As an avid reader and observer of the trends in the Middle East, particularly as it concerns Israel, I make this presentation for those who seek to understand fully.
I am in support of nobody but the truth and the facts of the case.
This article might not win me many friends but one of the most important things I have learned in my brief but ongoing life is this- “The Defence of Truth is not a popularity contest.”
So kindly read what I am about to show you but feel free to cross-check everything yourself.
It is the 14th of May 2021 as I write this.
Israeli troops have gathered at the border with Gaza and are ready to move in their troops as they pump artillery into the Strip.
So what led to this latest round of the perennial conflict?
We will understand this by going back, as far back as the creation of the modern State of Israel, and even beyond that.
Following the death of King Solomon in 931 B.C, and the refusal of 10 out of the 12 tribes of Israel to submit to Rehoboam his son and successor, the ancient kingdom of Israel broke into two- these became the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 720 BC, and it was renamed “Shomron” or “Samaria.”
While the Southern Kingdom of Judah, called “Yehudah” by the Jews also had a name change. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was called Judea.
This whole area got under the control of successive Empires with the last being the British Empire which had a Mandate over it.
When the British Mandate ended in 1948, Israel declared its independence as a nation.
The immediate aftermath of this was the surrounding Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria attacked Israel with the intention of wiping them out.
The world powers of the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Russia assumed the Arabs would succeed and so felt it was basically a waste of time trying to assist the fledgling nation.
However, Israel defeated those 4 countries with a ragtag Army using Molotov cocktails and outdated weapons with a little assistance from Czechoslovakia.
As part of the peace agreement in 1949 between Israel and those invading nations, a demarcation called a “Green Line” was established. This demarcation allowed Jordan to occupy East Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria (Yehudah and Shomron), while Egypt held away over the Gaza Strip.
This line was never officially called a Border, nor was a Palestinian entity created out of it at the time.
The Jordanians afterwards are alleged to have desecrated the Jewish holy sites, cemeteries, and historic synagogues in the territories under their control, and they went further to expel all Jewish residents.
Then on June 5th, 1967, there was a mounting threat by the same nations that invaded in 1948 as well as a couple more who joined in.
The Syrian Army launched an attack on Israel and the latter responded by pushing the aggressors over the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. The Israelis have held on to the Golan Heights since then.
At the same time the Jordanian forces launched an attack on West Jerusalem that was under the control of Israel, and so Israel encircled the entire City of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Defense Forces successfully pushed the Jordanian and Iraqi armed forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and recaptured the Old City, including the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and, finally, Judea and Samaria.
It is known as the 6 Day War, because in the span of six days, what was an attempt by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to destroy the nation of Israel, ended in a decisive victory for the fledgling nation.
This victory led to the reunification of Jerusalem and the capture of Israel’s ancient Biblical heartland—the entire region lying between the Jordan River and what people now refer to as the 1967 border.
Some people have suggested that Israel can be likened to the Fulani who like to lay claim to people’s lands.
I see how people say things like the “occupied West Bank” or “occupied East Jerusalem”.
But this is incorrect, and if you follow history you would realise this.
Let us make clear that the place they call the “West Bank” is actually the biblical cities of Judea and Samaria.
Let us also state emphatically that it was Jordan that called it the “West Bank” (so named because the land is situated on the west bank of the Jordan River as opposed to Jordan’s territory on the east side) only 65 years ago.
All these are facts.
Let me be clear that I am not supporting any form of apartheid and oppression but to equate the situation in Israel to apartheid South Africa is plain disingenuous and ignorant.
To compare Jews with Fulani marauders and killers even more so.
There is no parallel between the two.
There is a brazen attempt to expunge every trace of the Jews from the land and we will see why later in this article.
Interestingly, though Arabs demand the return of these territories, the names of Arab neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria, such as Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron and others are unchanged, reaffirming the land’s Biblical Jewish roots.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 242, which was adopted in November 1967 after the 6 Day War, calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the “occupied territories” of the West Bank.
In May 1968, Israel accepted the resolution when the Israeli ambassador said to the UN Security Council:
“My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace.”
It was the acceptance of this resolution that paved the way for the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, a series of agreements that were brokered and administered by U.S President Bill Clinton that saw the transfer of land to the Palestinian Arabs.
