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The Palestinian conflict did not erupt in 1967, nor in 1948.

In November 1917, the Balfour Declaration called for the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish People” in Palestine, which was the accepted international name of the Land of Israel since the 5th century BCE. The declaration, by the British Foreign Minister, stated that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities [Arabs] in Palestine.” The declaration acknowledged the ancient national Jewish roots in the Land of Israel (Palestine), and that Jews were indigenous in Palestine, returning to – not colonizing – their homeland.

In April 1920, the post-World War I San Remo Conference reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration and laid the legal foundation for the creation of 22 Arab states and one Jewish state. It was signed  in the August 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire.

Arab terrorism erupted in Jerusalem, Jaffa and the Galilee in response to the emerging reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East, which is considered by Muslims as the abode of Islam, “divinely-ordained to believers” and off limits to “infidel” sovereignty.

In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine, which was authored by the San Remo Conference and signed by all 51 members of the League of Nations. The Mandate highlighted “the historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine, and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” The sole purpose of the Mandate was to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine, referring to the Land of Israel. The Mandate for Palestine has been included, since 1945, in Article 80 of the UN Charter, which preserves the inherent Jewish national rights in the Land of Israel.

In September 1922, the League of Nations and Britain transferred 3/4 of Palestine to the Hashemite Emirate of Transjordan, which gained independence in 1946.

In July 1937, intimidated by an unprecedented wave of intra-Arab and anti-Jewish Arab terrorism, the Peel (British) Commission recommended the partition of Palestine. The Commission proposed to reduce the area of the Jewish state to 18% of Palestine west of the Jordan River (parts of the coastal plane, the Galilee, Jezreel Valley and Beit She’an Valley), while establishing an Arab state over 75% of the area, in addition to an international zone between Jerusalem and Jaffa.

The plan was vehemently rejected by the Arabs, who intensified anti-Jewish terrorism.

In November 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine recommended the establishment of Jewish and Arab states, joined by economic union, with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem region as an international enclave.  Once again, the Jewish side accepted the UN plan, but the Arabs rejected it and launched a campaign of terror, bolstered by the military forces of five Arab countries (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon). The Palestinian leadership – which collaborated with Nazi Germany and later on with the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and North Korea – threatened to transform Palestine into a land soaked in blood and scorched by fire.

In 2020, the Western foreign policy establishment tends to accord much weight to peaceful Palestinian diplomatic talk, overlooking the centrality of the Palestinian walk.

In 2020, Western political-correctness observes the Palestinian issue through an oversimplified prism of human rights, ignoring history and the well-documented Palestinian vision, as highlighted by the (pre-1967!) 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO annihilationist charters,  Palestinian hate-education and well-documented Palestinian track record of intra-Arab and anti-Jewish terrorism (prior to 1967!), as well as their methodical rejection of all peace initiatives since the first part of the 20th century.

Will the Western foreign policy establishment overcome the temptation to persist in sacrificing complex, unpredictable, intolerant and frustrating Middle East reality on the altar of a make-believe Middle East coupled with well-intentioned eagerness to achieve peace now and in a convenient manner?

Support Appreciated

 

 

Are Palestinians the descendants of the original inhabitants (Canaanites) of the Land of Israel, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority, or are they descendants of recent waves of immigration?

Systematic Arab migration within the Middle East

Arab migration within the Middle East – including to/from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – has been an intrinsic feature of the region for millennia.

Illinois University Economics Prof. Fred Gottheil wrote (The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931): “According to the International Labor Organization, Middle East migrant workers – moving within and beyond the Middle East – make up approximately 9% of the world’s total.”

According to the Geneva-based Global Commission on International Migration, “The world’s highest share of migrant population is to be found in the Middle East.”

The scope of Egyptian emigration is highlighted by the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute: “More than 6 million Egyptian emigrants lived in the Middle East North Africa region as of 2016, primarily in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.”

This busy traffic of Arab migrants was, also, prevalent during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when Arab/Muslim emigrants – many of them from Egypt – pursued a better standard of living in various parts of the globe, including Ottoman and British-ruled Palestine.

Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine

According to Gottheil (ibid.), “Arab Palestinians were no less responsive than were Egyptians to the migratory impulse. According to 1998 UNRAWA estimates, there were 275,000 Arab Palestinians in Saudi Arabia, 38,000 in Kuwait [following the expulsion of almost 400,000 Palestinians in retaliation to the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait], 74,000 in Libya and over 100,000 in other Gulf countries.  Hundreds of thousands left the Middle East entirely….

“It would seem reasonable to suppose that for the same reasons Arab Palestinians and other Middle East populations migrated from the less to the more attractive economies, at the end of the 20th century, they would have done the same during the early decades of the 20th century [and the 19th century].

“Two events distinguished the early years of 20th-century Palestine from its Middle Eastern neighbors: 1) the European Jewish immigration into Palestine, accompanied by European capital and European technology [e.g., Baron Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild], and 2) the creation of the British Mandatory Government in Palestine whose responsibilities included the economic development of Palestine.  As a result, British capital and British technology followed the British flag. These two events generated a momentum of economic activity that produced, in Palestine, a standard of living previously unknown in the Middle East…. Real net domestic product per capita soared, doubling during 1922-1931, from 19.4 Palestine pounds to 38.2 pounds.

“The success of these beginnings of modernization could not have been lost on Arabs living in adjacent economies….

“The modernization process in the form of infrastructure development is illustrated by the growth of road construction (450 kilometers of metaled roads in 1922; 922 kilometers in 1931), electric power (2,344 KWH consumed in 1926; 9,546 KWH in 1931) and telephone communications (3,526 telephone lines in 1924; 14,557 in 1931)….

“Arab migration flows were, in the main, illegal, and therefore unreported and unrecorded…. Commenting on the growth of the Palestinian population during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s, the Royal Institute for International Affairs reports: ‘The number of Arabs who have entered Palestine illegally from Syria and Transjordan is unknown, but probably considerable.'”

Historical documentation of Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine

Hebrew University historian, Dr. Rivka Shpak-Lissak, known for her wide and highly-diversified documentation of Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine (“When and how the Arabs and Muslims immigrated to the Land of Israel“, Hebrew, 2018) notes that the Land of Israel (named Palaistine by the Greek Empire and Palaestina by the Roman Empire, as derived from the Philistines, who migrated to the coastal plain of the Land of Israel from the Aegean Sea) was ruled by the Arabs only during 640-1099, when the overall population dwindled from 2.5 million to 500,000.  The Arab rule was succeeded by the Crusaders, then the Ayyubid-Kurdish dynasty, the Mamluk Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire  (beginning in 1516, when the population shrank to a mere 123,000) and the British Mandate.

Dr. Shpak-Lisak (ibid) indicates that the substantial increase of the Arab/Muslim population of Palestine was initiated during the first half – and toward the end – of the 19th century.  It was higher than the population growth rate in Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Thus, there was an increase of 94% from the beginning of the 19th century (246,359) to 1914 (525,150).

This increase was largely due to waves of (mostly Egyptian) immigration – to a sparsely populated and infrastructure deprived Palestine – which were triggered by:

*Significant economic growth (investment, banking, commerce), especially since 1900, compared to most Middle East and North African countries;

*Enticement by the Ottoman Empire – which ruled Palestine during 1516-1918 – such as improved governance, infrastructure development, enhanced facilities at the port of Jaffa and Ottoman military requirements (including the transfer of Egyptians to Palestine’s coastal plain, in order to restrain the Bedouin tribes and coalesce the Egyptian conquest of 1830-1840);

*A considerable expansion of church activity.

According to Prof. Usiel Oskar Schmeltz, a leading demographer at the Hebrew University and Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 53% of the Arab/Muslim population during the beginning of the 20th century were immigrants, who were driven economically and religiously. The scope of immigration [especially Bedouin from Transjordan and Sinai] was underreported by the Ottoman regime (Review of the Population of Palestine, Middle Eastern Studies #28, 1992).

Bar Ilan University geographer, Prof. David Grossman (Rural Arab Demography and Early Jewish Settlement in Palestine), determined that most of the population growth rate of Palestinian Arabs/Muslims was a derivative of immigration, rather than natural growth. Gross estimated a 50% immigrant population among Palestinian Arabs/Muslims in 1914. He highlighted the Ottoman policy of encouraged immigration to Palestine. The latter settled in the Galilee, Haifa, Acre, the Jezreel Valley, the Jordan Valley, south of Jerusalem and along the coastal plain between Jaffa and Gaza. Since the 1830s, the immigrants were Circassians, Bosnians, Turkomans, Kurds, Algerians, (mostly) Egyptians, etc. Hence, the Mughrabi (North African) quarter and gate in Jerusalem, Kurdish neighborhoods in Hebron, Gaza and Safed, Turkoman neighborhoods in Ramleh, Safed and Gaza, Mamluk neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Safed, Gaza and Ramleh, etc.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica recorded that “the inhabitants of Palestine are composed of a large number of elements, differing widely in ethnological affinities, language and religion…. Early in the 20th century a list of no less than fifty languages, [were] spoken in Jerusalem as vernaculars….”

