The Root of the Arab/Jew Conflict
With the news from out of the Middle East, I have felt compelled to write about one of my favorite subjects; the history of Israel in modern times. By modern, I generally mean the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. However, to really get an ideal of what happened and how it happened you have to go back to the beginning of the diaspora.
The first of the two different dispersions of the Jews or Israelites, as they were called in that time, was in about 70 to 75 AD (CE). The Romans were in control of the country along with a large portion of the known world at that time. The Jews were more of the proverbial thorn in the side of Rome than just about any group of people during that time. In the ensuing battles, Jerusalem was destroyed along with the Temple. This also was the time of Masada, where 600 Jews were under siege until they took their own lives rather than go back under the yoke of Rome. The greater part of the Jewish people were scattered about mostly in the Middle East and Southern Europe. But there were still Jews in Israel and they remained that same thorn in the side of Rome. And more significant at this time were the Jewish Revolts against Rome in Cyprus, Egypt and Cyrene in about 117 AD. The Great Synagogue and the Great Library in Alexandria are destroyed as well as the entire Jewish community of Cyprus. The Jews were forbidden forever on Cyprus.
A few short years later came the final stroke for the Jews in Israel. The Bar Kokhba rebellion; or the second dispersion. Roman forces killed an estimated half a million Jews and destroyed 985 villages and 50 fortresses. It was said the Romans were having a difficult time finding wood to build after this revolt was over. Nearly all the trees were cut down because of so many crucifixions. Nearly every Jew in Israel had run off, were carried off to slavery or they were dead. The Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem, Aelia Capatolina, and built a Pagan temple over the site of the rebuilt Temple. He also forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem.
And for the next 18 centuries, the Jews were spread all over the known world. There are literally hundreds of pogroms from dozens of cities and countries against the Jews, but trying to list these would make a good sized book. Needless to say, Jew hatred never really abated from the beginning of the Diaspora to the early 19th century when the concept of a Jewish state located in Palestine be created. The 19th century pogroms in Russia and other Eastern European nations during this time caused a trickle effect of Jews entering Palestine. For the most part, these early settlers got along well with their Arab neighbors. Which brings us to the Arab/Muslim population and their claim to Palestine.
Islam was founded in the early 7th century. The Qur'an was written during that time; essentially rewriting some of the Old Testament. But there was more, the laws written for Islam were harsh and black and white with no grey areas. It is thought this may have to do with the harsh and tough life the Bedouins had to cope with living on the desert. And deep in these teachings were references to Jewish inferiority. Much of this sort of rhetoric is written in other religious texts and is taken as a metaphor. In Islam, especially in the early years, the rhetoric was taken literally. At first, Islam was localized and frankly did some great things during the time Europe was wallowing in despair and mysticism of the Dark Ages. However, the precept of Islam required that everyone convert; or submit, as it were. As a result, within a few short years after its founding, Islam spread throughout the Fertile Crescent to include Palestine. Followed by many parts of Africa, Europe and east to India and the Philippines. Forced conversions were practiced as a rule. Christianity in some regions also had practiced forced conversions especially during the Dark Ages, but nothing on the scale of Islam. And forced conversions in Christianity are now hundreds of years in past history…Islam in many areas still practice forced conversion.
The British Mandate came about in 1922. By this time, there were about 80,000 Jews in Palestine; the Arab population was in the millions. The British Mandate essentially expanded on what the Jews were already doing. Making their communities apart from and not intruding on Arab lands, most of which was owned by land barons in other Arab states. Most Arabs in Palestine at this time were serfs to these landowners. Many Arabs had no problem with the Jews, they found them good neighbors. But many taking the Qur'an very literal, were sworn religious enemies of Jews and these people were behind the riots of the 1920s in Palestine. These uprisings were instigated and encouraged by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini fearful that increased Jewish immigration to Palestine would damage Arab standing in the area, the mufti engineered these bloody riots against Jewish settlements. He did the same thing again in 1936; these riots were far more bloody. But by far, the more prevalent reason for the riots was the blind hatred of the Jews by these radical Muslims, fueled by their leaders in particular, al-Husseini.
al-Husseini was finally exiled from Palestine in 1936 by the British for one reason; his alliance with NAZI Germany. England and Germany were very near war by this time so the logical place for al-Husseini was Germany. He spent a few years in Iraq and then to Germany in 1941; and in Germany, he thrived. He was a top guest of the state even meeting with Hitler and very often with top NAZI officials. He also ran an Arabic speaking NAZI radio station encouraging Arabs to slaughter Jews wherever they were. According to the mufti’s memoirs, he was aware of the Final Solution already in the summer of 1943. This is a direct quote from the Mufti. “The most important thing is that they [NAZIs] have found the final solution to the Jewish problem.Time is working against the Jews even though the Allies are helping them."The Mufti’s writings to this day, are heralded at the foundation and inspiration of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba'ath Party. His Nephew, Yasser Arafat, kept the modern tradition of Jewish hatred alive. Saddam Hussein never met the Mufti, but he was a student and admirer.
Do I believe the Mufti and those of his minions and "students” are the beliefs of Islam as a whole and that Muslims all follow these precepts? Of course not, but the root of the Arab/Jew conflict is not land, right of return etc…Yes, all these come into the trouble, but the root is Jew hatred. And until that is eliminated, there is no solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem. Most of Islam are simply folks trying to get by and raise their families just like the rest of us. In fact, a very good friend of mine who will most certainly read this piece was raised in Tehran. I will always cherish the long talks we had in college when we probably should have been studying for our degrees.
