During the past week, I found that even most well-informed Americans know very little about the causes of the war between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Here is an explanation of 13 basic facts I think every American should know:
As seen in American Thinker.
- Until 1964, the word “Palestinian” rarely described Arabs who once lived in Israel. That was when KGB Agents of Communist Russia created and funded a terrorist group called the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Its leader, Yasser Arafat, was born and raised in Egypt. The PLO was as artificial as other effective and deadly groups communists used during the Cold War to take over Algeria, South Africa, Kenya, Vietnam, and Cuba. During this time, the KGB even gave money, weapons, and training to the IRA in Ireland.
- “Palestine” was never an Arab nation. Until the Roman Empire crushed a Jewish revolt there in the year 132, the land was known as Israel, Judah, or Judea. The Romans renamed the province Palestine to punish the Jews. The Arabs and the Turks kept that name when they conquered and occupied the province. However, they ruled it from distant Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, or Istanbul.Above Image: Tel Aviv in 1909 before these Jews began to build a city there.
- Israel or Palestine was ruined and mostly empty after the Jewish revolt. The Arabs and Turks did little to rebuild its cities or irrigation canals. The goats and camels of Arab nomads or Bedouins stripped the land of trees, vegetation, and topsoil. Once rich farmland became malaria-infested swamp or dry wilderness. Less than 10% of the previous population remained. Many were Jews.
- Starting in the mid-1800s, Jews from Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East began moving back. They bought land from Arab and Turkish absentee owners who had no interest in living there. For the next 90 years, Jews rebuilt cities, roads, and irrigation canals. They drained swamps, watered deserts, and planted trees and crops. As Jews made the land prosperous again, thousands of Arabs from Egypt, Syria, and other nearby countries moved there.
5. After World War One, the British and French carved new nations out of the defeated Ottoman Empire. In 1920, they created Lebanon for persecuted Christians. In 1921, they divided the Turkish province of Palestine. Eastern or “Transjordan” Palestine became an Arab kingdom. Palestine west of the Jordan River was set aside for settlement by Jews. More Jews bought empty land and moved there. Their prosperity encouraged more Arabs to move there. By 1948, there were roughly one million Arabs, 600,000 Jews, and 160,000 Christians and Druze living in that part of Palestine.
6. In 1947, the British granted independence to India. British India was mostly Hindu but had a large Muslim minority. To avoid conflict, the British allowed regions with Muslim majorities to form the new Muslim-majority nation of Pakistan, which included what is now Bangladesh. Millions of Hindus and Buddhists in Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh moved to India. Millions of Muslims in Hindu India moved to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Everybody who moved permanently settled in his new country. There were no refugees or refugee camps. Nobody claimed a “right of return.”
7. In 1948, the United Nations equally divided the “Jewish National Home” part of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. The boundaries were made with the understanding that the Jewish and Arab States would function as a single “economic union”. The Jews accepted what they were given as their State of Israel. The Arabs in Palestine rejected statehood. They instead blocked travel to Jewish areas in the “economic union” and invaded Israel with the help of armies from five neighboring Arab countries. After a year of bitter fighting, Jews had control of roughly three fourths of western Palestine. In 1949, all parties agreed to a ceasefire. The lines where the fighting stopped became the “Green Line” borders of Israel.
8. During and after that 1948 war, there was a population transfer for Israel like that of India. Roughly 700,000 Arabs moved from mostly Jewish Israel to Arab parts of Palestine and other Arab countries. Roughly 700,000 Jews left Arab Palestine and other Arab countries and moved to Jewish Israel.
9. The original 1948 “partition” boundaries between Jews and Arabs could work only if there were peace and cooperation between the two. When the Arabs chose war, Jews needed a nation with “defensible borders.” In 1939, Germany invaded and easily defeated Poland and Czechoslovakia. That was partly because those nations’ borders were almost impossible to defend. When Germany was defeated, the United Nations took land from Germany so both Poland and Czechoslovakia had “defensible borders.” The Germans who lived there had to move to a smaller Germany. That was the price for invading neighbors.
10. The war in Gaza is part of a global war between an alliance of militant Islam and communists on one side, and Judeo-Christian Western civilization on the other.
11. Islam began as an aggressive warrior religion 1,400 years ago. In just 50 years, Mohammed and his followers destroyed and occupied the powerful Persian Empire. They also occupied most of the Greek Byzantine Empire. Then they took North Africa and Spain away from what was left of the Roman Empire. The Koran, the holy book of Islam, has many contradictions and is difficult to understand. However, it clearly declares that Mohammed was God’s final prophet and that his words (hadith) and deeds (sunna) must be followed. Many Muslim scholars teach that Mohammed allowed peace and respect for non-believers. However, three influential sects do not. They are the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, the Deoband school in India that inspired the Taliban, and the ayatollahs of Iran. Followers of those three branches are behind most attacks and murders of Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists today. We need an information campaign to push back against them.
Above Image: 1981 Movie Reds depicts new Communist regime in Russia seeking support from militant jihadis during “Congress of Peoples of the East” that it sponsored in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1920,
12. Communists worked closely with militant Muslims for many years. At first, this seems odd. Militant Islam seems opposed to the political and economic theories of Karl Marx. However, most communists gave up those theories soon after Vladimir Lenin took control of Russia in 1918. Lenin and his followers quickly saw that Marxism was unpopular and didn’t work. They replaced it with Marxist-Leninism. This was faith only in an elite “revolutionary vanguard” that had to keep and expand its power “by any means necessary.” This included propaganda, bribes, bullying, political manipulation, and arresting and murdering opponents. In 1919, Lenin formed the Communist International to expand his power worldwide. In 1920, he invited and recruited radical Islamists to a congress in Baku. That was featured in the 1981 Hollywood movie Reds, starring Warren Beatty. We need to again recognize and fight the evil of communists.
13. Finally, Israel, America, and the West all made many strategic and tactical military mistakes during the past 40 years. However, our moral sins are more troubling. We abandoned and betrayed countless friends who tried to help us. They included most of the people in Iran who love both America and Israel. They included pro-American Shias in Iraq like Ayatollah Sayyid Abdul Majid Al-Khoei, who was murdered in 2003. Israel also shamefully abandoned and betrayed its friends and allies. They include its Christian and Shia allies in Lebanon and thousands of Arabs in Gaza who risked their lives to warn Jews of planned attacks. We must quickly repent and change our ways.
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