This special edition explodes the “Israeli Occupation” myth.
On this, the date of the infamous U.N. vote to establish a Palestinian state, I want to set the record straight regarding the claims of Israeli occupation with a short history lesson.
The Balfour Declaration
At the end of World War I the great Ottoman Empire came to an end. After the war, the Allied Forces divided up its land into separate new nations. The war left the British in control of the entire area known as Palestine. In 1917 Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, promising to aid in the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in the area known as Palestine. A League of Nations mandate in 1922 reinforced the idea. The area under consideration for such a homeland consisted of Israel’s traditional biblical borders west of the Jordan River as well as most of what is now Jordan east of the Jordan River.
No Palestinian State
While the entire region was referred to as “Palestine,” there was no mention of a Palestinian state, for there were no people in the region who referred to themselves as Palestinians. There was no Palestinian land for any foreign power to “occupy,” no Palestinian culture to be “disrupted,” and no Palestinian people to be “oppressed.” Non-Jews were primarily Arabs and were referred to as such.
Despite the promises to Israel, Great Britain gave away 80% of what was considered “Palestine” to the Arabs as a thank-you gift for their assistance in fighting Germany and the Turks. This is how Jordan came into existence. The land remaining for Israel was less than half of what was originally promised, and was all on the west side of the Jordan River.
Palestinian State Offered
On February 14, 1947, the British officially turned the fate of the residents of Palestine over to the United Nations. The U.N. General Assembly voted to further divide the portion remaining (after the creation of Jordan) into a Jewish state and an Arab state with an international zone in Jerusalem. Israel reluctantly accepted the offer. The Arabs wanted no part of the plan. A “Palestinian state” had been offered, considered, and refused.
Israeli Independence Day
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. In defiance of UN Resolution 181, the surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel. Most Arabs living in Israel (around 600,000) voluntarily fled to the West Bank, the area offered as a Palestinian state. They expected to return to their homes after the invading Arab armies had pushed all the Israelis into the Mediterranean.
To everyone’s surprise, Israel won the war. The surrounding 80 million Arabs could have easily absorbed the West Bank “refugees” into their countries, but chose to leave them there to show the world what the “Zionist Imperialists” did to those poor people. With no assistance from their Arab brothers, these people spent the next 19 years living in mud huts, fed and clothed by the United Nations. Much of that aid money came from the United States. This is how most “Palestinians” came to be in the West Bank. It was during this war that Syria captured the Golan Heights. For 19 years, Syria used this strategic mountain range to shell Israeli kibbutz sites around the Sea of Galilee.
An Armistice Line of 1949 was established, but the Arab leaders claimed it had “no political significance.” Their claim, therefore, applied to the West Bank and Jerusalem, which Jordan took and held throughout the war. Despite Jordan’s “occupation” of the West Bank, Israel’s claim to the region has been recognized by the entire international community until “Israeli occupation” claims began in recent years.
Israel Victorious in 1967 War
In 1967 Israel carried out preemptive air strikes against Egypt and Syria after learning of their plans to attack Israel. Despite Egypt’s losses, President Nasser convinced King Hussein of Jordan to attack Israel. When Jordan attacked, Israel responded. When the fighting ceased, Israel had taken the West Bank and Jerusalem from Jordan. To the south, she had seized the Sinai back from Egypt (which she would ultimately give back as part of a peace settlement). To the north, she had taken the Golan Heights from Syria.
Fast forward to today. The world is trying to force Israel back to what is being called the pre-’67 borders. As we have seen, they are really referring to the Armistice Lines of 1949 which were never universally recognized. As far as the West Bank is concerned, Israel was first recognized as the legal owner. Jordan occupied it after it joined in the war in direct violation of UN Resolution 181. When Jordan attacked again in 1967, Israel took it back in a defensive struggle.
To this day, there is no such thing as a Palestinian people with a Palestinian culture and a Palestinian language. They never had a land of their own for Israel to occupy. If any nation was an occupier, it was Jordan. Therefore, all claims of Israeli occupation, especially in the West Bank, are not based on the historical record, and are, in fact, based only on a desire to promote anti-Semitism.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
He who laughs last thinks slowest.