Contrary to Palestinian claims, and in accordance with a litany of documentation (courtesy of Prof. Shpak-Lissak), most of the Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, are descendants of Arab/Muslim migrants, who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries from Muslim countries in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

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Conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinian Authority is amenable to peaceful-coexistence with Israel; that peaceful-coexistence is advanced by financial support of the Palestinian Authority; that a core concern for the Palestinian Authority is the land acquired by Israel in the 1967 War; and that land-for-peace (Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines) is a prerequisite for Israel-Palestinian peaceful-coexistence.

Are these assumptions consistent with the Palestinian reality?

While the Palestinian ethos features religious, political, ideological, demographic and legal components, its core ingredient is a specific parcel of land, which pulls the rug out from under the “land-for-peace” assumption.

The centrality of the “1948 land” in the Palestinian ethos is underscored by the late Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna, who was the head of the Mossad’s Palestinian research division and a ground-breaking researcher of the Palestinian issue (Line of Furrow and Fire). This is documented by pivotal Palestinian books, such as the six-volume Al Nakbah (“The 1948 Catastrophe”), as well as the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants – which are the ideological and strategic core of the Palestinian Authority – and the Palestinian educational curriculum.

These foundational documents have served as a most effective generator of Palestinian terrorism since 1948, and especially since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.  They focus on the outcome of the failed 1948 Arab military invasion – by five Arab countries and the local Arabs – of the Jewish State.

This Arab offensive was expected by the CIA, which assessed that it would be successful, yielding the destruction of the Jewish State and a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years!

According to Dr. Arnon-Ohanna, the aforementioned Palestinian documents shed light on the fragmentation of the Arab society west of the Jordan River.  Thus, the mountain Arabs in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and the Galilee have demonstrated a relative cohesion, socially, ethnically, culturally, politically and historically.  On the other hand, the coastal plains Arabs have exhibited a relatively feeble social structure, recently immigrating from Muslim areas, as evidenced by the names of major clans.

For example, the al Mughrabi clan immigrated from North Africa (Algeria), al Turki from Turkey, al Ajami from Iran, al Kurdi from Kurdistan, al Iraqi from Iraq, al Hindi from India, al Masri from Egypt, Masrawi from Egypt, Abu Kishk from Egypt, Haurani from Syria, Bushnak from Bosnia, Habash from Ethiopia, Yamani from Yemen, Turkmen from Turkmenistan and the Caucasus, Hawari from north Sudan, etc.

While most of the mountain Arabs remained in their homes during the 1948/49 war, most coastal plains Arabs – the lion share of whom migrated to the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries – left their homes. In fact, many of the coastal Arabs left their homes before the eruption of the war and during its initial stage, when the invading Arab military forces and the local Arabs had the upper hand.

The (mostly coastal plains) Arabs who left their homes are referred to as al-Kharj (“Outside”) and the (mostly mountain) Arabs who stayed intact are referred to as al-Dakhil (“Inside”).

The coastal/outside 1948 Arabs constitute the leadership and most of the rank and file of the PLO, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They claim “the right of return” to the 1948 territory, which is the pre-1967 area of Israel.  “Cleansing the 1948 land of the Zionist presence” is the focal point of the Palestinian ethos, as highlighted by the Palestinian school curriculum, media, religious sermons and the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants (eight years and three years before the 1967 war).

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the core concern of the Palestinians is not the 1967 – but the 1948 – “occupation;” not peaceful coexistence with – but without – Israel; not the size – but the elimination – of Israel.

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The Palestinian conflict did not erupt in 1967, nor in 1948.

In November 1917, the Balfour Declaration called for the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish People” in Palestine, which was the accepted international name of the Land of Israel since the 5th century BCE. The declaration, by the British Foreign Minister, stated that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities [Arabs] in Palestine.” The declaration acknowledged the ancient national Jewish roots in the Land of Israel (Palestine), and that Jews were indigenous in Palestine, returning to – not colonizing – their homeland.

In April 1920, the post-World War I San Remo Conference reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration and laid the legal foundation for the creation of 22 Arab states and one Jewish state. It was signed  in the August 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire.

Arab terrorism erupted in Jerusalem, Jaffa and the Galilee in response to the emerging reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East, which is considered by Muslims as the abode of Islam, “divinely-ordained to believers” and off limits to “infidel” sovereignty.

In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine, which was authored by the San Remo Conference and signed by all 51 members of the League of Nations. The Mandate highlighted “the historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine, and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” The sole purpose of the Mandate was to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine, referring to the Land of Israel. The Mandate for Palestine has been included, since 1945, in Article 80 of the UN Charter, which preserves the inherent Jewish national rights in the Land of Israel.

In September 1922, the League of Nations and Britain transferred 3/4 of Palestine to the Hashemite Emirate of Transjordan, which gained independence in 1946.

In July 1937, intimidated by an unprecedented wave of intra-Arab and anti-Jewish Arab terrorism, the Peel (British) Commission recommended the partition of Palestine. The Commission proposed to reduce the area of the Jewish state to 18% of Palestine west of the Jordan River (parts of the coastal plane, the Galilee, Jezreel Valley and Beit She’an Valley), while establishing an Arab state over 75% of the area, in addition to an international zone between Jerusalem and Jaffa.

The plan was vehemently rejected by the Arabs, who intensified anti-Jewish terrorism.

In November 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine recommended the establishment of Jewish and Arab states, joined by economic union, with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem region as an international enclave.  Once again, the Jewish side accepted the UN plan, but the Arabs rejected it and launched a campaign of terror, bolstered by the military forces of five Arab countries (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon). The Palestinian leadership – which collaborated with Nazi Germany and later on with the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and North Korea – threatened to transform Palestine into a land soaked in blood and scorched by fire.

In 2020, the Western foreign policy establishment tends to accord much weight to peaceful Palestinian diplomatic talk, overlooking the centrality of the Palestinian walk.

In 2020, Western political-correctness observes the Palestinian issue through an oversimplified prism of human rights, ignoring history and the well-documented Palestinian vision, as highlighted by the (pre-1967!) 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO annihilationist charters,  Palestinian hate-education and well-documented Palestinian track record of intra-Arab and anti-Jewish terrorism (prior to 1967!), as well as their methodical rejection of all peace initiatives since the first part of the 20th century.

Will the Western foreign policy establishment overcome the temptation to persist in sacrificing complex, unpredictable, intolerant and frustrating Middle East reality on the altar of a make-believe Middle East coupled with well-intentioned eagerness to achieve peace now and in a convenient manner?

Support Appreciated

 

 

Are Palestinians the descendants of the original inhabitants (Canaanites) of the Land of Israel, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority, or are they descendants of recent waves of immigration?

Systematic Arab migration within the Middle East

Arab migration within the Middle East – including to/from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – has been an intrinsic feature of the region for millennia.

Illinois University Economics Prof. Fred Gottheil wrote (The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931): “According to the International Labor Organization, Middle East migrant workers – moving within and beyond the Middle East – make up approximately 9% of the world’s total.”

According to the Geneva-based Global Commission on International Migration, “The world’s highest share of migrant population is to be found in the Middle East.”

The scope of Egyptian emigration is highlighted by the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute: “More than 6 million Egyptian emigrants lived in the Middle East North Africa region as of 2016, primarily in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.”

This busy traffic of Arab migrants was, also, prevalent during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when Arab/Muslim emigrants – many of them from Egypt – pursued a better standard of living in various parts of the globe, including Ottoman and British-ruled Palestine.

Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine

According to Gottheil (ibid.), “Arab Palestinians were no less responsive than were Egyptians to the migratory impulse. According to 1998 UNRAWA estimates, there were 275,000 Arab Palestinians in Saudi Arabia, 38,000 in Kuwait [following the expulsion of almost 400,000 Palestinians in retaliation to the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait], 74,000 in Libya and over 100,000 in other Gulf countries.  Hundreds of thousands left the Middle East entirely….

“It would seem reasonable to suppose that for the same reasons Arab Palestinians and other Middle East populations migrated from the less to the more attractive economies, at the end of the 20th century, they would have done the same during the early decades of the 20th century [and the 19th century].

“Two events distinguished the early years of 20th-century Palestine from its Middle Eastern neighbors: 1) the European Jewish immigration into Palestine, accompanied by European capital and European technology [e.g., Baron Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild], and 2) the creation of the British Mandatory Government in Palestine whose responsibilities included the economic development of Palestine.  As a result, British capital and British technology followed the British flag. These two events generated a momentum of economic activity that produced, in Palestine, a standard of living previously unknown in the Middle East…. Real net domestic product per capita soared, doubling during 1922-1931, from 19.4 Palestine pounds to 38.2 pounds.

