, in which he vowed to fight "the Zionist entity"  and the "agent of imperialism" in the Middle East. (LAT, 2/10/02, A5)  

    Most Arabs most times believe "that the Jewish state must be destroyed, with its inhabitants either subjugated, exiled or killed." Syria portrays the current Palestinian violence as the "countdown for the destruction of Israel." Lebanon claims that the present time offers "an exceptional historic opportunity to finish off the entire cancerous Zionist project." A Palestinian magazine children's poem addresses Israelis: "You can choose the sea like cowards, or choose us, and we will rip you to shreds." Zionist leader Zev Jabotinsky in 1923 explained, "So long as Arabs have a glimmer of hope to rid themselves of our presence, they will not give it up for all sweet words and far-reaching promises in the world." (LAT, 8/31/01, B15) ..... Author Hillel Halkin is searching for the descendants of the 10 lost Jewish tribes, driven from ancient Palestine in 8BC by the Assyrians. There may be more than 35 million descendants world wide, which could help offset the sharply increasing Palestinian population. (Newsweek, 10/21/02, 11)

    A Palestinian militant said, "These weapons (mortars) have existed here for a long time and now is the time to use them." There have been 56 mortar attacks in the last two months. By the 1993 Oslo agreement, which gave the Palestinians control of some of the land, Arafat's police can have 15,000 guns and a few armored personnel carriers. Most other weaponry is illegal. The Palestinians are now using mortars with a range of 2.5 miles. Israel believes the Palestinians have been stockpiling antiaircraft guns, antitank missiles, and other far more deadly equipment. These items have been smuggled into, or manufactured in Gaza. (LAT, 4/10/01, A9) 

    The Israeli navy intercepted a fishing boat loaded with long range weaponry destined for Palestinian fighters in Gaza. The captured weapons included Katyusha ground-to-ground rockets, antiaircraft missiles, mines, and antitank grenades. (LAT, 5/8/01, A3)

    Israel intercepted a ship in the Red Sea, allegedly from Iran,  carrying 50 tons of advanced weaponry destined for the Palestinian Authority. The Captain and several crew members were officers in the Palestinian navy. The ship was owned by the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority denied any involvement. The weapons included 12-mile range Katyusha rockets, 120-mm mortars, antiaircraft missiles, mines, armor-piercing Sagger antitank missiles, sniper rifles, and C4 explosives. Most of the weapons are forbidden to the Palestinians under existing agreements. (LAT, 1/7/02, A3 & 1/5/02, A7) ..... The Bush administration accused Arafat of lying about his government's role in the arms smuggling operation and lying about arresting three Palestinians involved. (LAT, 1/25/02, A3) ..... "Yasser Arafat lied to the president about a ... shipment of weapons to terrorists that Yasser Arafat said he had nothing to do with, had no knowledge of, when it was proven that he was involved in it," Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said last year. (Dan Williams, Reuters, 10/18/04) ..... US and Israeli intelligence concluded Arafat has had an agreement with Iran for shipments of heavy weapons and millions of dollars to Palestinian groups that are waging guerrilla war against Israel. The partnership was arranged at a clandestine meeting in May in Moscow. (OCR, 3/24/02, News 27)

    "Under the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Palestinian security forces were allowed to have thousands of machine guns, assault rifles, and pistols, much of the weaponry supplied by Israel. In addition, large caches have been smuggled into Palestinian territory from Egypt, Jordan and Israel or manufactured domestically.  Recently, militants have added mortars to their arsenal, and judging from intercepted shipments, may have acquired surface-to-air missiles and artillery." Palestinians "have been armed and trained since the Palestinian Authority gained control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994 and 1995, and are now organized into paramilitary units determined to eject the Israelis." (LAT, 5/24/01, A1)  ..... The Israeli army seized eight missiles and a launcher in the West Bank. The missiles have a range of eight miles and could hit cities in the heart of Israel. The missiles were found in a truck carrying vegetables from Nablus to Jenin, both towns very active in the fight against Israel. This is the first time these missiles have been found in the West Bank, but Hamas has fired similar missiles in the Gaza Strip. (LAT, 2/7/02, A3) ..... Palestinians fired two home-made Kassam-II rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. They carry up to 22 pounds of explosives, and have no guidance systems, but are precise enough to be used against a metropolitan target. (OCR, 2/11/02, News 11)

