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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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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

Demographic optimism IN, demographic pessimism OUT

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 2, 2023

The suggestion that Israel should retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is based, partly, on the assumption that the Jewish majority is exposed to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” which would explode if Israel were to apply its law to Judea and Samaria.

However, Israel’s Jewish majority is not vulnerable to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” but benefits from demographic momentum, fertility-wise and migration-wise.

Arab demography artificially inflated

This erroneous assumption is based on the official Palestinian numbers, which are embraced and reverberated by the global community – with no due-diligence auditing – ignoring a 1.6-million-person artificial inflation of the reported number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

For instance:

*The official Palestinian census includes 500,000 residents, who have been away for over a year, while international standards require their elimination from the census (until they return for, at least, 90 days).  This number was documented by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (325,000 in 1997), Election Commission (400,000 in 2005) and the Ministry of Interior, increasing systematically through births.

*The Palestinian census ignores the net-emigration of 390,000 since the first 1997 census, as documented by Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, which supervises Israel’s international passages.

*375,000 Jerusalem Arabs and more than 150,000 (mostly) Judea and Samaria Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are doubly-counted (by Israel and the Palestinian Authority). This number increases systematically through births.

*A September 2006 World Bank report documented a 32% artificial inflation of the number of births.  At the same time, death has been substantially underreported as evidenced by the 2007 Palestinian census, which included Arabs born in 1845….   

*The aforementioned data indicates an artificial inflation of 1.6 million in the Palestinian census of Judea and Samria Arabs: 1.4 million – not 3 million – Arabs.

Arab demography Westernized

Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arab demography has been westernized dramatically in recent years, from a fertility rate of 9 births per woman west of the Jordan River during the 1960s to 2.85 births in 2021 in pre-1967 Israel and 3.02 in Judea and Samaria.

The westernization of Arab demography has been a result of sweeping urbanization. From a 70%-rural-population in Judea and Samaria in 1967, to a 77%-urban-population in 2022.  In addition, almost all girls complete high school, resulting in the expanded integration of women in employment and academia, as well as an increase in wedding age (from 15 to 24-year-old).  Moreover, there has been an expansion of the use of contraceptives (70% of women in the Palestinian Authority) and a shorter fertility cycle (25 through 45 in 2022 compared to 16 through 55 during the 1960s).

Demographic westernization has occurred in the entire Moslem World, other than the Sub-Saharah countries: In 2022, Jordan – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.9, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, the UAE – 1.62, etc.

Jewish demographic momentum

Israel’s Jewish demography features a fertility momentum – especially in the secular sector – simultaneously with a moderate decline in the ultra-orthodox sector. In fact, Jewish fertility (3.13 births per woman) is higher than any Arab country, other than Iraq’s (3.17). The OECD’s average fertility rate is 1.61 births per woman.

In 2022, the number of Jewish births (137,566) was 71% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Arab births (43,417) was 19% higher than in 1995 (36,500).

Contrary to most global societies, Israel enjoys a positive correlation between the level of fertility, on the one hand, and the level of education, income, urbanization and (the rise of) wedding age on the other hand.

The growth of Jewish fertility reflects a high level of patriotism, optimism, attachment to roots, communal responsibility, frontier mentality, high regard for raising children and the decline in the number of abortions.

The Jewish population is growing younger, while the Arab population is growing older.

Until the 1990s, there was a demographic race between Arab births and Jewish immigration.  Since the 1990s, the race is between Jewish and Arab births, while net-migration provides a robust boost to Jewish demography.

The Jewish demographic momentum has been bolstered by an annual Aliyah (Jewish immigration) – which has been the most critical engine of Israel’s economic, educational, technological and military growth – simultaneously with the declining scope of annual emigration.  From an additional 14,200 emigrants in 1990 to 10,800 in 2020, while the overall population has doubled itself since 1990. A substantial decline in emigration has taken place since the 2007/2008 global economic meltdown, which has underscored the relative stability and growth of Israel’s economy.

In 2023, there has been an increase in Aliyah. This highlights a potential of 500,000 Olim (Jewish immigrants) in five years – from Europe, the former USSR, Latin and North America – should the Israeli government resurrect the pro-active Aliyah policy, which defined Israel from 1948-1992.

