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THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE


THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE




10 FACTS ABOUT THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

FROM: 10 FACTS ABOUT THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
(go to this site for a fuller explanation of each topic and relevant videos)


See also  PORTAL: ISRAEL

______________________________


Fact #1: Jews have been living in Israel continuously for over 3,000 years

Fact #2: One quarter of Israeli citizens are not Jewish

Fact #3: Israel has repeatedly accepted the two state solution

Fact #4: The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about the occupation - it's about the existence of Israel

Fact #5: Arab violence against civilians began long before the occupation

Fact #6: Palestinian leadership actively supported the Nazis during WWII

Fact #7: Arab leaders have been abusing the Palestinians for political gain since the beginning of the conflict

Fact #8: Palestinian children are being brainwashed into hate, martyrdom and genocide

Fact #9: Palestinians are treated differently than all other refugees

Fact #10: Israel is treated differently than all other countries


FACT #1: JEWS HAVE BEEN LIVING IN ISRAEL CONTINUOUSLY FOR OVER 3,000 YEARS

The Jewish people have maintained a well-documented, unbroken presence in Israel for well over 3,000 years, beginning in the 2nd millennium B.C.E., continuing under a long series of Jewish kingdoms and foreign rulers, and through to the modern State of Israel. Conquerors, diplomats, pilgrims and visitors throughout the millennia have left an abundance of references to the Jewish communities living there. Israel is filled with archaeological and historical sites, many of which testify to Jewish life over the centuries. Even the Muslim Qur’an refers to the Jewish people as the “Children of Israel”.

The historical Jewish right to a homeland in Palestine was first recognized by the modern international community (and by Great Britain, which had gained control of the region from the Ottoman Empire during World War I) in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the League of Nations Mandate of 1922. Both of these documents preceded the Nazi Holocaust by decades, thereby disproving more recent (yet widespread) claims according to which Israel's creation was justified not by thousands of years of Jewish history, but rather only by the Holocaust.

FACT #2: ONE QUARTER OF ISRAELI CITIZENS ARE NOT JEWISH

Though Israel was envisioned by the founders of Zionism as a home for the Jewish people after two thousand years of statelessness and persecution, that vision also included coexistence with the local non-Jewish populations. Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, specifically called for integration and warned against racism in his vision of the Jewish state. Ze’ev Jabotinsky, leader of the more nationalistic stream of Zionism, also advocated integrating the local Arab population as equals. In the years leading up to the creation of Israel, both Jews and Arabs who lived in the area benefitted greatly from the improving economy, social services and overall quality of life. In fact, many Arabs immigrated from surrounding areas in pursuit of these benefits.

When Israel was founded in 1948, its Declaration of Independence specifically called on its Arab inhabitants to “participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship”, and on the neighboring Arab countries to “establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help… for the advancement of the entire Middle East”.

Today, non-Jewish citizens of Israel constitute about 25% of the population, with 20% being Arabs. Arab Israelis have equal voting rights and their own political parties, serve on the Israeli Knesset, Cabinet, and Supreme Court; hold diplomatic positions.

FACT #3: ISRAEL HAS REPEATEDLY ACCEPTED THE TWO STATE SOLUTION

In 1947, the U.N. voted to partition the British Mandate of Palestine, in light of its recognition that both Jews and Arabs had legitimate claims to the land. The proposed partition included three areas: a Jewish state, an Arab state, and an internationally administered zone in Jerusalem. The Jewish population accepted, and reaffirmed their intention to coexist peacefully with the Arabs living in the area; the Arab population refused, and responded with riots and violence.

When Israel was established half a year later, its founders officially extended their “hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and [appealed] to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help [...] for the advancement of the entire Middle East”. Those countries responded by launching a war of annihilation on the newborn state. Decades later, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledged the Arab refusal to accept the 1947 partition plan as a "mistake".

Fact #4: The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about the occupation - it's about the existence of Israel

The central issue in the Middle East conflict has never been Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza – rather, it’s the very fact of Israel’s existence.

All major Palestinian organizations are centered around the goal of destroying Israel. The Palestinian National Charter (adopted in 1964 - three years before the Six Day War and the resulting occupation) declares its aim to be “the elimination of Zionism in Palestine”. The PLO's 10 Point Program of 1974 reaffirmed this as the organization's goal. The charters of Hamas and Hezbollah both explicitly state that their goal is to “obliterate” Israel. Even while supposedly negotiating for peace, Palestinian leaders have repeatedly stated that any peace agreement would only be a tactic towards the ultimate goal of eliminating Israel entirely. To this day, Palestinian media routinely broadcast the real Arab wish: to claim all of Israel, not just the West Bank and Gaza.

Arab resistance to the Jewish presence before the occupation, and indeed before the creation of Israel itself, affected not only those Jews who were already living in the region but also European Jews who tried to flee the Nazis (most of whom had nowhere to go but Palestine) and who were prevented from entering due to Arab pressure on the British. These refusals resulted in large-scale tragedies such as the Struma affair.

