Sixty-two years later, Arabs still reject independent Israel
By Rabbi Ben Kamin
SAN DIEGO — Today, May 14, is the sixty-second anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel—which had been voted into existence by the Security Council of the United Nations. We have no apologies; we are elated; we regret that the two-state solution legislated by the UN at that time has been systemically obviated by Arab truculence and warmongering ever since.
Palestine is one of the greatest default realities to confront the Jewish people, most particularly Israel (which is not 100% Jewish and less than 20% religiously observant), but, as of this printing, Palestine never was, has never been, and does not presently have great prospects of becoming an actual nation. Palestine is a historic region of the Middle East, a geographic term like, say, “America,” but at no time in history, from scripture till today, was it a nation-state with any kind of civil structure, federal hierarchy, or until the United Nations mandated the creation of Israel in 1947, even a requirement to exist.
Within the region of Palestine, two national entities have existed. The first was the Kingdom of Judea, founded by David in 1000 BCE, as recorded in both Jewish and Christian Testaments. Judea fell at the hands of the Roman Empire in the year 70 CE. In the ensuing 1900 years, no interest was expressed in the region of Palestine by the Arab-Islamic world while millions of Jews, dispersed globally, prayed for a return to Jerusalem. Palestine was colonized, overrun, and generally left to rot by successive invaders and conquerors.
Jews continued to read and chant about places such as Hebron and Jericho in the Hebrew Scripture, let alone Jerusalem—the centerpiece of Jewish aspirations and history. Jerusalem, now suddenly sought as the capital of a Palestinian state, is not referred to even once in the Holy Quran.
The second of the only two polities ever created therein is the State of Israel, voted into existence with a 33-13 margin by the UN Security Council in November 1947, following the European genocide of its Jews, and legally recognized as independent on May 14, 1948.
Meanwhile, there are scores of Arab realms that have existed (though unlike Israel, not one is a democracy) without all of these complications, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, which border Israel, and have either launched wars or served as safe-havens for terrorists over the past 60 years.
The map reveals other outlying Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other sheikdoms that systematize our gasoline prices, even as 2% of their populations live in oil-lubricated mega-wealth while the rest starve in the desert sun. The Palestine political saga, as exploited by many Arab leaders, is a great diversion for these poor masses.
It should be noted that the very name “Palestine” was given to Judea by the Romans as a pejorative slap at the Jews; the Romans called it “Philestina” to afflict the Jews with the tag of their arch-enemy, the Philistines. The section of the Talmud, the greatest wisdom anthology of the Jews that was written in the land is called “the Palestinian Talmud,” and the world-renowned Israeli daily, The Jerusalem Post, was known as The Palestine Post for the first half of the twentieth century.
It is difficult to invoke or discuss the term “Palestine” without inciting debate, heat, or blood. Sadly, what are so often left behind in the haze and anguish are facts and realities that blind and endanger people. My own parents were born in the British Mandate of Palestine—the League of Nations-authorized colony that prevailed there from the close of World War I until the British walked away in 1948 and left the Israelis to fend-off a massive Arab invasion that also canceled the original two-state solution.
And yet: None of the above erases the several million human beings, who are now effectively the Palestinians (even though the Gazans were once Egyptians and the people in the West Bank were once Jordanians) and who are now deserving of a place on this earth that is free of the righteousness, the manipulation, the cynicism of their own leaders and of those in the Jewish people brave enough to know that there is no future jailed in the past.
Rabbi Kamin is based in San Diego
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