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June 26, 2014 10:15 am

Four Facts That Everyone Should Know About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

avatar by Lee S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin

Email a copy of "Four Facts That Everyone Should Know About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" to a friend

A Haganah member and others during Israel's War of Independence. Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Most Westerners, including many Jews, are unaware of four fundamental facts about the Jewish homeland of Israel that would greatly increase their support for the Jewish State. The burden is on us to make these facts more widely known in the West.

#1 – The Jews Never Left:  Although most in the West accept that Jewish biblical history happened, most believe that upon vanquishing the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE, the victorious Romans “exiled” Judaea’s surviving Jews – and that Jews did not return to Israel in meaningful numbers until the late 19th “Žcentury Zionist movement.

Wrong. Solid evidence – Roman-Byzantine era synagogues, the Mishnah and Palestinian Talmud, Roman recognition of the Patriarch as head of the homeland’s Jews, and Jewish military and other aid to the 7th”Ž century Persian and then Muslim invaders – establishes that no such “exile” occurred. Archeologists have constructed a map of 9th century Jewish communities of which we have knowledge today. The Crusaders also acknowledged the month-long courageous Jewish defense of Haifa and the fact of Jews defending Jerusalem. We have much evidence of the Jews’ vibrant presence in their four holy cities – Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias, and Hebron – and elsewhere in Israel through the ensuing six centuries of non-Arab Mamluk and Turk foreign rule. According to scholars, this gave the Zionists’ “real title deeds.”

#2 – Who Are The Palestinians? Us:  Today’s Palestinian Arabs, whom everyone calls “The Palestinians,” claim descent from the pre-Israelite Canaanites, but if either side has Canaanite blood it’s the Jews. Archeologists trace Israelite presence back to the 12th c”Žentury BCE, but are divided into “conquest” and “indigenous origin” camps. The latter believe that the Israelites populating the original Judean-Samarian hills were themselves Canaanites who began a new religion and lifestyle, not outside invaders.

The 7th century CE Arab invasion, which came storming out of the Arabian Peninsula, came 18 centuries later. Modern Israel in 1948 became the land’s next native state after the Jews’ ancient Judaea. Without exception, every ruler in between – Romans-Byzantines, briefly Persians, foreign Muslim dynasties that began as Arab but progressively fell under control of the Turks, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks – was a foreign invader, and mostly non-Arab at that. During the post-Ottoman League of Nations’ Mandate, all of the land’s residents – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – were called “Palestinian.”

Indeed, the term “Palestinian” – e.g., the Palestine Electric Company, the Palestine Symphony, the Palestine Post (today’s Jerusalem Post), Jewish institutions all – usually referred to Palestine’s Jews. In fact, Arabs at the time disdained being called “Palestinians” and thought of themselves instead as southern Syrians.The UN in 1947 did not partition Palestine into Jewish and “Palestinian” states, but rather into a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State,” terms that it used over and over. And the partition resolution refers to Palestine’s Jews and Arabs as “the two Palestinian peoples.”

#3 – There are No Such Places as “the West Bank” and “East Jerusalem:” Though the Arab side, the Western media, and even, foolishly, we Jews constantly refer to “the West Bank” and “East Jerusalem,” these are not historic but recently invented terms to disassociate these historic centerpieces of the Jewish homeland from Jews. “Judea and Samaria” are not what the media has called “the biblical names for “the West Bank,” but are the actual Hebrew-origin names by which the homeland’s hill country has been known throughout history into the mid-20th “Žcentury. In attempting to partition the remaining western Palestine in 1947 (the all-Arab created country named Transjordan, which were the lands of the Palestine Mandate east of the Jordan River, had already been lopped off from the Mandate in 1922), the UN did not refer to “the West Bank,” but to “the hill country of Samaria and Judea.”

Jordan invented the term “West Bank” in 1950 to disassociate it from Jews, after it illegally annexed the West Bank in 1948. In the past 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the capital of three homeland states – Judah, Judaea, and Israel, all of them Jewish. Palestinian Arabs have not ruled Jerusalem for one day in history, and foreign Arab dynasties only for part of the time between the Arab invasion of 638 and Crusader conquest of 1099. Jerusalem’s present day renewed Jewish majority dates not from 1967, or 1948, or the First Zionist Congress of 1897. Jews again became Jerusalem’s plurality population in pre-Zionist mid-19th century times, and its never-relinquished majority well before the 19th century’s end – still during foreign Ottoman rule.

