Palestine and the United NationsAuthor: Ratzer Beryl
So much is happening in the world and so fast that the events of the day are overtaken by new scoops even before we have digested the old.
Op-eds, analyses, predictions and journalistic prognoses follow one another so swiftly that we don't even get to know whose learned comments were way off mark if not totally incorrect.
In my newsletters I have always tried to bring to my readers' attention facts and points of view that somehow gain less attention in the media. There seems to be less need for that now because articles rejected by the more popular and well known printed media are available to those who are interested either on the internet or as attachments and letters sent by friends and acquaintances.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts". Somehow, in today's world, facts are no longer important. The new concept is "narratives" and all narratives are given equal value irrespective of whether they are based on truth or fiction, truth or wishful thinking, truth or political agenda.
Without some research or a wide field of knowledge, we, the average readers, are unable to know what is true, what is half true and what it patently false. Lacking that information many of us try to analyze the wealth of information we are being fed. We try to look for inconsistencies, for contradictions and often we are influenced by people we respect and admire.
Others, less discerning, base their opinions on gut feeling, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance and even racism. These people cannot and will not be disturbed by incontrovertible facts. Anti-Semitism is the oldest known prejudice and the most wide spread. It is totally irrational and contradictory. Communists and socialists hate Jews because they are capitalists. Capitalists hate Jews because they are communists and socialists.
In early times Jews were hated because, as a people, they were unique. They claimed to be, and were, all descended from the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel – a fact borne out by modern DNA testing.
These descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel were known as Israelites and under kings Saul, David and Solomon the land where they lived was known as the kingdom of Israel. After a civil war, Israel became the northern kingdom and Judah the southern kingdom. Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians and Judah by the Babylonians. The population was exiled but tried to maintain their religion.
Cyrus of Persia gave them an opportunity to return to their land and rebuild their Temple. Israel and Judah became Judaea.
Now Jews were hated not only because they were a unique people but because they followed a religion which totally rejected paganism. When paganism was rejected and replaced by Christianity they were hated because they remained faithful to the religion of their forefathers and would not accept Christianity.
As Islam replaced, forcibly, Christianity in the eastern parts of the Christian Byzantine Empire Jews were hated for continuing to remain faithful to the religion of their forefathers and the Jewish community of Medina was annihilated by Mohammed.
In every pogrom, in every attack on Jewish communities throughout the world, the call of the attackers was "Go to Palestine". It didn't matter if that community had lived in the same place for two thousand five hundred years as was true of the Jews of Iraq, or over one thousand years as in many places in Europe, including Poland. It was clear to all and sundry that Palestine, as the Land of Israel was then known, was the only place in the world where Jews should be found.
Even in Germany, with the rise of Nazi party and the introduction of the Nuremberg laws the call was "Jews out of Germany. Jews to Palestine".
Then, miracle of miracles, in 1948 a Jewish State came into existence in British Mandate Palestine, populated by Jewish and Arab Palestinians. Instead of keeping the name imposed on the Land of Israel by the Romans after the second Jewish revolt against the mighty Roman Empire, Palaestina, the pesky Jews chose to name their country Israel.
The Jews were once again, after two thousand years, a nation. Now there was a new reason to hate the Jews, a unique people with a unique religion. They had re-established themselves where they had originated three thousand years earlier, speaking the same language, practicing the same religion. The unique is often inexplicable. The unique and the inexplicable are often feared. The unique, the inexplicable and the feared are often hated.
Anti-Zionism was born. Paradoxically it also infects those Jews who are unable to comprehend or acknowledge this uniqueness.
Who knows what narrative the Palestinians of today would have had to invent if the Jewish State established in 1948 was named Palestine and not Israel!!!
Who knows what motion they would be bringing to the UN in September 2011.
The Jews revolted against the Roman Empire twice in less than seventy years. The disastrous revolt between 67 and 73 CE, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple, was well documented by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius and much of what he wrote is supported by archaeological excavations.
About the Bar Kochba revolt, 132 to 135 CE, which broke out because the Romans tried to prevent the weakened and diminished Jewish population of Judea from performing brit milah (circumcision), we know less. We do know that the Romans, provoked by the Jewish hutzpah (impudence) decided to do two things. The first, to change the name of Jerusalem to Aelio Capitolina did not succeed.
The second, to change the name of Judaea (Judah) to Palaestina, did. With the Moslem conquest in the seventh century the province of Palaestina Prima, in Latin became Jund Falastin in Arabic and Palaestina Secunda became Jund al-Urdunn.
During the four hundred year Turkish Ottoman rule, which ended in the aftermath of WWI in 1917, the entire Middle East and the Balkans were part of the Ottoman Empire – to which Turkey aspires once again.
It was then that Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine were created by the League of Nations.
"There is no such a country as Palestine. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine' is alien to us. It was the Zionists who introduced it." Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, testifying before the Peel Commission in 1937.
"There is no such a thing as Palestine in history. Absolutely not." Prof. Philip Hitti, Arab historian, testifying before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry at the State Department, Washington DC, 11th January, 1946.
In the 1947 UN Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine between the Jewish and the Arab population, according to the demography, there is no mention of a Palestinian "people" as both Jews and Arabs were Palestinian. The "West Bank" is referred to by the historical, geographical names Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron). The Arab leaders both of Palestine and the entire ME rejected the Partition Plan and the opportunity to establish a State of Palestine, had that been their aim.
"The fact that there are these refugees is the direct result of the action of the Arab states in opposing the partition and the Jewish State. The Arab states agreed on this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem." Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, Beirut Daily Telegraph, 6th September, 1948.
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria." Ahmed Shukiery, U.N. Security Council, 1956.
UN Resolution 242, 22nd November, 1967 (after the Six Day War) makes no mention of Palestine. Nor does it call for the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories acquired by Israel as the result of a war which Israel did not initiate.
"There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel."
-Zuhair Muhsin, then-PLO commander and member of the PLO Executive Committee.
The above quotes are all accurate but they contain facts which annoy those who do not want to have their opinions and theories queried so they are omitted from the narrative.
September promises to be an interesting month so enjoy the (relative) peace and quiet of what is left of August.
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Author of "A Historical Tour of the Holy Land" now out in its third English edition and soon to appear in Russian and Hebrew.
Also author of a regular topical newsletter to a large mailing list and numerous artcles on various subjects.
Compiled brief descriptions of 100 major tourist sites for www.beinharim.co.il