9.2 Israel: Who is Occupying Whom?

Here is a map of Israel in biblical times.  Israel was made up of the tribes you see on the map.

Many textbooks in American schools portray Israel as a country that occupies Palestinian land and that oppresses the Palestinians.  You may wonder how the land of Israel became called Palestinian land.  In 132 CE Rome invaded Israel and changed its name to Syria Palaestina.  The Muslims conquered Palestine from the Romans in the year 635 A.D. about 2300 years after the birth of the Jewish state of Israel. 

 

There were many conquests of Palestine since then.  You can see a list of them by clicking here.  From 1070-1080 the Turks (known as Ottomans) conquered Palestine and then in World War 1 the Ottomans were defeated and the British gained control of the area.  The British with international approval granted a Jewish National Homeland to the Jews whose boundaries for the most part followed the boundaries of ancient Israel. 

In 1923 the British cut out 75% of the Jewish National Home to create the Muslim Palestinian State of trans-Jordan.  It was called that because it was on the other side of the Jordan river.  Today people call the country of trans-Jordan just Jordan.

One would think that by doing this Britain would have prevented any conflict between Muslims and Jews, afterall Britain created a Palestinian state which was 3/4 of the Jewish National Home.  However the Muslims didn't want Israel to exist at all.  After Israel declared independence in 1948 the surrounding Arab countries attacked.   The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha predicted that this would be "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."  It would have been if Israel hadn't won.  Although Israel won, Jordan was able to seize Judea and Samaria which is land on the west bank of the Jordan river.  That land is also called the West Bank by people who don't want to call it by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria.  You can see the West Bank in the map below.

 

In 1967 the Arabs prepared to annihilate Israel again but Israel struck first and defeated them and won back Judea and Samaria in just 6 days even though the Arab armies outnumbered the Israeli army by more than 2 to 1.    The Arabs who lived in Judea and Samaria switched back from calling themselves Jordanians to calling themselves Palestinians.  Zuheir Mohsein a member of the Supreme Council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization explained why they did.



He explained:

"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, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity.

So the Muslim Arabs created a separate Palestinian identity to gain world sympathy and to convince the world that they were a small people whose country has been taken away by the powerful and wicked Israeli people.  Nevermind that the Muslims occupy a land whose area is greater than that of the United States.  Never mind that Israel is only the size of New Jersey.  The Arab Muslims also convinced the world that the Jews were occupying their land.  The Muslims invaded and occupied Israel in 635 A.D..  Jewish settlement of the land of Israel dates back to the time of Abraham which is 1700 years B.C..  Jews were there 2300 years before the Muslims invaded.  It was the Arab Muslims who occupied Israel.  Despite that Israelis have allowed the Palestinian Authority to be in charge of the Palestinian Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria.  The Palestinian authority oppresses the Palestinians who they rule over.  Arabs who live in the rest of Israel are a lot better off than those who live in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

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Arab protestors often chant "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free".  Wouldn't that be a good thing?

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