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Twenty facts about Israel and the Middle East$515

On April 24, 2002, Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp, and Jeane Kirkpatrick issued an open memorandum (attached below) about Israel and the Middle East. These 20 facts will help serve as a primer for those trying to understand the historical context of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The world's attention has been focused on the Middle East. We are confronted daily with scenes of carnage and destruction. Can we understand such violence? Yes, but only if we come to the situation with a solid grounding in the facts of the matter-facts that too often are forgotten, if ever they were learned. Below are twenty facts that we think are useful in understanding the current situation, how we arrived here, and how we might eventually arrive at a solution.

Roots of the Conflict


When the United Nations proposed the establishment of two states in the region--one Jewish, one Arab--the Jews accepted the proposal and declared their independence in 1948. The Jewish state constituted only 1/6 of one percent of what was known as "the Arab world." The Arab states, however, rejected the UN plan and since then have waged war against Israel repeatedly, both all-out wars and wars of terrorism and attrition. In 1948, five Arab armies invaded Israel in an effort to eradicate it. Jamal Husseini of the Arab Higher Committee spoke for many in vowing to soak "the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood."


The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964--three years before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO's declared purpose was to eliminate the State of Israel by means of armed struggle. To this day, the Web site of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that the entirety of Israel is "occupied" territory.* It is impossible to square this with the PLO and PA assertions to Western audiences that the root of the conflict is Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.


The West Bank and Gaza (controlled by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967) came under Israeli control during the Six Day War of 1967 that started when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and Arab armies amassed on Israel's borders to invade and liquidate the state. It is important to note that during their 19-year rule, neither Jordan nor Egypt had made any effort to establish a Palestinian state on those lands. Just before the Arab nations launched their war of aggression against the State of Israel in 1967, Syrian Defense Minister (later President) Hafez Assad stated, "Our forces are now entirely ready . . . to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland . . . the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." On the brink of the 1967 war, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser declared, "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel."


Because of their animus against Jews, many leaders of the Palestinian cause have long supported our enemies. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem allied himself with Adolf Hitler during WWII. Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO and president of the PA, has repeatedly targeted and killed Americans. In 1973, Arafat ordered the execution of Cleo Noel, the American ambassador to the Sudan. Arafat was very closely aligned with the Soviet Union and other enemies of the United States throughout the Cold War. In 1991, during the Gulf War, Arafat aligned himself with Saddam Hussein, whom he praised as "the defender of the Arab nation, of Muslims, and of free men everywhere."


Israel has, in fact, returned most of the land that it captured during the 1967 war and right after that war offered to return all of it in exchange for peace and normal relations; the offer was rejected. As a result of the 1978 Camp David accords--in which Egypt recognized the right of Israel to exist and normal relations were established between the two countries--Israel returned the Sinai desert, a territory three times the size of Israel and 91 percent of the territory Israel took control of in the 1967 war.


In 2000, as part of negotiations for a comprehensive and durable peace, Israel offered to turn over all but the smallest portion of the remaining territories to Yasir Arafat. But Israel was rebuffed when Arafat walked out of Camp David and launched the current intifada.


Yasir Arafat has never been less than clear about his goals-at least not in Arabic. On the very day that he signed the Oslo accords in 1993--in which he promised to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel--he addressed the Palestinian people on Jordanian television and declared that he had taken the first step "in the 1974 plan." This was a thinly-veiled reference to the "phased plan," according to which any territorial gain was acceptable as a means toward the ultimate goal of Israel's destruction.


The recently deceased Faisal al-Husseini, a leading Palestinian spokesman, made the same point in 2001 when he declared that the West Bank and Gaza represented only "22 percent of Palestine" and that the Oslo process was a "Trojan horse." He explained, "When we are asking all the Palestinian forces and factions to look at the Oslo Agreement and at other agreements as 'temporary' procedures, or phased goals, this means that we are ambushing the Israelis and cheating them." The goal, he continued, was "the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea," i.e., the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea-all of Israel.


To this day, the Fatah wing of the PLO (the "moderate" wing that was founded and is controlled by Arafat himself) has as its official emblem the entire state of Israel covered by two rifles and a hand grenade--another fact that belies the claim that Arafat desires nothing more than the West Bank and Gaza.


While criticism of Israel is not necessarily the same as "anti-Semitism," it must be remembered that the Middle East press is, in fact, rife with anti-Semitism. More than fifteen years ago the eminent scholar Bernard Lewis could point out that "The demonization of Jews [in Arabic literature] goes further than it had ever done in Western literature, with the exception of Germany during the period of Nazi rule." Since then, and through all the years of the "peace process," things have become much worse. Depictions of Jews in Arab and Muslim media are akin to those of Nazi Germany, and medieval blood libels--including claims that Jews use Christian and Muslim blood in preparing their holiday foods--have become prominent and routine. One example is a sermon broadcast on PA television where Sheik Ahmad Halabaya stated, "They [the Jews] must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty said: 'Fight them: Allah will torture them at your hands.' Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them."