“The success of these beginnings of modernization could not have been lost on Arabs living in adjacent economies….

“The modernization process in the form of infrastructure development is illustrated by the growth of road construction (450 kilometers of metaled roads in 1922; 922 kilometers in 1931), electric power (2,344 KWH consumed in 1926; 9,546 KWH in 1931) and telephone communications (3,526 telephone lines in 1924; 14,557 in 1931)….

“Arab migration flows were, in the main, illegal, and therefore unreported and unrecorded…. Commenting on the growth of the Palestinian population during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s, the Royal Institute for International Affairs reports: ‘The number of Arabs who have entered Palestine illegally from Syria and Transjordan is unknown, but probably considerable.'”

Historical documentation of Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine

Hebrew University historian, Dr. Rivka Shpak-Lissak, known for her wide and highly-diversified documentation of Arab/Muslim migration to Palestine (“When and how the Arabs and Muslims immigrated to the Land of Israel“, Hebrew, 2018) notes that the Land of Israel (named Palaistine by the Greek Empire and Palaestina by the Roman Empire, as derived from the Philistines, who migrated to the coastal plain of the Land of Israel from the Aegean Sea) was ruled by the Arabs only during 640-1099, when the overall population dwindled from 2.5 million to 500,000.  The Arab rule was succeeded by the Crusaders, then the Ayyubid-Kurdish dynasty, the Mamluk Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire  (beginning in 1516, when the population shrank to a mere 123,000) and the British Mandate.

Dr. Shpak-Lisak (ibid) indicates that the substantial increase of the Arab/Muslim population of Palestine was initiated during the first half – and toward the end – of the 19th century.  It was higher than the population growth rate in Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Thus, there was an increase of 94% from the beginning of the 19th century (246,359) to 1914 (525,150).

This increase was largely due to waves of (mostly Egyptian) immigration – to a sparsely populated and infrastructure deprived Palestine – which were triggered by:

*Significant economic growth (investment, banking, commerce), especially since 1900, compared to most Middle East and North African countries;

*Enticement by the Ottoman Empire – which ruled Palestine during 1516-1918 – such as improved governance, infrastructure development, enhanced facilities at the port of Jaffa and Ottoman military requirements (including the transfer of Egyptians to Palestine’s coastal plain, in order to restrain the Bedouin tribes and coalesce the Egyptian conquest of 1830-1840);

*A considerable expansion of church activity.

According to Prof. Usiel Oskar Schmeltz, a leading demographer at the Hebrew University and Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 53% of the Arab/Muslim population during the beginning of the 20th century were immigrants, who were driven economically and religiously. The scope of immigration [especially Bedouin from Transjordan and Sinai] was underreported by the Ottoman regime (Review of the Population of Palestine, Middle Eastern Studies #28, 1992).

Bar Ilan University geographer, Prof. David Grossman (Rural Arab Demography and Early Jewish Settlement in Palestine), determined that most of the population growth rate of Palestinian Arabs/Muslims was a derivative of immigration, rather than natural growth. Gross estimated a 50% immigrant population among Palestinian Arabs/Muslims in 1914. He highlighted the Ottoman policy of encouraged immigration to Palestine. The latter settled in the Galilee, Haifa, Acre, the Jezreel Valley, the Jordan Valley, south of Jerusalem and along the coastal plain between Jaffa and Gaza. Since the 1830s, the immigrants were Circassians, Bosnians, Turkomans, Kurds, Algerians, (mostly) Egyptians, etc. Hence, the Mughrabi (North African) quarter and gate in Jerusalem, Kurdish neighborhoods in Hebron, Gaza and Safed, Turkoman neighborhoods in Ramleh, Safed and Gaza, Mamluk neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Safed, Gaza and Ramleh, etc.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica recorded that “the inhabitants of Palestine are composed of a large number of elements, differing widely in ethnological affinities, language and religion…. Early in the 20th century a list of no less than fifty languages, [were] spoken in Jerusalem as vernaculars….”

Contrary to Palestinian claims, and in accordance with a litany of documentation (courtesy of Prof. Shpak-Lissak), most of the Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, are descendants of Arab/Muslim migrants, who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries from Muslim countries in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

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Mida Magazine,” August 28, 2020, https://bit.ly/34FkqHt, https://bit.ly/32yhVEm

Have Arabs been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial?

In 1881, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, a leading British cartographer and Dean of Westminster Abbey, reported that “in Judea it is hardly an exaggeration to say that for miles and miles there was no appearance of life or habitation” (Sinai and Palestine in Connection with Their History, New York 1895, pp. 184-186).

The Egyptian immigration

According to Arieh Avneri, a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration to Palestine (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980), during the Egyptian conquest (1831-1840), “there was a limited influx of some thousands of [Egyptian] immigrants, whom Ibrahim Pasha [the ruler of Egypt] brought in to settle the empty stretches of the country. Before them, a goodly number of Egyptians had fled Egypt, seeking to evade the military draft…. They sought sanctuary with the governor of Acre, who granted it readily.”

The French-Egyptian scholar, Muhammad Sabry [The Egyptian Empire under Mohammed Ali and the question of the Orient, 1930], confirmed that “the Governor of Acre encouraged the migration of fellaheen [peasants] from Egypt and gave them shelter…. In 1831, more than 6,000 fellaheen crossed the Egyptian border…. After he conquered Palestine, not only did Mohammed Ali [Ibrahim Pasha’s father] refrain from sending back the draft evaders to Egypt, but he sent new settlers to consolidate his rule…. The Egyptian ruler also brought the Bedouin slave-tribe, Arab ed-Damair….”

Avneri highlights (ibid.) many documents published by the British Palestine Exploration Fund.  For instance: “Most of Jaffa was made up of Egyptian-populated districts…. Philip Baldensperger [a renowned anthropologist] stated that in 1893, the inhabitants of many villages in the southern part of the country [between Gaza and Tulkarem] were of Egyptian origin…. The dwellers of some parts of the south were originally brought to Palestine from Libya…. Hundreds of families of Egyptian origin accompanied the conquering forces of Ibrahim Pasha…. Similarly, in the cities of Samaria and Judea there are hundreds of families which, to this day, are named Masri [the Egyptian]…. Before WW1, Egyptian laborers worked on the reclamation of the swamp-lands…. Egyptians participated in the laying of the railroad tracks from Jerusalem to Jaffa, and thereafter remained in the country….

“According to Baldensperger, the existing population in Jaffa contained at least twenty-five different nationalities [mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis]….

Additional Arab/Moslem migrants

Avneri adds (ibid.) that “in 1856, the French [conquerors of Algeria] permitted Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini [the leader of the anti-French rebellion] to leave Algeria together with some followers. Some went to Syria and others to Palestine…. These immigrants were called Mughrabis [originating in the Maghreb, North Africa]. They founded four villages in the Lower Galilee…. Quite a number of Mughrabis settled in Safed, and probably in Tiberias….

“In 1914, Masterman [British Palestine Exploration Fund] described the Moslem population of Safed as being of mixed origin.  One of the neighborhoods was called Hareth el-Karad, which denotes a population of Kurdish origin…. Half of the Moslem population of Safed were Mughrabis…. Other Moslem Arabs were immigrants from Damascus and Bedouins from the Jordan Valley…. In 1893, Baldensperger wrote [British Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly] about the Mughrabis of Jaffa…. The Persians, Afghans, Hindus and Baluchis were engaged in commerce….

“In 1878, the Ottoman Sultan, Abd el-Hamid took under his protection Circassian refugees who had fled the Christian-Russian rule in the Caucasus.  Many settled in Jordan.  Others settled west of the Jordan River in Kafer Kamma, Sarona and Reihaniya.  Some Moslems from Bosnia also found refuge in Palestine and settled near Caesarea… Laurence Oliphant [a British traveler, author and diplomat] wrote about one of the Turkoman tribes that pitched their black tents near a Circassian village, arriving from the mountains of Iraq…. In 1908, a group of Arabs arrived in Jaffa from Yemen and settled there….

“In 1878, Claude Reignier Conder [British Palestine Exploration Fund] reported that the large Jezreel Valley was the refuge of the Bedouins whenever war or famine threatened their existence in Jordan…. In 1870, only a sixth of the lands were ploughed, because the valley was occupied by Bedouins…. The same phenomenon occurred in the southern part of the country [e.g., from the Hebron area and southward]….

Infrastructure projects enticed Arab immigration

Avneri adds (ibid.): “The building of the Jerusalem-Jaffa railroad [inaugurated in 1892] employed many local and outside labor.  The Belgian company that built the railroad imported Egyptian laborers, many of whom remained in the country.  At the start of the 20th century, work on the railway track between Haifa and Dera’a [in southwestern Syria] began. At the outbreak of WW1, the Haifa-Nablus railroad was launched…. Many workers were imported from neighboring countries….