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (1/31/06, AP) - Hamas is searching for new sources of funding. International donors that support the Palestinian government said millions of dollars of aid could be in jeopardy if Hamas does not change its violent ways. Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide attacks, is poised to lead the next Palestinian government after winning legislative elections. Western donors, led by the United States and EU, funnel some $900 million to the Palestinians each year, most of it designated for reconstruction projects in the impoverished Gaza Strip and West Bank. The United States and European Union list Hamas as a terrorist group, making it difficult, if not illegal, for them to give money to a government led by Hamas. Israel also said it would stop the monthly transfer of $55 million in taxes and customs it collects from Palestinian workers and merchants to the Palestinian Authority if a Hamas government is installed. Hamas officials said the group already is in touch with potential donors in Arab and Muslim nations. Analysts say that although most wealthy Gulf nations will not stand by and watch the Palestinians starve, the Arab and Muslim world is unlikely to provide the kind of cash Western nations have given. Government officials in the oil-rich countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, the most likely donors, are staying clear of the subject for now, refusing to discuss the issue despite repeated contacts from the AP. The Gulf governments have pledged tens of millions of dollars to the Palestinians in the past but sent only a tiny fraction of that money. ..... Arafat opened the space for Hamas. Arafat created one of the most ill-disciplined, corrupt, and ineffective organizations ever to be taken seriously on the world stage. (Newsweek, 2/6/06, 32) 

    Palestinian aid in jeopardy [after Hamas election victory]:  At least half of the PA's $3 billion budget is dependent on funds from donors. The European Union is the largest donor to Palestinian projects. Last year it gave $612 million in aid, but halted direct payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) due to concerns over the high level of government salaries.  The United States gave the PA $400 million last year and has budgeted $234 million in assistance this year. Since 1993, the US has given the Palestinians more than $1.5 billion.  Israel has suggested it would suspend customs revenue transfers to the PA, which total $40 million to $50 million per month and are crucial toward paying the salaries of 135,000 Palestinian employees.  Hamas has rejected threats of a funding cutoff as blackmail and has said it could seek money from alternative sources, within the Arab world and beyond. Source: Reuters, 1/31/06

    The birth of a Hamas terrorist statelet in the West Bank is not just one disaster but many. It will destroy the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it will threaten America's regional friends, such as Jordan and Egypt, and it will embolden all of America's enemies in the region—Syria, Iran, the Islamic insurgents in Iraq, al Qaeda, and Hezbollah. Hamastan, as they call it, will become a training ground for terrorism—a sort of Afghanistan lite. As Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar put it, "We will join the Legislative Council with our weapons in our hands." These killers will now be wearing official police and military uniforms. Who in Palestine will dare argue for a peaceful negotiation with Israel? Hamas, which claims the blood of almost 600 innocent Israelis on its hands, could not have been more explicit than it was in a tv advertisement that aired January 17: "We do not recognize the Israeli enemy, nor his right to be our neighbor, nor to stay [on the land], nor his ownership of any inch of land." Hamas doesn't even pretend to want peace with Israel. Its goals are, quite simply, the annihilation of the Jewish state in favor of an Islamic state throughout the Holy Land—an Islamic regime whose source of authority and laws is Islamic law as codified in the sharia. As Zahar put it, "In the Islamist Palestinian State, every citizen will be required to act in accordance with the codes of Islamic religious law." 

    Hamas covenant: "The time [of Muslim unity] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry, 'O, Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come on and kill him.'" In Article 6, the covenant states Hamas's objective clearly: "To raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine . . . Israel will just continue until Islam will eliminate it." The conflict is defined in religious terms: "The Land of Palestine from the river to the sea is considered an Islamic waqf [endowment], and no Muslim has the right to cede any part of it."A two-state solution? "Never!" How will Hamas accomplish the obliteration of Israel? Article 13 states: "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad; initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are but a waste of time." A former Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, spelled it out: "We will not leave one Jew in Palestine." The current Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, reiterated the threat at a post-election press conference in Damascus. Hamas will not disarm; it will not even recognize Israel's 1967 borders—never mind the secure and recognized boundaries for Israel called for by U.N. resolutions. A two-state solution? "Never!" vowed Zahar, when asked if Hamas would recognize Israel.Hamas is not just a mortal threat to Israel and all who live in the state. It inhabits an irrational world of paranoid fantasy. Articles 22 and 32 of the covenant, for instance, assert that "the Jews" control the world media, such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting, and the like and have used this power and their wealth to stir revolutions—including the French and the Communist revolutions, wwi, and wwii. "They used their money to establish clandestine organizations such as the Free Masons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and the like—all secret organizations . . . that act for the interest of Zionism and under its direction . . . laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The Protocols! Everyone knows they were a clumsy Bolshevik fraud, but to Hamas they are sacred writ. How can Israelis or anyone else negotiate with such fantasists? And only fantasists can hope that Hamas will soon turn its back on terrorism. Extremist parties of this nature don't become more moderate; they become more extreme—see the record of the Baath Party in Syria under Hafez Assad and in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, as well as Muslims under the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran—not to mention how Arafat's idea of responsibility was starting the second intifada or the wretched behavior of Hezbollah in Lebanon.Hamas may try to play the old word game and put a sheep's clothing on the wolf, as Arafat did. Israeli intelligence has concluded that, in fact, Hamas will do just that, biding its time before it finally strikes. It ought to be clear to everyone that any deal with Hamas will have as much meaning as a deal with Osama bin Laden. Is it really so hard to understand that a group that calls for genocide, extols terrorism, and demands a Taliban-style regime is not about to become moderate?