Over three-quarters of Palestinians approve of suicide bombings-an appalling statistic but, in light of the above facts, an unsurprising one.

The State of Israel


There are 21 Arab countries in the Middle East and only one Jewish state: Israel, which is also the only democracy in the region. ·


Israel is the only country in the region that permits citizens of all faiths to worship freely and openly. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are not Jewish.


While Jews are not permitted to live in many Arab countries, Arabs are granted full citizenship and have the right to vote in Israel. Arabs are also free to become members of the Israeli parliament (the Knesset). In fact, several Arabs have been democratically elected to the Knesset and have been serving there for years. Arabs living in Israel have more rights and are freer than most Arabs living in Arab countries.


Israel is smaller than the state of New Hampshire and is surrounded by nations hostile to her existence. Some peace proposals--including the recent Saudi proposal--demand withdrawal from the entire West Bank, which would leave Israel 9 miles wide at its most vulnerable point.


The oft-cited UN Resolution 242 (passed in the wake of the 1967 war) does not, in fact, require a complete withdrawal from the West Bank. As legal scholar Eugene Rostow put it, "Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until 'a just and lasting peace in the Middle East' is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces 'from territories' it occupied during the Six-Day War--not from 'the' territories nor from 'all' the territories, but from some of the territories."


Israel has, of course, conceded that the Palestinians have legitimate claims to the disputed territories and is willing to engage in negotiations on the matter. As noted above, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered almost all of the territories to Arafat at Camp David in 2000.


Despite claims that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are the obstacle to peace, Jews lived there for centuries before being massacred or driven out by invading Arab armies in 1948-49. And contrary to common misperceptions, Israeli settlements--which constitute less than two percent of the territories--almost never displace Palestinians.


The area of the West Bank includes some of the most important sites in Jewish history, among them Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jericho. East Jerusalem, often cited as an "Arab city" or "occupied territory," is the site of Judaism's holiest monument. While under Arab rule (1948-67), this area was entirely closed to Jews. Since Israel took control, it has been open to people of all faiths.


Finally, let us consider the demand that certain territories in the Muslim world must be off-limits to Jews. This demand is of a piece with Hitler's proclamation that German land had to be "Judenrein" (empty of Jews). Arabs can live freely throughout Israel, and as full citizens. Why should Jews be forbidden to live or to own land in an area like the West Bank simply because the majority of people is Arab?

In sum, a fair and balanced portrayal of the Middle East will reveal that one nation stands far above the others in its commitment to human rights and democracy as well as in its commitment to peace and mutual security. That nation is Israel.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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Myths & Facts Online
Myths & Facts Online --

Edited by Mitchell G. Bard

(Zionsake Eitor: Reality is what God has decided about Israel)

A Sense of Reality

By Moshe Feiglin  02 March 2004

Fifty-six years ago the Jews decided to establish a state. America, which initially supported the idea, sensed the Arab opposition and retracted its support. The entire world stood aside and left the tiny Jewish country to its fate. They all waited to see how seven Arab armies would continue from the point where Rommel was halted in El Alamein, and add to the six million Jews murdered in Europe another six hundred thousand Jews in Eretz Israel. An embargo was imposed on the sales of arms to the new Jewish State which attempted to defend itself. Weapons purchased by Jews in the US (from Second World War surplus stocks) were confiscated in the port of New Jersey before they could be sent to Eretz Israel.

There had never before been such a desperate, dangerous, and hopeless attempt to establish a state. Only a few of the 600 Jews taken prisoner by the Arabs in the War of Independence remained alive. The Arabs made no effort to hide their intentions regarding the fate of the Jews during that war (or during the wars that followed it).

They were sentenced to death with terrible cruelty. The leader of the Arabs in Eretz Israel, Haj Amin el Husseini (the same family) received training in German concentration camps for the construction of gas chambers. An area had already been allocated for the death camps to be constructed in Eretz Israel, in a special place in the Dotan Valley, not far from my home in Karnei Shomron where I am writing this.

Against all the odds, the State of Israel arose and became a well-established and strong country in the region.

Over the last ten years the entire world, led by Israel itself, has been attempting to establish another state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, an Arab state for the same Husseinis.

However, in contrast to the case of the Jews, this time the entire world is enthusiastically supporting the idea. Not merely supporting, but raising funds for the Arabs, and supplying weapons. The CIA is training the terrorists in special camps.

They are given well equipped military bases, international recognition, support from the media, and ports and airports are being built for them.

Never before has an ethnic group of any kind received a country on such a red carpet.

But, amazingly, the Arab state in Eretz Israel is not being established.

It seems that reality in Eretz Israel has its own rules: it is directly linked to the wishes of the Creator. Whatever matches His wishes is realistic, even if the entire world is recruited in order to do the opposite. This is of course true at all times, but in our time, in Eretz Israel, the Holy Land, it is felt immediately.

