A 3-Layered Approach to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
There are three layers to the Arab-Israeli conflict: the National/Historic, the Religious, and the “What’s right/wrong?” (let’s call it “Justice”) approach. The question of who’s right: the Arabs or the Jews can be answered using this paradigm as a basis for making a judgement call.
The Plishtim (the name “Palestine” is derived from here, but modern day “Palestinians” bear no connection to the Plishtim who lived in Gaza approximately 2,500 years ago) were one of the seven Nations native to the Land of Israel. They lived in Gaza and came into constant military conflict (see the book of Judges, Samuel I, II and the book of Kings–but especially Judges) with the Israelites. Depending on how the Jewish people behaved in the “eyes of G-d” we either succumbed to their pillaging attacks or ruled over them. This lasted for a few hundred years.
The accounts of Samson, Gidon, and Dvorah are the most vivid examples of our encounters with the early Plishtim.
When the Romans conquered the Land of Israel, Emperor Titus added insult to injury by proclaiming that the new name of the Land of Israel (it had been divided into the Kingdoms of Israel and Judea. The tribes of Israel had disappeared due to its evil rulers, and the Land was by now known as the Kingdom of Judea) by renaming it “Palestine,” thus referencing the age-old enemies of the Jews, the Plishtim.
When the first “hallutzim”–Jewish Zionists–began resettling the Land of Israel, they were called “Palestinians.” We were the first “Palestinians” in the modern era. When the hallutzim began arriving en-masse in Palestine, there were about the same number of local Arabs as there were Jews in the Land.
By 1947, there were approximately 600,000 Jews and about the same number of Arabs in the area. A lot of these Arabs were “hired hands” who’d immigrated to Palestine from neighboring countries such as Jordan and Egypt in search of work.
When the War of Independence broke out in 1948, the local Arabs headed the call of the Arab world and fled Israel. They were told that the Arab armies would drown the Jews in the sea, and that they (the local Arabs) would be able to return to their homes within a few days–at most a few weeks.
The Jews won, then won some more, and the Arabs realized that the “Palestinian” “refugees” were their best and only weapon in their fight to annihilate the Jewish State. Thus, began the “Palestinian” “refugee” crisis. This is a totally fabricated, man-made problem that could have been avoided had the Arab world resettled the Arab refugees instead of forcing them into “refugee camps.” These camps, as a matter of fact, attract thousands of newcomers every year because UNRWA (an anti-Semitic body of the UN) sponsors these “camps.”
In all honesty, there is no “Palestinian refugee crisis” just like there is no need for “Palestinian refugees” to return to their “homes” in “Palestine.” We need to come to the realization that war is war; that in any war there are winners and losers. The so-called “Palestinians” need to realize that we won and they lost but the most important thing is for us to realize this.
The Religious Approach
There are too many quotes in the Old Testament to quote them all, but suffice it to say, all major Jewish commentaries attest to the complete ownership of the Land of Israel by the Jewish people. Just to name a few of the notary Biblical scholars who talk about this (in no particular order): the Ramban, the Rambam, Rashi, Abarbanel, Ha’Rav Yehuda Ha’levi, Ha’Gra, Ha’baal Shem Tov, Rashbi, the Lubavitcher Rebbi: some of the best known Torah scholars from all the different segments of the Jewish world.
G-d’s telling Avraham to leave his native land and sojourn to the “Land that I shall show you,” and his subsequent bequeathing of the entire Land to Avraham’s offsprings, leaves no doubt whom the Land belongs to. The first Rashi in the Torah talks about the fact that whereas we could claim that the entire world was created for the sake of the Jewish people, the Biblical dialogue begins with the Creation of the world in order to prove that the Land of Israel was created solely for the Jews.
The battle for the Land of Israel has always been–and will always be–the decisive battle for who really “rules” the world. The Christians and the Muslims understand this perhaps better than we do. They realize that whoever holds the keys to the Holy Land will hold the keys to the rest of the world. But whereas, we, Jews, lay no claim to anywhere but our ancestral homeland, the Christians and Muslims have dreams of ruling the rest of the world, and while the Christians have undergone much change over the past few centuries, the Muslims have degenerated into a religion of genocide.
The Christians’ and Muslims’ holy texts espouse on their claims to the Land of Israel and they are neither willing to–or would be allowed by their constituency–to let up on these. This is because, like I said, whoever has control of Israel, has control of the world. And it is true: we, Jews, rule the world because we rule Israel. Whether we use our power for the good–or for the evil is entirely our choice.
The Justice Approach
Who’s “right”: we, the Jews who “settle” lands that belonged to our forefathers, that were included in the future State of Israel under the Balfour Declaration, who try to lead normative lives and build a peaceful future for our kids, or the “Palestinians” who murder our sons and daughters almost on a daily basis and whose end goal is the annihilation of the Jewish people. They–the modern day Nazis (this is an extremely accurate comparison)–or we, the modern day Allies who prevented the Nazis from destroying the world?
Those who claim that we’re “stealing” lands that never belonged to us, have not studied history. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be about religion. History alone proves us right. Not only that, but we’re right–and they’re wrong. No two ways about it. Those who want to “boycott Israel” because we’re hurting poor, innocent “Palestinians” are using this as a cover-up for their inbred anti-Semitism.
The world couldn’t care less about the “Palestinians” who are, according to the Arab world “the garbage of the Middle East.” They wouldn’t mind if we woke up tomorrow, and they had disappeared all of a sudden. Most people who want Israel to “stop the occupation of Palestine” are masking their anti-Semitism by speaking out for “Palestinian” human rights–and they have more rights in Israel than in any Arab country.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line? I wish I had an answer to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Unfortunately, I don’t. I don’t think that a “Two-State Solution” is plausible, and I’m against transfer. I think that most likely, there will be another big war with the Arab world, and the “Palestinians” will support the Arabs after which we’ll be forced to kick them out (this includes a majority of Israeli Arabs). I certainly hope we don’t have another way and this doesn’t take place, but it would make life easier for us in the long run. I think Bibi is mostly doing a good job keeping the status quo in place. We’ll just have to live and see what happens…