    Contempt for Christianity. Hamas hates Christians as much as it does Jews. Take Bethlehem. It is no longer a Christian city. Muslims now vastly outnumber the departing Christians who are being effectively forced out at a rate where fairly soon the only Christians in Bethlehem will be holiday tourists. Just last year, Hamas won the citywide election, and a city councilor quickly advocated a special tax on non-Muslim residents, as ordained by the Koran for dhimmis, second-class Jews and Christians. The contempt for Christianity was manifest several years earlier when the newly elected radical Muslim mayor of Nazareth gave permission to build a mosque in the parking lot of the Basilica of the Annunciation, which would have overwhelmed the Basilica and made it virtually impossible for Christians to visit. Fortunately, the plan was blocked by the Israelis.In 2002. Washington has already helped create another flashpoint, by imposing on Israel the porous border-control agreement between Gaza and Egypt in Raffah in the belief that the Palestinian Authority, corrupt and inefficient as it was, would do what it promised. Now this border will be taken over by Hamas, which will try to bring in terrorists and weapons, especially rockets with greater range and accuracy. If rockets are deployed to fire on Israeli cities, Israel will have to intervene to protect its citizens.The Palestinian election reminds us all that the Islamists remain the only organized political force in the Arab world. They are the most effective at capitalizing on popular discontent. We have seen their resurgence in Iraq. If really free elections were held in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would win; in Algeria, in Saudi Arabia, the same thing would happen—and not because of Israel. Jordan, with its population made up of 70 percent Palestinians, is now at risk, and it is a country whose stability is vital to America's interests.Sadly, the beneficiary of this turn of events is another heinous power in the region, Iran. For 25 years, Tehran has been steadily giving more and more money to terrorist organizations. It has been the principal sponsor of Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Hamas, and they all work together. For example, Hamas has been transferring rockets and other materiel to these terrorist organizations so they can launch rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel. A few weeks ago, in Damascus, the extremist Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said publicly to Mashaal, the Hamas leader, that the party's victory in Palestine has become a matter of life and death for the Islamic world. The flow of funds from the United States and Europe should cease; it has long been unconscionable that so many millions of dollars have been spent to support terror and hate: Palestinian schools and media have never ceased inculcating hatred, sowing the poison from generation to generation. (USN&WR, 2/13/06, 64)

    MOSCOW (AP, 3/3/06) - Hamas' political leader on Friday bluntly rejected any discussion of the militant group's refusal to recognize Israel, dealing a setback to Moscow's effort to persuade it to soften its stance. The issue of recognition (of Israel) is a decided issue," said Hamas' exiled political leader Khaled Mashaal upon arrival in Moscow for talks with Russian officials. "We don't intend to recognize Israel."

    The newly designated Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh  was speaking from Shati refugee camp in Gaza, where he lives with his wife and 12 children.     Do you recognize Israel's right to exist?
    The answer is, let Israel say they will recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, release the prisoners and recognize the rights of the refugees to return to Israel. Hamas will have a position if this occurs.
    (Newsweek, 3/6/06, 30)  [Clear answer and commitment?]

