Thursday, January 22, 2009

The earth is flat - Why Israel is the victim and not the root of all evil

I recently met a wonderful gentleman from the UK and he told me how he tried to explain to his 11 year old son why Israel has a right to defend itself. The media is unfortunately not great at getting to the truth, and often, subjective and biased reporting, may obscure the truth. People see so many conflicting images and news stories that it leaves them either accepting the media brainwash or being utterly confused and not knowing what to believe. An article, that originally appeared in the South African Sunday Times, June 17, 2007 by Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, was recently posted online at at the following URL: The Chief Rabbi makes some enlightening comments that reveal how wrong the anti-Israel press is, and how the general public can be misled into momumental errors in judgement. Here my synopsis of his article, with my own additions and comments:-

We find that people in ancient times, and even in recent times, believed theories that were later proved false. Take for example the theory that the earth is flat, or that washing hands in a hospital is unproffessional, or that the earth is the center of the universe. People supported a theory or mistaken view - even though it was totally wrong. It is almost impossible to challenge or change a prevailing view. It can take many years or even decades to change peoples mistaken ideas. In the middle ages who dared to claim that the earth was round?

Today we hear the mantra that "Israel has illegal occupation of Palestinian land" and Israel "denies Palestinian nationalist aspiration"

1. What if all that is wrong? What if the Jewish State that is considered to be the root of all evil in the Middle East were instead the victim?

South Africa's Apartheid history is used against Israel. In South Africa the conflict was caused by a white racist Apartheid regime. The ANC was always ready to talk peace, but the regime refused to talk and so the conflict could not be resolved, and the ANC was forced into an armed struggle.

2. What if the real Apartheid of the Middle East is the one directed against the Jews? The Israeli government has always been ready to talk peace but was forced into an armed defensive struggle. The anti-Semitic Arab world has never been prepared to talk peace. When finally white South Africans were ready to talk peace the long-standing conflict was resolved quickly. Israel has not found genuine negotiating partners. It's struggle continues, and peace remains a distant dream.

Nearly 4000 years ago the forefathers of the Jewish People, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in the land of Israel, which God had promised to them and to their descendants forever. That promise was confirmed at Mount Sinai, and was delivered upon by God through Joshua, after the death of Moses, more than 3 300 years ago when the Jewish People entered the land after being liberated from Egyptian slavery and oppression. About 3000 years ago King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of the Promised Land. The Jewish people lived in the Land of Israel for 850 years until their expulsion by invading Babylonians. They returned in large numbers seventy years afterwards and remained for many centuries until their eviction by the Roman Empire. Despite unremitting anti-Semitism and persecution some Jewish communities managed to remain in Israel during the long interval between the Roman dispersion and the events leading to the re-establishment of the Jewish State in 1948. Those communities outside Israel always strived to return to their homeland.

3. What if the Israeli people are an ancient people with a connection to their native, historical and covenantal land? What if the real colonialism is Arab expansionism, which contests a Jewish state on even 1/520th of the area of Arab lands? No wonder the Arabs are so keen to try and twist history and try to claim that the Jewish Temple never existed.

In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, declared the British Mandate of Palestine to be a National Homeland for the Jewish People, recognising 4000 years of Jewish connection to the land, and the injustice of the destruction of ancient Israel by the Romans and the forced removal of the Jewish people. In 1922 the British took 76% of the land designated for a Jewish state in Palestine and allocated it instead to the Arabs, creating east of the Jordan River a new country then called Transjordan, and later, to be known as Jordan, which to this day has a Palestinian majority. In 1947 the United Nations voted to establish two states - one Arab, and one Jewish - west of the Jordan river on the remaining 24% of the original portion of land allocated for a Jewish State by the international community. In spite of this reduction to their original portion the Jews accepted the offer, which was then rejected by the Arabs.

4. Destroying Jews - What if the dispute has never been about Palestinian statehood at all but really about the destruction of the Jews and the only Jewish State on earth?

This was the beginning of a long history of Arab rejectionism. And so, in 1948 the newly reborn State of Israel was invaded by Arab armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the Arab Legion, all of which made it quite clear that they intended to destroy the tiny Jewish state its at rebirth and to massacre its citizens, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were in Arab hands and there was no "occupation" of these territories. If the cause for the Arab-Israeli conflict is the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza then why did the conflict rage throughout these years unabated, with continued Arab refusal to recognise Israel and to make peace with its Jewish neighbour?

5. Why was it that in mid-1967 just before the 6 Day War, and before the West Bank and Gaza fell into Jewish hands that Arab leaders called for the destruction of Israel? What "occupation" was at issue? Why did Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad order his soldiers to attack Jewish civilian targets to "pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews"?

For the19 years that Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip, the Arab world had the opportunity of establishing another Palestinian State in those territories, and chose not to. Why not? If the conflict is about Palestinian Statehood, then why was there no talk whatever of a Palestinian State for all those 19 years? After the Six-Day War, Israel tried to enter into negotiations with the Arab world about the political future of the West Bank and Gaza. The Khartoum Conference's response from all the Arab States on 1 September 1967 was in the form of the infamous 3 No's -- "No Peace, No Negotiation, No Recognition". And so,

6. Why, in the year 2000, at Camp David, did Yassar Arafat reject, without making a counter-offer at all, Israel's proposal to give over 95% of the West Bank and Gaza as well as land compensation for the remaining 5%?

His rejection is consistent with Arab rejectionism of any Jewish presence at all. If the Arab-Israeli conflict is about a Palestinian State then there has always been an obvious solution of two states living in peace side by side. The conflict is more fundamental and is really about Arab rejection of the very presence and existence of a Jewish State, and probably any Jews at all, in the heart of the Middle East (and probably world-wide). The charter of Hamas calls for the murder of all Jews world-wide. Rockets from Gaza continue to target Israeli civilians even after Israel evacuation. And threats of genocide and a second holocaust, together with denial of the first, emanate from Iran. And the Arab world is awash with the most rabid and pernicious anti-Semitism.

7. What if the war directed against the State of Israel is really the global war of fundamentalist tyranny against freedom and democracy?

The world is siding against the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, thereby endangering us all, because the fate of Jews is often a sign portending the future? Hitler came after the Jews first, and then he attacked the world. Suicide bombings began in Jerusalem and then migrated to New York, Bali, Madrid, London and Nairobi.

8. What if all of those who believe, with the best of intentions, that they are defending a vulnerable victim, are actually being complicit in one of the worst injustices in the history of human civilization. They have sided with the forces of death and destruction, of fear and prejudice. They believe the lies and distortions of the truth, and like the propaganda of the Nazi regime, they portray the victim as the cause of the worlds troubles.

We need extreme clarity to understand and survive these tumultuous times. The world is making the tragic mistake of Neville Chambelain and those in history who tried to avoid the unpleasantness of the truth to live in a dreamworld. Unfortunately the dream turned into a nightmare! It's reaching a point where the only effective stategy will be to pray for divine assistance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Custom Search