The bottom line

In 1897, upon convening the First Zionist Congress, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 1948, upon the establishment of the Jewish State, there was a 39% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 2022, there was a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel (7.5 million Jews, 2 million Arabs in pre-1967 Israel and 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefiting from a tailwind of fertility and net-migration.

Those who claim that the Jewish majority – in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – is threatened by an Arab demographic time bomb are either dramatically mistaken, or outrageously misleading.

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Iran

Diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 19, 2023

*The US State Department’s diplomatic option has facilitated the transformation of Iran from “the American policeman of the Gulf” to “the largest anti-American venomous octopus in the world,” stretching its rogue arms from the Persian Gulf through Africa to Latin America and the US-Mexico border, which it perceives as the soft underbelly of the US.

*The diplomatic option – including a frail US response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf region – has aggravated Middle East instability, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, and is inducing anti-US global Islamic terrorism.  This is severely eroding US posture of deterrence, benefitting Russia, China and mostly Iran, while undermining US national and homeland security. 

*The diplomatic option has suspended most economic sanctions – without Congressional consent – surging Iran’s oil export from 500,000 barrels per day to 2-3 million barrels per day, increasing Iran’s national income by some $100bn, mostly dedicated to bolster Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America, the US’ backyard.

*The diplomatic option has consistently overlooked the decisive power of the Ayatollahs’ imperialistic ideology, and its determination to export the anti-US Islamic Shiite Revolution. Consequently, the State Department has deluded itself into believing that an astounding financial and diplomatic bonanza would induce Iran’s Ayatollahs to accept peaceful coexistence with their pro-US Arab Sunni neighbors, become good-faith negotiators, and abandon their 1,400-year-old religious, fanatic vision, which is enshrined in their Constitution, K-12 school curriculum, Friday mosque sermons and official media.

*However, as expected, the mega-billion-dollar bonanza yielded by the diplomatic option (e.g., the 2015 JCPOA and the current suspension of economic sanctions) has bolstered its global terroristic network, advancing its vision to topple all pro-US Sunni regimes, and bring the “infidel” West to submission, especially the “The Great American Satan,” while egregiously oppressing and suppressing Iranian women and religious and ethnic minorities.  

*The State Department’s diplomatic option was initiated in 1978/1979, stabbing in the back the pro-US Shah of Iran, and contending that Ayatollah Khomeini was anti-Communist and therefore potentially pro-Western and a stabilizing element geopolitically, “…holding a Gandhi-like positionpreoccupied with tractors, not tanks….”

*Has the diplomatic option dumped the Monroe Doctrine?! In 2023, Iran’s Ayatollahs invest mega billions of dollars in fueling civil wars, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering throughout the Middle East, Africa and especially in Latin America. There, they collaborate – along with Hezbollah terrorists – with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, and train terror organizations. They cooperate with all anti-US governments (especially Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia), testing ballistic missiles, and supplying predator drones, attack boats, anti-ship missiles, and equipment for the construction of underground tunnels along the US-Mexico border, which smuggle drugs and illegal Middle East terrorists into the US.

*The bottom line is: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!  After 44 years of being fooled by the Ayatollahs, critically undermining the strategic posture of the US and its allies, it is time to reassess the diplomatic option, and consider other options, such as regime-change and a credible military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.  

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Judea & Samaria

Israel-Saudi accord and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (video)

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
September 15, 2023, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/377022

*The platform of an Israel-Saudi accord is the volcanic, violent and unpredictably tenuous Middle East, not Western Europe or No. America;

*Saudi Arabia is driven by Saudi – not Palestinian – interests;

*Unlike the State Department, Saudi Arabia accords much weight to the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab arena, and therefore limits its support of the proposed Palestinian state to (mostly) talk, not to walk; *An accord with Saudi Arabia – in the shifty, tenuous Middle East – is not a major component of Israel’s national security. On the other hand, Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s survival in the inherently turbulent, intolerantly violent Middle East, which features tenuous regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords.

