Part one of this series on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, begins with a brief historical review of The Time Before Israel, which includes: the land of Canaan, the Jewish promised land, the land of Palestine, Biblical vs. Scientific archaeology, the history of Zionism, the Jewish National Fund, the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and the Nazi-Holocaust.
The Land Of Canaan
The Jewish Promised Land
In ancient times, this Semitic speaking region was among the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities, and civilization. During the Bronze Age, independent Canaanite City-States were established, and were influenced by the numerous surrounding civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Minoan, Crete, and Syria. In the 330s BCE, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the region, and the region changed hands several times during later Wars. During this period, the name Palestine appeared. The Islamic Empire conquered Palestine in 634 CE, during the Middle Ages. In 636 CE, during the battle of Yarmouk, the Muslim conquest of Syria completed the Muslim takeover of the region known as Palestine. The Semitic speaking Canaanite people continued to live, collaborate, and prosper in the Land of Palestine, as multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious communities.
Biblical versus Scientific Archaeology
The History of Zionism
In general, the definition of Zionism refers to the planned migration of Jewish people from their native countries in Europe, Russia, and America, to their claimed biblical homeland in Palestine, which is also the unbroken native homeland of the Arab peoples of Canaan-Palestine. Zionism’s ultimate goal was to create a Jewish Nation State – in Palestine.
The term “Zionism” was created in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum, who also created the terms “Zionist”, and in 1892 “Political Zionism”. In 1893, Birnbaum published a brochure titled; “The National Rebirth of the Jewish People in its Homeland, as a means of Solving the Jewish Question”, in which he outlined ideas about creating a Jewish State in the Land of Palestine.
In 1938, the famous philosopher Mahatma Gandhi rejected Jewish Zionism, saying that the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine is a religious act, and therefore must not be performed by force! He wrote, "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English, or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jewish religion and culture on the Arabs of Palestine!
Prior to 1947, the vast majority of Jewish people lived throughout Europe, Russia, and other parts of the world. A few of these Jewish people may have been able to trace their ancestors back to the land of Canaan. However, most of these Jewish people were Europeans and Russians, who adopted the Jewish religion and culture. Moreover, additional research found no evidence identifying the Jewish people as a separate race from the ancient Arabs of Canaan! Whatever their ancestral origins, during the past sixty-six years, massive numbers of Jewish people from Europe, Russia, and America have migrated to the Land of Palestine, in search of free land.
Since the 1948 creation of Israel, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) has functioned mainly as an organization dedicated to assisting and encouraging Jewish people to migrate to Israel. The WZO’s major success, with significant help from American taxpayers, has been in providing funding and logistical support for Jewish people migrating to Israel, and most importantly, in assisting Soviet Russian Jews in their struggle to leave the former Soviet Republic. A second major role of the World Zionist Organization has been the protection of the State of Israel through support for the Israel Defense Forces, by lobbying for American tax dollars and Military Weapons. Today, Zionism has transformed into the right-wing Likud Party, whose main goal is to evolve Israel into a 100% pure Jewish State, in the former land of Palestine.
Anti-Zionism compared to Anti-Semitism – Jewish Zionists and their supporters argue that disagreement with how the State of Israel was created (Anti-Zionism) is the same as dislike and/or hatred of Jews (Anti-Semitism)! This argument is self-serving NONSENSE! In fact, the State of Israel is one thing, while the Jewish religion and culture is something else. Anti-Zionism: European Jewish Zionists coveted the Land of Palestine for over 100 years! After WWII and the Nazi-Holocaust, masses of Jewish people immigrated from Europe and Russia into Arab-Islamic-Palestine. When they arrived in Palestine, they forced the State of Israel upon the native Arab-Islamic people of Palestine. Anti-Semitism: Judaism is a global religion and culture! Dislike, hatred, and mistreatment of Jewish people, Jewish religion, and Jewish culture is Anti-Semitism! Accordingly, Anti-Zionism is one thing, and Anti-Semitism is another. They are separate and independent of each other!
