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Jews' Rights to a Sovereign State in Their Historic Homeland

In The Spectator, Melanie Phillips writes:

Those (and there are many) who don’t know the history of the Jewish people and who have fallen for the propaganda lies that Israel was only created as a result of the Holocaust or that Jewish immigration to Palestine started in the 1880s would do well to read this concise historical account by Dore Gold and Jeff Helmreich.
The key point it makes is that Israel was not a new creation but the restoration of the Jews’ ancient national home, to which the international community recognised in the early years of the last century that they and they alone had an overwhelming legal and moral claim.

This was specifically on account of the fact that they had never renounced the land -- which had only ever been the nation state of the Jews alone -- but had been driven out; and that throughout the period of their exile they had repeatedly returned and established majorities in different parts of the land including Jerusalem. It should also be borne in mind that the present state of Israel is merely a small fraction of the original Jewish nation state; most of it was given away by the British to the Arabs in 1921 as a piece of regional realpolitik, and the remainder was to be divided between Jews and Arabs – the original two state proposal which the Arabs rejected in order to drive the Jews out of their rightful and internationally recognised home, the project which continues to this day.

The Jewish claim to the land of Israel was based on justice, international agreement and law. As a result, it is the only nation state whose legitimacy was agreed by the League of Nations and its successor, the UN. The reason I bang on about this so much is because the Big Lie of Israel’s alleged illegitimacy and presumption lies at the heart of the wider war against the western world.
It incites hatred and murderous hysteria in the Arab and Muslim world, and has turned many otherwise decent western liberals – who now openly say Israel should no longer exist -- into the intellectual accomplices to a second projected genocide of the Jews as well as making more likely their own eventual defeat as a civilisation.

As Dore Gold writes in his outstanding book, The Fight for Jerusalem, the jihadis see the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem as the essential prerequisite to their conquest of the world and the arrival of the end of days. Unless the west comes to understand this, and to understand the way in which this conflict has been so shockingly misrepresented for so long in the western mind and with what terrible consequences, it will itself be defeated.

The fate of Israel is intimately tied to the fate of the free world. Attitudes towards it are the litmus test of civilisation. It is, quite simply, the biggest moral issue of our times.

Key Points:
  1. A new critique of Israel proposes its elimination and replacement with a bi-national Palestinian-Jewish state. Israel's new detractors doubt the legitimacy of Jewish statehood, though they say nothing about the validity of dozens of new states that have emerged in the last half century, many of which lack any firmly rooted national identity. The new attack on Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is particularly ironic since Jewish nationhood preceded the emergence of most modern nation-states by thousands of years.

  2. The new critics of Jewish statehood neglect the fact that Israel's communal expression - like that of many communal states around the world - in no way infringes the rights of minority citizens, who enjoy full equality under the law and the political system. They also ignore that this form of national expression is not unique; indeed, most states identify in some formal way with the religious or cultural heritage of their predominant communities. Yet only Israel is singled out for criticism.

  3. Israel is the only state created in the last century whose legitimacy was recognized by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. The League of Nations Mandate did not create the rights of the Jewish people to a national home in Palestine, but rather recognized a pre-existing right - for the links of the Jewish people to their historic land were well-known and accepted by world leaders in the previous century.

  4. By 1864, a clear-cut Jewish majority emerged in Jerusalem - more than half a century before the arrival of the British Empire and the League of Nations Mandate. During the years that the Jewish presence in Eretz Israel was restored, a huge Arab population influx transpired as Arab immigrants sought to take advantage of higher wages and economic opportunities that resulted from Jewish settlement in the land. President Roosevelt concluded in 1939 that "Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly exceeded the total Jewish immigration during the whole period."

  5. Israel's new detractors seek to delegitimize Jewish national rights by arguing that their assertion was an extension of European imperialism. In fact, Jewish underground movements waged an anti-colonial war in the 1940s against continuing British rule. Israel was an anti-imperialist force when it first emerged, while the Arab states were aligned with the imperial powers, their armies trained and supplied by the French and British Empires.

  6. There was no active movement to form a unique Palestinian state prior to 1967. In 1956, Ahmad Shuqairy, who would found the PLO eight years later, told the UN Security Council: "it is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria." In the early 1960s, many Palestinians looked to Egypt's Abdul Nasser as their leader as much as to any Palestinian. Given the historical background, it is impossible to argue that the Palestinians have a claim to the Land of Israel superior to that of the Jews, as Israel's detractors contend.

  7. The new assault on Israel is partly based on ignorance of Jewish history in today's highly secularized world. But it also emanates from a new anti-Semitic wave reflected in a public opinion poll by the European Commission showing Israel as the country most regarded by Europeans as a threat to world peace. The president of the European Commission, Roman Prodi - alluding to the anti-Semitic underpinnings that led to the poll's results - said, "to the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical."

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