#4 – The Arab-Jewish Conflict Created More Jewish Than Arab Refugees:  According to the British themselves,Palestine’s population at the end of the Mandate consisted of 1.2 million Arabs (Jewish sources claim only 1 million Arabs) and 600,000 Jews. Not all of those Arabs lived in the part that became Israel, and not all of them left. Estimates of the Arabs during the 1948 War who were told by their leaders to leave their homes to make way for the invading Arab armies range from less than 472,000 to 650,000. The vast majority never even saw one Israeli soldier. During the 1948 war and its aftermath, some 800,000-850,000 indigenous Middle Eastern Jews, some with roots going back to biblical times, fled vast Arab and other Muslim lands, forced to leave behind property and businesses for which they have never been compensated.

The fledgling Jewish state happily absorbed them. The Arab-Jewish conflict generated a two-sided refugee issue, not a “Palestinian refugee issue.”

If more people in the West understood and appreciated these four largely unknown fundamental facts, there would be much greater appreciation of the bona fides of the Jewish people’s deep homeland claim, and less talk about “Israel’s founding in 1948″ and “Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank.”  In essence, if we forfeit the language, we forfeit our heritage and our history.

Lee Bender is the co-President, and Jerome Verlin is the co-Vice Present of the Zionist Organization of America-Greater Philadelphia District, and they are the co-authors of the book “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z” (Pavilion Press).

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • The Law of Return is for The Jews, the option to return to Greater Israel and The Arab-Palestinians to leave Greater Israel and return to the Arab countries they originated from. The Arab-Palestinians should move to the Million plus Jewish homes confiscated by the Arab countries from the expelled Jewish people and the 120,440 sq. km. of Real property the Arabs confiscated from the million plus Jewish families and their children expelled from Arab countries. That is the only viable alternative.
    Face it and stop hallucinating, once and for all. There will never be an Arab-Palestinian State in Greater Israel West of the Jordan River (Judea and Samaria). Jerusalem the United Eternal Capital of the Jewish people.
    YJ Draiman

  • Many nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory. No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had ejected about a million Jewish people and their children from their countries, confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and Real estate 650,00 Jewish people and their children of these expelled Jewish people and their children were resettled in Greater Israel. The Land the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people 120,440 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles, which is over 5-6 times the size of Israel, and its value today is the trillions of dollars.
    The Jewish people and their children during the over 2,000 years living in Arab countries have suffered Pogroms, Libel claims, beheadings, beatings, false imprisonment and extreme hardship as a second class citizens. They had their businesses and homes pillaged, their wives and daughters raped, their houses of worship pillaged and burned

    Today over half of Israel’s population are Jews expelled from Arab countries and their children and grandchildren.

    The Audacity of the Arab countries in demanding territory from the Jewish people in Palestine after they ejected over a million Jewish people and their children who have lived in Arab land for over 2,000 years and after they confiscated all their assets and Real estate 5-6 times the size of Israel (120,440 sq. km.), valued in the trillions of dollars.
    Now the Arab nations are demanding more land and more compensation.
    The Arab countries have chased the million Jews and now the want to chase them away again.
    It is time to consider the only alternative is a population transfer of the Palestinian-Arabs to the territories the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people and settle this dispute once and for all.
    YJ Draiman

    In 1970, three years after the 1967 Six-Day War, an article appearing in the most prestigious international legal periodical, The American Journal of International Law, touched directly on the question of Israel’s rights in Jerusalem.5 It became a critical reference point for Israeli ambassadors speaking at the UN in the immediate decades that followed and also found its way into their speeches. The article was written by an important, but not yet well-known, legal scholar named Stephen Schwebel. In the years that followed, Schwebel’s stature would grow immensely with his appointment as the legal advisor of the U.S. Department of State, and then finally when he became
    the President of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. In retrospect, his legal opinions mattered and were worth considering very carefully.

    Schwebel wrote his article, which was entitled “What Weight to Conquest,” in response to a statement by then Secretary of State William Rogers that Israel was only entitled to “insubstantial alterations” in the pre-1967 lines. The Nixon administration had also hardened U.S. policy on Jerusalem as reflected in its statements and voting patterns in the UN Security Council. Schwebel strongly disagreed with this approach: he wrote that the pre-war lines were not sacrosanct, for the 1967 lines were not an international border. Formally, they were only armistice lines from 1949. As he noted, the armistice agreement itself did not preclude the territorial claims of the parties beyond those lines. Significantly, he explained that when territories are captured in a war, the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of the conflict directly affect the legal rights of the two sides, upon its termination.

