October 10, 2007

Palestinian Pretense and Israeli Reality

An excellent introduction to the differences in perception between the Israelis and their Arab neighbors is an article by Victor David Hanson in the National Review. It is called Palestinian Pretense and Israeli Reality. You'll find it at:

http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson031802.shtml

If you believe what you hear on the news and media, you would think there is an entity called a Palestinian people, who lived in a country/state/area called Palestine since Canaanite/Biblical/Mohammadan times. The Israelis occupied Palestine in 1967. The Palestinians want the occupiers out of their land. And of course they are entitled to do whatever it takes to get their land back. No? No.

Here's the facts.

Who are the Palestinians? Palestinians are Arabs. They have no historical, national or cultural identity distinct from other Arabs of the region. Most of them came into Palestine in search of economic opportunities after World War 1 when the British and the Jews began to build up a land that was moribund.

What is Palestine? When the Romans conquered Judea, they renamed it Palestine. Since then, no occupying power ever made it an independent state or established a capital in Jerusalem. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was part of the province of Syria.

After World War I, the area was mandated to Britain to establish a Jewish national home. Instead, in 1922, Britain split off 75% of Palestine to establish the Emirate of Transjordan, as a throne for the Arabian Hashemite family.

The UN decided to split the rest of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. In 1948, Arab armies and volunteers - from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Morocco - attacked the newborn State of Israel. Transjordan annexed the area intended for an Arab state, and renamed itself the Kingdom of Jordan, calling the annexed area the "West Bank". Egypt took over Gaza. No Arab suggested making the West Bank and/or Gaza into yet another Arab state until 1967, when Israel was again attacked by the Arabs and took these areas.

Whether or not she chooses to exercise the right, Israel owns the West Bank by right of conquest. She also has unassailable biblical, historical and residential claims. The Mandate to develop a Jewish state in ALL of Palestine is still in force; and the U.N. -- the legal heir to the League of Nations -- is legally obligated to help the Jews. Before 1967, the last previous legal owner was the Ottoman Empire. And Turkey, heir to the Ottomans, has never asked for it back.
h/t to Think Israel.