Many Americans are confused, and would like to understand what led up to the bitterness that has existed in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews for more than a half century. One must go back to the early 1930s to learn that because of repeated references in the Old Testament, many older American Jews and other Jews from Eastern Europe had a lifelong yearning to go to the Holy Land called Yarooshaliem, which we call Jerusalem. Most stayed and purchased little parcels of land from the local Arabs. In time, many other Jews from Russia and other countries migrated to Jerusalem and also purchased parcels of land from local Arabs, land which at that time had been ruled by the British. Arabs and Jews got along well, and as society grew there were Arab and Jewish lawmakers who were equal citizens with equal rights who lived together peacefully side by side.
The Arabs who still live in Israel have equal rights, and some are in the Knesset and help make the laws of the country.
When the British decided to relinquish the area in 1948 for a Jewish state and an Arab state, the Jews accepted the British offer and declared their portion a State of Israel.
By the way, the word Palestinian was not invented until after the 1967 war.
The young Jewish state was instantly challenged by the surrounding Arab countries who declared war on Israel. Those governments urged all Arabs living in Israel to leave their homes and join their brethren to defeat Israel, saying that they could return to their Israeli homes after Israel was defeated. Well, that victory never happened, not in 1948, and not in the same Arab initiated war in 1967.
Tiny Israel from south to north in a car 12 hours, and from east to west about in four hours.
Astonishingly, Israel won both wars. I believe God intervened.
Strangely, in the entire world, when the victor wins, the victor keep the conquered land, but the law changes for Israelis and Jews. They are expected to return what they conquered. The world likes to call that land the occupied land when it really is the conquered land. Wouldn’t one think that the wealthy oil-rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria could easily absorb their displaced brethren who left Israel on their urging? Of course not. Instead those displaced Palestinians have been forced for five decades to live in camps and poverty while their own Arab brethren live in oil-rich luxury. Not one Arab country has been willing to absorb their displaced brethren who left their homes in 1948 when Israel urged them to stay. For those decades, the defeated Arab countries had been using their displaced brethren as political pawns to try to blame and embarrass Israel. Israel would surely not take them back now, not after they became Israel’s enemies. These displaced Arabs are victims created by their own brethren.
Enter Arafat the lying scoundrel who many times was offered a Palestinian State but refused. His only agenda was to annihilate Israelis. He invented the suicide bomber, a new kind of vicious warfare which has killed thousands of innocent Israelis and many gullible young Arabs.
One strange irony - if the Arabs living in Israel before the 1948 war had remained loyal to Israel and stayed, they would be the dominant political party now, because through over five decades they have reproduced many fold more than the Israelis.
The truth is that Israel citizens are largely homeless survivors of the Holocaust who yearned for a peaceful homeland but that wish has never been fulfilled.
One must admire the tiny democracy which turned centuries old arid land into the beautiful oasis supplying the world with oranges and human cures, the country which invented drip irrigation to the world and many other improvements for society, who want more than anything to live in peace. Israel is also on the cutting edge of stem cell research. Stem cells are more abundant there because in Judaism it is believed that the embryo becomes alive only after 40 days when the soul enters the fetus.
To conclude, Golda Meir, one of the early Prime Ministers of Israel, said “We can forgive the Arabs many things, but we cannot forgive that our sons have been forced to become killers.”
For KSCO and KOMY, this is Kay Zwerling.
© copyright 2006