    Two facts from 1967 stood out that influenced his thinking:

    First, Israel had acted in the Six-Day War in the lawful exercise of its right of self-defense. Those familiar with the events that led to its outbreak recall that Egypt was the party responsible for the initiation of hostilities, through a series of steps that included the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and the proclamation of a blockade on Eilat, an act that Foreign Minister Abba Eban would characterize as the firing of the first shot of the war. Along Israel’s eastern front, Jordan’s artillery had opened pre-pounding civilian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, despite repeated warnings issued by Israel.

    Given this background, Israel had not captured territory as a result of aggression, but rather because it had come under armed attack. In fact, the Soviet Union had tried to have Israel labeled as the aggressor in the UN Security Council on June 14, 1967, and then in the UN General Assembly on July 4, 1967. But Moscow completely failed. At the Security Council it was outvoted 11-4. Meanwhile at the General Assembly, 88 states voted against or abstained on the first vote of a proposed Soviet draft (only 32 states supported it). It was patently clear to the majority of UN members that Israel
    had waged a defensive war. 6

    A second element in Schwebel’s thinking was the fact Jordan’s claim to legal title over the territories it had lost to Israel in the Six-Day War was very problematic. The Jordanian invasion of the West Bank – and Jerusalem – nineteen years earlier in 1948 had been unlawful. As a result, Jordan did not gain legal rights in the years that followed, given the legal principle, that Schwebel stressed, according to which no right can be born of an unlawful act (ex injuria jus non oritur) . It should not have come as a surprise that Jordan’s claim to sovereignty over the West Bank was not recognized
    by anyone, except for Pakistan and Britain. Even the British would not recognize the Jordanian claim in Jerusalem itself.

    Thus, by comparing Jordan’s illegal invasion of the West Bank to Israel’s legal exercise of its right of self-defense, Schwebel concluded that “Israel has better title” in the territory of what once was the Palestine Mandate than either of the Arab states with which it had been at war. He specifically stated that Israel had better legal title to “the whole of Jerusalem.”

    Schwebel makes reference to UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967, which over the years would become the main source for all of Israel’s peace efforts, from the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace to the 1993 Oslo Accords. In its famous withdrawal clause, Resolution 242 did not call for a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the territories it captured in the Six-Day War. There was no effort to re-establish the status quo ante, which, as noted earlier, was the product of a previous act of aggression by Arab armies in 1948.

    As the U.S. ambassador to the UN in 1967, Arthur Goldberg, pointed out in 1980, Resolution 242 did not even mention Jerusalem “and this omission was deliberate.” Goldberg made the point, reflecting the policy of the Johnson administration for whom he served, that he never described Jerusalem as “occupied territory,” though this changed under President Nixon.7 What Goldberg wrote about Resolution 242 had added weight, given the fact that he previously had served as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Indeed, among the leading jurists in international law and diplomacy, Schwebel was clearly not alone. He was joined by Julius Stone, the great Australian legal scholar, who reached the same conclusions. He added that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 from 1947 (also known as the Partition Plan) did not undermine Israel’s subsequent claims in Jerusalem. True, Resolution 181 envisioned that Jerusalem and its environs would become a corpus separatum, or a separate international entity. But Resolution 181 was only a recommendation of the General Assembly. It was rejected by the Arab states forcibly, who invaded the nascent State of Israel in 1948.

    Ultimately, the UN’s corpus separatum never came into being in any case. The UN did not protect the Jewish population of Jerusalem from invading Arab armies. Given this history, it was not surprising that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, announced on December 3, 1949, that Revolution 181’s references to Jerusalem were “null and void,” thereby anticipating Stone’s legal analysis years later. 8

    There was also Prof. Elihu Lauterpacht of Cambridge University, who for a time served as legal advisor of Australia and as a judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Lauterpacht argued that Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 was legally valid. He explained 9 that the last state which had sovereignty over Jerusalem was the Ottoman Empire, which ruled it from 1517 to 1917.

    After the First World War, the Ottoman Empire formally renounced its sovereignty over Jerusalem as well as all its former territories south of what became modern Turkey in the Treaty of Sevres from 1920. This renunciation was confirmed by the Turkish Republic as well in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. According to Lauterpacht, the rights of sovereignty in Jerusalem were vested with the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, which transferred them to the League of Nations.

    But with the dissolution of the League of Nations, the British withdrawal from Mandatory Palestine, and the failure of the UN to create a corpus separatum or a special international regime for Jerusalem, as had been intended according to the 1947 Partition Plan, Lauterpacht concluded that sovereignty had been put in suspense or in abeyance. In other words, by 1948 there was what he called “a vacancy of sovereignty” in Jerusalem.