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

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
November 29, 2023

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

1. According to Israel’s Founding Father, David Ben Gurion: Chanukah commemorates “the struggle of the Maccabees, which was one of the most dramatic clashes of civilizations in human history, not merely a political-military struggle against foreign oppression…. Unlike many peoples, the meager Jewish people did not assimilate.  The Jewish people prevailed, won, sustained and enhanced their independence and unique civilization…. It was the spirit of the people, rather than the failed spirit of the establishment, which enabled the Hasmoneans to overcome one of the most magnificent spiritual, political and military challenges in Jewish history….” (Uniqueness and Destiny, pp 20-22, David Ben Gurion, IDF Publishing, 1953).

2. A Jewish national liberation holiday.  Chanukah (evening of December 7 – December 15, 2023) is the only Jewish holiday that commemorates an ancient national liberation struggle in the Land of Israel, unlike the national liberation holidays, Passover, Sukkot/Tabernacles and Shavu’ot/Pentecost, which commemorate the liberation from slavery in Egypt to independence in the land of Israel, and unlike Purim, which commemorates liberation from a Persian attempt to annihilate the Jewish people.

3. Chanukah and the Land of Israel.  When ordered by Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid region to end the Jewish “occupation” of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Gezer and Akron, Shimon the Maccabee responded: “We have not occupied a foreign land…. We have liberated the land of our forefathers from foreign occupation (Book of Maccabees A: 15:33).”

Chanukah highlights the centrality of the Land of Israel in the formation of Jewish history, religion, culture and language. The mountain ridges of Judea and Southern Samaria (the West Bank) were the platform for the Maccabean military battles: Mitzpah (the burial site of the Prophet Samuel, overlooking Jerusalem), Beth El (the site of the Ark of the Covenant and Judah the Maccabee’s initial headquarters), Beth Horon (Judah’s victory over Seron), Hadashah (Judah’s victory over Nicanor), Beth Zur (Judah’s victory over Lysias), Ma’aleh Levona (Judah’s victory over Apolonius), Adora’yim (a Maccabean fortress), Eleazar (named after Mattityahu’s youngest Maccabee son), Beit Zachariya (Judah’s first defeat), Ba’al Hatzor (where Judah was defeated and killed), Te’qoah, Mikhmash and Gophnah (bases of Shimon and Yonatan), the Judean Desert, etc.

4. Historical context  Chanukah is narrated in the four Books of the MaccabeesThe Scroll of Antiochus and The Wars of the Jews.

In 323 BCE, following the death of Alexander the Great (Alexander III) who held Judaism in high esteem, the Greek Empire was split into three independent and rival mini-empires: Greece, Seleucid/Syria and Ptolemaic/Egypt.

In 175 BCE, the Seleucid/Syrian Emperor Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes claimed the Land of Israel. He suspected that the Jews were allies of his Ptolemaic/Egyptian enemy.  The Seleucid emperor was known for eccentric behavior, hence his name, Epiphanes, which means “divine manifestation.”  He aimed to exterminate Judaism and convert Jews to Hellenism. In 169 BCE, he devastated Jerusalem, attempting to decimate the Jewish population, and outlaw the practice of Judaism.

In 166/7 BCE, a Jewish rebellion was led by the non-establishment Hasmonean (Maccabee) family from the rural town of Modi’in, half-way between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean.  The rebellion was headed by Mattityahu, the priest, and his five sons, Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Eleazar, who fought the Seleucid occupier and restored Jewish independence.  The Hasmonean dynasty was replete with external and internal wars and lasted until 37 BCE, when Herod the Great (a proxy of Rome) defeated Antigonus II Mattathias.

5. The reputation of Jews as superb warriors was reaffirmed by the success of the Maccabees on the battlefield. In fact, they were frequently hired as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Carthage, Rome and other global and regional powers.

6. The significance of Chanukah. Chanukah celebrates the Maccabean-led national liberation by conducting in-house family education and lighting candles for 8 days in commemoration of the re-inauguration of Jerusalem’s Jewish Temple and its Menorah (candelabra).

The Hebrew words Chanukah (חנוכה), inauguration (חנוכ) and education ((חנוך possess the same root.

7. As was prophesized by the Prophet Hagai in 520 BCE, the re-inauguration of the Temple took place on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is the month of miracles, such as the post-flood appearance of Noah’s rainbow, the completion of the construction of the Holy Ark by Moses, the laying of the foundations of the Second Temple by Nehemiah, etc.