    A video message on the Hamas website proclaims: "We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of the Jews." But the lust to kill Jews is only part of it. Hamas, like Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has ambitions that threaten us all. Khaled Mashal, Hamas's top leader, spelled them out: "The nation of Islam will sit at the throne of the world ... Muhammad is gaining victory in Palestine [and] in Iraq. ... The Arab and Islamic nation is rising and awakening. ... Tomorrow we will lead the world." Not to be outdone is the Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar: "We are part of the great world plan whose name is the world Islamic movement." According to the Jerusalem Post, the Hamas victory will "lift the morale of the Arab and Islamic world and affect the battle for Afghanistan and Iraq." Just a few days before the Palestinian election, Ahmadinejad met Mashal and Hamas's other leader-in-exile, Musa Abu Marzuk, in Damascus, along with the leaders of nine other Syria-based terrorist groups. The Palestinian conflict, they concluded, will become a "focal point of the final war" between Islam and the West. Hezbollah has already moved its operational headquarters from Beirut to Gaza; al Qaeda elements are already there.  These are omens of an evil confluence, the formation of a Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah-Gaza axis in which Iran will fund and arm a new front of terrorism with its head in Iran, its body in Iraq and Lebanon, and its feet in Gaza and the West Bank. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's leader, warned that financial aid to the Palestinians would be conditional on continued terror and resistance against Israel. (USN&WR, 3/20/06, 72)

    Muslims and Jews

    "The original Jewish community in Hebron was destroyed in 1929, when Arabs rose up against Jewish immigration to Palestine, killing 69 people and forcing the rest to flee." (L. A. Times, 4/2/01, A6) ..... After living in Hebron for centuries, Jews were driven out during Arab riots in 1929. Dozens were massacred. When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, settlers began moving back into what had been Hebron's Jewish quarter. Kiryat Arba, one of the West Bank's largest settlements, was established in 1972, and is home to thousands of Israelis today. Nearly all the (about 450) Jews in Hebron and many living in the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba walk to the Tomb of the Patriarchs every Friday evening, and the route is heavily guarded by Israeli security forces. The site is the burial place of the biblical Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who are revered by both faiths. (AP-NY-11-15-02 1601EST) ..... Before 1948, Arab riots forced Jews from Yemen to flee from Silwan, a community area in east Jerusalem. Some Jews now want to re-establish their Silwan community. The Arabs call it a "land grab." (OCR, 4/1/04, News 21)

    Israeli public relations now will stress that the Jews were there long before the Palestinians. They recognize that Palestinians now living in Israel are entitled to rights, but "the whole land of Israel is the birthright of the Jewish people." (LAT, 8/8/01, A1)

    No practising Muslim looks at you as a Jew -- if he knows you are a Jew -- looks at you in any way other than you are the enemy. He can give you any line, he can tell you, he can lie…Under the practise of Islam, Taqiya is lying under Islam in order to advance the cause of Islam. And the way you advance the cause of Islam is lying to the Jews under Dawa, and I know this is another word that you have never heard. Dawa is literally "the call" -- when Muslims must befriend the Jews in order to win them over.  http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=3403
        more on taqiya

    Lebanese troops arrested about 250 Christians because of their demands that Syria pull its 25,000 soldiers out of Lebanon. (LAT, 8/9/01, A4) ..... A Lebanese  journalist faces death for meeting with Israeli officials. (OCR, 8/24/01, News 30) ..... Israel fears that Syrian-backed Hezbollah is heavily armed and preparing direct attacks on Israel. However, the Israeli response will not be to Lebanon, but will be to Syria. (USN&WR, 3/18/02, 4)

    "The United Nations admitted last month that it misled Israel about the existence of a videotape filmed 18 hours after the Oct. 7 abduction [of 3 Israeli soldiers]. It showed U.N. peacekeepers handing over, at gunpoint, two vehicles probably used in the abduction." (LAT, 8/9/01, A6) ..... A U.N. report found no evidence of a massacre in Jenin refugee camp (April 2002), refuting Arab lies that it had occurred. (OCR, 8/3/02, News 2)

    "A Palestinian blew himself up in a crowded downtown Jerusalem pizzeria at lunchtime Thursday, killing 15 other people, including children and one [pregnant] American." This followed a June 1 suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv disco killing 22 young people. (LAT, 8/10/01, A1) ........  A 28-year old Palestinian blew himself up in a cafe in northern Israel, injuring about 20. (LAT, 8/13/01) ..... During the five months of the Palestinian uprising when Barak was prime minister, Israelis were killed by Palestinians at a rate of 13 per month. This increased to 21 per month during Sharon's year in office. (OCR, 3/7/02, News 14)

    In 1981, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Osirak (Iraq) nuclear reactor, capable of producing nuclear weapons. The raid was roundly condemned in Europe and the United States. Ten years later (1991), Iraq invaded Kuwait, and a U.S.-backed coalition responded. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney gave to Israel a satellite photo of the destroyed nuclear plant, with the message, "With thanks and appreciation for the outstanding job you did on the Iraqi nuclear program ..... which made our job much easier in Desert Storm." (LAT, 8/12/01, M2) ..... http://www.alisrael.com/tamuz/ ..... Ilan Ramon, a 48-year-old Israeli air force colonel, died with 6 other astronauts on the Columbia space shuttle 2/1/03. Ramon was one of the first Israeli pilots for F-16 fighters, fought in 1973 and 1982 wars, and was one of the pilots that destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981. (OCR, 2/11/03, News 18) 

    "Under the Israeli government, all religious groups have always had full access to their special sites and, in most cases, full control of them." (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/5/01, B9 Letter) [The Jews were denied access to their most important religious site, the wailing wall, when the Arabs controlled it.]

