Democracy and Rights

“The administration remains committed to a two-state solution and sustaining a strong democratic Jewish state. To do this through regional cooperation, it is imperative that the Palestinians are involved.”[US Ambassador to Israel, Thomas R Nides]

The named Ambassador included the given statement on May 3,2022 at an Atlantic Counsel assembly, where he was hosted alongside his predecessor, Ambassador Daniel Shapiro. In reading through the rest of his remarks, one has to wonder if Nides had learnt anything from Shapiro or anyone else for that matter. The latter most certainly had little to with the Abraham Accords.

To Nides, “settlement growth is infuriating”, while he his mentor President Joe Biden considered “the two-state solution the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable sovereign  and democratic Palestine state”. As a further reminder, Biden had promised to reopen the consulate for the Palestinians.”

There is an old adage which, stating the obvious, informs one that in order to seek a solution, one needs to identify the problem. To obviate the dreams of all his forerunners and in particular Daniel C. Kurtzer and Martin Indyk, Nides could consult the only Ambassador, David Friedman, who during his term in office, “assured Israel of a future.”

One has to wonder why with all the available historical records, Jewish leaders do not make use of them to counter the beliefs of those who continuously echo mistaken belief and remain uninformed about Jews having indigenous roots in the Land of Israel.

” The history of the Land is Jewish, not Palestinian” by Dr. Yechiel Shabiy of BESA [Feb 23, 2020] is a well written composite Op-Ed clearly demonstrating the case for Israel’s heritage. It fully destroys all the lies and arguments advanced by so-called “Palestinians” and other Arabs/Moslems].Some key points follow:

In Narbeta, as Yosef ben Matityahu (Josephus) recounts, the Romans slaughtered thousands of Jews during the Great Revolt (66-73 CE). The Great Revolt considerably depleted the Jewish population, but it was the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-35) and the subsequent religious and economic decrees that devastated the population, particularly in the Judea region.

In 628, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persians. Though he had promised the Jews and their leader Benjamin of Tiberias that if they laid down their arms nothing would befall them, he quickly broke his promise and murdered thousands of Jews.

Less than a decade later the Muslims conquered the land, with the help of the Jewish population.

As evidenced by descriptions of Jewish and Christian pilgrims, Jews lived in Jewish villages in the Galilee such as Kfar Hanania, Parod, Baram, Alma, Ein Zeitim, Kfar Kanna, and others until the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Jerusalem Post published, “We Never Left: The Jew’s Continues Presence in the Land of Israel ” by Lee Bender on December 12, 2016. By way of an introduction he refers to remarks by the historian, James Parkes who stressed the importance of reminding the world that the Jews never left Israel.

By omission of this fact, it made possible for anti-Zionists, whether Jewish, Arab or European, to paint an entirely false picture of the wickedness of Jewry in their attempts to re-establish a 2,000 year old claim to the country. To emphasize this indifference to everything that had happened in the intervening period, Lee Bender supports his argument in drawing attention to the Following events:

[1]Talmudic Age: The Romans did not exile the Jews. Post-revolt synagogues dotted the land. The Mishnah and Palestinian Talmud were written. The Romans recognized the Patriarch as the community’s head until the 5th century.

[2]The Muslim Dynasties. The Jews still remained.

[3] Crusader rule: The Jews fought in Jerusalem, holding the Crusaders off —-alone in Haifa – for a month.

[4] The Mamluks: the Jews remained – in their 4 holy cities and elsewhere.

[5] The 400 years of Ottoman Turk rule. The Jewish presence continued with Jerusalem attaining a majority population.

Hence Parkes was undoubtedly correct in that the Jewish leaders had grievously erred in not making it clear that Israel, far from being “founded” in 1948, has been the Jewish people’s uninterrupted homeland during and ever since biblical times.

Think-Israel posted “A Tour of Palestine in 1695” by Avi Goldreich during July -August,2007. He recalls the book Palestina by Hadriani Relandi. His most prominent conclusions are as follows:

[a] Not one settlement in the Land of Israel has a name that is of Arabic origin.

[b] Most of the land was empty, desolate, and the inhabitants, few in number and mostly concentrate in the towns Jerusalem, Acco, Tzfat, Tiberius and Gaza. Most of the inhabitants were Jews and Christians. There were very few Muslims.

[c] The book totally contradicts any post -modern theory claiming a “Palestinian heritage”, or Palestinian nation.

Richard Mather in his essay of January 7, 2017, “So-called Palestinians have no history in Israel”, also references the works of Hadriani Relandi. He surveyed 2, 500 places. His statistics makes for interesting comprehension. During his trip to Eretz Israel in 1695-96, he found the lack of  a sizeable Muslim population. Nazareth  was home to less than 1,000 Christians, while Jerusalem held 5,000 people, mainly Jews. Nablus was home to120 Muslims.

In 1438, a rabbi from Italy became the spiritual leader of  the Jewish community in Jerusalem .[ibid., pp 17-19, Elijah of Ferrara.]

Jews from Gaza, Ramle, and Safed were considered the “ideal guides”  in the Holy Land in the 14th century, as Jacques of Verona, a visiting Christian monk, attested.[Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return pp. 17]

There were very few non-Jewish inhabitants in Palestine in the 16th and 17th centuries. Tsafrir Ronen addressed the given subject through “Hadrian’s Curse – the Invention of Palestine.”In order to expose the BIG Lie of the “Palestinian Cause” a full length 120 minute documentary was produced and featured on YouTube. It demonstrates there never having been a distinct “Palestinian” people. Ronen quotes several Arab leaders who have acknowledged the subject propaganda.

Zahir Muhsein, the leader of the al Saiga Organization, revealed the truth in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw. “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”

The testimony from the podium of the UN in 1956 the founder of the PLO, Ahmed Shukari , the Arab League’s Ambassador, proclaimed “—such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all. This land is nothing but the southern portion of Greater Syria —“.

Alongside the failure on behalf of the Jewish leaders to counter all the Arab/Muslim arguments on the basis of indigenous claims, is the failure to recognize the opposition ‘s powerful “Making David into Goliath” mantra. Joshua Muravchik has authored a complete book on this subject.

Moving on to contemporary times, Barry Shaw addressed ” Original Thinking – Israeli Diplomatic Incompetence” in the Jerusalem Post of January 17, 2013. It could have been written today.

“Clearly, the government’s lack of will to fight the delegitimization of our country has led to a crisis of monstrous  proportion in Africa.” True, but it is not the root cause.

The denial of true democracy has profound consequences. Dov Lipman’s “Agenda Item for the next Knesset: Electoral Reform, which appeared in the Jerusalem Post of April 7, 2019 speaks volumes to a major profound deficiency in Israeli government performance. He remarks, ” That Israel still functions using essentially the same system as the one established under emergency circumstances in 1948 is absurd, and the failure to make changes and adapt to new realities is hurting our country.”

Lipman draws attention to a key factor. The average Israeli citizen has no say about  who represents them —-its a failure in democracy. Further, by citizens not having their own Knesset representation beholden and accountable to them means that the Knesset doesn’t truly represent the will of the people.

Not mentioned by Lipman is the comparatively large number of Israeli citizens who elect not to vote, presumably as they view Israel’s democracy dysfunctional.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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