“In 1880, Haifa was a small town of 6,000 souls. In 1910 it tripled to 18,000 inhabitants, of whom 15,000 were Moslem and Christian Arabs. Many of the newcomers were from Lebanon and Syria….  Jaffa developed as a port city… through which passed pilgrims…. Some of them remained in Jaffa. Jaffa’s population doubled during 1890-1910, numbering 43,000 of whom 30,000 were Moslem and Christian Arabs.  Also, a large number of pilgrims from North Africa settled in Jerusalem amidst their countrymen, who arrived in earlier times….

“The rapid population growth in Jaffa and Haifa (following the British victory in WW1) was, in large part, due to the influx of many Egyptian laborers, policemen, contractors, foremen and businessmen, who accompanied the advance of the British Army…. The building of the railroad to Qantara on the Egyptian border employed thousands of Egyptians, many of whom preferred to settle in Haifa….

“The British authorities preferred Egyptian, Syrian or other foreign Arab laborers [ e.g., Sudan] – over Jewish immigrants – when it came to erecting military bases, operating quarries, paving roads and the construction of the port of Haifa….  During 1919-1922, the Arab-Moslem population grew from 515,000 to 590,000, largely, due to Arab immigration….

“The years 1932-1936 were marked by unprecedented economic prosperity… and a considerable influx of Arab immigrants….

“The outbreak of violence that occurred from time to time [against Jews and intra-Arab], especially during 1936-1938, drew thousands of Arab mercenaries from the neighboring countries…. Many mercenaries remained in the country….”

“In 1942, during WW2, there was a severe labor shortage in Palestine…. The British Mandate issues emergency regulations permitting the British Army to bring laborers from Arab countries….”

In conclusion

Prof. Efraim Karsh of the Bar Ilan University and London King’s College, features a report by the British Peel Commission (Palestine Betrayed, 2010): “during 1922-1931, the increase of Arab population in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively.”

As a result of the 1880-1947 waves of Arab immigration, the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17, 12 and 5 times respectively.

Thus, contrary to Palestinian claims, Arab residents west of the Jordan River (Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel) are not descendants of the Canaanites, but of Arab migrants.

Moreover, in defiance of a myth advanced by the Palestinian Authority, Palestine has not been Arab/Moslem from time immemorial.

In fact, since the Greek Empire era (5th century BCE), the term Palestine (Palaistine) referred to the Land of Israel, directly linked to the People of Israel.

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The Palestinian leadership is rehashing the notion that Palestine has been Arab/Muslim from time immemorial. But, is such a claim consistent with historic documentation?

According to Brown University Prof. David Jacobson, “the Greek Palaistine and the Latin [Rome] Palaestina… appear to refer not to the Land of the Philistines [Pleshet in Hebrew], but to the Land of Israel…. The Philistines [Plishtim in Hebrew] arrived on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean from Greece or Cyprus in approximately the 13th century BCE…. The Israelites’ traditional foes, the Philistines lived in a small area along the Mediterranean coast south of what is today Tel Aviv, an area that embraced the five towns of Gaza [hometown of Delilah], Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath [hometown of Goliath] and Ekron….

“As early as the Histories of Herodotus [the Greek founding father of Western historians] written in the second half of the 5th century BCE, the term Palaistine is used to describe not just the [Philistines’] geographical area, but the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt – in other words, the Land of Israel [including the Judean Hills, referred to by some as the ‘West Bank’]…. Like Herodotus, Aristotle [along with his teacher, Plato, the founding fathers of Western philosophers] gives the strong impression that when he uses the term Palestine, he is referring to the Land of Israel…. In the 2nd century BCE, a Greek writer and historian Polemo of Ilium made a similar link between the people of Israel and Palestine….

“The early 1st century Roman poet, Ovid, writes of ‘the seventh day feast [the Sabbath] that the Syrians of Palestine [the Hebrews] observe….’ Another Latin poet, Statius, and the writer Dio Chrysostom use ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’ in the same sense….

“Likewise the early 1st century CE Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, occasionally, uses the name Palestine when referring to the Land of Israel….

“’Palestine’ is the Greek equivalent of ‘Israel.’”  The Greek word ‘Palaistine’ is remarkably similar to the Greek ‘Palaistes’, meaning ‘wrestler’…. The name ‘Israel’ arose from the incident in which Jacob [the Patriarch] wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32-25-29).  Jacob received the name Israel because he wrestled successfully (sarita’ in Hebrew) with the Lord (El in Hebrew)….  The striking similarity between the Greek word for wrestler (palaistes) and the name Palaistine – which share seven letters in a row, including a diphthong – is strong evidence of a connection between them…. The central event of a wrestling contest by the ancestor of this Semitic people against a divine adversary is likely to have made a deep impression on the Greeks [who admired wrestling, which took place in structures called ‘palaestra’]….

“The Roman Emperor, Hadrian, officially renamed Judea Syria-Palaestina after his Roman armies suppressed the [Jewish] Bar-Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. This is commonly viewed as a move intended to sever the connection of the Jews to their historic homeland.  However, that Jewish writers such as Philo and Josephus used the name Palestine for the Land of Israel in their Greek works, suggests that this interpretation of history is incorrect. Hadrian’s choice of Syria-Palaestina may be more correctly seen as a rationalization of the name of the new province, being far larger than geographical Judea.  Indeed, Syria-Palaestina had an ancient pedigree that was intimately linked with the area of Greater Israel…. The term Palaistine denoted both the Land of the Philistines [who were a minority in the area named Palestine] and the much larger entity, the Land of Israel….”

In addition to Prof. Jacobson’s essay, the Jewish/Israeli roots of the name Palestine were further highlighted when the Anglo-Palestine Bank was established on February 27, 1902 as a subsidiary of the Jewish Colonial Trust, evolving into Bank Leumi, a leading Israeli bank.

The November 2, 1917 British Foreign Minister Balfour Declaration reaffirmed, officially, the national Jewish nature of Palestine: “His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment, in Palestine, of a national home for the Jewish people…. Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious [not national] rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….”

The Balfour Declaration commitment to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine was an integral part of the April 19-25, 1920 San Remo Conference, which determined the borders of the land captured by the allies during WWI, while laying the foundation for the establishment of 22 Arab countries and one Jewish State.  Britain’s Foreign Minister, George Curzon, defined the San Remo Conference as “the Magna Carta of the Jewish People.”

The July 1922 Mandate for Palestine, granted to Britain by the League of Nations, recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine,” and called upon Great Britain to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.  In September 1922, Britain violated the Mandate for Palestine, transferring ¾ of Palestine to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Furthermore, the Jewish nature of Palestine – historically, nationally, culturally and religiously – is documented by a multitude of archeological findings, mostly in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which are the cradle of Judaism, the Jewish people and the Jewish State.  Thus, it refutes the assertion that Palestine has been Arab/Muslim from time immemorial.

 

 

Mahmoud Abbas promotes an egregious historical fabrication, claiming that the Palestinians are descendants of the original Canaanite peoples.

Moreover, Mahmoud Abbas’ school curriculum – which glorifies suicide bombers – reiterates this falsified history.  It claims that the multitude of archeological findings of 3,000 year old Jewish roots in the Land of Israel “constitute an attempt to liquidate the Palestinian heritage…especially in Jerusalem… misrepresenting the city as a Zionist entity….” (6th grade Social Studies volume 1, page 24; 7th grade Social Studies volume 1, pages 61-62).

However, the name “Palestine” is not related to Arab/Muslim culture.  It is a derivative of the Philistine people (Plishtim, Polshim – invaders – in Hebrew), who were expelled from the Greek Aegian Islands in 1300 BC and invaded the southern coast of Judea (Land of Israel) in 1200 BC. In 136 CE – upon crushing the Jewish Bar Kochba rebellion – the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Judea, calling it Palestina (a derivative of the Philistines, who were an aggressive enemy of the Jewish people), aiming to erase the Jewish Homeland, Judaism and the Jewish people from human memory.

Contrary to Mahmoud Abbas’ claim, most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine were migrant workers and descendants of the 1832-1947 wave of Arab/Muslim immigration from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, Afghanistan, etc.  While the British Mandate encouraged Arab immigration, it blocked Jewish immigration.

The fact that most Palestinians are descendants of Arab migrants was exposed on March 23, 2012 by a former Hamas Minister of the Interior, Gaza-based Fathi Hammad, in an interview with Al Hekmat TV: “We all have Arab roots. Every Palestinian in Gaza and throughout Palestine can prove his Arab roots, whether from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or anywhere….Half of my family is Egyptian…. More than 30 clans in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri (“the Egyptian”). Half of the Palestinians are Egyptians….”

