Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Israel: The State of the Jewish People, and Rightfully So

(BlueTruth would like to thank our friend "whitvile" for contributing this post)

The international campaign to invalidate Israel’s right to exist relies on disinformation and ignorance.
The fact is, the state of Israel has more legitimate claims to nationhood than any country on the planet. Here are some of the reasons:
1) Historical claim to the land. There have been Jews living on this land for over three thousand years, actually close to four thousand years. There are few indigenous peoples left on this planet (and fewer every year), but it is exceedingly rare, perhaps unheard of, for an indigenous people to maintain residency into modern times and recreate their ancient nation state.
2) Legacy from colonial rule. Most modern countries fall into this category, including the entire Western hemisphere, almost all of Africa, much of Asia, and the entire Middle East. Most modern Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, were controlled by Britain after the fall of the Ottoman empire in World War I. The borders of modern Middle Eastern countries were drawn by Britain. Britain promised “to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine” in 1917. The borders of Palestine initially included Transjordan (now called Jordan), but this was separated and given to the Hashemite tribe as a reward for their support of Britain in the war. In 1937, Britain offered to separate the remaining piece into a tiny Jewish, and a larger Arab state. The Jews accepted, desperately hoping to save a remnant of European Jewry. The Arabs r ejected it, and launched a 3 year wave of violence against civilians (1936-1939). Notice a pattern here?
3) Conquered by force. This is the second most common source of national legitimacy in the world. Practically the entire United States was taken by force either from Native Americans, the British, or from Spanish colonists. Although all of Israel’s wars have been defensive, they resulted in Israel acquiring some of the territory of the countries that attacked her. Despite Israel’s right to annex the lands she has conquered, and her tiny, vulnerable size, she continues to offer land for peace.
4) Voted into existence by international body. This is an exceedingly rare occurrence. Despite receiving condemnation by just about every country at some point in her existence, a bizarre concurrence of political motives and anti-Semitism resulted in both the Western bloc and the Russian-controlled Eastern bloc voting for Israel’s independence in 1948.
In addition to the above reasons, one or another of which applies to every country in the world, Israel has two additional qualifications for statehood:
5)Property Ownership. Although most of what is currently Israel was government-owned, state land under the Ottoman Turks, and later the British, almost all the private land was bought by Jews (from absentee Arab landlords). While there were a few (maybe a hundred thousand) Arabs living on the land when the Jews began returning in large numbers in the late 1800’s, exceedingly few of them owned the land they lived on. Israel compensated tenant farmer/herders who worked on, but did not own the land.
6) Positive stewardship of the land. When Jews first began returning in large numbers over a hundred years ago, almost all of the land was uninhabitable. Most of it was either desert or malaria-ridden swampland. The few pieces of fertile land had been ravaged by years of neglect and sheep herding. One of the main Arab objections to Jewish immigration in the early 1920’s was that the land could not support more than a few hundred thousand people. There are now about 7 million people living in this land. Jews drained the swamps, discovered new methods of irrigation that literally “made the desert bloom,” and for much of its existence has been a primarily agricultural economy- exporting produce all over the world. Israel is the only country on the planet that ended the 20th century with more trees than it started with.
Furthermore, although the land is considered holy to three great world religions, when Moslems controlled the land they severely restricted the ability of people of other faiths to pray at their holy sites. The Jordanians did not allow Jews to pray at the Western Wall, and desecrated some of the oldest synagogues in Jerusalem- turning them into garbage dumps. Five years ago, Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb, a sacred Jewish shrine. Palestinians terrorists vandalized desecrated the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem when they sought refuge from Israeli soldiers. Most Christian Arabs have left areas under Palestinian rule due to persecution.
Under Israeli rule, there are no restrictions on any citizen’s right to pray at their holy places. Further, despite the fact that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the holiest place in Judaism, Israel has graciously allowed the Moslem religious authority (the Waqf) to maintain control of the site. The Waqf has shown its gratitude by refusing to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, and allowing Moslem worshipers to throw stones on Jews praying at the Western Wall below. They have vandalized priceless archeological sites on the Mount with bulldozers, dumping tons of archeologically rich earth into garbage dumps.
Although “treatment of the land” has never been considered a criterion for nationhood, perhaps it should be. Certainly Jews have demonstrated a reverence for the land that was not shown by any of its prior rulers. The relationship of the land of Israel to the Jews is the same connection other indigenous peoples feel for their ancestral lands. Many Native American tribes feel their land is part of them, part of their identity as a people. It is the same for Jews.
For two thousand years Jews have longed to return to this land that is a part of them. Now the ancient longings and ancient prophecies have been fulfilled. Israel has come into being by all the means that any nation has claimed, and more. If any nation has earned the right to exist, it is Israel.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Imagine What They'll Do To The Jews

News reports out of Gaza last week have detailed the torture and murder of a prominent Christian Arab resident. His crime? Apparently being a prominent Christian Arab resident, who owned the only Christian bookstore in Gaza. Lest anyone think this was an isolated incident, the same bookstore had been firebombed in April and a Christian convent and school were ransacked during the bloody Hamas coup in June. "I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza," said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza (from Ynet News in June)

The recent history of how Christians have been treated both by the Palestinian Authority, as well as the jihadist gangs that operate freely within it, should give pause to those who still operate under the delusion that the Jewish state could be subsumed into a "binational" Jewish-Arab state comprising Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. At the time of the Six-Day War, Christian Arabs comprised 20% of the population of the West Bank and Gaza; today, mostly because of emigration, it's 2% (source: Catholic News Agency). Interestingly, the Christian population of the State of Israel has grown from 32,000 at independence to 130,000 (80% of this group are Arab) in 2000. So it appears that life in a Jewish state is a much better alternative to living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority-- and this was BEFORE the Hamas coup.

Few people seem to recall the siege at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in March 2002 when wanted terrorists from Hamas and from Fatah's own al-Aqsa brigades seized the church and used the priests and nuns inside as human shields to avoid capture by the IDF. Such a violation of holy places would provoke worldwide outcry against the perpetrators--except when it comes to Islamic terrorists.

One of Yasir Arafat's many legacies has been to "de-Christianize" the area set aside for a future Palestinian state-- without question, an example of ethnic cleansing . And if that's how they treated their fellow Arab Palestinians, how does any rational person think the Jews are going to be treated?