    In 1901, a fund was created to buy land for Zionists. During the past 100 years, the fund has developed 250,000 acres and planted more than 200 million trees. (LAT, 9/7/01, A3)

    After the 9/11/01 murder of 5000? civilian Americans, the Israeli Defense Minister said, "I hope the world now understands that its No. 1 enemy is Islamic terror." Predictably, most Arab leaders, even those advocating 'death to Americans', expressed their regrets about the killing of so many innocent people. However, many of their people were dancing with joy and having celebration parties. Elliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies, said "we have to stop thinking about this as cops and robbers and start thinking of it as war. .... It means you may well do thing that may well involve collateral damage and hurting civilians." Loren Thompson, a defense analyst, said "retaliation might include bombing in major cities and attacks on material assets of countries considered friendly to terrorists. ..... The only way to prevent this in the future is to do what the terrorists did to demonstrate the consequences. We need a huge show of force that involves huge loss of material assets and lots of casualties." Larry Johnson, a former counter-terrorist official, said "Bin Laden's awakened people to the need to use weapons not used before - including nuclear weapons - on Afghanistan. You don't launch a few missiles and make a few craters and expect the problem to go away." (LAT, 9/12/01, A15)  ..... A poll in the U.S. "finds that 66 percent of Americans think that a government should stop terrorists before they act, just as Israel has done in Palestine." (USN&WR, 9/10/01, 10)

    Arafat angrily rejected any suggestion that the Palestinians rejoiced over the terrorist attacks on the U.S. He said that "it was less than 10 children in East Jerusalem, and we punished them." "It was unclear how this assertion could be squared with photographs of the crowds." (OCR, 9/13/01, News 22) ..... Palestinian groups celebrated in the streets the attack on the U.S. "Palestinian policemen and gunmen threatened photographers and other journalists who attempted to cover the demonstrations, and Arafat quickly banned further displays." (LAT, 9/14/01, A36) ..... "Palestinian security agents are said to have detained cameramen and confiscated their tapes after they filmed Palestinians celebrating the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. In subsequent days, some areas of the Gaza Strip were closed to journalists by Palestinian authorities in an apparent effort to prevent the coverage of such demonstrations." (OCR, 5/4/02, News 7)

    Extermination of Jews and Subjugation of Christians-Inevitable Goal of History 
    Excerpt from Palestinian Authority TV Sermon)
    The final stage of history will be the subjugation of all Christian countries under Islam and the extermination of every single Jew - this according to the PA religious leader during Friday’s Sermon. The Jews are so evil, Ibrahim Mudayris teaches, that they cannot be subjugated like the Christian countries, and therefore the only solution awaiting them is death – literally the extermination of every Jew. In his words: “The day will come and we shall rule America, Britain, we shall rule the entire world, except the Jews.” In the sermon Ibrahim Mudayris reiterated many of the often-repeated PA justifications for the anticipated genocide, including the following hate messages:  God has predetermined that the Jewish problem will be solved with the extermination of the Jews. God has predetermined that the Christian -Islam interactions will end with today's Christian countries under Islam. Israel has no right to exist and will be destroyed. http://www.pmw.org.il/Latest%20bulletins%20new.htm#May13    5/16/05

    Jews in Arab Countries        1948           Now
    Algeria                                         140,000                  0
    Egypt                                                75,000             100
    Iraq                                                135,000             100
    Lebanon                                            5,000              100
    Libya                                               38,000                   0
    Morocco                                       265,000           5,700
    Syria                                               30,000              100
    Tunisia                                         105,000           1,500
    Yemen                                             55,000              200

        (USN&WR, 3/19/07, 63)

    The Middle East Mindset

    4/13/11,  http://www.hudson-ny.org/2011/middle-east-mindset

    It is now clear why Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have refused negotiations with Israel for more than a year, even after Israel agreed to freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem: they have been busy working behind the scenes with South American leaders to obtain a declaration of statehood for "Palestine." Abbas has reason to gloat. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina recently recognized "Palestine as a free and independent state based on its pre-1967 borders," and other South American countries have followed her lead.