    It might be asked if the acceptance by the pre-state Jewish Agency of Resolution 181 constituted a conscious renunciation of Jewish claims to Jerusalem back in 1947. However, according to the resolution, the duration of the special international regime for Jerusalem would be “in the first instance for a period of ten years.” The resolution envisioned a referendum of the residents of the city at that point in which they would express “their wishes as to possible modifications of the regime of the city.”10 The Jewish leadership interpreted the corpus separatum as an interim arrangement that could be replaced. They believed that Jewish residents could opt for citizenship in the Jewish state in the meantime. Moreover, they hoped that the referendum would lead to the corpus seperatum being joined to the State of Israel after ten years.11

    Who then could acquire sovereign rights in Jerusalem given the “vacancy of sovereignty” that Lauterpacht described? Certainly, the UN could not assume a role, given what happened to Resolution 181. Lauterpacht’s answer was that Israel filled “the vacancy in sovereignty” in areas where the Israel Defense Forces had to operate in order to save Jerusalem’s Jewish population from destruction or ethnic cleansing. The same principle applied again in 1967, when Jordanian forces opened fire on Israeli neighborhoods and the Israel Defense Forces entered the eastern parts of Jerusalem, including its Old City, in self-defense.

    A fourth legal authority to contribute to this debate over the legal rights of Israel was Prof. Eugene Rostow, the former dean of Yale Law School and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson administration. Rostow’s point of departure for analyzing the issue of Israel’s rights was the Mandate for Palestine, which specifically referred to “the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” providing “the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
    These rights applied to Jerusalem as well, for the Mandate did not separate Jerusalem from the other territory that was to become part of the Jewish national home.

    Rostow contrasts the other League of Nations mandates with the mandate for Palestine. Whereas the mandates for Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon served as trusts for the indigenous populations, the language of the Palestine Mandate was entirely different. It supported the national rights of the Jewish people while protecting only the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in 12 British Mandatory Palestine. It should be added that the Palestine Mandate was a legal instrument in the form of a binding international treaty between the League of Nations, on the one hand, and Britain as the mandatory power, on the other.

    Rostow argued that the mandate was not terminated in 1947. He explained that Jewish legal rights to a national home in this territory, which were embedded in British Mandatory Palestine, survived the dissolution of the League of Nations and were preserved by the United Nations in Article 80 of the UN Charter.13 Clearly, after considering Rostow’s arguments, Israel was well-positioned to assert its rights in Jerusalem and fill “the vacancy of sovereignty” that Lauterpacht had described.

  • My shul newsletter re-printed this column. We received a vitriolic letter from a member (hopefully pasted below). Can you address his counter-arguments?

    Dear Editors,
    I am very well aware of how strongly many members feel about issues to do with Israel and the Palestinian peace process (or lack thereof). Generally I am content to just respectfully note views with which I disagree . However, I must question your judgement in devoting the Israel page to ‘Four Facts about Israel that Everyone should know about the Palestinian Arab War on Israel’. The combination of abusive use of some historical facts and presentation of other tendentious statements as facts is unworthy of defenders of Israel and of any serious newspaper. I am particularly concerned that the thrust of the piece seems to be to deny the Palestinian Arabs status as a community or nation. Let me give you some specific comments.

    1. ‘The Jews never Left’. Factually correct, but the conclusion drawn, “According to scholars, this gave the Zionists ‘real title deeds’ “, is highly tendentious (and what kind of “scholars” are referred to?). It is perhaps an argument that might appeal to Plaid Cymry, who could claim that the existence of Celts living on in Lloegr (England) after the English conquest during the 5th – 7th cents. CE justified a Welsh claim to rule over England. Instead of Judea and Samaria, read Rheged, Elmet, East Powys, Dyfnaint, Kernow etc!

    2. ‘Who are the Palestinians? Us!’ Arguing about whether Jewish or Arab inhabitants of Israel are descended from the prehistoric Canaanites is surely a fruitless quest. The Land of Israel has been invaded so many times by widely differing ethnic groups that it is unlikely any group now living there can claim Canaanite descent. Besides a large proportion of the Jewish population has arrived from many different countries and it would be naive to assume we all carry a gene pool unmixed from prehistoric Palestine. The question of ethnic continuity in the Land of Israel has also been confusingly mixed with the political question of which groups have described themselves as Palestinian at various times over the 20th century.

