MISCONCEPTIONS UNFOLDED: TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
by Tiffany Monastyrsky
To understand a conflict such as the one between Israel and its Arab neighbors, it is necessary to first examine the history between these two groups. The conflict is not as complicated as most people believe it to be. The fact is that Israel is constantly calling for peace talks with the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), which is also known as Hamas. Israel desires a two-state solution, a Jewish state and an Arab state, in hopes for an ultimate peace in the Middle East. Conversely, the PLO says they will not recognize the Jewish state of Israel, and refuse to negotiate, and therefore peace has yet to be made.
Palestinians proclaim that the occupation of Israel on their settlements is a form of apartheid. They also say that Israel has put up apartheid walls to segregate the Arabs from the rest of the nation. “Apartheid,” the Dutch-Africans term for separation, was the social order of the former South Africa. It meant exactly that. The black majority of the nation and the so-called Colored were kept strictly apart in all aspects of life. White domination over the native population was mandatory.” In Israel today although Jews are the majority, Arabs are full citizens of Israel and enjoy equal rights. 40% of the Israeli government has Arabs representing different levels of the Cabinet and Supreme Court. Under the South African Apartheid, the blacks did not have the right to vote, or freedom of speech, and there were laws that dictated where they were allowed to live and work. In Israel, Arabs have an equal right to vote just like all other citizens of Israel, and Israel allows Arabs freedom of movement, assembly, and speech. Many Arabs living in Israel have even more freedom than their counterparts in their native countries, because many of the Arab countries, if not all, are run by Radical terrorist regimes such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It has been reported that many Arabs living in Gaza or the West Bank choose to reject their citizenship of Israel and all the freedoms that come with it because they do not want to be part of a Jewish state.
The “Apartheid Walls” have been proclaimed by Palestinians as walls designed to keep them out. However, these walls are not walls at all. They are fences that were put up to keep suicide bombers out of major cities in Israel in order to reduce the bombing attacks and to save lives. Israel created checkpoints between different security fences to check vehicles and people coming in and out of Israel for that same purpose. Everyone must go through the checkpoint and be checked for any weapons of mass destruction. Arabs can easily go in and out of these different checkpoints as long as they are not affiliated with any terrorist groups or have weapons or bombs on them.
Jews have geographically been connected to this land for over 4,000 years, and were constantly exiled from the land through the conquest of different ancient civilizations. There has never been a group of people connected to that land who governed it that still exists today, other than the Jewish nation. Israel is the 3rd autonomous Jewish state to exist in that area. The first Kingdom was in 1000-586 B.C.E., then 538-63 B.C.E and now the modern state of Israel in 1948. There was never an autonomous Arab state in that area. When the Ancient Roman Empire sieged the area of land known as Judea there was a group of people known as the Philistines. They were an alliance of non-Semitic peoples coming from Crete, the Aegean Islands and Asia Minor also known as “Sea Peoples.” Those “Sea Peoples” that invaded Egypt were expelled towards other Mediterranean lands and did not evolve into any Arab people, but decimated into the Roman Empire. So why exactly was Ancient Judea re-named Palestine? In the 2nd century C.E., the last stand of the remnants of Judea against the Roman Empire ended with the well-known event of the Siege of Masada. The land where these events transpired was until then the province known as Judea, and there is no mention of any place called “Palestine” before this time. The Roman emperor Hadrian was upset with the Jewish Nation because of their rebellion against him and he wanted to erase the name of Israel from the face of the Earth. Emperor Hadrian decided to take over the land of Judea and make it a Roman province. In an attempt to destroy the Jews connected to this ancient Judean land, he wanted to find a name that might appear appropriate, and found that an extinct people that was unknown in Roman times, called “Philistines.” He knew that these people once dwelled in that area and were enemies of the Israelites. Therefore, according to Latin spelling, he invented the new name: “Palestina”, a name that would be also hateful for the Jews as it reminded them of their old enemies. He did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history. There is no mention of Palestine in any ancient scriptures in any group of religion. Those Jews that angered Emperor Hadrian are directly linked to the Jews of today. Jews are the only nation of people that has had a connection to this land in thousands of scriptures in various religious books and history books throughout the world. Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.” There is not one single person today who can prove Philistine lineage, and if the Palestinians are truly Philistines, then their true homeland would be the Isle of Crete not ancient Judea (Israel.)