    Having failed to obtain an independence declaration at the U.N. Security Council, the PA is now preparing to bypass the Security Council and ask the General Assembly to invoke the precedent of the U.N. General Assembly's "Uniting for Peace" Resolution 377 (passed in 1950), which could allow that body to recommend collective action "if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security". Such action would not only preempt the authority of the Security Council, but would pressure Israel into accepting Palestinian statehood without the Palestinians being required to honor their international commitments or to make any compromises or concessions.

    Forgotten are UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, both passed in the wake of the Six-Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). These Resolutions acknowledged Israel's need for secure and recognized boundaries prior to any Israeli withdrawals. They now appear, however, to be irrelevant, raising the question: Why should Israel honor its international commitments with the Palestinians (such as those enshrined in the Oslo Accords) if international commitments made with Israel by the Palestinians are not honored as well?

    The fact that the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States requires a "state" to have a permanent population, a defined territory over which it has control, a stable government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states - and that "Palestine" does not qualify for statehood under any of these conditions is apparently unimportant to these countries in the General Assembly.

    While most of the world ignored a similar declaration by the Palestinian National Council in Algeria in 1988, these new events are disturbing not simply because they contradict both the letter and spirit of the Oslo Accords and bypass existing UN Security Council Resolutions designed to do justice to both Israelis and Palestinians, but because they reinforce the myth that the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza will satisfy the Palestinians and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is no historical, political and religious basis to believe this will be the case.

    The Arabs have initiated six wars to exterminate Israel, and have lost all of them. So intense is the fear of Arab leaders that their own people will target them as the true source of their misery (as appears to be happening today throughout the Arab world); so intense is their hatred of Israel incited as it is by Al-Jazeera, al-Manar and countless other outlets; so humiliating is Israel's presence in their midst, that any compromise on core issues --such as settlements, borders, Jerusalem, a Palestinian right of return, and especially recognizing Israel as a Jewish state -- would be seen by the Arab street as a betrayal of unbearable magnitude. Arab and Muslim leaders understand that any compromise on these core issues would threaten their power and their lives.

    Sixty-three years after Israel's establishment, Arabs who fled or left mandatory Palestine in 1948, and their descendants, who now number over five million, continue to live in the refugee camps of Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. There, they are enveloped with hatred for Israel, while being used by their Arab brethren, and given "permanent refugee status" by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA], where they are promised that one day they will return to their homes in "Palestine" [Israel]. At the entrance to the UNRWA-funded Aida Refugee Camp, established in Bethlehem in 1950, and where an estimated 3,000 Palestinians live, there is a gigantic key on which is written in English and Arabic: "Not for Sale." What is not for sale is all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea -- that is, all of Israel -- which, they unapologetically state in their "moderate" Palestinian Charter, must never be abandoned in any peace agreement. On almost every house one can see graffiti showing an undivided Palestine.

    As no Israeli government could allow an influx of millions of hostile Palestinians into its country, Israel's refusal to allow a complete "right of return" has become a useful pretext for continuing the conflict. The longer Israel can be used as a scapegoat, the better it serves Arab interests by re-directing their citizens' rage away from their own oppressive, corrupt and crushing governance. For this reason, at Taba (2001) and at Annapolis (2007), the Palestinian leadership, supported by the Arab and Muslim world, and rejected Palestinian statehood on more than 95% of the West Bank and Gaza rather than recognize Israel as a Jewish state and forego its "right of return." Even the Fatah Revolutionary Council, the ruling PLO Authority in the West Bank, has declared: "No to Israel as a Jewish state, no to interim borders, no to land swaps;" and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad refused to sign a meeting summary with the Israelis that accepted the concept of two-states-for-two-peoples.

    Consequently, from the Arab perspective, there is no basis for compromise and nothing to negotiate with Israel except its demise. Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would be the ultimate humiliation for the Arab world: any compromise by any Arab or Muslim leader on that subject would likely prove fatal, as it did with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    This uncompromising mindset also pervaded the Oslo "Peace Process." Despite eight years of direct negotiations with the Israelis, Arafat could not bring himself to make peace with Israel. As Richard Landes writes in "Augean Stables", Arafat acted with enormous reluctance, pocketing all he could, using the ceiling of Israel's last concession as the floor for the next; offering no concessions in return, and assuring the Arab street that signing the Oslo Agreement was merely a Trojan Horse, through which he planned to continue his 1974 Phased Plan for the dismantling and ultimate destruction of the Jewish state. For Arafat, the concessions were never real. In response to virtually universal condemnation from the Arab/Muslim world, he justified making the Agreements by stating: "I am hammering the first nail into the Zionist coffin." He equated the Accords with Mohammed's Treaty of Hudabiya with the Koreish tribe, which Mohammed maintained for only two years instead of the promised ten -- until his forces grew strong enough to crush the Koreish. Speaking in Johannesburg in 1993, after signing the Accords, Arafat assured his audience that Jerusalem, in the end, would be exclusively Muslim; that the only permanent state in present-day Israel would be the Arab state of Palestine, and that the "peace process" would end in the Palestinian conquest of Israel -- no surprise given that Fatah's constitution maintains to this day that "the struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine."

