|The courtyard of the Supreme Court of Israel, |
intended as a physical representation of the
verse from Psalm 85:11: “Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven”
The 'ancestral homeland' of any people is of little interest to me, or of relevance to the issue... but since that's not the case with most people, a couple points are in order.
First, no political entity from ancient times has persisted in any real form into modernity... with the partial exception, if give extremely generous leeway and multiple exceptions, of Egypt. If we look beyond mere genetic attributes, the reliance upon which amounts to the very definition of racism, only the Jews have any meaningful connection with the people who lived in that area in ancient times, their connection of course being that of the Jewish religion and through which they had a political presence in the area up through the time of the Romans.
The peoples populating the Arab and Persian peoples (with the exception of a few pockets of highly persecuted peoples, Zoroastrians, etc, who have no significant political presence or influence today), have absolutely no connection to those inhabiting the middle eastern region today. The political affiliations which existed during those times were wiped out well over a thousand years ago. The religious beliefs of the peoples who live there in ancient times, were thoroughly assaulted and stamped out by those bearing the beliefs of those who live there today, during the brutal expansion of the Islamic crusades (tweak) which followed the founding of Islam in 7th century, which includes what historian Will Durant described as the 'bloodiest period in all of human history', when the Islamic crusaders invaded and took possession of India and that portion of it that is known today as Pakistan (sorry, Pock-eess-stahn...not).
In fact, for those who'd like to make an issue of 'ancestral homelands', the dominant political and religious views of those who had centuries worth of established history in the area with political states having unbroken links stretching back to the time of the Romans, were those of the kingdoms and states which were avowedly Christian in their religious affiliation, and the defense of which the original European Crusaders sought to protect from the Islamic invaders.
In fact, if you insist on making a case for returning lands to the 'ancestral owners' of the region, then by your own views, the Islamic invaders who currently occupy the regions of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Byzantium (now Turkey), should be expelled immediately, and a 'right of return' instantly extended to the persecuted Christians and Armenians who still endure living under their oppressive control today, throughout the area.
I'll assume that dispenses with any argument for ancestral rights.
Modern Middle East
Fast forward to modern times, the relevant political considerations of the area today stem from the period following WWI, when the victors, primarily meaning Britain and France, created the current states out of the territories once controlled by the defeated Turks. The political states we know of today as Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, came into being from the decisions of the Western powers, which after some juggling of other assorted regional conflicts, also included Arab Transjordan and Egypt. There was serious discussions in the early years of creating a Jewish state (of much more sensible borders than those decided upon in 1948), but for reasons of one political maneuver or another, it wasn't followed through on.
Any discussion of Palestinian lands, on the other hand, as a supposed political entity, has no equivalent basis in fact; they were given no such status in any serious considerations on the part of the Western powers who were responsible for creating the modern middle east. The Palestinians were nothing more than an ethnic subset of Arabs, predominantly living in the area of Transjordan, and even prior to WWI, had no political standing there, no such place as a 'Palestinian State' (a name first given the region by the Romans in 200 a.d., redefining the region as punishment to the Jews for one of their revolts against them) as a homeland for ethnic Palestinian Arabs has ever existed in the area (Wiki has a decent history of the area from ancient times to present).
Those who we call the Palestinians today have no more claim to any parts of the region than do the Jews, who also, and in the same way, had been living in the same general area, in and amongst them, for well over three thousand. Additionally, beginning in the late 19th century, the region saw an influx of European Jews who began migrating to the general area of their legendary homeland, bringing Western political and economically productive ideas and benefits with them, ideas which greatly enhanced the lands and prosperity of both peoples. But in any case, these two ethnic peoples, and others, populated the region with neither of them having had established any political claims to it.
IOW, neither people has any better claim, based upon their ethnic identities or political realities, to any part of the region on the basis of their ethnicity alone.
After WWII, the victorious Western powers, under the auspices of the U.N., and with the severe persecution of the Nazi Holocaust in mind, and some distressingly guilty thoughts of what might have been had they followed through with their proposals for a Jewish state after WWI, the Western powers felt it was time to redraw the political lines of the middle east, lines which of course were originally drawn by them, to include a political state surrounding the areas which currently (then), and historically, had a large population of Jews.