In the 1800’s Jews began making aliyah, a term for the return to their home, by purchasing the land from the different owners during the Ottoman Empire. This was the start of Jews coming back to the land since their exile. The British Empire took over the land of “Palestine” through the British Mandate after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The British empire occupied the land and then decided to create a document called a Partition Plan in order to appease the Jews and Muslims living in Palestine during 1948, which proclaimed that the land of Israel would be cut in half into a Muslim state and a Jewish state. The Jews accepted this, and the Arabs did not. The Arabs retaliated against this by having many wars. The first such war was the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 that lasted six months, and then the six-day war in 1967. Surprisingly the diminutive state of Israel prevailed against all the surrounding Arab armies. There was still a continuation of bombings, so in 1979 Israel gave the land of the Sinai Peninsula, which was bigger than Israel, and had oil, to Egypt in a treaty for peace. Israel also gave Gaza in 2005 in an attempt for peace with the Arabs living in Israel, but that was to no avail. There were various treaties signed with Hamas to create a ceasefire, which aimed to stop missiles fired at civilians, but Hamas broke the ceasefire many times. Cities in Israel such as Sderot, Ashdod, and Beersheba are constantly fired at from Gaza. Now that Gaza is technically not part of Israel, Hamas began spreading rumors that Israel cut off the water supply in Gaza. On the contrary, the fact is that “3,664 trucks carrying 93,305 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Of the trucks, 1,248 were carrying food, 804 were carrying construction materials, 76 were carrying agricultural inputs, 34 were carrying clothes and footwear, 178 were carrying electric products, and 266 were carrying ceramics and plumbing. Transportation of cooking gas into the Gaza Strip continued with 1,915 tons.” Hamas has decided to use these goods for terrorist and weapon making instead of helping it’s civilians because as they clearly stated many times their goal is the destruction of Israel. Sderot is one of the major cities in Israel that gets fired at from Gaza on a daily basis. There is an alarm in that town that gives civilians 15 seconds to run to a bomb shelter to cover from the explosions. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) must send out a warning every time they are planning to retaliate in an area that may have civilians because they are one of the only countries in the entire world that is required to follow a code of moral and ethics when in combat and war. When Israel has no other choice but to retaliate and fire at Gaza, an hour before they are planning to shoot missiles they send down messages to the Arabs in Arabic explaining that if they are civilians to leave the area that will be fired on, and if they are terrorists, to come out. Even America does not follow this code of ethics during wartime. The only other country that does so is Switzerland. Many Arabs decide to come out because they believe that they are fighting a Jihad, a “holy war”, and that dying is more worthy than sanctifying life. Many of them commit suicide this way; this is also the reason why many Arabs strap explosives to themselves.
These Arab radical regimes believe in the annihilation of all Jews. Hamas, which is the government in charge of the Arab settlements in Israel known as “Palestine”, proclaim, “There is no better blood than the blood of Jews.” Their motto is, “We love death as much as Jews love life.” There have been various footage broadcasts of the television in these Arab countries that are run by regimes and all that is spread is hate and murder. They instill in the hearts of little children various forms of propaganda, where little children at the age of 5 are taught to call Jews “dirty pigs.” Unfortunately, such evil is once again rising in the world. The ultimate reality is if Israel were to put down its weapons today there would be an immediate destruction of the state of Israel and murder of countless Jews. If these Arab radical regimes were to put down their weapons, there would actually be a great chance of peace. Israel is constantly making an attempt to make peace with “Palestine” and various other Arab nations such as Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Unfortunately, they refuse to negotiate for peace and refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. This mentality will never bring peace. The only way there can be peace is if these Arab radical regimes first recognize Israel’s right to exist, and only then can an agreement of peace begin to be negotiated for current and future generations. Israel is a very small country trying to protect its people, and the only example of democracy and true civil rights in the entire Middle East. The last thing we can do is close our eyes to what is unfolding in the world.