by Jerry Robinson
It appears that once again, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has worked its way to the forefront of the world’s conscious, dominating world headlines with a recent rash of suicide bombings and more attempts to bring peace to the region through diplomacy.
Recently, while in an intense debate with another individual about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I realized that many Americans are uninformed about the crisis. Sure, we turn on the television at night to find some suicide bomber has blown himself up in a public place leaving many Israelis wounded or dead, but how many of us know the root of the terror? Having passionately studied the conflict in both the American and the foreign media, I believe there are some myths surrounding the topic that need to be dispelled.
Myth #1: The Palestinians deserve a homeland in Israel with Jerusalem as its capital because they have always lived in the immediate area.
Fact: Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as Palestinians in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. There are currently eight or nine nationalities that make up the modern day Palestinian people. Instead of returning to their original homelands, they desire to live in Israel, a sovereign Jewish nation. While the Arabs claim that Jerusalem has always been an important city to them, history shows that Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity.
Myth #2: The Jews really have no legal right to the land of Israel.
Fact: According to ancient history, Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C., coincidentally 2,000 years before the rise of Islam. The ancient Jewish monarch, King David, established the city of Jerusalem. Although dispersed and exiled at various times, the Jews have always lived in the land of Israel.
Myth #3: The Arab Muslims deserve the city of Jerusalem because it is a holy city to Islam.
Fact: While Muslims claim that Jerusalem is a holy city to the Islamic faith, interestingly, it not mentioned once in the Koran. On the contrary, Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Jewish Holy scriptures. Also, Mohammed, the founder of Islam, never visited the city during his earthly life.
Myth #4: The Israeli armed forces provoke terror upon themselves by being too dominating.
Fact: On May 14, 1948, Israel was declared a sovereign nation by the United Nations with the backing of the United States. On May 15, six Arab nations attacked Israel. The Arabs refused to recognize the Jewish right to the land. Miraculously, Israel defeated the Arab invaders without any organized military. Despite five separate Arab attacks since the inception of the modern state of Israel, the Jews have defended and defeated their enemies on every occasion. Except for the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to stop missile attacks by the PLO on civilian targets and a pre-emptive strike on Egypt prior to the Six Day War, Israel has sought peace with its neighbors.
As the only pure democracy in the entire Middle East, Israel’s desire for peace is only logical. After 55 years of attempting to obtain a lasting peace, I applaud their efforts and determination. The way I see it, those who truly favor democracy, favor Israel.