    3. ‘There are No Such Places as the West Bank and East Jerusalem.’ These are indeed modern terms, but I would have thought they can be treated as convenient geographical terms for areas under Jordanian rule from 1948-1967, whose status is still a matter of dispute and negotiation. Talking about Judea and Samaria (other than in an historical context) assumes a certain outcome of any peace settlement and is as provocative as Greeks persisting in referring to Istanbul and Izmir as Constantinople and Smyrna. The account of changes in control of Jerusalem seems to be suggesting that current Jewish control is justified by Jewish rule in ancient times and a current Jewish majority population and that the Palestinian Arabs have no right to rule any part of Jerusalem because Arabs have not controlled Jerusalem since 1099 and even then were not local Arabs. These statements really don’t address the contemporary situation and certainly don’t help move any peace process forwards, as they are so contemptuous of Palestinian aspirations.

    4. ‘The Arab-Jewish Conflict created more Jewish than Arab Refugees.’ This may well be true and indeed the deliberate failure of Arab states to absorb most of their refugees is a stain on the recent history of the Arab world. But we should not forget that Arab pressure on their compatriots to flee was paralleled by the use by some Jews of scare tactics to evict some Arab communities in 1948, following the massacre of Arab villagers at Deir Yassin by a Jewish extremist group.

    Thank you! Jean Cohen

    • Jerome Verlin

      Re the challenge to each of the four facts that we cite in our Algemeiner article, “Four Facts That Everyone Should Know About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” forwarded by reader Cohen in her February 9 posting:

      #1: The challenger acknowledges that our first fact, “The Jews never left,” is “factually correct,” but calls “highly tendentious” our “conclusion” that “according to scholars, this gave the Zionists ‘real title deeds.'” The challenger asks, “And what kind of ‘scholars’ [in quotes] are referred to?”

      The main scholar [no quotes] referred to is respected British historian and theologian James Parkes, who wrote on page 266 of “Whose Land? A History of the Peoples of Palestine” that although the Zionists are fond of citing the Maccabees and Bar Kochba, “their REAL TITLE DEEDS” [emphasis added] were written by the less dramatic but equally heroic endurance of those who had maintained a Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries, and in spite of every discouragement.”

      Samuel Katz, quoting this very passage of Parkes’ “Whose Land?” in his important work “Battleground” (2d ed., xv-xvi), lamented as an “astonishing area of Jewish neglect … the gap between what is generally known and the facts of the continuity of Jewish life in Palestine since the destruction of the Second Temple.”

      #2: Our challenger dismisses our second fact, “Who are the Palestinians? Us,” which we cast as a rebuttal to Palestinian Arabs’ claim of Canaanite descent, by labeling our “arguing about whether Jewish or Arab inhabitants of Israel are descended from the prehistoric Canaanites” as “surely a fruitless quest.”

      Eminent archeologists, for scientific, not political, purposes, don’t regard the quest “fruitless.” They seriously debate whether the Israelites, first identified in the land c. 1200 BCE, had “Conquest” or “Indigenous Origin” roots. Finkelstein & Silberman, respected members of the latter camp, wrote in “The Bible Unearthed” (p. 118): “The early Israelites were – irony of ironies – themselves originally Canaanites!”

      Regarding our citations of Palestinian Jews’ use of “Palestine” and “Palestinian” in reference to themselves and their institutions in the 20th century, versus Arabs’ avoidance of the term during much of that span, our challenger does not contest our citations but simply calls “the question of ethnic continuity” and “the political question of which groups have described themselves as Palestinian” as “confusingly mixed.” On the contrary, such 20th century respective use and avoidance of the term “Palestinian” is part and parcel of the Jews’ real title deeds.

      #3: Our challenger contests our objections to both of the terms “West Bank” and “East Jerusalem.” He says “talking about Judea and Samaria” other than in an historical context “assumes a certain outcome of any peace settlement.” But what of the term “West Bank,” which Israeli Amb. Yoram Ettinger wrote in Israel Hayom (12/16/11) was conjured in 1950 by the Jordanian occupation “to assert Jordanian rule and to expunge Jewish connection to the cradle of Jewish history”? He pointed out that until 1950, Ottoman, British and prior records referenced “Judea and Samaria” [as did the U.N.’s own 1947 partition resolution] and not “the West Bank.”

      We plead guilty to our challenger’s indictment that our article “seems to be suggesting” that Jerusalem’s Jewish rule in ancient times, current [since the mid-1800’s] Jewish majority population, and that “Arabs have not controlled Jerusalem since 1099 and even then were not local Arabs,” combine to “justify” Israeli rule of the city.