    Similarly, Mahmoud Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, took pains to explain to Gazans that his commitment to an unofficial ceasefire with Israel should not be seen as an act of weakness, but as a tactic that would allow Hamas time to re-arm and re-organize for the coming war.

    Intertwined with these overriding feelings of humiliation, hatred and fear should any compromise be reached on Israel's right to exist, are the principles of Islamic Shari'a law which provide for the subordination of women, the subordination of "unbelievers," death for apostasy, homosexuality, alleged adultery, cartoons ...," and so forth -- principles that flow through this conflict and that are downplayed by Western leaders as mere rhetoric. Recently, the Palestinian Authority's religious affairs official praised Palestinians who carry out ribat (religious war) against Israel; and the coordinator of the National Committee on Summer Camps told his local media that Palestinian summer camps instill in children the Palestinian culture "which unites the culture of resistance, the culture of stones and guns ... and the culture of shahada (martyrdom)."

    Professor Robert Wistrich in his book, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad leaves no doubt that the Arab and Muslim rejection of Israel is based in large measure on Islamic principles that permeate their societies. The treatment of Jews in Muslim lands throughout the centuries further confirms that this hostility toward Jews -- and the genocidal rhetoric and suicide bombers that flow from it -- cannot be separated from an enmity that began with Mohammed; was later encouraged by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (infatuated as he was with the Nazis and their propaganda); and is now aimed at Israel as a Jewish state.

    Whatever points of ideology and tactics may divide the nominally secular Palestinian Authority from the religiously orthodox Hamas, both agree that Zionism is a "criminal conspiracy" against the Palestinian people; that Israel's creation is a satanic, imperialist plot that must be reversed, and that Palestine is, was, and always will be, indivisible Islamic land. Sermons urge believers to "Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them. Whenever you meet them, kill them." These are broadcast live, day-in and day-out on the PA's official TV channel. [see www.palwatch.org and www.MEMRI.org for documentation].

    When Jews are discussed in PA textbooks, it is only to recite the same litany of their supposedly negative traits from the days of the Prophet to the present. On maps, Israel is portrayed as Palestine; Israeli cities are portrayed as Palestinian; and Zionism continues to be portrayed as a modern-day expression of the Jews' essential evil -- all of which raises the question: Can generations of Palestinians force-fed such beliefs ever set them aside to make a stable, long-lasting peace with Israel as a Jewish state within any borders?

    These religious imperatives are, additionally, woven into the PLO Covenant (Charter) which sees Judaism as a religion, not a nationality. Although Israel, with all its flaws, represents the realization of a 3,800-year vision of Jewish nationalism, the Palestinian Charter alleges that Jews are not a nation, and it repudiates any claim Jews have to national self-determination or national sovereignty. Instead, it confers upon them the inferior religious status of second-class citizens under Islamic law.

    Thus, from a theological perspective, the Arab street cannot accept the right of Jews to sovereignty on even one centimeter of land which, according to Islamic law, forms part of the Islamic waqf, or holy endowment. This law holds that any land that was ever under Muslim control must forever remain so, whether al-Andalus in Spain, or Israel under the Ottoman Turks.

    What is also clear is that the Arab and Muslim narrative is focused on Jews, not just Israelis. Jonathan Kay writing in the National Post observes that "When Israeli planes smashed Egyptian airfields in the opening hours of the Six-Day War announcers on Radio Cairo took to the airwaves, calling on Arabs in neighboring countries to attack any Jews they could find. In the Libyan capital of Tripoli, then home to about 5,000 Jews, rioters responded with an orgy of murder, arson and looting that lasted three days. Even after the survivors had fled to Israel and the West, leaving Libya virtually free of Jews, the anti-Semitic bloodlust remained. It was "the unavoidable duty of the city councils," stated one Libyan newspaper, "to remove [Jewish] cemeteries immediately, and throw the bodies of the dead, which even in their eternal rest soil our country, into the depths of the sea ... Only then can the hatred of the Libyan people toward the Jews be satiated." Carrying this pathology forward, the idea of any compromise that would lead to a sovereign, independent Jewish state in the Islamic Middle East would seem a sweet, misguided wish.

