Letter | History shows Israel’s rights and plight in their homeland

08/03/2014 12:00 AM

08/01/2014 6:13 PM

Re: July 24 letter from Dick Withington, “Are Christians scamming us on Israel?”

Mr. Withington seems to believe that American foreign policy toward Israel is being made by “scamming Christians.” He also implies that the claim Israel has on the area in Palestine by questioning the 3000-year location of the Jewish people there as of no importance.

Also questioning that only 50,000 Jews “who lived around Jerusalem in 1900,” and the migration of Jews from Russia and elsewhere seems to leave some doubt as the validity of the Jewish claim. The UN didn't agree.

Jews have lived in the geographic area of Palestine for at least 3000 years, the First Jewish Kingdom 1000BC - 586BC, the Second Kingdom 538BC - 63BC and today's present State of Israel which gained independence in 1948. Throughout this 3000-year period the Jewish people have been conquered by, to name a few, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Muslims, and Crusaders, and some were dispersed throughout the world, but they never gave up their claim to their homeland.

There has never been an Arab state in the geographic area of Palestine that wasn't Jewish, according to Dennis Prager who studied the Middle East at Columbia University. Palestine has been conquered and occupied, but no Arab state has existed there. One wouldn't know this by reading today's main stream newspapers who keep repeating that the Jews stole the land from the Palestinians.

According to the British Peel Commission of 1937, "At the end of WWI, some of Palestine's land was owned by absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Damascus and Beirut. About 80 percent of the Palestinian Arabs were debt-ridden peasants, semi-nomads and Bedouins." Analysis of land purchases form 1880 to 1948 show the 73 percent of Jewish plots were purchases form large landowners, not poor peasants. This is not Jews stealing land from poor Palestinians nor does it negate their claim to a homeland.

In 1922 The League of Nations gave Great Britain a mandate to prepare a national home for the Jewish People in Palestine. Britain let the mandate expire in May of 1948 and the Jewish people became an independent state, which was later recognized by the UN. Two days after independence, Israel was attacked by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. While Israel fought for its independence in 1948, it did not expel Arabs from Israel but welcomed them to stay. Arab nations around Israel encouraged Arabs to leave Israel because they could return when the Arabs destroyed Israel.

Not true of Jews living in Arab states, as many left their homes and property with just what they could carry. Today any Israeli citizen can vote whether Muslim or Christian. Since then Israel has been under almost constant attack by some of its neighbors … the Six-Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War 1973, the 1982 Lebanon War and too many terrorist attacks to be counted.

There is no “blind support” by the United States of an Israeli “war machine” that Mr. Withington and local colunist Mande Wilkes imagine. It’s always been the United States that persuades Israel to back off. Israel has given up the Sinai peninsula and Gaza to try and satisfy the Palestinians and Arabs. It hasn't worked and will not work as long as you have Hamas in Gaza and some Arab states that do not recognize the right of an Israeli state to exist.

Where does one start to negotiate when the other side doesn't recognize your right to exist as a nation?

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.

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