      #4: Our challenger acknowledges our fourth fact, “The Arab-Jewish Conflict created more Jewish than Arab Refugees,” to be a statement that “may well be true,” but asserts that the import of this fact is somehow dissipated by “the massacre of Arab villagers at Deir Yassin by a Jewish extremist group.” What happened to Arabs at Deir Yassin is contested, while what happened to Jews at Hebron, Jerusalem and countless other places in the land of Israel and Arab lands throughout the centuries, including the mid-twentieth century, is not. The Arabs who left tiny Israel are remembered, while the greater number of Israel-absorbed Jewish refugees from vast Arab and other Muslim lands, forcibly expelled leaving property and businesses behind, are forgotten. Nor is it remembered that in instances, as at Haifa, Jews made significant pleas to Arabs who were fleeing at the invading Arab states’ urging to stay.

      We began our “Four Facts” article: “Most Westerners, including many Jews, are unaware of four fundamental facts about the Jewish homeland of Israel that would greatly increase their support for the Jewish State.” The letter forwarded by reader Cohen shows how deeply misunderstanding of these facts prejudices perceptions of Israel.

      • Jean Cohen

        Thank you! If you provide an email, I’m happy to forward a copy of Haderech with both letters. Jean

  • joiihg

    I saw you deleted a recent post because it mentioned truth you were hiding; I will name this site in a youtube clip as a Zionist anti-free speech site.

  • Joey

    Inaccurate in implying the idea that the original Palestinian Jews had any love of the incoming European Zionists who arrived after WW1 to destabilize the former harmony between majority Arabs and the minority Jewish communities.

    Palestinian Jews regarded the influx of foreign Zionist Jews as a threat particularly when they were aided by scheming British and cunning Nazi leadership -the SS- in the 1930s.

    How awful that you pretend that the Zionist aggressors were accommodating to Palestinian Arabs knowing full well the Zionists only did nothing but stir up Arab Nationalist militants.

    The article makes no mention of the cruel destructive exodus of Arabs instituted by the Zionists starting in 1948. It also makes no mention of the terrorist Stern Gang’s immeasurable contributions to swaying the British to leave Palestine and in so doing, gave the UN the right to steal Palestinian Jewish + Arab territory and hand it over to foreign Betar and Russian Zionists.

    Someone above mentioned Christian Fundamentalists ‘helping’ Israel. In his stupidity he is unaware that these Christian Zionists want a Biblical Apocalypse ending set in Israel and thereafter God eradicating Jews as failures to Right Wing Christianity. These same Christian idiots seem unaware that a Biblical Judgment Day Jesus would wipeout Right Wing Christian hatemongers before anybody else.


    RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT and RIGHT——-He’s Right. Bender is Right.. and how do you argue with Right–when Right is Right.
    So he’s Right …..But—and it’s a big but— you are talking about JEWS… and history has proven time and time again, that when it comes to JEWS– RIGHT does not enter the picture–Right isn’t even on the table– there is just no such thing as Right-when it comes to Jews, the Jewish people or the Jewish state of Israel. Right is not in the equation in any discussion or decision making process when it come to the subject of JEWS.. be it treatment,recognition, personal,property or human rights or even the fundamental right to live and exist. When it comes to the subject of Jews and Jewish rights, your words fall upon deaf ears, your facts presented to blind eyes and your reason and logic bounces off heads with addled brains and impenetrable minds, entrenched with unalterable bias. Yes, Bender is Right–his facts are Right, his Logic is Right and history is Right…..
    Unfortunately, you can’t take RIGHT to the bank..

  • Hartley Macklin

    Most people seem to think that Israel was a pity gift, given by Europe to the Jews because of the Holocaust.

    This is simply not true. Israel traces it’s legal start to many years before Nazism. It is my belief that very few Zionists know the whole story.

    The country of Israel was actually created peacefully long before 1947, and long before the Holocaust. The land was not stolen by Jews, or conquered with blood by Jews. The land in question was part of the Ottoman Empire and was lost by the Ottoman Empire in WW 1 (transferred Palestine to Allied control under the Lausanne agreement)

    The Allied Powers at the San Remo conference in 1922 returned the land to the Jewish People. This was voted on at the San Remo conference by Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexandre Millerand) and Italy (Francesco Nitti) and by Japan’s Ambassador K. Matsui. the rest of the world voted for this at the Anglo-American Convention (1924) and all the world powers at the League of Nations. The United Nations accepted this in full when they opened their door and replaced the League of Nations.

    The League of Nations had the authority to make binding resolutions. So you might hear about secret meetings between countries and all kinds of conspiracies. However none of those meetings had the right, or the status to make resolutions that were binding in international law. The League of Nations was the predecessor of the UN Security Council.

    It was recognized in 1922 that the Jews were the indigenous people of the land. There was a binding international commitment to the Jewish people, based on the ‘historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home there,’ a commitment which has never been revoked. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in that land for more than 3000 years.