The new design wasn't a particularly generous allotment of land, it included none of the oil producing wealth of the region - wealth discovered and produced by Western interests alone btw, - it wasn't even a contiguous allotment of land; it consisted of three odd splinters of desert along the Mediterranean and Sinai, as well as control of a portion of the Jewish holy city of Jerusalem.
It was an odd, I'd say almost ridiculous token of acknowledgment, a way to soothe guilt without costing too much to the powers that be, but the fact of the matter is that it was undertaken by those who had the power to do it, those who had created all of the other states in the region as well, drawn from an area consisting of Arabs and Jews. The population numbers vary depending upon who you talk to, but saying that they were roughly equal population densities isn't far from the mark. Even so, in the agreements which created Israel, there was actually a prohibition against Jews inserted into it, barring them from settling in parts of the area which we now know of as Jordan.
There was not a similar prohibition against Arabs living in the region to be known as Israel, though. IOW, the Jews living in Jordan, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands, were 'legally' forced to vacate that state, while the Palestinian Arabs had no such prohibition against them from remaining in the new state of Israel.
Even so, rather than accepting the lines of the new Jewish state, which were drawn in such a way as to greatly benefit the regional Arabs, at more than a little discomfort to, as well as mandated expulsion of Jews, the Arab states did what Arab states have long established a propensity for doing: they worked themselves into an hysterical lather, and the five neighboring states not only declared war upon the new state of Israel - which was just as much a product of Western political design as their own states - but declared their intent to slaughter and/or drive into the sea, the area's entire population of Jews.
The amassed Arab states (nearly a half century old) invaded the tiny, splintered, non contiguous lands of the newly created, one day old, state of Israel.
How's that for fair dealings?
The darkly laughable result of their tribal hostility, was that, though created by the West, and benefiting from Western productions in oil, etc,, they had none of the abilities inherent in those who have adopted Western ideas of political, industrial and economic ideas (Japan, for instance) - they thought and fought under the leading of their tribal traditions, and though supplied with the fruits of Western materials - tanks, guns, etc - they were embarrassingly beaten by the tiny enclave of Jews, who were deeply infused with (not surprisingly, since the West is typically described as being a Greco-Roman/Judeo Christian culture) Western ideas of political, economic and military organization.
In short, the Jewish David kicked the ass of the amassed Arab Goliath, all across the desert sands.
The unreasoning Arab bluster resulted in a lopsided beating which still pains them today, as it should. They looked ridiculous. Better still, they should have learned from it. Fat chance. They wouldn't even admit to being beaten, and asserted that they were still in a state of war with Israel.
Fine. They made their choice, and have had to live with the shame of it ever since.
Some other choices were made that bear heavily on the situation today. The ethnic Palestinians who, under their own free will, chose not to stand in and with Israel, but to leave in order to join with the invaders in expectations of slaughtering and annihilating the Jewish state, found themselves, of their own free will, and as a result of a stupid choice, homeless.
Having abandoned the lands they could have remained in, they had only the other areas where they had a ethnic association with, to move to. Did that happen? No.
While hundreds of thousands of ethnic Jews were forced to flee the lands they'd long lived in within the Arab holdings, and with the still standing state of Israel being the only choice open to them, they settled there.
The Palestinians, could have, and should have done the same. Problem was, their Arab brothers didn't want them and wouldn't allow them to settle in their lands. The Palestinians, arguably a sizable ethnic population, didn't even follow the lead of the Jews, and petition for a state of their own, to be drawn around their greatest area of population density, and neither would their Arab brothers have allowed them to if they had.
Jordan, with no more standing than having helped to launch a war which they humiliatingly lost, annexed what is known as the West Bank, for themselves, though not for the Palestinians.
Israel, from the position of having been invaded by every one of their Arab neighbors, and having victoriously and resoundingly beat them back, took possession of the lands between their bizarre original boundaries, and made themselves a contiguous state.
West vs. Mid-East.
