A week or so ago Steve Berman posted a video on his personal Facebook page about Israel and the Palestinians. I could not believe the vitriol he was subjected to. Apparently he spent some time in Israel in a kibbutz when he was younger. The people who were attacking him were spouting line and verse directly from the Hamas handbook and they probably couldn’t find Israel on a map. I wanted to comment but Facebook was not the medium for what I have to say. This blog is.
I’ll start by saying that I have always unequivocally and unilaterally supported Israel in all its conflicts and actions against its Arab neighbors. That would include this latest clash with Hamas in Gaza. Israel to me is what a true nation is all about. It is a leader in medicine, science, R and D in many fields. Is the only country in the middle east that is truly democratic, 1.5 million Arab Israeli’s live within its borders unmolested and free to practice their chosen religions. They have welcomed gays as part of everyday society (in the Gaza Strip they would be stoned to death) the IDF were one of the first armies in the world to accept openly gay members into its ranks. Women have equal rights in every aspect of society. They have built a modern functioning country from what was basically scrubland. Accomplishing this with the constant threat of its Arab neighbors trying to run them and their country into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Steve stated that if Hamas laid down its weapons tomorrow the conflict would be over. If Israel laid down its weapons, it would be overrun by its neighbor’s and we would see a second holocaust.
For all those of you that say Israel stole the Palestinians land. The following is what I say:
There is no such thing as Palestine as a state or as a country. It was a forgotten backwater of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. World War 1 was the final nail in the coffin of the Ottoman Empire because Turkey found itself on the losing side. What is now Israel was given to/taken by Britain and called British Mandated Palestine. At that time the population was approximately 10% Jewish and 90% Arab. After World War 2 European and Russian Jews having had their fill of extermination camps and pogroms started to emigrate to British Mandated Palestine. The Jewish population soon started to dwarf the population of the Arabs. The Jews then started an insurgency against its British rulers.
In 1947 United Nations Resolution 181 recommended a partition of the territory from the British Mandate for Palestine into two states – one for Jews and one for Palestinian Arabs. This solution was unilaterally rejected, by all the Arab States, which left in place the legally operative 1924 Anglo-American Convention and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter which guaranteed Jews a homeland in Palestine. All Arab countries objected to the creation of a Jewish state and fought a war against the Jews to try and stop its creation. This was Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. In spite of their superior numbers, the Arab countries lost that war and the Palestinian state never materialized.
At the end of that war, the Arab land was divided between newly created Israel, Egypt (Gaza), and Jordan. The Egyptians refused to let Gaza become independent or even annex it as Egyptian territory, thus not allowing the Palestinian population to become Egyptian citizens. Jordan did allow a few refugees to become Jordanian citizens, but left most of them in the squalor of the West Bank. The Arab states have been content to let their brother Arabs remain in those refugee camps which are actually crowded, squalid towns and the UN continues to proliferate the situation by continually passing anti-Israeli resolutions whenever it gets a chance. Because of this Palestinians make wonderful political tools and invoke sympathy, especially by the liberal media of North America and European countries. I believe some people to the left of the political spectrum are nothing short of anti-Semitic in their commentary on the Jews and Israel.
Hamas and the Hezbollah do not hesitate to strap bombs on their young men and women and send them out to kill themselves and others indiscriminately. They also think nothing of firing missiles and storing ammunition next to schools and other UN mandated places of sanctuary, knowing full well Israel will take out an enemy position no matter where it is located. Palestinian refugees have been intentionally stopped from integrating into other Arab lands to which they have fled, in spite of the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, this is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people’s lands. Jewish (and many Arab) refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country smaller than Lake Michigan with a population of just eight and half million people and which occupies a mere one-tenth of one percent of the entire Middle East.
We never hear of the thousands of Palestinians killed in 1971 by Jordanian King Hussein because Arafat wanted Palestinians to be integrated into Jordan and opposed the Hashemite Monarchy. Nor do we ever hear of the 400,000 Palestinians that were expelled from Kuwait in 1991 during and after the first Gulf War. Or the blockade against Gaza by Egypt that was lifted in 2010 and now reinstated again in the last couple of months. All we seem to hear from are groups such as the gay pride marching “Queers against Israeli apartheid” even though the terrorists Hamas, that they support, would very quickly stone or beat them to death if given half the chance.
I feel extreme sadness for the Palestinian people. They have been constantly used as pawns and as a means to turn the world against Israel. They have been abandoned, used and abused by their own Arab neighbors and leadership. The continuing conflicts between the Jews and the Arabs will not cease until all the Arab world accepts that Israel has a right to exist.