Following the Oslo Accords of 1993, many urban centers in Judea and Samaria came under the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority, including Jenin (where the IDF withdrawal in 2005 forced the dismantlement of several Jewish settlements), Bethlehem, Jericho, Shechem, Ramallah, and Hebron.
On October 26, 2016 UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted by secret ballot with 10 in favor, 8 abstaining, and 2 against adopting Draft Resolution 40COM 7A.13. This was the third vote of approval by UNESCO in a two-week span, with only minor variations in drafts.
This resolution was drafted solely by Arab nations and in it historical sites holy to the Jews and Christians alike were called only by Muslim names. The Temple Mount for instance was known only by the appellations “Al-Aqsa Mosque” and “Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and they authoritatively called it “a Muslim holy site of worship.”
In the previous draft, the “three monotheistic religions” were mentioned. But in this final draft, not only did it entirely ignore any Christian connection, it also left out any relationship of the Temple Mount and Western Wall or Old City to Judaism.
But the ironical part of this attempt to revise history is that in the central mosque at the village of Nuba, just west of Hebron in Judea, an inscription on the wall reads that the building and all the territory around Nuba is an endowment for the “Bayt al-Maqdis,” which is the Arabic name for “Beit HaMikdash” or “Holy Temple.”
That Bayt al-Maqdis is another name for the Dome of the Rock that sits on the Temple Mount.
This inscription was dedicated by none other than the Muslim Arab ruler who conquered Jerusalem in AD 638, Umar ibn al-Khattab.
So, even early in their conquest in Jerusalem, the Muslims had a reverence for the Jewish Temples that once stood in the very spot of the Dome of the Rock.
Even the history of the Arabs and Muslims recognizes this.
During the 6 Day War (June 5th–10th, 1967) the Israeli military captured territory that included East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Israel’s ancient heartland, after the surrounding Arab nations mounted their considerable military might against Israel. They did not go on a conquest mission; they were attacked, and after this attack they annexed the land- their indigenous land; a land with over 3,000 years of Biblical and Messianic history.
They are not like Fulani marauders who attempt to claim lands they have absolutely no historical and cultural affinity to.
Israeli settlement in these annexed territories began after the 6 Day War in 1967, and today there are nearly 400,000 religious and secular Israelis living throughout Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem.
Let us be clear about something. There are good guys on the Israeli and Palestinian side and there are bad guys on both sides. There are decent Arabs who just want to lead a good life and provide for their families and there are radical elements who have been deceived by politicians and corrupt individuals on both sides.
There are those who are making money from the perennial crises and so it is in their interests that the conflicts continue.
But it will not be right to tar all Israelis or Arabs with the same brush.
The very latest conflict all began with a district in East Jerusalem the Palestinians call “Sheikh Jarrah.”
Jewish settler groups took their claim to land and property in this predominantly Palestinian neighbourhood to the Israeli Supreme Court.
Late last week, on the 8th of May, tens of thousands of Muslims gathered at the Al Aqsa mosque, whose compound borders the Western Wall where Jews pray and the Israeli police blocked busloads of them from entering the mosque compound, citing unrest in “Sheikh Jarrah” over the possible court ruling.
Sheikh Jarrah is just a few meters away from the Temple Mount where the Mosque is built.
This inevitably led to skirmishes between Arab Muslims and the Israeli police.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian elections were delayed. The ruling party in what the Palestinians call the West Bank is the more moderate Fatah, but the party trying to gain a foothold there is the militant Hamas which is a terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip.
“Palestine” is divided into the “West Bank” and the Gaza Strip.
Hamas wants to position itself as a legitimate leader over rival Palestinian party Fatah and is against decisions to delay the elections.
But as is normal in that part of the world, most tyrants who rule over their people use Israel as bait to deflect from their authoritarianism, ineptitude, and corruption.
The common denominator for the average Arab despot is Israel- the bad guys.
So Hamas began launching rockets from civilian positions in Gaza into civilian positions in Israel. In previous attacks they would hit border towns like Ashkelon, but now their rockets have traveled as far as Tel-Aviv.
Israel has to strike back but Hamas is content to use its civilian population as human shields and cannon fodder to restrain Israel and generate sympathy from the international community.