By any reading of history and the rules of war, the Arab states overplayed their hand, blundered in a military venture, and lost, and their intended victim, having beaten them back, understandably and completely justifiably, solidified and secured their state. Having attempted to live by the rule of force, they can not now lay claim to benefits through the rule of reason. There is no justifiable claim on the part of the Arab states in general, or of the ethnic Palestinian Arabs in particular, to even one square inch of Israeli lands.
They attacked, they lost, they need to deal with it, as best as their primitive tribal beliefs will allow. Sadly... the intervening history is a demonstration of how well their culture enables them to do so.
Israel, is a product of Western actions, not only in the creation of their political boundaries, as are the existing Arab states, but in their philosophical and religious understandings, they are a solid member of, and outpost of , the West, in a hostile middle east.
To be sure, especially in their original political ideals, the Israeli state was a product of some of the worst of Western ideals, having originally chosen a socialistic political structure, but Western they were and remain. Ideas such as the rule of law live in Israel, as they are nowhere else (meaningfully) to be found in the entire region.
And being Western to their core, when faced with the reality of the inherent failure of socialistic ideals, Israel has moved more and more towards a market based society and greater and greater respect for the property rights of its citizens, Jew and Arab, and have enjoyed the prosperity such choices typically bring. They have a long way to go, IMHO, but even so they are markedly and thoroughly Western to their core.
That is what I stand with. That is what every Western nation should see first and foremost in regards to any political considerations between Arabs states and Israel, and of course any self aware citizen of the West should do the same, not out of loyalty to those of like mind, but out of regard to the facts and the ideals of individual rights which so many today only mouth a regard for. In Israel, and only in Israel, freedom and liberty and the rule of law have a home, and that is always, Always, worth defending, anywhere and everywhere such a state may be found.
Today, such a state is found in Israel.
If any remaining defender of multicultural idiocy remains, the unyielding demonstrations of the unreasoning Arab claims against them, their enthusiastic endorsement for terrorist assaults upon civilians, their insistence on ethnic, tribal and religious retribution against a political entity which stands for individual rights, must be denounced and brushed aside with the only merit it deserves: None.
The Arab states, not content with their previous humiliation, continued their 'state of war' against Israel, periodically attempting to put their actions where their rants were, and remarkably losing even more wars against Israel, which, as a result of Arab belligerence, idiocy and incompetence, continued to grow in size, thanks to their losses. Through their primitive tribal designs and military incompetence, in the wars of 1967 and 1973, they enabled the Israeli state to grow well beyond its original, and untenable, boundaries.
Egypt, finally seeing some shred of reason under Anwar Sadat, partially woke up to the futility of their position and agreed on a peace with Israel, and in recognition of which Israel gave back much of the land Egypt had lost to them.
Should any other state or peoples choose to acknowledge the Right of Israel to exist, Israel has made it clear that they would be willing to discuss peaceful terms and even (unwisely, I think) consider yielding some lands back to them. The Arabs have not, and so have no, none, zero, claim to them. Israel has a Right to exist, and not only is that right theirs from the same political sources which their surrounding Arab states derive their political form from, but by recourse to the far greater justification being that they are a state which respects the individual rights of those within its boundaries, a state which is established upon the rule of law and recognition of their citizens political and property rights of everyone, Jew or Arab alike, including the right of representation, which several elected members of the Israeli government demonstrate by dint of being Arabs themselves.
Needless to say there is no such equivalent measures extended to Jews in the Arab states.
As such, any claims, whether of political or ethnic enthusiasms, made against the people and state of Israel, have no legitimate standing and are unworthy of any consideration or claim at all. I dismiss them out of hand, without apology, and with only that amount of respect as they deserve: none.
To stand with Israel, to insist on its right to exist, and its right to dispense with the lands under its control as it deems fit, is the only position open to those who might wish to hold a credible claim to believing in Individual Rights and the rule of law themselves.
Any leader, one of which is unfortunately President of the United States of America, who doesn't see that as the primary consideration at hand, or who seeks to flatter and appease the tribal and savage claims of those opposing Israel at their expense, puts themselves at odds with the interests of Western Culture and in serious opposition to the interests of the United States of America, whose people have longstanding and valuable property interests in the region, and who would reap nothing but harm and violence should Israel falter or fall.
That's where I stand, with America, with the West, and with Israel.
How about you?