FACT #5: ARAB VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS BEGAN LONG BEFORE THE OCCUPATION

Contrary to popular myth, Palestinian Arabs had been deliberately targeting Jewish civilians for decades before Israel was even established, and half a century before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The first major attacks on civilians took place in 1920-21, when violent riots erupted in Jerusalem and Jaffa. In 1929, at least 85 Jews were killed in massacres in Hebron and Safed, among other locations; in the early 1930’s, the first Palestinian terror organization, Black Hand, began carrying out attacks against civilians; and during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, violence against civilians became widespread throughout Palestine.

Attacks by Arabs against Jewish civilians continued during the 1948 War, including an ambush on a medical convoy in which 79 Jews – mostly doctors and nurses – were killed, and massacres in Kfar Etzion and Haifa. During the 1950’s and 60’s, terrorists from neighboring Arab countries ("fedayeen") repeatedly infiltrated Israel to attack civilian targets, including a wedding, a synagogue, buses, trains, and civilian homes.

FACT #6: PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE NAZIS DURING WWII

The leader of the Muslims in pre-Israel Palestine, Grand Mufti Mohammad Amin Al-Husayni, was closely allied with, and actively assisted the Nazis throughout the Second World War.

Al-Husayni met with Hitler several times, and was hosted in Berlin as the Nazis’ honored guest for most of WWII. He was given a personal tour of the Auschwitz death camp by Heinrich Himmler, where he reportedly “admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently”. Al-Husayni was also a leader in the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of Muslims for the German SS, and actively worked with the Nazis towards bringing the Holocaust to Palestine, including planning a chemical attack on Jewish civilians in Tel Aviv. Yasser Arafat, the next major Palestinian leader after Al-Husayni, was proud to have served as one of his troops in 1948, and considered him "our hero".

FACT #7: ARAB LEADERS HAVE BEEN ABUSING THE PALESTINIANS FOR POLITICAL GAIN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT

Certainly the most tragic example of Palestinian leaders abusing their own people is their explicit policy of maximizing their own civilian casualties in order to generate worldwide condemnation against Israel. Both Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon intentionally put their own civilians in harm's way by firing rockets from civilian areas, including hospitals, mosques, schools, UN posts, residential areas, and foreign press buildings. Hamas fighters have grabbed children off the streets to use as human shields, made their war headquarters under the largest hospital in Gaza, and booby trapped and stored weapons in schools, zoos, civilian buildings, and even their own homes to maximize the carnage. They have prevented civilians from fleeing, broadcast messages on public television and radio calling on women and children to shield their fighters, and killed Palestinians who tried to resist being abused in this way. Civilians who were injured by Israeli attacks in both Gaza and Lebanon have blamed Palestinian terrorists for intentionally drawing fire to their homes. Several Arab leaders have also blamed Hamas and Hizbullah for dragging the region into conflict, including representatives of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority, among others.

FACT #8: PALESTINIAN CHILDREN ARE BEING BRAINWASHED INTO HATE, MARTYRDOM AND GENOCIDE

“Bombs are more precious than children”; “martyrdom is better than peace”; “it is a Muslim’s duty to kill Jews”: these are the messages Palestinian children get from all directions, including their schools, camps, TV shows, music videos, magazines, and political leaders – some even from their own parents.

FACT #9: PALESTINIANS ARE TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN ALL OTHER REFUGEES

Palestinians who became refugees during the 1948 War were one group among many that were displaced during the 1940’s. Many millions of people, from many different places around the globe, became refugees during this time, including European Jews who had managed to survive the Holocaust, yet still faced continued persecution in their home countries, and up to one million Jews from ancient communities in the Middle East and North Africa, who were expelled, or forced to flee, from their homes as a result of the Arab response to the creation of Israel.

From the start, the Palestinians were dealt with differently than all other refugees. While all others came under the administration of a series of global organizations that eventually became the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Palestinians received their own relief organization: the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). The entire set of criteria for qualifying as a Palestinian refugee was (and still is) significantly different than the criteria applicable to all others. While the UNHCR worked to provide durable solutions for refugees under its administration, Arab leaders intentionally kept the Palestinians in stateless limbo by refusing to accept any solution that did not involve than the complete destruction of the State of Israel.

FACT #10: ISRAEL IS TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN ALL OTHER COUNTRIES

For decades, Israel has been the target of widespread condemnation and criticism, out of all proportion to the severity of its actions in comparison with other countries, and with little to no consideration of the context within which the condemned actions were taken.

The UN Commission for Human Rights, whose members represented some of the most repressive regimes in the world, dedicated such disproportionate efforts to criticizing Israel at the expense of other causes that it was dismantled and replaced, with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stating that "the politicization of its sessions and the selectivity of its work [...] cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole”. Its replacement, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), turned out to be even more biased than its predecessor, and has dedicated overwhelming attention to Israel, while ignoring and blocking criticism of human rights abuses of equal or greater severity – often committed by the council’s own members. Massacres committed by Palestinians against their own population, and war crimes routinely perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis, are similarly ignored.