Israeli Flag Scottish Friends of Israel Redressing the Balance
 Home   About Us - About this site - Opinion - Useful Links - Contact

The Jews in Israel took no one's land.

Joseph Farah(Arab American),, April 23, 2002

© 2002


"I've been quiet since Israel erupted in fighting spurred by disputes over the Temple Mount. Until now, I haven't even bothered to say, "See, I told you so." But I can't resist any longer. I feel compelled to remind you of the column I wrote just a couple weeks before the latest uprising. Yeah, folks, I predicted it. That's OK. Hold your applause. After all, I wish I had been wrong. More than 600 people have been killed since the current fighting started. And for what?

If you believe what you read in most news sources, Palestinians want a homeland and Muslims want control over sites they consider holy. Simple right?

Well, as an Arab-American journalist who has spent some time in the Middle East dodging more than my share of rocks and mortar shells, I've got to tell
you that these are just phony excuses for the rioting, trouble-making & land-grabbing.

Isn't it interesting that prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, there was no serious movemen for a Palestinian homeland?

"Well, Farah," you might say, "that was before the Israelis seized the West Bank and Old Jerusalem." That's true. In the Six-Day War, Israel captured Judea, Samaria & East Jerusalem.But they didn't capture these territories from Yasser Arafat. They captured them from Jordan's King Hussein.

I can't help but wonder why all these Palestinians suddenly discovered their national identity after Israel won the war. The truth is that Palestine is no more real than Never-Never Land.

The first time the name was used was in 70 A.D. when the Romans committed
genocide against the Jews, smashed the Temple & declared the land of Israel would be no more. From then on, the Romans promised, it would be known as Palestine. The name was derived from the Philistines, a Goliathian people conquered by the Jews centuries earlier.It was a way for the Romans to add insult to injury. They also tried to change the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, but that had even less staying power.

Palestine has never existed--before or since -- as an autonomous entity.

It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders,
by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I.
The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.

  • There is no language known as Palestinian.
  • There is no distinct Palestinian culture.
  • There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.

Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents on-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass. But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today.

  • Greed
  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Covetousness.

No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.

What about Islam's holy sites? There are none in Jerusalem. Shocked? You should be.

I don't expect you will ever hear this brutal truth from anyone else in the
international media. It's just not politically correct. I know what you're going to say: "Farah, the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem represent Islam's thirdmost holy sites."
Not true. In fact, the Koran says nothing about Jerusalem.

  • It mentions Mecca hundreds of times.
  • It mentions Medina countless times.
  • It never mentions Jerusalem.

With good reason.

There is no historical evidence to suggest Mohammad ever visited Jerusalem.

So how did Jerusalem become the third holiest site of Islam?

Muslims today cite a vague passage in the Koran, the seventeenth Sura, entitle "The Night Journey." It related that in a dream or a vision Mohammed was carried by night "from the sacred temple to the temple that is most
remote, whose precinct we have blessed, that we might show him our signs...." In the seventh century, some Muslims identified the two temples mentioned in this verse as being in Mecca and Jerusalem. And that's as close as Islam's connection with Jerusalem get -- myth, fantasy, wishful thinking.

Meanwhile, Jews can trace their roots in Jerusalem back to the days of Abraham.

The latest round of violence in Israel erupted when Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon tried to visit the Temple Mount, the foundation of the Temple built by Solomon.

It is the holiest site for Jews.

Sharon and his entourage were met with stones and threats. I know what it's like. I've been there. Can you imagine what it is like for Jews to be threatened stoned and physically kept out of the holiest site in Judaism?

So what's the solution to the Middle East mayhem? Well, frankly, I don't think there is a man-made solution to the violence. But, if there is one it needs to begin with truth.

Pretending will only lead to more chaos.

Treating a 5,000-year-old birthright backed by overwhelming historical and archaeological evidence equally with illegitimate claims, wishes and wants give diplomacy and peacekeeping a bad name."

It's a great big lie that the Israelis displaced anyone

As the most visible Arab-American critic of Yasser Arafat and the phony "Palestinian" agenda, I get a lot of hate mail.

I've even received more than my share of death threats.

Most of those who attack me ­ at least those who bother to get beyond the four-letter words and insults ­ say I just don't understand or have sympathy for these poor Arabs who were displaced, chased out of their homes and turned into refugees by the Israelis.

Let me state this plainly and clearly: The Jews in Israel took no one's land.

When Mark Twain visited the Holy Land in the 19th century, he was greatly disappointed. He didn't see any people. He referred to it as a vast wasteland. The land we now know as Israel was practically deserted.

By the beginning of the 20th century, that began to change. Jews from all over the world began to return to their ancestral homeland ­ the Promised Land Moses and Joshua had conquered millennia earlier, Christians and Jews believe, on the direct orders of God.

That's not to say there wasn't always a strong Jewish presence in the land ­ particularly in and around Jerusalem. In 1854, according to a report in the New York Tribune, Jews constituted two-thirds of the population of that holy city. The source for that statistic? A journalist on assignment in the Middle East that year for the Tribune. His name was Karl Marx. Yes, that Karl Marx.

A travel guide to Palestine and Syria, published in 1906 by Karl Baedeker, illustrates the fact that, even when the Islamic Ottoman Empire ruled the region, the Muslim population in Jerusalem was minimal. The book estimates the total population of the city at 60,000, of whom 7,000 were Muslims, 13,000 were Christians and 40,000 were Jews.

"The number of Jews has greatly risen in the last few decades, in spite of the fact that they are forbidden to immigrate or to possess landed property," the book states.

Even though the Jews were persecuted, still they came to Jerusalem and represented the overwhelming majority of the population as early as 1906. And even though Muslims today claim Jerusalem as the third holiest site in Islam, when the city was under Islamic rule, they had little interest in it.

As the Jews came, drained the swamps and made the deserts bloom, something interesting began to happen.

Arabs followed. I don't blame them. They had good reason to come. They came for jobs. They came for prosperity. They came for freedom. And they came in large numbers.

Winston Churchill observed in 1939

"So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population."

Then came 1948 and the great partition. The United Nations proposed the creation of two states in the region ­ one Jewish, one Arab. The Jews accepted it gratefully. The Arabs rejected it with a vengeance and declared war.

Arab leaders urged Arabs to leave the area so they would not be caught in the crossfire. They could return to their homes, they were told, after Israel was crushed and the Jews destroyed. It didn't work out that way. By most counts, several hundred thousand Arabs were displaced by this war ­ not by Israeli aggression, not by some Jewish real-estate grab, not by Israeli expansionism.

In fact, there are many historical records showing the Jews urged the Arabs to stay and live with them in peace. But, tragically, they chose to leave.

Fifty-four years later, the sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of those refugees are all-too-often still living in refugee camps ­ not because of Israeli intransigence, but because they are misused as a political tool of the Arab powers.

Those poor unfortunates could be settled in a week by the rich Arab oil states that control 99.9 percent of the Middle East landmass, but they are kept as virtual prisoners, filled with misplaced hatred for Jews and armed as suicide martyrs by the Arab power brokers.

This is the modern real history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. At no time did the Jews uproot Arab families from their homes. When there were title deeds to be purchased, they bought them at inflated prices. When there were not, they worked the land so they could have a place to live without the persecution they faced throughout the world.

It's a great big lie that the Israelis displaced anyone ­ one of a series of lies and myths that have the world on the verge of committing yet another great injustice to the Jews.

It's a great big lie that the Israelis displaced anyone



Web Design surfgate7 - copyright: MRG ©2003