Like the American Civil War, where two opposing factions fought for the same country, Israel has been gripped by a civil war between two opposing Palestinian factions, one Jewish and the other Muslim. President Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." This maxim could also be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.
Palestinian Arabs believe that they're entitled to a state west of the Jordan River and I respect this. I am also aggrieved over the suffering they're endured. My contention is that Israel's recent military action on the west bank of the Jordan resulted from an intransigent position held by the Palestinian Authority and a substantial segment of the Palestinian Arab population, a position supported by many Arab and Muslim nations. While many Palestinian Arabs long for a sovereign state existing peacefully alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority, based on evidence and actions over the last 18 months, clearly has conspired, through both negotiating tactics and complicity in acts of terror, to destroy Israel. Those who control and run the Palestinian Authority are responsible for visiting disaster upon their own people and are responsible for unleashing unspeakable terror on Israeli families. They have forfeited a golden opportunity to achieve statehood and have frittered away a chance for the average hard working Palestinian Arab to live in peace within the borders of his own homeland.
Israel, like any other sovereign state, and according to universally accepted norms of international law and custom, has the right to defend the lives of its citizens. During a time when the Palestinian Authority controlled most Arab population centers in the West Bank and Gaza and when Israel was negotiating in good faith on borders for a Palestinian state, evidence and actions suggest that the Palestinian Authority, in violation of the Oslo Accords, was smuggling in heavy munitions, building bomb factories, and turning a blind eye while Islamist militias, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and Leftist militias, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), attacked Israel from territory they controlled. The Palestinian Authority is responsible for these acts of war in the same way and for the same reason as the Taliban of Afghanistan was responsible for the Al-Qa'ida attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. How can the Palestinians now ask Israel, or the rest of the world, to recognize its sovereignty under these conditions? The Palestinian Authority declared war on Israel, defacto, and Israel responded in kind. In war, people get killed, and things get broken. Rather than trading war stories, the salient question we should confront is how to stop the war and how to stop the killing.
Ulysses Grant spoke of "unconditional surrender" in the American Civil War--unconditional surrender of the Confederacy as the only measn of saving the Union. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of "unconditional surrender" in the war against German Nazism, Italian Fascism, and Japanese imperialism--unconditional surrender of the vanquished nations as the only means of saving the free world. President Rolald Reagan spoke of the "evil empire," which led the U.S.A. to pursue a policy that saw the collapse of the Soviet Union. President George W. Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union Address, spoke of an "Axis of Evil." Like his predecessors, President Bush drew a clear moral distinction between the free world and the enemies of freedom.
The Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict hinges on the aspirations of two Palestinian peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, both claiming the same tiny land. The Arabs see themselves as oppressed by an occupying power, while Israel views the Arabs as the Trojan horse of a vast, oil-rich Arab and Islamic world, which seeks Israel's destruction. The Jewish state (the State of Israel) is gravely threatened today, while Arabs enjoy sovereignty and security in more than 20 states. The fact that the average Arab doesn't enjoy the benefits of the vast oil reserves that lie under his feet is attributable to the backward authoritarian governments he tolerates. Arab leadership conveniently and routinely scapegoats Israel for the poverty and misery they're solely responsible for. The Arabs should wake up, look at the corruption and oppressive situation they are in, and put their own houses in order.
Let's outline a brief history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Conventional wisdom has it that, in the area called Palestine, the Arabs were there first, while the Jews arrived later. This is actually not the case. The area the British called Palestine, resurrecting the name the Emperor Hadrian gave to the Roman Province of Judea, had been ruled for over 400 years by the Ottoman Turks as the southern part of Turkish Syria. It should be noted that Turkey today maintains relatively normal diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.
Nineteenth-century travelers to the region, such as Mark Twain, described the region as a virtually empty land of deserts and swamps. Indigenous Arabs, Jews, Christians, Bedouins, Druses, Turks, Circassians, and Europeans lived in a few walled towns such as Jerusalem and Hebron. Jews always and continuously lived in and migrated to Palestine.
Jewish immigration picked up steam in the mid part of the nineteenth century, reaching a high warter mark in 1881, after a Russian pogrom against the Jews of Kichniev, and continued steadily afterward. That this major immigration occurred 20 years before the first Zionist Congress, headed by Theodore Hertzl, is an indication of the organic and spontaneous nature of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Arabs also began to immigrate to Palestine, en masse, from other regions of the Arab world, around the same time period in order to enjoy the economic benefits created by the culturally European Jews. Both emerging Palestinian populations, Jewish and Arab, immigrated around the same time.
In 1919, the British established their Mandate over Palestine, after they defeated the Ottoman Turks in World War I.