    • Jerome Verlin

      Thanks, Mr. Macklin, for these historically accurate, and as you say, not widely-known pre-Holocaust 20th century details on international recognition and reconstitution of the Jewish National Home.

      Your last sentence, “There has been a continuous Jewish presence in that land for more than 3000 years,” likewise historically correct (I wrote a book on it), is likewise not widely known.

      Worse, we ourselves further bury knowledge of our continuous presence by subscribing ourselves to the media’s delegitimizing lexicon like Israel’s “creation” or “founding” in 1948 … “West Bank” … “East Jerusalem” … “settlers” and “settlements” alongside “neighborhoods” and “villages” of “the Palestinians,” etc., etc.

      Thanks for being part of the effort toward setting this straight.

  • Good article and thanks, it is unfortunate that most people are not aware of the true facts about this conflict.

    Instead, the Arab World has done such an articulate job of misrepersenting history and keeping their ‘Palestinian’ brothers in refugee camps in order to keep the pressure on Israel. This conflict is about hate, by the Arabs, and perpetuated by the Arabs. The Arabs have no one but themselves to blame for this conflict and the for ‘Palestinian’ refugees.

  • I think the Israeli left (which is basically everyone in the Knesset to varying degrees) knows ALL these facts. As long as they deny the Torah i.e. their Jewish identity and keep giving in to the Palestinians you haven’t got a chance!! Not a chance!!!
    (I can’t understand why non-observant Jews are so in arms when someone denies the holocaust when ALL the leaders of Israel deny Y’tzias Mitzraiam and Matan Torah which was eye-witnessed by millions!) Welcome to Zionism.

  • Martin Edwin Andersen

    Please see “Common Lands, Common Ground” @

    – The Jewish and democratic state of Israel is also one of the world’s first modern indigenous states; Palestinian demands center on their own tribal indigeneity. Both peoples require a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a specific territory, and that their cultural/historical distinctiveness from other populations, including the politically dominant, is recognized.

    – To date, both Israeli and Palestinian publics have been left without real, practical building blocks leading to a shared understanding what the near-universally recognized need for a two-state solution can offer.

    – Thomas L. Friedman, in his From Beirut to Jerusalem, (Revised Edition), provided the perhaps the best synopsis of the tribal imperative for the still-stateless people when he wrote of the continuing legacy of Yasser Arafat: “Long before Arafat came on the scene, there was a clearly defined Palestinian nation, but it was a nation to whom history had said no. … As Arafat himself liked to say, the Palestinians were being treated like “the American Red Indians,” confined on their reservations—shafted by the Arabs, defeated by the Jews and forgotten by the world. Arafat brought this people back from the dead … and transformed them in the eyes of the world from refugees in need of tents to a nation in need of sovereignty.”

    A comprehensive and realistic alternative to continuing an ever-more dangerous militaristic solution is needed. The Israeli bottom line is the protection of its homeland; that of the Palestinians, the right to a nation state that provides for freedom and justice on ancestral soil.

    In order for both to feel that a two-state solution is feasible each side needs to encounter a common platform of thought and belief that replaces “constructive ambiguity” and accusatory political flatulence. That program is one in which narratives of “The Other” are understood for what they are, and how they are essential to any possible civilized solution.

  • thanks
    great facts when confronted by arabs AND xtians who I encounter all the time in ‘chat rooms’

    Jews *MUST* be educated along these lines and are not.
    Even orthodox Torah Rabbis are not and dont care to discuss these issues.

    Israel politicians SHOULD BE AND MUST BE educated on this. Maybe theu know but they fear obama and world pressure rather then HASHEM and that maybe a reason Israel suffers…..



  • These 4 facts about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict should indeed be known to everyone. But they do not explain why this conflict does not have a resolution. In order to understand why all the peace efforts have not succeeded we need to know how the other side thinks. The following quiz attempts to clarify precisely that aspect.

    A mini 5 + 1 question quiz for Secretary Kerry

  • Ron

    Excellent points. One more for you.
    The Dome of The Rock “mosque” was built by a Syrian king so his Jewish subjects would have a place to worship. The fact that the Dome is completely unique in it’s design, not like any other mosque, and doesn’t face Mecca. But what do I know? I’m just a Goy from New Mexico.

    • Golum

      …..Heeey Goy from New Mexico….Just wondering???…why do you read this Jewish Magazine?

    • Thanks, Ron. May there be more people with the knowledge you have.