    This hatred is also reflected in constant Palestinian attempts to negate Jewish history by denying the Jewish people's ancient historical connection to the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and Jewish historical sites in Judea and Samaria (including, but not limited to, Rachel's Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs at Machpelah and even the city of Hebron); the ludicrous claim that Abraham and Jesus were Palestinians; the claim that Islam represents the final and one true faith (Christianity and Judaism presumably being flawed precursors), and the utilization of the Palestinian Authority's educational system and media to deny Israeli legitimacy to any land at all -- not only by falsifying maps, but also by falsifying or destroying any archeological evidence of that history, such as the recent vandalism of Joshua's Tomb in the Samarian village of Timnat Heres. By vandalizing Jewish historical sites, they are making credible the myth they themselves have created that Israelis are mere "foreign occupiers," "modern-day Crusaders" and "imperialists," who have no legal or historical claim to "Palestine."

    Then, of course, there is Palestinian and Arab television, such as Qatar's Al-Jazeera and Hezbollah's Al-Manar that continue to flood the Arab and Muslim world with a new variant of anti-Semitism in the form of fables that masquerade as reality. These fables not only include libels from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion - the notion that Jews use the blood of Arab children to make their Passover matzoh - but now also speak of plagues of vicious Israeli attack dogs descending upon Jericho to harass poor Palestinian Arabs; wild boars released by Israeli settlers to attack Palestinians and destroy their plants and crops in the northern West Bank during prayers; the use of Israeli trained rats to drive Arab residents from Jerusalem; and sharks released by the Israelis that attack tourists swimming off Egypt's Red Sea coast in order to weaken Egypt's thriving tourist industry. Of course, as Khaled Abu Toameh dryly writes, "it is still unclear" how these animals are trained to distinguish Arab victims from Jewish ones; but while people in the West might laugh at these libels, they are taken seriously in the Arab world where the media is tightly controlled by Arab governments --- the same governments that have declared that Israelis are responsible for the civil war in Lebanon; the division of Sudan; civil strife in Yemen, and the massacre of Christians and the persecution of Palestinians in Iraq.

    Western journalists and non-governmental organizations who repeat and give weight to these lies do no honor to the values of their trade, their countries or those Arabs trying to rid their societies of such damage. Perhaps the ultimate source of Arab backwardness lies in the Arab and Muslim leaders' debasement of the minds of their own citizens by diagnosing every problem as caused by the Jews.

    Under such circumstances, how can there be a lasting peace until this mindset changes? Thus, the paradigm floated by the U.S. and the Europeans of "two states for two peoples" is not only naive but dangerous: it not only fails to acknowledge that the Arabs will refuse to make peace with a sovereign Jewish state in their midst, but it also refuse to take into account that any Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will be a subterfuge for the outspoken Palestinian plan for the extermination of Israel -- phased or otherwise.

    A 2009 poll showed that 71% of the Palestinians continue to consider it essential that their state consist of all Israel and the territories. More recently, a poll of Palestinian public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza, released by the Arab World for Research and Development in Ramallah, asked: "If Palestinian negotiators delivered a peace settlement that includes a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, but had to make compromises on key issues (right of return, Jerusalem, borders, settlements) to do so, would you support the result?" 12% responded "Yes," while 85% responded "No." 65% said it was "essential" that any peace agreement include historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

    This is what the Arab-Israeli conflict was about in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973; this is what the conflict is about today. Are we to believe that U.S., South American and European leaders are ignorant of these facts or willfully blind to them due to their own domestic and foreign agendas? The dispute is, was and always has been about the destruction of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state in the midst of the Islamic world. As such, Israel's return to the 1949 armistice lines (euphemistically referred to as "borders") will not mark the end of this conflict. On the contrary, a Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will serve as the staging area for even further aggression and destabilization in the region -- as promised in the Palestinian and Hamas Charters; in the Arab media, schools, summer camps, textbooks, and even crossword puzzles [www.palwatch.org and www.MEMRI.org].

    The reality is that the Arab-Muslim world cannot openly acknowledge even the most basic facts underlying any two-state solution: the existence of a Jewish people; that Jewish temples have historically existed under independent Jewish sovereignty on that land for millenia, and that all Jewish rights to sovereignty -- legal, historical and moral -- are in no way inferior to those of the Palestinians. The establishment of a Palestinian state will not resolve these issues. It will only guarantee future wars.

    Obama’s faithless pledges to Israel