The Jewish National Fund
JNF Collection Boxes: The Blue Box (known in Yiddish as a pushke) has been part of the JNF since its inception in 1901. These blue boxes became one of the most familiar symbols of Zionism. In the period between world wars one and two, about one million of these blue and white tin collection boxes could be found in Jewish homes throughout the world. Furthermore, the Jewish National Fund has branches in other countries, which are active in fundraising for the benefit of Jewish people in Israel. The United States arm of the JNF was incorporated on January 26, 1926 and developed a uniquely American effort to support Jewish developments in Palestine. JNF-USA continues to play an important leadership role in the Jewish National Fund organization, and claims to be the largest contributor to JNF in the world! In the United Kingdom, the JNF-UK Charitable Trust was formed in 1939 and is registered as a charitable organization.
Reclamation Projects:The Jewish National Fund (JNF) charter specifies reclamation of land for the Jewish people as its primary purpose. During the past Sixty-six years, the JNF planted more than 260 million trees largely in semi-arid, rocky, hilly terrain, in which cultivation is not cost-effective, and the risk of land degradation is high. However, critics argue that many lands owned by the Jewish National Fund, were illegally confiscated from Palestinian refugees! Some critics claim that many forests were planted over the bulldozed lands of abandoned Arab villages, and that JNF reclamation of these lands has deliberately erased the Arab presence in Palestine prior to 1948! In 2008, the JNF announced that historical information plaques would be erected in JNF parks and forests with the names of the Arab villages formerly located there.
The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
During the year of 1917, a vigorous Anti-Zionist movement within the British Parliament was led by Edwin S. Montagu, the British secretary of state for India, which held up the progress of the planned Balfour declaration. Edwin S. Montagu was the second Jewish person to enter the British Cabinet. Montagu was strongly opposed to Zionism, which he called "a mischievous political creed". Anti-Zionists feared that British-sponsored Zionism would threaten the status of Jews who had settled in various European and American cities, and encourage anti-Semitic violence in the countries battling Britain in WWI, especially within the Ottoman Empire. This opposition was overruled, however, and after soliciting—with varying degrees of success—the approval of France, the United States, and Italy (including the Vatican), Lloyd George’s government went ahead with its plan. On November 2, 1917, Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote the following letter to Britain’s most renowned Jewish citizen, Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Dear Lord Rothschild - I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. "His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours Sincerely, Arthur James Balfour.
The influence of the Balfour Declaration on the course of post WWI events was immediate: According to the "mandate system” created by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Britain was entrusted with the temporary administration of Palestine, with the understanding that it would work on behalf of both its Jewish and Arab inhabitants. Many Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere were angered by their failure to receive the nationhood and self-government they had been led to expect in return for their participation in the war against Turkey. In the years after WWI, the Jewish population in Palestine increased dramatically, along with the instances of Jewish-Arab violence!
History tells us that Jewish people have been disliked and mistreated since the Roman Empire. This begs an important question, “why were the Jewish people, who comprised such a small percentage of the world’s population, so disliked and mistreated?”
Again, history tells us that opposition to the Jewish religion and culture (Anti-Semitism) existed throughout Europe for centuries prior to World War One. Throughout Europe and Czarist Russia, Christianity is a major religion, and the Jewish were viewed as the people who killed Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Europeans viewed the Jewish culture as different from European culture, and Europeans viewed Jewish economic methods as only benefiting Jewish people at the expense of everyone else.
After Nazi Germany surrendered, which ended WWII in Europe, thousands of horrific pictures emerged that exposed the evil-horrors of the Nazi-Holocaust! These pictures shocked the entire world by documenting the most evil-horror in the history of mankind! They say, a picture is equal to a thousands words. Here is just one Holocaust picture:
In effect, a compensation for the evil horrific murder of six million Jewish Holocaust victims, paid for with the land, homes, property, and lives of thousands of Islamic-Arab-Palestinian victims. And so began, the massive exodus of Jewish people from Europe and Soviet Russia, into Arab-Islamic-Palestine, along with a sixty-six year extraction of billions of American tax dollars, from the United States Treasury, to the State of Israel.
Part two of this series - Creating the Jewish State of Israel, which includes: Jewish Migration from Europe to Palestine, The 1947 partition of Palestine, Creating the Jewish State of Israeli, Why Three Partitions, and the United States Aid to Israel.