  • The Arab-Israeli conflict persists because Arabs deliberately deny the reality of Jewish Israel. Unfortunately, the excellent facts cited in this article will not convert intellectually dishonest people. In spite of evil Anti-Israel hostility, Israel will not go quietly into the night because she is the apple of G-d’s eye.

  • aall55

    This is great information for us Jews who ignore those facts .
    The “others”: either they cannot comprehend , or refuse to comprehend , and really who cares anymore ?

    The time has come to look only at us , put our needs first , and ignore “them”.

    Thank you for educating us.

  • pinchas baram

    Excellent distillation of the facts and it should be distributed to the maximum, to media, schools, Congressmen, etc.!

  • Bart A, Charta

    Actually, during the British Mandate, when the Brits referred to the Palestinians, they were talking only about the Jews. The “other guys” they called………er………
    A R A B S.



  • Eve

    Emir Faisal ibn Hussein, the Hashemite son of Hussein, Sherif of Mecca, and considered by many to be a direct descendent of the Islamic prophet Mohammad, later becoming the King of Syria, and later, King of Iraq, was the head of the accredited delegation of Arab representatives attending the Paris Peace Talks where the League of Nations was established.
    Faisal met with Chaim Weizmann, the accredited head of the Zionist delegation to the Paris peace talks, in London where he signed a document known as the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, January 3, 1919.
    In *1919* THIS MAN and this document, was referring to JEWS as “Palestinians”! (As were, still, the British, at the time modern Israel was established). Anyone having a question about item #2 should familiarize themself with the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement.

  • Benyamin

    Here’s the thing. You’re right. I know you’re right. A few people with brains know you’re right. The rest of the world couldn’t give a shit. To the rest of the world, facts mean nothing. Having blood in food is against kashrut, but they still believe we bake matzoh with it. The Romans killed Jesus, but what does it matter when you’re trying to convince people that a wandering rabbi was born of a woman impregnated by G-d?

    I appreciate the effort, but sadly, it’s all falling on deaf, ignorant ears. If The State of Israel (G-d forbid) didn’t exist, they’d find some other reason to hate us. That’s just how it is. So we batten down the hatches, watch out for our neighbors, continue to eat and pray and love and live and contribute to humanity in ways that people 500x our numbers never did and never will.

    • Stephen Logan

      This is an excellent article and well worth distributing.

      Let me say that there are many millions of Christians that will do everything they can to protect the Jewish People and State of Israel. We defend Israel at every opportunity. Not to say all Jews are perfect, none of us are. Yet we recognize that G-d has a plan and purpose for the Jewish People and we must do our part in standing up for the Nation from whom we trace our Faith. While you have every right to be skeptical and think that this support is only due to our desire to convert people, this is actually not correct. To the contrary, most Christians believe that salvation is of G-d alone and they do not believe they could in or of themselves meaningfully convert anyone. We simply try to explain our Faith, bizarre as it may sometimes seem. We believe we are called to love everyone and live G-d fearing lives. We look forward to the coming of the Messiah and shout Am Israel Chai.

      The Jewish People do not stand alone.

      • Lee

        Thanks, Stephen. We certainly do know and appreciate that there are many Christians of faith who are true friends of Israel and the Jewish People. Jerry and I have spoken at several such church congregations in the Philadelphia region over the past year. We do a workshop on anti-Israel media bias for synagogues, churches, schools, politicians, organizations- at no charge- and then a book signing. If you are near the Philadelphia region, we would be happy to come to your church, school, organization. Without righteous, God-fearing Christians in this country supporting Israel and our collective Judeo-Christian values- Israel would be isolated. Thanks.

    • the Romans were complicated but the sons of Cain killed Christ Jesus. & yes Jesus was of the emasculate conception,ergo the name Emanuel (God With Us), Have a Blessed Day

    • citizenstat

      Ayyyy!! You are so right, ‘chaver.’ But, we have to keep trying!

    • Jerome Verlin

      There are at least two sets of non-ignorant Western ears who have to hear us saying “we Jews never left … it’s not ‘The West Bank’ … Arabs are not ‘The’ Palestinians …” etc.

      One is non-ignorant Western people like the Presbyterian Church, the Metropolitan Opera, mainstream Western media journalists, etc, who’ve amply demonstrated that they do care, if not favorably, about our Jewish claim to our homeland of Israel.

      The other is us. What matters foremost is not what others with active views on the subject call Judea and Samaria and the heart of Jerusalem, and Israel’s re-attainment of independence (not “creation”) in 1948, but what we call them. If we ourselves use terms intentionally crafted to delegitimize us, instead of actively making our Jewish homeland case to the West, which Lee and I urge in our article, the delegitimizing will not just go on but get worse.