In 1777, Chanukah candles were lit during the most critical battle at Valley Forge, which solidified the victory of George Washington’s Continental Army over the British monarchy.

The 25th Hebrew word in Genesis is “light,” and the 25th stop during the Exodus was Hashmona (the same Hebrew spelling as Hasmonean-Maccabees).

The first day of Chanukah is celebrated when daylight hours are equal to darkness hours – and when moonlight is hardly noticed – ushering in brighter days.

8. Chanukah highlights the defeat of darkness, disbelief, forgetfulness and pessimism by the spirit of light, faith, commemoration and optimism over.

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Golan

US interests and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (West Bank)

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.

*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.

*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.

*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.

*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.

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Islamic Terrorism

Hamas – Palestinians: disjointed or interwoven?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 28, 2023

*The Western attempt to distinguish between Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs defies Middle East reality, which documents that Hamas terrorists and most Gaza Arabs are interwoven with each other, socially, educationally, culturally, ideologically, and religiously.

*Moreover, Middle East reality highlights Hamas as a terror state (Gaza and potentially the West Bank), not as merely a terror organization.

*Therefore, most of the Arabs in Gaza enthusiastically celebrated the October 7, 2023 Hamas ISIS-like slaughter, rape, torture and mutilation of (mostly) civilians, heralding it as role model of sacrifice and heroism in the service of a Holy Islamic War and a demonstration of national liberation fortitude.

*The fact that the Arab population of Gaza lends itself to terrorism was underscored by a June 29, 1967 memorandum, submitted to the US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara by General Earle G. Wheeler, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff. The memorandum presented a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, including Gaza, which “serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage…. It has served as a training area for [Palestinian terrorists]…. Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five and eliminate a source for raids and training of [terrorists]….”   

*The terroristic potential of the population of Gaza has been leveraged since 1947 by the Muslim Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization, which established Hamas in 1988 – when it established Gaza as one of its five centers in British Mandate Palestine (Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Jerusalem and Gaza). The Gaza branch collaborated closely with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the birth place of the Muslim Brotherhood. Initially, Hamas’ popularity was limited to the Gaza middle class, such as the religious establishment, lawyers and businessmen. However, since the 1990s, Hamas has increasingly evolved into a focal point of social, ideological and religious cohesion with the Gaza population at-large.

*The appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Gaza branch, Hamas, has surged dramatically since 1993, through the K-12 hate-education system, Friday incitement in the mosques and the official and public idolization of terrorism, which were instituted by Mahmoud Abbas through the Oslo Accord. Initially, it benefitted the Palestinian Authority – headed by Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas – but rapidly catapulted Hamas into unprecedented popularity, as an integral element of the Gaza culture, a role model for the Gaza youth.

*Realizing the high-level identification of Gaza Arabs with Hamas – and the evolution of Hamas from a terror organization into a terror state – the Palestinian Authority has refrained from holding election since 2005, in order to avoid a Hamas landslide victory. Furthermore, after the October 7 massacre Hamas has surged to its highest popularity among Arabs in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

*The Western attempt to subordinate the complex, frustrating, costly and inconvenient Middle East reality to its own alternative and convenient Middle East, has led to the assumption that Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs are disjointed culturally and ideologically.

*However, Middle East reality features Hamas as an entity, which is consistent with the worldview, values, education and ideology of most Gazan parents, who send their children to Hamas run schools, participate in Friday services in Hamas run mosques, and enthusiastically cheer Hamas’ ISIS-like terroristic operations.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Hamas is not a terror organization in the mold of Peru’s Shining Path, Italy’s Red Brigade, France’s Action Direct and multitude of other terror organizations, which represent a fringe of their societies, terrorizing the government and its educational, cultural and religious institutions.  Hamas is the terrorist state of Gaza, representing Gaza’s educational, cultural and religious institutions, enjoying the moral support of most Gazans.  In many respects, Hamas benefits from more popular support than enjoyed by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Syria’s Bashar Assad and Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*Western policy based on the erroneous assumption that Hamas and Gaza Arabs are disjointed from one another, inadvertently plays into the hands of Hamas, yielding a robust tailwind to terrorism and a powerful headwind to counter-terrorism. 

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