Mark Twain described the state of the sparsely-inhabited Palestine in his 1869 Innocents Abroad: “The hills are barren…. It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land…. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes…. The hills are barren…. The valleys are unsightly deserts…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.”

Prof. Moshe Brawer of the Hebrew University, a leading global authority on Israel’s geography, documented the impact of the 1920s and 1930s waves of Arab immigration on the exceptional expansion of Arab villages in the Land of Israel. This followed sustained Arab immigration during the years from 1832-1840 when the Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha conquered the area (“Immigration as a factor in the growth of the Arab village in the Land of Israel,” Merhavim 2 periodical, 1975).  Following WW1, waves of immigration were triggered by major British Mandate infrastructure construction projects, such as military bases, roads, railroad and warehouses, in addition to the expansion of Jewish commercial agriculture (especially citrus) and residential construction, which created growing demand for labor force.

According to Prof. Brawer, the Arab population growth rate – especially along the coastal plain, which attracted most of the immigrants – was dramatically higher than the natural growth rate (births minus deaths). His findings were consistent with those of the US Biblical geographer, Edward Robinson, the British Palestine Exploration Fund and official documents of the British Mandate.

Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.  The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and civilian authorities.  Beginning in 1882, legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, generated by the Jewish community.

According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in Prof. Efraim Karsh’s Palestine Betrayed), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns (including many Arab immigrants) of Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns (very few Arab migrants) such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7% and a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”  The 1831-1947 wave of Arab immigration triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations of Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramla (5 times).

In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis.  The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented a proliferation of Egyptian neighborhoods in the Jaffa area: Abu Kebir, Sumeil, Sheikh Munis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in the inland, in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.

In 1865, the British traveler, H.B. Tristram, documented in The Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine, Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.

Arieh Avneri, a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration, documented 205,000 Moslems, Christian and Jews in 1554, 275,000 in 1800 and 532,000 in 1890, the result of accelerated Arab immigration (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980).

In conclusion, Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel (Palestine) from time immemorial; Palestine’s strategic location has attracted waves of Arab immigration, but has no Arab roots; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return”; and the pursuit of peace must dwell on reality, while rejecting misrepresentations, falsifications, hate-education and wishful-thinking.

 

 

 

 

Video #14: http://bit.ly/1sgCCAV ; the entire video-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS

1. Contrary to so-called “conventional wisdom,” most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine – and most of the 320,000 Arab refugees – were migrant workers and descendants of the 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, Afghanistan, etc.. Britain enticed Arab immigration and blocked Jewish immigration.

 

2. Between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.  The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and civilian authorities.
3.  Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and then by the British Mandate to work in major civilian and military infrastructure projects.  Legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, generated by the Jewish community since 1882.
4.  According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in Palestine Betrayed, written by Prof. Efraim Karsh), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns of Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7% and a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”
5. Irrespective of Arab emigration caused by intra-Arab terrorism, the substantial wave of Arab immigration during 1831-1947 triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations of Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramle (5 times).
6.  According to Joan Peters’ momentous book, From Time Immemorial (Harper & Row, 1984), which was written in consultation with top authorities on Middle East history and politics, “The 1931 census [documented] at least 23 different languages in use by Muslims [in British Mandate Palestine] plus additional 28 in use by Christian Arabs – a total of 51 languages.  The non-Jews in Palestine listed as their birthplaces at least 24 different countries….”
7.  In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis.  The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented a proliferation of Egyptian neighborhoods in the Jaffa area: Abu Kebir, Sumeil, Sheikh Munis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in the inland, in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.
8. The (1831-1840) conquest of the Land of Israel, by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian and Sudanese migrants settling between Gaza and Tul-Karem, up to the Hula Valley.  They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. In 1865, the British traveler, H.B. Tristram, documented, inThe Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine, Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.
9. In 1878, groups of Circassians, Algerians, Egyptians, Druses, Turks, Kurds and Bosnians immigrated to the area. In 1882, at least 25% of the 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel were immigrants or descendants of those who arrived after the 1831 Egyptian conquest…. In 1858, according to British Consul General, James Finn: “The Moslems of Jerusalem were scarcely exceeding one quarter of the whole population.”
10.  According to the August 12, 1934 issue of the Syrian daily, La Syrie, “30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants, from the Hauran region, entered Palestine during the last few months alone.”   The role-model of Hamas terrorism, Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, who terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as was Kaukji, the chief Arab terrorist in British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s. 
11.  Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Moslems from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) further diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.
12.  Arieh Avneri , a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration, documented (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980) 205,000 Moslems, Christian and Jews in 1554, 275,000 in 1800 and 532,000 in 1890, resulting from accelerated immigration.
13. In 1869, Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad:  “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. The hills are barren…. The valleys are unsightly deserts…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.”
14.  Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return;” the 320,000 Arab refugees were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and Israeli Arab collaboration with the invasion. The hypocrisy and immorality of the “Palestinian refugee phantom” – which was created as a tool to delegitimize Israel – is highlighted by the one million Syrian refugees in Jordan, the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Kuwait, Syria and Iraq, and 100 million refugees since the end of the Second World War, who have not received Palestinian-style attention by the international community.
15. The next 6-minute-video will highlight the 820,000 forgotten Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

Contrary to conventional “wisdom,” most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine – and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees – were migrant workers and descendants of the 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, Afghanistan, etc.. Britain enticed Arab immigration and blocked Jewish immigration.

Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.  The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and its civilian authorities.

Moreover, Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work in major civilian and military infrastructure projects.  Legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, which was generated by the Jewish community beginning in 1882.

According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in the ground-breaking book, Palestine Betrayed, by Prof. Efraim Karsh), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns of Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7% and a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”

Irrespective of occasional Arab emigration from  British Mandate Palestine – due to intra-Arab terrorism, which has been an endemic feature in the Middle East – the substantial wave of Arab immigration from 1831-1947 triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations in Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramla (5 times).

According to Joan Peters’ momentous book, From Time Immemorial (Harper & Row, 1984), which was written in consultation with Prof. Elie Kedourie, the “Olympus” of Middle East history and politics, “The 1931 census [documented] at least 23 different languages in use by Muslims plus an additional 28 in use by Christian Arabs – a total of 51 languages.  The non-Jews in Palestine listed as their birthplaces at least 24 different countries….”

In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis.  The “British Palestine Exploration Fund” documented a proliferation of Egyptian neighborhoods in the Jaffa area: Abu Kebir, Sumeil, Sheikh Munis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled also in the inland, in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.

The (1831-1840) conquest of the Land of Israel, by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian and Sudanese migrants settling between Gaza in the south, Tul-Karem in the center and the Hula Valley in the north.  They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. In 1865, the British traveler, H.B. Tristram, documented, in The Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine, Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.

According to the August 12, 1934 issue of the Syrian daily, La Syrie, “30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants, from the Hauran region, entered Palestine during the last few months alone.”   The role-model of Hamas terrorism, Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, who terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as was Kaukji, the chief Arab terrorist in British Mandate Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s. 

Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins in Tiberias. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Moslems from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) further diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.

This unusual Arab/Muslim demographic diversity is evidenced by popular Israeli Arab family names, which are a derivative of their countries of origin: al-Masri (Egypt), al-Obeidi (the Sudan), al-Lubnani (Lebanon), Halabi (Syria), al-Mughrabi (Morocco), al-Djazair (Algeria), al-Yamani (Yemen), al-Afgahni (Afghanistan), al-Hindi (India), al-Hijazi (Saudi Arabia), al-Baghdadi (Iraq), Bushnak (Bosnia), Khamis (Bahrain), Turki (Turkey), etc. 

Arieh Avneri, a pioneering historian of Arab and Jewish migration, documented (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980) 205,000 Moslems, Christian and Jews in 1554, 275,000 in 1800 and an unusual surge to 532,000 in 1890, resulting from accelerated Arab immigration.

In fact, Mark Twain wrote in 1869 (The Innocents Abroad):  “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. The hills are barren…. The valleys are unsightly deserts…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.”

Thus, contrary to the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees – aiming to delegitimize Israel – Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return;” and most of the 320,000 Arab refugees – who were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion – were recent immigrants and foreign workers (from neighboring Arab countries) in the Land of Israel.

The truth about the circumstances and numbers of the 1948 Arab refugees has been sacrificed – by the UN, Arab regimes, the “elite” Western media and most Western Foreign Offices – on the altar of Arab-appeasement and Israel-bashing.

For instance, the Palestinian Arab leadership collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, seeking Nazi support to settle “the Jewish problem” in British Mandate Palestine in accordance with the practice used in Europe. Thus, the top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, incited his people in a March 1, 1944 Arabic broadcast on the Nazi Berlin Radio – consistent with anti-Jewish Arab terrorism during the 1920s and 1930s – “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion.”  