In 1923, Britain split the British Mandate of Palestine into eastern and western sectors, giving eastern Palestine to the Hashemite King Abdullah, as a reward for his support during World War I. Eastern Palestine, which the British designated as "Arab Palestine" (later called "Transjordan"), is presently ruled by Abdullah's great grandson of the same name and is now called "Jordan." Jordan is, in fact, Arab Palestine for the same reason that Israel, or western Palestine, is Jewish Palestine. Palestinian Arabs have achieved political, national, and cultural rights in the Kingdom of Jordan.
In 1947, the United Nations Security Council passed Security Council Resolution 181, dividing western Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, with the United Nations itself retaining Jerusalem. The Jewish state consisted of a coastal strip, two non-contiguous swaths of the Galilee region, and the Negev Desert. Israel accepted these borders and sued for peace with its Arab neighbors, who responded by invading the new Jewish state with the combined forces, under the command of the Arab League, of five Arab states. The invading Arab League general at the time stated, "This will be a war of extermination and will be rembered like the Mongol invasion or the Crusades."
In the course of that war, many Arabs fled the advancing Jewish army. During the same time period, Jews were driven out of the West Bank and many Arab states. The Arab leadership, starting in the 1920s with Nazi war criminal Haj Amin al-Husseini, the British appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, up until recent years, have stated, in clear and unequivocal terms, their intention to drive the Jews into the sea. The 1949 Armistice lines, lines that Israel is now being asked to withdraw to over 50 years later, were never recognized by a single Arab state.
After the 1967 Six Day War, the U.N. Security Council passed Security Council Resolution 242, calling for Israel to withdraw from newly acquired territories in order to establish "peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." Resolution 242 does not call for Israel to withdraw from all these territories. The authors of 242 stated, on many public occasions, that the 1949-1967 Armistice lines were not considered to be "secure boundaries" but rather borders that would serve as invitations to war. Israel, in fact, withdrew from about 80% of these territories when the Sinai was returned to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty. Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, accurately referred to the 1949-1967 Armistice lines as "Auschwitz lines."
The religious aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict is rarely discussed publicly. Yet, Judaism and Islam undergird the thinking and actions of even secular segments of the respective populations. Jews have maintained a connection to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for approximately 6,000 years. The Torah. the Prophets. and the Writings, collectively known as the Tenach, or, to Christians, the Old Testament, describe the history of this connection, from Abraham, who purchased a burial plot in Hebron, to the wanderings in the Sanai, where God promised a very specific land to the Israelites, to Joshua's conquest, to the Judges, Kings Saul, David and Solomon, the division into Israel and Judah, the Assyrian captivity of Israel, the Babylonian captivity of Judah, the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, under the leadership of Ezra and with written permission from the Persian King Cyrus, the establishment of the second commonwealth under the Macabees, after a war with the Syrian/Greek King Antiochus, the erosion of sovereignty under the Romans, leading to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the quelling of Bar Kochba's rebellion by the Romans at Masada in 138-140 AD, which effectively ended Jewish sovereignty.
Jews remained in Judea after the victorious Roman Emperor Hadrian mockingly renamed the land "Palestine," naming it after the Jews' ancient enemy, the Philistines. Hadrian, while renaming Jerusalen "Alia Capitalina, arrogantly asserted that the Jews would never rise again. In subsequent centuries, the Jews of Palestine would maintain a Sanhedrin and would write in the Palestinian Talmud, and, in the 15th. century, in the Shulkhan Aruch. Religious Jews continue face Jerusalem from the Diaspora, three times a day in prayer, and the land that the King of the Universe, blessed be he, commanded the children of Israel to take possession of remains the centerpiece of the Jewish covenant with God.
Islam views Palestine as an integral part of the "Ummah," or motherland, which consists of any portion of the world that has ever been military controlled by Islamic forces. The Koran and the Hadith command the believer to engage in Jihad against the Dar es Harb, or the world of war, which is the portion of the planet that has yet to submit to Islam, which, in translation, means "submission." Radical Muslims view the world as divided into two spheres, the Dar es Harb, or the world of war, the portion of the world that has not submitted to Islam, and the Dar es Salaam, or the world of peace, which is the portion of the world that has submitted. Muslims are generally expected, in varying degrees, to submit to "Sharia," or Islamic law, when living in Islamic countries. This is not only true in clerical states such as Iran, but also in secular Bath Socialist states such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
While Jews are commanded by the Torah to seek sovereignty only in tiny Israel, radical Muslims are commanded by their faith to dominate the entire world. They believe that submission of the whole world to Islam will give birth to a utopian world of Dar el-Islam. In this regard, radical Islam is similar to the world-order movements of Communism and Nazism. Christianity stopped its militant world-order pretensions, for the most part, after the Protestant Reformation, when Christianity returned, albeit imperfectly, to its original doctrine of advocating a voluntary acceptance of Jesus.
