“Palestine is largely inhabited by unreasonable people.”

–William Ormsby Gore, 4th Baron Harlech, Undersecretary of State to the Colonies in the 1920’s.

With Helen Thomas expressing her opinion that the Jewish people should vacate Palestine and go back to their own countries, the Arab-Israeli conflict is in the news again.  Here is a History of Israel in a nutshell.

Helen Thomas was wrong to tell the Jews to go “home” because they are home.  Recorded history has them living in Palestine longer than anywhere else.

For approximately 600 years (about 1300-1900 A.D.) the land of Palestine was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.  By the early 1900’s the Empire was in decline, had forged an alliance with Germany, and lost in WW I.  Jews and Arabs lived peaceably enough during the Empire.  After WWI the Ottoman Empire was split into about 40 different countries including much of the middle east.

Britain was given control over the area consisting of modern day Israel and Jordan.  During the peace conferences at the time there was some support from one Arab official, Emir Feisal ibn Hussein, for the existence of a Jewish State in Palestine.  Britain was in favor of a Jewish State from the time they had control of the area.

Conflict was already part of living in Palestine as noted by Mr. Ormsby-Gore in the 1920’s.  There were guerrilla warfare attacks coming from the Arabs and Jews living in Palestine.  It was a normal occurrence.

As conflict in Europe and oppression of the Jewish people grew the number of Jews moving to Palestine increased rapidly.  After WWII and the Holocaust the United Nations approved a plan for Palestine with settlements for both Jewish and Arab people to live side by side with international control over Jerusalem.

This plan was acceptable to the Jewish people in Palestine but not acceptable to the Arabs.  A war immediately began and the Jewish people formed the modern State of Israel.  The United States was first in granting official recognition to the new nation in 1948.

The decades of wars have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.  The surrounding Arab nations are not eager to give them relief, a place to live, or citizenship in their countries.  Jordan is the only country providing citizenship to some of the refugees.

The Palestinian refugees are a tool of propaganda for the Arab nations that want to destroy Israel.  The peaceful refugees of Palestine are victims of the conflict.

One of the most contentious issues are the occupied territories in Israel.  Occupied territories by definition are areas controlled by a hostile army prior to the conclusion of war.  Generally at the end of the war the peace agreement either turns over the occupied land to the victorious nation, the army leaves, or the army is allowed to stay under the terms of the treaty.  Palestine is not interested in peace and without a treaty ceding these lands they are still in dispute and therefore occupied.

Many of the occupied territories have been that way for more than 40 years.  In a normal war with a normal enemy there would have been some kind of resolution by now.  It is only because of the hateful nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict that the ownership of the occupied territories is still disputed.

Israel is fighting with an implacable enemy that does not want peace.  The Palestinians know they cannot win via normal armed combat and they resort to terrorist tactics.  The Arab nations surrounding Israel fund and support the terrorist activities of the Palestinians.

Israel has shown considerable restraint in recent years knowing they are surrounded by hostile enemies.  It would be suicidal for Israel to simply stop monitoring the refugee areas and to give up all of the disputed territories.  (According to their enemies, all of the State of Israel is disputed.)  Giving up the Golan Heights in particular would make the lower surrounding areas indefensible and subject to enemy artillery fire.

A few more issues to consider:

Israel is purported to be a nuclear power with hundreds of atomic weapons capable of being launched from land, sea, and air.  The Samson Option is a deterrence doctrine where if Israel’s very existence is threatened then these weapons will be launched.  A sobering possibility to consider.

There are Holocaust Deniers in the Arab world.  It is important part of their effort to destroy Israel that we do not remember the Holocaust.  It is one of the most potent arguments in favor of the State of Israel.  The Jewish people need a place where they can live in relative safety.  No Holocaust, no reason for the existence of Israel.

The people in all of Palestine and the surrounding areas need to have a complete change of heart and seek to live peacefully.

Problem  Solved.

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