On January 9, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas honored the Nazi collaborator: “We pledge to continue on the path of the [suicide bombers]…. We must remember the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini….”  In 2016, Hitler’s Mein Kemp and the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion feature prominently in Mahmoud Abbas’ hate-education and incitement systems.

On October 11, 1947, Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, the first Secretary General of the Arab League told the Egyptian daily Akhbar al Yom: “…This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacres, or the Crusaders’ wars…. Each fighter deems death on behalf of Palestine as the shortest road to paradise….The war will be an opportunity for vast plunder…. ” On August 2, 1948, the NY Times reported that the founder of the largest Islamic terror organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, instigated: “Drive the Jews into the sea… and never accept the Jewish State.” The Arab incitement led the CIA and the Department of State (which vehemently opposed the establishment of a Jmartyrs ewish State) to warn David Ben Gurion – Israel’s Founding Father – that “a declaration of independence would lead to a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years.”

In spite of the Arab military assault on the newly-born Jewish state, the wave of terrorism and subversion by Israeli Arabs, and their collaboration with the Arab invasion and the Nazis, the Commander-in–Chief of the “Arab Liberation Army,” Ismayil Safwat, admitted on March 23, 1948: “The
Jews have not attacked any Arab village, unless attacked first.” 

The Arabs egregiously violated the November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution 181, Article 80 of the 1945 U.N. Charter (that includes the “Mandate of Palestine,” that stipulated a Jewish state in the entire area west of the Jordan River), the July 24, 1922 League of Nations’ “Mandate for Palestine,”, the April 1920 San Remo Conference of the First World War Allied Powers, which resolved to establish a Jewish national home on both sides of the Jordan River, and the November, 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was the basis for San Remo.

How many refugees
resulted from the 1948/49 Arab attempt to annihilate the “infidel” Jewish state, which was established, supposedly, in the abode of Islam?  According to inflated British Mandate numbers, before the 1948/9 war there were 800,000 Arabs in “pre-1967 Israel.” 170,000 Arabs remained at the end of the war.  Of the 630,000 Arabs who left, 100,000 were absorbed by Israel’s family reunification gesture; 100,000 middle and upper class Arabs left before the war, absorbed by neighboring Arab countries; 50,000 migrant laborers returned to their Arab countries of origin; 50,000 Bedouins joined their brethren-tribes in Jordan and Sinai, from whence their forefathers migrated during the 18-19 centuries; and 10,000 were war fatalities (compared with 6,000 Jewish fatalities). Thus, the total number of Palestinian Arab refugees – resulting from a war launched by Arabs – could not exceed 320,000, in the context of over 100 million global refugees.  
According to Elfan Rees, Advisor on Refugees Affairs to the World Council of Churches, during the 1950s there were 36 million refugees in Europe, Africa and Asia. Less than 1% were Arabs. All, but the Arabs, have been integrated into their new societies.  Moreover, 100 million refugees were created by wars since WW2 and 79 million were created during 1933-1945, all were integrated.  38 million refugees in their own countries, and 15 million         “ordinary” refugees, were documented in 2014 by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


In addition, there were 90 million Chinese refugees during the 1937-1945 war against Japan; 15 million Hindu, Sikh and Muslim refugees during the 1947 creation of India and Pakistan; 12 million German refugees from Poland and Czechoslovakia following WW2; 9 million Korean refugees during the 1950-1953 war;
7 million Syrian refugees caused by the current civil war; 5 million Sudanese refugees;  3 million Polish refugees following the 1939 USSR occupation; 3 million refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia following the 1975 US withdrawal; 3 million refugees from Afghanistan; 2 millionGreek and Turkish refugees from the 1919-1922 war; 1 million Libyan refugees since 2011; 800,000 Yemenite refugees from Saudi Arabia in 1990; and over 500,000 Christian refugees from Lebanon.  

The UN has highlighted/twisted the story of the 320,000 1948/49 Palestinian Arab refugees – singling them out for perpetuity unlike all other refugees – as a means to de-legitimize Israel. But, the UN has ignored the 300,000 Palestinian refugees from Kuwait, 200,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria and the 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Iraq.

In 1948, expecting an Arab assault on the reconstructed Jewish State, the British High Commissioner, Alan Cunningham, urged Arab and Jewish minorities to evacuate mixed towns. The Arabs complied – many of them returned to their countries of origin – but the Jews remained.   

The London Economist wrote on October 2, 1948: “The most potent factor [triggering the Arab flight] was the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit…and that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades….”  It was reaffirmed by Syria’s Prime Minister, Khaled al-Azam, who admitted, in his 1973 memoirs: “We brought destruction upon the [1948] refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes.”  

The goal of promoting the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees – which fails the reality test – was disclosed by Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din Bey (the Egyptian daily Al Misri, Oct. 11, 1949): “In demanding the return of the Palestinian refugees, the intention is to exterminate the Jewish State.”


Should the US taxpayer fund UN agencies – such as UNRAW – which aim to de-legitimize Israel, sacrificing truth on the altar of lethal mythology?   

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Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
March 25, 2024

Palestinian demographic numbers are highly-inflated, as documented by a study, which has audited the Palestinian data since 2004.  For example:

*500,000 Arabs, who have been away for over a year, are included in the census, contrary to international regulations. 325,000 were included in the 1997 census, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 400,000 in 2005, according to the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows steadily due to births.

*350,000 East Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted – by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number grows steadily due to births.

*Over 150,000 Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are similarly doubly counted. The number expands steadily due to births.   

*A 413,000 net-emigration (since the 1997 first Palestinian census) is ignored by the Palestinian census, overlooking the annual net-emigration since 1950. A 23,445 net-emigration in 2022 and a 20,000 annual average in recent years have been documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority in all international passages.  

*A 32% artificial inflation of Palestinian births was documented by the World Bank (page 8, item 6) in a 2006 audit.

*The Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate has been westernized: from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 2.9 births in 2022 (In Jordan – similar to Judea & Samaria), reflecting the sweeping urbanization, a growing female enrollment in higher education, rising marriage age and the rising use of contraceptives.

*The number of deaths is under-reported for political and financial reasons.

*The aforementioned artificial inflation of 1.7 million documents a population of 1.55 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, not the official 3.25 million. In 2024: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, benefitting from a tailwind of fertility and net-immigration, while Arab demography is westernized. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority.
No Arab demographic time bomb; but, a Jewish demographic momentum. More data in these articles and this short video.

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Iran

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 2, 2024

The current pressure on Israel

*Since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – which was ferociously opposed by the State Department, and tenaciously realized by Israel’s defiant Founding Father, David Ben Gurion – The State Department has systematically pressured Israel to act against its own assessment of its own national security requirements.  In fact, in most cases, Israel’s compliance with State Department pressure undermined the US’ own interests, while a defiant Israel spared a major setback to the US’ own interests.

*Since the horrific Hamas terrorism of October 7, 2023, the State Department – which subscribes to a worldview, contending that terrorism is driven by despair, and therefore should be confronted diplomatically and financially, not militarily – has intensified the pressure on Israel to refrain from militarily preempting Hezbollah, the chief proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*In addition, the State Department has pressured Israel to switch from fighting – to negotiating with – Hamas, a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs and a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terror organization in the world.  The pressure has been exerted, notwithstanding Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ commitment to fanatic, Islamic anti-US ideologies – which transcend financial and diplomatic benefits – mandating the toppling of all pro-US Arab regimes, bringing the “infidel” West, and especially “the great American Satan” to submission. Moreover, Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ ideologies are committed to the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish state – which is deemed by them as the Middle East beachhead of the US – as evidenced in Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ school curriculum, mosque sermons and systematic regional and global terrorism, which extends to Latin America and the US homeland.

*The State Department pressures Israel into another round of negotiation with Iran-controlled Hezbollah and Hamas, despite the fact that all previous agreements were violated, intensifying terrorism, transforming these two terror entities into the most fortified above-ground and under-ground terror states in the world, and paving the road to the October 7 massacre and the current Iran-orchestrated Hamas and Hezbollah wars on Israel.

More examples of State Department ill-advised pressure on Israel:

*In 2006, Israel bowed to State Department pressure, allowing the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority election, which catapulted Hamas to unprecedented political stature in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. 

*In 2006, Israel complied with State Department pressure (assisted by Israeli clones of Foggy Bottom), ending its war against Hezbollah through UN Security Council Resolution 1701, rather than through the obliteration of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure. It solidified Hezbollah’s dominance in Lebanon and bolstered its role as a regional and global epicenter of terrorism and drug trafficking in the service of Iran’s Ayatollahs, as demonstrated by Hezbollah’s expanded foothold on US soil, and growing terror collaboration with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

*In 2000, the State Department offered an $800 MN inducement (which was never realized) for Israel’s intent to evacuate South Lebanon, which elevated Hezbollah into a dominant stature in Lebanon, and ushered in a 150,000 missile strong Hezbollah terror machine, fortified by a most advanced underground tunnel network, which may exceed Hamas’ tunnel complex.