After WWII, the world, especially in Europe, Jewish population were without a place to live. Commonly Jews persecuted and killed by people in their[Jews] home countries after the German WWII loss. As a result, tens of thousands of Jews headed for Israel/Palestine under the British Mandate. The immigration problem immediately became more than the British could handle in the post war era. They knew the world opinion, albeit short lived, was leaning toward the Jews at that time; photos of the death camps were still being published. And they did not want to anger the Arabs knowing full well how the earlier riots had turned out. So they severely limited Jewish immigration and virtually stopped all arms from going to the Jews. The Arabs were allowed pretty much what they wanted. Particularly, the military of Trans-Jordan who were being trained and armed by the British. The UN partitioned Palestine in late 1947 into a patchwork of land. The myth of the Jews “got all the good land” is still the prevailing talking points of the partition. The truth is that the UN gave the Jews fertile land while the Arabs were allotted hilly, arid land. To the contrary, approximately 60 percent of the Jewish state was to be the desert in the Negev while the Arabs occupied most of the agricultural land.
May 1948, Israel declared its independence and created the autonomous Jewish state of Israel. Arabs immediately attacked from every front…tens of thousands, including Trans-Jordon’s Arab Legion. Another of the myths of 60+ years later is that Israel would not have done so well if the West [America] had not helped. This is simply another revision of history. Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett argued, “The Arabs might use arms of U.S. origin against Jews, or Jews might use them against Arabs.” Consequently, on December 5, 1947, the U.S. imposed an arms embargo on the region. Another myth is that the Jews ran off the Palestinian Arabs after the Declaration of Independence. The real story is the Jews begged the Arabs living within the Jewish regions to stay and help them with the new country. The surrounding Arabs told the Palestinians to leave while they [Arab Armies] “drove the Jews into the sea”. The Arabs lost the war, then put the Palestinian Arabs into these squalled camps just for propaganda purposes. But there were many Arabs who did not leave Israel. And now they and their progeny are Israeli citizens, owning property,businesses, and voting. In fact, there are a great many Arab politicians throughout Israel.
For the next 3 decades, the wars would heat up, 1956 war, the 1967Six Day War, Yom Kippur War in 1973…Lebanon in 1980. The truth is, the war never really ended. Again the premise of the radicals was and still is the elimination of all Jews. In 2000, Israel proposed to Yasser Arafat, the head of the PLO, a treaty that would give the Arabs more than 90% of what they were asking for. Arafat flatly refused, again not for any other reason than he wanted the Jews dead; he didn’t care a whit for what the Palestinians were asking for. This was the beginning of the Intifada and the 21st century Jewish/Arab conflict. And with that came the newer weapons, more radical regimes supporting the radical Palestinians with money and arms.
From the inspiration of the long dead Mufti of Jerusalem and his NAZI inspired Final Solution came the “grandchildren” of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba'athists; Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida and a dozen others throughout the world. These all have one major common thread, all scream for the end of Israel and all Jews dead…i.e…the Final Solution. These organizations have no qualms with using civilians for shields, including children. In fact, they prefer it because of the propaganda value. They are fully aware that most of the world have a knee jerk reaction to go against the Jews, no matter what the circumstances. So they store weapons in schools, hospitals…playgrounds, anywhere they can be assured of civilian casualties. The negative reaction to the Jews is so common that even right thinking people fall for the propaganda. A good example is the rumor that all the Jews in the Twin Towers were notified of the 9/11 attack the day before. Many people actually believed and still believe this happened. In reality, nearly 300 Jews died that day, yet this continues to be point on internet sites.
In this latest Gaza operation, Hamas is following the playbook, as it were. Weaponizing homes, schools and even a UN hospital. They send thousands of HE rockets into Israel for years and yet when Israel finally say… enough, the world goes to #savegaza or #hamasarethegoodguys. The match that started this was Hamas kidnapping and slaughtering 3 teenagers (one was an American) for no other reason than they were Jews…here it is again, the Jew hatred. Now 3 weeks later, no one talks about or cares that these boys are dead. Yet a nutcase in Israel kills one Arab and the world is outraged. The Israelis jail the perp and he will probably spend his life in prison. The murderers of the 3 teenaged Israelis will be heralded as heroes for killing the Jews. Another typical reaction of subtle Jew blaming was the little Palestinian boy who was killed during the Intifada in the early 2000s on film. The boy was killed by what they said were IDF soldiers. Within a few months, the boy and the “soldiers” were actually identified. The little boy was Israeli and the “soldiers” were Palestinian fighters. Yet, many, even American news stations still talk about the false report as if it were true. Another very recent is the CNN reporter who called Israelis..“scum”..The report is that she saw Israelis “murder” three Palestinian children. Not hardly, she was reacting to Israeli civilians telling her to report the truth. The Israelis are very aware of American press and do not trust them to report the truth. There was no dead children, all made up by the American anti-Semitic left. The reporter was not fired, she was transferred to another job location.
See a pattern? They can talk about border crossing, check points, blockades, land issues, but none of these are the primary reason for all this violence of the last 2000 years. It comes from pure hatred of the Jews; and the anti-Semitic reactions of otherwise well-meaning people. People who despise racism, have no problem with blaming the Jews for the Middle East problems even when they are shown the reasons behind the problems and the incredible restraint the Israelis have shown for the last 60 years. Would America accept 600,000 rockets into our urban areas in 6 months? Not hardly, we would respond with tremendous force, as we should…the Israelis have to wait until they have enough dead people and even then they are bashed for trying to protect their people.
Until the radical Muslims give up the idea of all Jews being dead, and the rest of the world stop with the knee jerk anti-Israeli reactions to them [the Israelis] responding to terrorist attacks on their people, this Arab/Israeli conflict has no chance of ever coming to an end. Do I believe this is possible? Probably not, but at the same time, I never would have thought the Berlin Wall would comedown either. And it did, so maybe there is some hope…….we can only pray.