In all this Israel is made to look like the evil ones while all they are doing is fighting for survival.
They are likened to totalitarian regimes when the assessment is incorrect.
Like I said earlier, it is preposterous to even assume there is any sort of similarity between Israel and the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa.
For starters, the Boer Caucasian people who forcefully took South Africa from the natives and derisively named all indigenous Africans in the country “Bantu” had no connection to the area at any point in time. Secondly, they were not under any threat by people launching rockets into their population. Thirdly, no African indigenous to the land of South Africa was allowed any sort of rights. They could not vote or be voted for in their own land.
In Israel there are Israeli Arabs who are members of Parliament (MPs) and hold positions of power.
There is an Islamic party recognized by the Israeli State and Supreme Court.
This situation is almost guaranteed to be impossible and can never be same in Islamic countries.
Where will you hear of a Christian party or Jewish party anywhere in any Islamic country? In Saudi Arabia for instance you cannot build a church but they have budgets to build mosques in other people’s countries.
Let us be clear about the facts.
Another very important question we must address is this- “who are the ‘Palestinians’?”
Is there really any ethnic group called the “Palestinians”?
It is incontrovertible fact that the great majority of Arabs who call themselves Palestinians came there because of a massive 19th–20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other Muslim countries.
The Jews were expelled from the area by Roman authorities in 70 A.D and after their expulsion people of other nationalities came in and have always lived in the area after 70 A.D, but we must be clear about why and how they came in.
They moved in because the authorities deliberately allowed a resettlement program in a bid to expunge Jewish presence from the area.
After Emperor Titus Vespasian crushed Jerusalem in 70 A.D the Romans deliberately dispersed the Jews from the entire land of Judea.
Some Jews though kept returning in very small groups into the area and it was Emperor Hadrian about 65 years later in 135 AD that renamed Judea and called it Palestine.
There is absolutely nothing like an indigenous Palestinian people. There never was.
In the birth of every other nation we see a people formed by a common ancestry who already have a name, settle somewhere, and then name the place after themselves or their ancestor. This is not the case here.
In the “Palestinian” case it is not a situation of a place being named after a people but a contrived situation in which disparate groups of people are named after a place.
The founding father of the Palestinians was Yasser Arafat- an Egyptian.
Since after the renaming of the area by Hadrian in 135 A.D it has been occupied and invaded by the Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, different Sultanates representing Muslims, Mamelukes, Napoleon’s army, the Ottomans, and then the British rolled in after the Ottoman Empire was dismantled after World War I in 1918.
Many of those who conquered the place had a number of their nationals settle there over time.
But there has always been a Jewish presence. It did not begin in 1948.
During the British Mandate, violence against the Jews in Hebron and around Judea and Samaria grew and was sustained.
As far back as in 1929, an Arab pogrom caused the death of 67 Jews, so in 1936, on the eve of the Palestinian Arab national revolt, the British Government moved the Jewish community out of Hebron as a safety precaution.
We have noted how the Romans sacked the Jews from the area in 70 A.D and this was not the first time they had been displaced (we will not delve into that at this time).
In the exact same way the authorities that governed the area expelled them in 70.A.D the authorities that governed the area in 1948 gave Jews the right to resettle in the same place.
If you had no problem with the Roman authorities forcing people out of their lands and allowing other people who had no connection to the land settle there in A.D 70 then why would you have any problem with the authorities in 1948 allowing the Jews resettle in the same land?
3 responses to “THE RUN UP TO THE CONFLICT OF THE AGES: UNDERSTANDING THE LATEST ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT”
Wow… It’s clearer now. Thank you so much sir.
Thoughtful. Insightful. Well crafted. The truth will prevail.
God that scattered Israel abroad, is the same God bringing them back. And no power or UN resolutions can stop that.
Palestine will continue their provocative acts. This will provoke Isreal to a full scale land/territory recovery. Arabs will return to their land of ancestry.
Judea and Samaria nor any land given to them by God are all recoverable, to The glory of The Father, Who reigns. Ain’t nothing stopping it.
Great piece! But one thing I keep wondering is, why did God settle the Jewish nation in a land they would never have piece living in for the rest of their days? The land is supposed to be filled with milk and honey. But why is it devoid of peace, one thing that is actually sweeter than milk and honey?