*Since the 1993 establishment of the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority, the State Department has promoted annual foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, while pressuring Israel to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state. This policy has been pursued irrespective of the core Palestinian ideology and its rogue daily conduct – which mandate the annihilation of Israel – as evidenced by the 1964 PLO charter, Palestinian hate education, mosque sermons, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and the Palestinian intra-Arab terrorism. Foggy Bottom ignores the potential impact of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river: toppling the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the river, transforming Jordan into an epicenter of anti-US Islamic terrorism and destabilizing the pro-US Arabian Peninsula regimes – a setback to Western economy and national and homeland security.

*In 1981, the State Department pressured (and punished) Israel against bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor.  Israel defied the pressure, which spared the US a potential nuclear confrontation in 1991, and snatched the pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes from the jaws of the anti-US Saddam Hussein.

*In 1973, the State Department pressured Israel, successfully, against preempting Egypt and Syria. Israel’s defiance of this pressure would have spared the region the costly war of October 1973.

*In 1967, the State Department pressured Israel against preempting Egypt and Syria.  Israel defied the pressure, devastated Egypt’s military force, which was involved in an attempt to topple all pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil. Israel’s defiance spared the US a dramatic national security and economic blow.

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

*Israeli compliance with State Department pressure would snatch Hamas from the jaws of obliteration and would be perceived – in the Middle East – as a dramatic victory for Islamic terrorism. It would escalate the lethal threat (from the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs) to every pro-US Arab regime, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, and to US homeland security (as recently stated by the FBI Director).

*Israeli capitulation to State Department pressure would devastate Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East, where one’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for one’s survival – which could induce an Iranian ballistic missile offensive against Israel and an Iran-supported terror offensive by Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority and radical Israeli Arabs. 

*Israel’s succumbing to State Department pressure would reduce/eliminate the inducement of moderate-Arab regimes to expand normalization/peace with Israel, which was initiated by their high respect for Israel’s posture of deterrence, in the face of the mutual threats by Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood, and against the backdrop of the slackened US and Western posture of deterrence.  

*Refraining from the obliteration of Hamas’ military infrastructure and Hezbollah’s terrorist presence in South Lebanon would preclude the return of most Israeli evacuees (150,000 – equal to 5 million evacuees in the US) to their homes in the areas adjacent to Gaza and Lebanon.

*Both the US’ and Israel’s national security benefit from Israel’s defiance of State Department pressure, which highlights Israeli preference of long term national security over short term diplomatic convenience.

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 27, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken represents conventional wisdom when claiming that “It’s been longstanding US policy… that new settlements are… inconsistent with international law.”

However, conventional wisdom is frequently demolished by the march of facts

For instance:

*According to Prof. Eugene Rostow, who was the co-author of the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242, served as Undersecretary of State and was the Dean of Yale University Law School: “Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa.”

*According to UN Resolution 242, Israel is required to withdraw from territories, not the territories, nor from all the territories, but some of the territories, which included Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.  Moreover, according to Prof. Rostow, “resolutions calling for withdrawal from all the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly…. Israel was not to be forced back to the fragile and vulnerable [9-15 mile-wide] lines… but to secure and recognized boundaries, agreed to by the parties…. In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai… [which amounts to] more than 90% of the territories occupied in 1967….”

*Former President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, stated: “Between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967 (according to Article 52 of the UN Charter), on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has better title in the territory of what was [British Mandate] Palestine…. It follows that modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful…. [The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive rather than aggressive… [as] indicated by Egypt’s prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the amassing of [Egyptian] troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of the UN Emergency Force…[and] Jordan’s initiated hostilities against Israel…. The 1948 Arab invasion of the nascent State of Israel further demonstrated that Egypt’s seizure of the Gaza Strip, and Jordan’s seizure and subsequent annexation of the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem, were unlawful….” 

*The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following 4 authoritative, binding, internationally-ratified documents, which recognize the area for what it has been: the cradle of Jewish history, culture, language, aspirations and religion.

(I) The November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, issued by Britain, calling for “the establishment in Palestine (a synonym to the Land of Israel) of a national home for the Jewish people….”
(II) The April 24, 1920 resolution, by the post-First World War San Remo Peace Conference of the Allied Powers Supreme Council, entrusted both sides of the Jordan River to the British Mandate for Palestine, for the reestablishment of the Jewish Commonwealth: “the Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” It was one of over 20 Mandates (trusteeships) established following WW1, responsible for the boundaries of most Arab countries.
(III) The July 24, 1922 Mandate for Palestine was ratified by the Council of the League of Nations, entrusted Britain to establish a Jewish state in the entire area west of the Jordan River, as demonstrated by its 6th article: “[to] encourage… close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands….” The Mandate was dedicated exclusively to Jewish national rights, while guaranteeing the civic rights of all other religious and ethnic groups. On July 23, 1923, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Lausanne, which included the Mandate for Palestine.  
(IV) The October 24, 1945 Article 80 of the UN Charter incorporated the Mandate for Palestine into the UN Charter.  Accordingly, the UN or any other entity cannot transfer Jewish rights in Palestine – including immigration and settlement – to any other party. According to Article 80 of the UN Charter and the Mandate for Palestine, the 1967 war of self-defense returned Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to its legal owner, the Jewish state.  Legally and geo-strategically the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, since they are not “foreign territory,” and Jordan did not have a legitimate title over the West Bank.  Moreover, the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply in view of the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. The 1950-67 Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria violated international law and was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan.

*The 1949 4th Geneva Convention prohibits the forced transfer of populations to areas previously occupied by a legitimate sovereign power. However, Israel has not forced Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria, and Jordan’s sovereignty there was never legal.

*The November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly Partition Resolution 181 was a recommendation, lacking legal stature, superseded by the Mandate for Palestine. The 1949 Armistice (non-peace) Agreements between Israel and its neighbors delineated “non-territorial boundaries.”   

*The term “Palestine” was a Greek and then a Roman attempt (following the 135 CE Jewish rebellion) to eradicate Jews and Judaism from human memory. It substituted “Israel, Judea and Samaria” with “Palaestina,” a derivative of the Philistines, an arch enemy of the Jewish people, whose origin was not in Arabia, but in the Greek Aegian islands.    

*The aforementioned march of facts demonstrates that Secretary Blinken’s conventional wisdom on the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misperceptions and misrepresentations, which fuels infidelity to law, undermining the pursuit of peace.

*More on the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria in this article by George Mason University Law School Prof. Eugene Kontrovich.

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

US departure from the recognition of a United Jerusalem as the exclusive capital of the Jewish State, and the site of the US Embassy to Israel, would be consistent with the track record of the State Department, which has been systematically wrong on Middle East issues, such as its opposition to the establishment of the Jewish State; stabbing the back of the pro-US Shah of Iran and Mubarak of Egypt, and pressuring the pro-US Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while courting the anti-US Ayatollahs of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Arafat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Houthis of Yemen; transforming Libya into a platform of global Islamic terrorism and civil wars; etc..

However, such departure would violate US law, defy a 3,000 year old reality – documented by a litany of archeological sites and a multitude of documents from Biblical time until today – spurn US history and geography, and undermine US national and homeland security.

United Jerusalem and the US law

Establishing a US Consulate General in Jerusalem – which would be a de facto US Embassy to the Palestinian Authority – would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which became US law on November 8, 1995 with substantially more than a veto-override majority on Capitol Hill.

According to the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which enjoys massive support among the US population and, therefore, in both chambers of Congress:

“Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….

“Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem….

“In 1990, Congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that Congress ‘strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….’

“In 1992, the United States Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 113… to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reaffirming Congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city….

“In 1996, the state of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry….

“The term ‘United States Embassy’ means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and the residence of the United States chief of mission.”

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

The US Early Pilgrims and Founding Fathers were inspired – in their unification of the 13 colonies – by King David’s unification of the 12 Jewish tribes into a united political entity, and establishing Jerusalem as the capital city, which did not belong to any of the tribes (hence, Washington, DC does not belong to any state). King David entered Jerusalem 3,000 years before modern day US presidents entered the White House and 2,755 years before the US gained its independence.

The impact of Jerusalem on the US founders of the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist system and overall civic life is reflected by the existence, in the US, of 18 Jerusalems (4 in Maryland; 2 in Vermont, Georgia and New York; and 1 in Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah, Rhode Island and Tennessee), 32 Salems (the original Biblical name of Jerusalem) and many Zions (a Biblical synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel).  Moreover, in the US there are thousands of cities, towns, mountains, cliffs, deserts, national parks and streets bearing Biblical names.

