Tom, a commenter on my column below, makes the charge that Israel stole the Palestinians’ lands. I disagree with this statement, and think it is over simplifying the events surrounding the formation of Israel in 1948. The countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, sent forces to attack the newly formed country of Israel. Israel won the war, fair and square. Since Arabs believe in fatalism, clearly they can not argue with the fact that the Arabs gambled and lost. The Israelis expanded their territories in response to the war and as we can see they have needed a buffer zone between themselves and those who have avowed to destroy them. Human expansion is the story of mankind. Wars have preceded human expansion. If you start a war and lose it, there is no reason that you should expect that the people or country that you have attacked will give back any of the territories that you have lost. The Palestinians were left with the land that they were entitled to. The were weaker and they lost, end of story.
The Arabs also, mistakenly, told many Arabs to leave their lands, causing a much worse displacement problem than was warranted. Jews would not have wantonly attacked and killed Arabs who chose to remain on their lands. Many Arabs spread false rumors and caused a mass exodus of frightened Arabs, who thought that Israel would take revenge on them for having been attacked by Arab troops. They fled from their homes and land.
In the book, The Israelis, a Palestinian told a story, that to me, illustrated the difference between the Arabs and the Jews. The Palestinian man said, that he works in Jerusalem, and has Israeli license plates on his car. He had a car accident in the Arab territories and not one Arab would come and help him, because they thought that he might be Israeli. Fortunately for him, his own brother drove by and saw him. Another time he was in a restaurant, and began to choke to death. An Israeli Jew came over and performed the Heimlich manuver on him. He says that he now lives among the Jews by choice, because the Arabs thought he was an Israeli, and were willing to let him die, but the Jewish man knew that he was an Arab and saved his life. That is the difference between these two peoples and it means something to me. It means that the human values of the Israelis are much closer to mine and they are the values that I support and so if I must choose sides, I will, and I choose Israel.
As for the Israelis stealing lands from Arabs, the Arabs have stolen lands from Kurds and Jews. They stole land from Jews that lived in Arab lands for 2000 years and more. Not to mention the history of Arab expansion into other lands is rife with the taking of land from those of other religions. If you want to go back in history, Muslims were content with expansion, think Spain and Africa, when it suited their imperialistic purposes, but now they cry foul and throw Western values at us and demand that we abide by international law, when they have never abided by any such thing on their own without being bribed or forced to do so. More Jews were forced or chose to leave Arab countries because of violence and persecution, than Arabs were displaced. Those Jews are often called emigrants, but they are no more emigrants than the Palestinians are refugees. They are all displaced persons.
It has been years since Isreal was formed and the Palestinians are still being used as a political tool. There has been no effort to solve the social problems of these people and they are often not wanted by their Muslim brothers in other countries, because they are a destabilizing force. If half of the money spent on arms and terrorism was spent on solving the miserable situation in Palestine, the world would be a lot better off. The Arabs, who have elevated feeling matyred to a high art, actually enjoy feeling as if they are victims. Even rich Saudis can convince themslves that they are victims, by identifying with Palestinians. It’s just their religion. As for the immigration to Israel by Jews in the years previous to WWII, I find it amazing that leftists, who support unlimited immigration by Latinos to the US, seem to think that the Arabs should have been able to control immigration and reject Jewish immigrants from moving into the Holy Land. What is the difference between the Jewish influx to the Holy Lands and the influx of Latinos to the US?
An eye for and eye is not what this new situation in Israel is about. Hamas and Hizballah have taken 3 young men prisoner. Every life is important to those with Judeo-Christian ethics. That is why the relatively small pecentage of troops killed in Iraq is so important to us and the 3 soldiers are so important to Israelis.
Category: Guest Blogging Stand