Radical Islam is now on the move, fighting for sovereignty, seeking dominance, and engaging in terror. In Europe, Muslims have achieved sovereignty in Bosnia and Kosovo, and have engaged in violent action in Serbia and Macedonia. In central Asia, Muslims are seeking sovereignty in Abkazia, Chechnya, and Dagastan, and have engaged in violent action in China's Sinkiang Province. Radical Muslims are fighting in the Philippines, on the island of Mindanao. Radical Muslims recently machine gunned the Indian Parliament and blew up an bus in India, a bus containing 58 Hindus. Radical Muslims are murdering Christians in Indonesia and in Catholic East Timor. Radical Islamist Sudan is committing genocide against Black Christians in southern Sudan and Radical Muslims are ratcheting up violence along the rim of Sub-Saharan Africa. Lebanese, Egyptian, and Turkish Christians live in fear. Non-Muslims living in the authoritarian Muslim world live as Dhimmis, or second-class citizens.
The existence of Israel as a Jewish state is a particular offence to the Islamic conception of Ummah. Why? Because Israel is a Jewish state. The Koran and Hadith contain specific language that calls for the killing of Jews who refuse to submit. Many Muslims blame Israel for every type of problem in the Islamic world, even for their own personal problems. If only Israel could be exterminated, peace and utopia would break out. Muslim children are beeing taught these doctrines today in Saudi-financed Madrasses, or Islamic schools.
The Islamists have won the international propaganda war against Israel by shrewly aligning themselves with the anti-Western, anti-constitutionalist, anti-democratic international political Left. Leftist intellectuals, power brokers, and media mandarins have turned the tables by ignoring the coordinated and well-financed Islamist agenda to wipe out Israel and portraying the State of Israel as the big, bad aggressor. The way it works is that, whenever Israel defends the lives and property of its citizens, the Israelis are committing unnecessary and unforgivable atrocities, while Arab atrocities against Jews are justified and must be defended. This type of biased, factually inaccurate, and intellectually dishonest coverage has contributed to a deliberate fanning of the flames on international anti-Semitism. The Left assisted the Islamists in their attempt to have Zionism declared as racist at a United Nations Conference in Durban, South Africa. I think its more than a coincidence that, just three days after the United States walked out of that conference, passenger planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Politically and ideologically, Leftism and Islam have much in common. Both are authoritarian faiths, one claiming to derive its authority from Allah, the other from Science. Both adhere to the principle of absolute rule, one claiming to operate in the interest of Allah, the other in the interest of the downtrodden. Both believe in a utopian one-world system and both hold individual rights and self-rule in contempt.
Israel gave the two-state solution a try and it failed. In the White House Rose Garden, September 13, 1993, Yasser Arafat was offered a Palestinian Arab state in exchange for nothing more than a renunciation of the use of terror as a negotiating tactic. Israel proceeded to rehabilitate Arafat, finance a Palestinian Authority, train and arm its police force, and begin withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza. In the Fall of 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met at Camp David with Palestinian Authority President Arafat and U.S. President Bill Clinton. Barak offered a virtual withdrawal to the 1949-1967 Armistice lines and to establish a Palestinian Arab Vatican-like condominium in Jerusalem. My contention is that Barak went the distance, further than I thought he should have gone, regarding the creation of a Palestinian state. Arafat answered Barak's offer with a planned campaign of mass murder against Jews.
Arafat delivered a revealing speech to Arab diplomats in Stockholm, Sweden, January 30, 1996--a speech that was quoted and written about in the Fall, 2001, issue of the respected scholarly journal The National Interest, in an article entitled "The Impending Total Collapse of Israel." It should be noted that this speech was delivered in 1996, while the Oslo Accords were being implemented and Israel was withdrawing from the occupied territories. In delivering the speech, Arafat stated the following:
The article in The National Interest comments:
During this year's Passover season, about 100 Jews, mostly elderly and children, were blown up. Palestinian Arab youth were sent on a satanic mission to kill as many Jews as possible, sent by those who seek to wipe out Israel. Within 48 hours after Israel, under pressure from the White House, withdrew from the Palestinian Arab city of Tulkarem, a mass murderer traveled from there into Israel and killed at least eight Jews. The White House responded with the following statement: "The morning suicide bombing near Haifa, which killed eight Israelis, reinforced the need for Israel to withdraw." This statement, reflecting a point of view that seems to be applied solely and uniquely to Israel, and held as a matter of routine by much of the world's establishment, is completely and totally insane.
Islamism & Jihadism:
The Threat of Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
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War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
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Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
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