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

Recognizing the Jerusalem reality and adherence to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – and the subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the site of the US Embassy to Israel – bolstered the US posture of deterrence in defiance of Arab/Islamic pressure and threats.

Contrary to the doomsday assessments by the State Department and the “elite” US media – which have been wrong on most Middle East issues – the May 2018 implementation of the 1995 law did not intensify Palestinian, Arab and Islamic terrorism. State Department “wise men” were equally wrong when they warned that Israel’s 1967 reunification of Jerusalem would ignite a worldwide anti-Israel and anti-US Islamic volcanic eruption.

Adherence to the 1995 law distinguishes the US President, Congress and most Americans from the state of mind of rogue regimes and terror organizations, the anti-US UN, the vacillating Europe, and the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department, which has systematically played-down the US’ unilateral, independent and (sometimes) defiant national security action.

On the other hand, US procrastination on the implementation of the 1995 law – by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama – eroded the US posture of deterrence, since it was rightly perceived by the world as appeasement in the face of pressure and threats from Arab/Muslim regimes and terrorists.  As expected, it radicalized Arab expectations and demands, failed to advance the cause of Israel-Arab peace, fueled Islamic terrorism, and severely undermined US national and homeland security. For example, blowing up the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and murdering 224 persons in August 1998; blowing up the USS Cole destroyer in the port of Aden and murdering 17 US sailors in October 2000; the 9/11 Twin Towers massacre, etc.

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

In 1949, President Truman followed Secretary of State Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing West Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

in 1950, in defiance of brutal US and global pressure to internationalize Jerusalem, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion reacted constructively by proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocating government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and settling tens of thousands of Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) in Jerusalem. He upgraded the transportation infrastructure to Jerusalem, erected new Jewish neighborhoods along the 1949 cease fire lines in Jerusalem, and provided the city land reserves for long-term growth.

In 1953, Ben Gurion rebuffed President Eisenhower’s pressure – inspired by Secretary of State Dulles – to refrain from relocating Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 1967, President Johnson followed the advice of Secretary of State Rusk – who opposed Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence – highlighting the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the reunification of Jerusalem and construction in its eastern section. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol adopted Ben Gurion’s statesmanship, fended off the US pressure, reunited Jerusalem, built the first Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, Ramat Eshkol, in addition to the first wave of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.

In 1970, President Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State Rogers, attempting to repartition Jerusalem, pressuring Israel to relinquish control of Jerusalem’s Holy Basin, and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.  However, Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to rescind the reunification of Jerusalem, and proceeded to lay the foundation for additional Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines: Gilo, Ramot Alon, French Hill and Neve’ Yaakov, currently home to 150,000 people.

In 1977-1992, Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir defied US and global pressure, expanding construction in Jerusalem, sending a clear message: “Jerusalem is the exclusive and non-negotiable capital of Israel!”

“[In 1978], at the very end of [Prime Minister Begin’s] successful Camp David talks with President Jimmy Carter and President Anwar Sadat, literally minutes before the signing ceremony, the American president had approached [Begin] with ‘Just one final formal item.’ Sadat, said the president, was asking that Begin put his signature to a simple letter committing him to place Jerusalem on the negotiating table of the final peace accord.  ‘I refused to accept the letter, let alone sign it,’ rumbled Begin. ‘If I forgot thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning,’ said [Begin] to the president of the United States of America, ‘and may my tongue cleave to my mouth’ (The Prime Ministers – An Intimate Portrait of Leaders of Israel, 2010)”

In 2021, Prime Minister Bennett should follow in the footsteps of Israel’s Founding Father, Ben Gurion, who stated: “Jerusalem is equal to the whole of the Land of Israel. Jerusalem is not just a central Jewish settlement. Jerusalem is an invaluable global historical symbol. The Jewish People and the entire world shall judge us in accordance with our steadfastness on Jerusalem (“We and Our Neighbors,” p. 175. 1929).”

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Jewish Holidays

Shavou’ot (Pentecost) guide for the perplexed, 2024

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
June 9, 2024

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

1. Shavou’ot (June 11-12, 2024) and the Land of Israel

*Shavou’ot commemorates the receipt of the Torah (the Five Books of Moses). It is one of the three liberty-driven Jewish pilgrimages to Jerusalem:  Passover, Shavou’ot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles). It documents the critical linkage between Judaism, the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. These pilgrimages constitute central milestones in the formation of Jewish history and the 4,000-year-old Jewish roots in the Land of Israel.

*Shavou’ot is an historical, national, agricultural and a spiritual extension of Passover. Passover highlights the physical liberty from slavery in Egypt; Shavou’ot highlights spiritual liberty, embracing the values of the Five Books of Moses, the Ten Commandments and The Ethics of our Fathers (Pirkey Avot). Therefore, the eve of Shavou’ot is dedicated to an all-night study of Jewish values.

*Shavou’ot is also called the Holiday of the Harvest (Bikoorim in Hebrew), since it concludes the harvesting season, which starts during Passover.

*Shavou’ot commemorates the 40 years of the Exodus, which entailed tough challenges on the road to the Land of Israel, forging the state-of-mind of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. 

*Shavou’ot means “weeks” in Hebrew and its root is identical to the root of the Hebrew word for “vows” (שבע), which is the same word for “seven.” It documents the seven weeks between Passover (the Exodus) and Shavou’ot.

*Shavou’ot highlights the prerequisites for a secure Land of Israel: the willingness to sustain blood, sweat and tears; faith and principle-driven tenacity in the face of severe odds; the steeper the hurdle, the more critical is the mission; crises are opportunities in disguise.

2. Shavou’ot’s impact on the formation of the US

*The holiday of Shavou’ot commemorates the legacy of Moses, which had a significant impact on the Early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, and the formation of the US culture, civic life, the federal system (e.g., the Separation of Powers), the US Revolution, The Federalist Papers, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

  • *The Liberty Bell and the Abolitionist Movement were inspired by the Biblical concept of Jubilee – the role model of Biblical liberty – which is a cardinal component of the Mosaic legacy. The essence of the Jubilee is engraved on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof (Leviticus 25:10).”
  • *The Liberty Bell was installed in Philadelphia in 1752, 50years following William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, and eventually inspiring the 50 States in the union. According to the Biblical Jubilee, all slaves must be released, and land must be returned to the original proprietors every 50 years. Shavou’ot is celebrated 50 days following Passover, and Pentecost – a derivative of the Greek word for 50 – is celebrated 50 days following Easter.  According to Judaism, there are 50 gates of wisdom, studied during the 50 days between Passover and Shavou’ot.
  • 3. The Scroll of Ruth (Honor thy mother in-law…)
  • Shavou’ot spotlights the Scroll of Ruth, the first of the five Biblical scrolls, which are studied during five Jewish holidays: Ruth (Shavou’ot), Song of Songs (Passover), Ecclesiastes (Sukkot/Tabernacles), Book of Lamentations (the Ninth day of Av), Esther (Purim).
  • *Ruth was a Moabite Princess, who joined the Jewish people, and became the great grandmother of King David. She was a role model of loyalty to her Jewish mother in-law. Ruth is exemplary of humility, gratitude, responsibility, reliability, faith, optimism and respect of fellow human beings. Ruth stuck by her mother-in-law, Naomi, during Naomi’s roughest time, when she lost her husband, Elimelech (a President of the Tribe of Judah), two sons and property.
  • *The stature of Ruth reflects the centrality of Biblical women: the four Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel; Yocheved, Miriam and Tziporah, the mother, older sister and the wife of Moses; Deborah the Prophetess, Judge and military leader; Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet; Queen Esther and Yael, who delivered the Jewish people from potential oblivion; etc.  
  • The Scroll of Ruth took place in the Judean Desert (in Judea and Samaria), the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, language and ethnicity.

4. The Ethics of the Fathers  (Pirkey Avot in Hebrew)

It is customary to study – from Passover through Shavou’ot – the six brief chapters of The Ethics of the Fathers, one of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah (the Oral Torah) – a compilation of common-sense values, ethical and moral teachings, which underline key inter-personal relationships. For example:

“Who is respected? He who respects other persons!”
“Who is a wise person? He who learns from all other persons!”
“Who is wealthy? He who is satisfied with his own share!”
“Who is a hero? He who controls his urge!”
“Talk sparsely and walk plenty;”
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
“Don’t be consumed with the flask, but with its content.”
“Conditional love is tenuous; unconditional love is eternal.”
“Treat every person politely.”
“Jealousy, lust and the obsession with fame warp one’s mind.”

5. Jubilee/Constitution. Shavou’ot has seven names: The holiday of the Jubilee; the holiday of the harvest; the holiday of the giving of the Torah; Shavou’ot; the holiday of offerings; the Rally and the Assembly (Constitution).

More on Shavou’ot and additional Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?