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With stories of Russian and eastern European pogroms stored in our memory banks, who thought we’d be talking about pogroms in 2021? Like many people, I know that the situation in the Middle East is extremely complex; efforts to oversimplify the issues can distort the facts beyond recognition. But I feel compelled to highlight some key facts that are actually facts, not propaganda. I make no secret of my support of Israel: I’ve lived there, visited there, have friends there, and I can assure you that none of them are terrorists, nor do they wish for anything other than peace. Whether peace can ever be achieved is another story.
What are the facts that I would like to highlight? There are many of them, but I’m choosing to focus on those that I think are central to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
This time is different: pogroms—this is the term that has been used of late, and in spite of the ugliness it suggests, it’s accurate: Jews are being attacked in their neighborhoods, as are their homes, synagogues, and businesses:
Arab citizens of Israel went on a rampage against their Jewish neighbors in the cities of Lod (or Lydda) and Ramle on Tuesday night, setting synagogues on fire, attacking stores, and forcing authorities to evacuate Jewish residents.
The attack, which is being called a ‘pogrom’ (mob violence against Jews) is one of the worst experienced in the region since the 1930s, in the days before Israeli statehood, when Palestinian Arab leader incited locals to attack Jewish communities.
[Italics are mine.]
Not only are Israeli Arabs attacking Jews, but Israeli Jews are responding with violence as well.
Palestinians are not being evicted from homes they own in East Jerusalem—these properties are owned by the Jews and were rented to the Arabs:
In 1875, the chief rabbis of Jerusalem purchased buildings in the neighborhood and registered their purchase with the Ottoman—and later, British—authorities. In 1948, with the Jordanian conquest of the neighborhood, the buildings were listed under Jordan’s ‘Register of Enemy Property’ and leased to local Arabs. After Israel liberated and unified Jerusalem in 1967, the Jewish landowners registered their buildings again with the Israel Land Authority and began a process that has dragged on ever since of attempting to restore sovereign control over their properties. The Arab tenants, for their part, recognized the Israeli Jewish ownership of the buildings in a 1982 lawsuit. But in the ensuing 39 years, they have appealed every court ruling requiring them to vacate the premises.
Only ownership of a home entitles a person to reside in the home; rental agreements are not equivalent to ownership.
As long as Hamas is in charge, Israel’s existence is in jeopardy— Hamas is dedicated to killing the Jews :
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. (Preamble)
Hamas has never shown any interest in modifying its mission, nor any desire to negotiate peace. They see their only option as killing the Jews in Israel.
The Biden Administration has repeatedly supported the Palestinian cause—
The Biden administration is on their [the Palestinian] side. Not only did President Joe Biden restore U.S. funding to the PA despite its funding of terrorism. Over the past month of escalating Palestinian violence against Jews in Jerusalem and other cities around Israel, the Biden administration has embraced the Fatah narrative that Israel is ‘provoking’ the Palestinians to attack Jews because Israel deployed police to the Temple Mount to restore the peace after the Palestinians attacked Jews. The Biden administration has also adopted Fatah’s anti-Semitic claim that Jews have no right to assert their property rights in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem because they are Jews.
Biden and his administration have repeatedly said that Israel has the right to defend itself. Is that supposed to show support for our strongest ally in the Middle East? What does Biden expect them to do?
The Jews have always had a continuous presence in Israel—the people were conquered, with efforts to drive them out over the centuries, but they have never deserted the land:
Nevertheless, even the meagre surviving sources name forty-three Jewish communities in Palestine in the sixth century: twelve towns on the coast, in the Negev, and east of the Jordan, and thirty-one villages in Galilee and in the Jordan valley.
The Jews’ thoughts at every opportunity turned to the hope of national restoration. In the year 351, they launched yet another revolt, provoking heavy retribution. When, in 438, the Empress Eudocia removed the ban on Jews’ praying at the Temple site, the heads of the Community in Galilee issued a call ‘to the great and mighty people of the Jews’ which began: ‘Know that the end of the exile of our people has come.’
There never was a Palestinian state—the idea of a Palestinian state is a fairly modern fiction created for the benefit of the political Left:
An uncomfortable fact for those who advance the claim that the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the area is that they have no history: there was never a state of Palestine, never a King or President of Palestine, never (until quite recently) a Palestinian flag, and nothing that distinguishes the Palestinians culturally, linguistically, or otherwise from the other Arabs of the region.
Although not everyone will agree that these are the most important facts regarding the Middle East situation, they are certainly key points. People love to root for the underdog, however, and now that Israel can take care of its own business, they are considered to be the aggressors and the Palestinians the victims. Until a much clearer and objective understanding of the situation can be presented, Israel’s existence will be threatened.
You may have already heard some of the information I have presented here; you can now check the data behind it and check out some of the footnotes in the articles I referenced.
Israel has the right to exist on its own terms.
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Do not think that I favor disregarding completely the needs of the Palestinians. I do think, however, that if a resolution is ever attempted, it must be done with the facts—not propaganda, not lies, not invented histories. Although the mainstream media thinks it is a party to these negotiations, it is not.
There are issues that cannot be resolved, but there are enough of them to motivate potentially both sides to act in good faith.
If good faith is even possible.Published in