Arabs, anti-Zionists, and Middle School World History

I am currently in my final semester of college, and I am still amazed that there are people on campus that deny reality. These “anti-Zionists” like to sugarcoat their intentions as “fighters for human rights.” These pseudo-intellectuals, most of them members of an organization that ironically calls itself Students for Justice in Palestine, believe that the People of Israel are from the North Pole, and that a genocide (or intifada) against the “evil Zionist oppressors”  is necessary to “liberate Palestine.”

Other than making Adolf Hitler proud, these Judenrein “Palestine” people actually believe that the Jews are the invaders! Really?

As early as the 9th century BCE, Hebrews were inhabiting Israel. Exiled by the Babylonians, they returned to their homeland, only to be kicked out by the Romans, who renamed the area “Syria Palestina.” Nonetheless, a presence in Judea was maintained by Jews. Where are the Arabs in this picture?

Fast forward to the 7th century CE. The Arabs conquer the entire Middle East, removing, converting, slaying and eradicating every indigenous Middle Eastern culture. They ruled, homogenized, and brutally oppressed the Middle East for some 1,300 years.

Now, in modern times, when an indigenous people of Israel returns to their native homeland, the Arabs that kept it barren of their culture are the first to call them “oppressors”, while they themselves own 99.4% of the Middle East.

What do they believe? They are of the persuasion that Palestinians are indigenous to what is now Israel, whilst denying the aforementioned connection of Israel to the Jewish people. Indigenous means being native to an area (Here is a fantastic piece by Ryan Bellerose explaining what it means to be indigenous). However, mainstream historians have established the thousands-year old connection the Jewish people have to Israel (Here is a good piece highlighting the evidence of ancient Jewish presence in Israel).

Let me make a very important point clear. The Palestinians are Arabs. They speak the Arabic language, they practice Islam, and have a culture very similar to the rest of the Arab world. They are considered to be ethnically Arab. The Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian peninsula (current-day Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, and United Arab Emirates). It is well established that the Arabs expanded throughout the Middle East in a conquest during the 7th century. The Arab world now spreads from Morocco to Iraq, each having their own non-Arab indigenous populations. Israel is one of the many lands taken over by the Arabs in their 7th century conquest. To say the Palestinians indigenous to Israel is the same as saying Arabs are indigenous to all the lands they took over in the 7th century.

The most prominent ancient civilization whose land is now in Arab hands is that of the ancient Egyptians. According to my 6th grade history teacher, the ancient Egyptians believed in many different deities, including Ra (the god of the sun), Nut (the goddess of the sky), Anuket (the goddess of the Nile), and Osiris (the god of the afterlife). These beliefs are considered idolatry (known in Arabic as shirk) in Islam. Shirk is the only crime in Islam that not even Allah can give forgiveness for. If the ancient Egyptians were hypothetically taken over by the Islamic State, they would all be probably forced to convert at the threat of beheading, as many already have been recently.The Sphinx, the famous statue of a lion with a human’s head is an example of aniconism, which is forbidden by the Quran. Let’s all hope Islamic State never reaches Egypt, because they would probably blow up the Sphinx, as they already have with many other countless artifacts with faces on them. The Sphinx and ancient hieroglyphics are proof that Arabs are not indigenous to Egypt. Today, the indigenous population of Egypt is considered to be the Copts, a Christian people who are heavily persecuted by the Arab Muslim majority in Egypt. Raymond Ibrahim is an American of Egyptian Coptic heritage who is outspoken about the plight of Copts in Egypt today.

Another Middle Eastern civilization my 6th grade history teacher taught me about were the Mesopotamians. Like the anicent Egyptians, the Mesopotamians were also polytheistic. The Mesopotamians spoke many different languages such as Sumerian. The cuneiform writing system is associated with ancient Mesopotamian languages. Ancient Mesopotamia is located in present day Iraq. Islamic State has destroyed countless priceless artifacts dating back thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. Today, the Kurds are the indigenous people to the northern part of Iraq. The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world that is stateless. I believe all peoples should have a state of their own. That’s why I am a Zionist. And because I am a Zionist, I support statehood for the Kurds, Assyrians, Baloch, and the other persecuted minority populations across the Middle East.

Modern day Lebanon is on the site of ancient Phoenicia. Phoenicians were not ethnicall Arab. The Phoenicians spoke their own language, and had their own religion, like the Jewish people today. Same with the ancient  Assyrian people in what is now Syria and the ancient Berber people in modern day Morocco though these two populations still exist today and are not treated as equals by the Arab majority.

By calling Palestinians indigenous to Israel, anti-Zionists demonstrate the lack of knowledge of world history that is taught at the middle school level. Yet these people swarm our universities preaching anti-Semitism on a daily basis. The Middle East is a land mass larger than Europe. Europe is home to dozens of different languages and ethnic groups. Yet, pan-Arabists (including anti-Zionists) imply that only one language and ethnic group in indigenous to the Middle East. To me, that is beyond ludicrous.

(Note: This post was co-written by my friend, Philip Gornstein)

About the Author
Cliff, a recent college grad, lives in the NYC borough of Queens. Raised in a reform Jewish household, he now considers himself a secularist Jew who unequivocally support Israel's right to exist and defend itself against its sworn enemies.
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