Again and again the apparently "realistic" people are hitting our heads against the wall. They think that their brand of logic matches reality. For them the country is only a piece of real estate (as Rabin said about the Golan Heights), a bargaining counter for negotiations. Those who do not take the Creator's wishes into account, are denying reality, and the price of the denial by our leaders is unbearable.

We know that there is always hope for Israel. We know that our Father in Heaven has not returned us to our country for the third time in order to destroy the renewed Jewish presence in the land of the Patriarchs. The latest version of the Return to Zion is not a macabre joke of the Creator.

So why do we need Manhigut Yehudit? After all, everything will turn out all right anyway.

It is possible to regard belief as something divorced from reality. Such a religious attitude characterized the Jewish people through the exile until the appearance of Zionism, and it still characterizes important sections of it. This disconnected attitude is not a real Jewish one, and it led entire Jewish communities to destruction during the period of the Holocaust. Those Jews who believed that the Jewish people would return to their country in a miraculous way were right, but what a terrible price was paid for belief divorced from reality.

Authentic Jewish belief is not divorced from reality. On the contrary, it defines reality and obligates us to act in order to realize it.

Reality is the wishes of the Creator in His world. The reality is that there is G-d, that there is a nation indicating Him by its very existence, and that there is a country chosen by G-d for His nation only, and that only in it and from it the sons of the Creator can carry out their universal mission.

This is the reality, and our task is to expose it and realize it.

There is at the moment only one political body acting in coordination with this reality.
This is Manhigut Yehudit. This correlation with reality is becoming clear even to those who were opposed to the movement in the beginning. Like a surfer who rides the wave instead of fighting it, Manhigut Yehudit correctly understands the reality and is advancing Israel and the Jewish people towards a safe shore.

Join in the wonderful challenge of Manhigut Yehudit and avoid unnecessary suffering for our people.

Be realistic, and join Manhigut Yehudit [Likud faction].

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Our Bodies are Lying Here

By Moshe Feiglin
Wed, 19 May 2004

Hebron will never be Joden rhein

As a result of a terrible explosion, that split our body into six million parts that were dispersed throughout the continent of Europe, the State of Israel was born.

Only such a terrible explosion could have overcome the critical mass of anti-Semitism and led it to that moment of grace on November 29, 1947. Afterwards the Americans and the Soviets changed their minds, but it was too late – the State of Israel has been born.

Israel exists by virtue of a rare historic moment in which Western/Christian morality precisely matched reality at the right second. Every clock indicates the right time at least twice a day, but this clock has a million hands and they all fit into place in that historical moment, and the UN Partition Plan Resolution was passed.

Immediately afterwards all the hands started moving again and the world was stuck with us. For 56 years the nations of the world have been attempting to get rid of us, each in his own way. Those who think that only the Arabs and the Poles act like this are invited to join the long lines of people waiting to buy tickets for Mel Gibson's new film in New York, or to join the workers removing the swastikas from the walls of the prestigious homes of Jews in Toronto, or the policeman permanently guarding the entrance to the synagogue in Melbourne, Australia. We need hardly mention what is happening in France and Belgium.

According to the morality of the Gentiles, only when our bodies are dispersed in every direction, revealed to the light of day in the most horrible way possible, are we in the right. This is our basic ethos, our starting event. Here we built the Israeli Temple. We called it "Yad Vashem", and every time an important personage arrives we take him there for a visit. For the last 56 years we have tried to freeze the unique second in which the hands of the clock were matching. We have no morality other than yours, but come and see our dispersed bodies, see how right we are, see how justified is the existence of our country.

And so for 56 years IDF soldiers have paid the price of our flight from ourselves, the price of the Christian morality we have adopted. The weak party is in the right, the martyr may retaliate, but only with his last gasp, or preferably later.

Our bodies are lying here, in a million parts. Because it's immoral to cut off electricity to a neighborhood in which they're manufacturing Kasam missiles. Because it's immoral to demolish houses of Arabs in Rafiah.

Because how can we endanger the Egyptian "peace" with a demand to guard the entrances to their tunnels. Because it's immoral to bomb a lathe above which an innocent old woman is living. Because we have to send a soldier to give her bread to eat.

We, who have become enchained by that "morality", will act cruelly towards our own people and send them into this Hell, and then thank the Egyptians for helping to locate the parts of their bodies.

Once again it seems that for a moment the hands are again matching. The Christian world is "shocked" at the sight of these

savages playing with parts of bodies. We are again in the right in the way they like. Suddenly Netanyahu suggests cutting off their electrical supply. No, not in order to defeat the savages, nor to force them to stop producing Kasam missiles, nor to make them hand over their weapons.

Certainly not.

Just in order to force them to return the parts of the bodies. The Jews are in the right when their bodies are smashed into pieces.

Meanwhile the hands of the clock are advancing, and CNN is showing other pictures.

Netanyahu has already changed his mind... Until the next explosion.

Barbaric Palestinians with Israeli victims' organs

Scriptures we stand on for our beliefs about Israel

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