Time to Correct a Major Diplomacy Blunder

“Because religion — and not land — is at the core of Arab rejectionism.” [Richard Mather, Jerusalem Post, 03/01/2016]

Ever since the modern State of Israel came into existence, the state’s leaders and indeed other Jewish leaders obsessed over “peace” while the Arabs cunningly pressed their claim on rights. With time, the Arab claim manifested itself in a perversion of the truth when it suggested that they are an indigenous people to the Land of Israel. Fact is during the British Mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and are today considered Palestinians.

Richard Mather is a prominent UK freelance journalist whose columns appear in numerous journals across the globe. His 03/01/2016 Jerusalem Post piece “By pandering to the Palestinians, the West is harming itself”, follows as a sequel to the recent bankrupt UN SC Council Resolution 2234 and the subsequent Paris meeting.
Mather remarks on the persistence of the west in lecturing Israel on the need to partition its territory in order to placate Arab terrorists. He expands on this in his Op Ed in Israel News Online, “UN Vote May Actually Accelerate Israeli Sovereignty in Judea-Samaria.”

On October 28, 2016, Richard Mather had published, what may be termed his Magnum Opus ,truly a masterpiece,” Whose Land is it Anyway? A Survey of Immigration into pre-state Israel” which was updated on January 10, 2017 under the title, “So-called Palestinians have no History – except as Terrorists.”

By way of a synopsis, we are treated to the crux of the Arab-Israel conflict, less understood by most. Its importance necessitates that it be quoted in full. “Until it is acknowledged by the UN and other bodies that the Jewish people and not the Arabs are the indigenous inhabitants of Eretz Israel, it is going to be difficult to break the impasse of anti-Jewish prejudice that is the real obstacle to peace.”

In 1714, Hadriani Relandi, a Utrecht mapmaker published a book which covered his 1695-96 trips throughout Eretz Israel, during which he, surveyed around 2,500 locations mentioned in the bible. His immediate recollection was one of noting that not a single settlement had a name which was of Arabic origin. There was a conspicuous absence of a sizeable Muslim population while most of the inhabitants were Jews, some Christians and a few Bedouins. Other statistics:

Jerusalem — 5,000 people, mostly Jews. Nazareth – less than 1,000 Christians. Gaza – 250 Jews. Nablus – 120 Muslims plus a handful of Samaritans.

According to the statistician and demographer, Roberto Bachi, his estimate for the year 1540 indicated 151,000 non-Jewish inhabitants in Palestine. The ensuing growth rate was found to be as follows:
In 1800 — 268,000; 1890 — 489,000; 1922 — 589,000 and 1948 — 1,3 million. The vast majority of these non-Jewish migrants were Muslims.

Principle points made by Mather in support of his declared position:
[a] Time and time again, the Arabs have turned down the possibility of an independent state alongside Israel, because their real interest lies in a singular state – theirs.
[b] By rejecting the labels “Palestine” and “Palestinian”, the Jews circumvented their own local history and identity, bequeathing both the name and heritage of Palestine to the Arabs.
[c] The available Arab population numbers shows mostly an increase in cities where there were a large number of Jews. In other words, a strong indication that Arabs were attracted to Palestine because of creative Zionist activity, resulting in good wages, healthcare and sanitation.
[d] The Ottoman authorities transferred large numbers of Arabs from Morocco, Algeria and Egypt to Palestine in the early part of the 20th century, partly in an effort to outflank Jewish immigration.
[e] Between 1922 and 1947, the Arab population grew by 290% in Haifa, 158 % in Jaffa and 131% in Jerusalem. The growth in Arab- majority towns was significantly less.
[f] The British civil administration in Palestine severely limited Jewish immigration into Palestine during the years 1920 to 1948. This was significantly different in the case of the Arabs. Historian and author Freddy Liebreich reports on illegal immigration from Syria during the Mandate era, conveniently ignored by the British.
[g] In 1930, the Hope Simpson Enquiry reported a significant illegal immigration from Egypt, Transjordan and Syria, negatively affecting prospective Jewish immigrants, while contributing to Arab violence against Jews.
[h] Between 1922 and 1936, the British Governor of the Sinai recorded unchecked Arab immigration, mostly from the Sinai, Transjordan and Syria.
[i] Most importantly, The Peel Commission in 1937 reported that a “shortfall of land” was “due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.”

Mather concludes by drawing attention/ stressing that the overwhelming Arab majority were migrants from the rest of the world and/or the Ottoman Empire. This negates the popular notion of a deep-rooted Palestinian Arab history/culture. Indeed, the conspicuous absence of Arab culture in late 17th century Palestine, and even in the 18th and 19th centuries, further confirms that they were not indigenous but late comers.

At times, different individuals have acknowledged the truth of their identity. During March 1977, in a conversation with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, the PLO’s Zuheir remarked, “It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity [—–] yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.” Even Arafat is given to saying, “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”

Writing in Front Page Magazine on August 31, 2004, Lawrence Auster entitles his essay, “How Strong is the Arab claim to Palestine?” He provides a most useful chronology of historical events listed here-under to positively destroy the myth that the land was “Arab” land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews.

* The Jews legitimately gained from the British and not the Arabs through the League of Nations Mandate which was enacted 30 years prior to Israel’s declaration of Independence in 1948.
* The land had been Turkish, a province of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years until the British wrested it from them via WW1 in 1917.
* Ottoman Turks acquired Palestine in 1517 from the Mamluks who were Turkish and Cicassian slave-soldiers headquartered in Egypt.
* Mamluks gained Palestine in 1250 from the:
* Ayyubi dynasty, the descendants of Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim leader who gained Jerusalem and most of Palestine in 1187 from:
* The European Christian Crusaders, who in 1099 conquered Palestine from:
* The Seljuk Turks, who ruled Palestine in the name of:
* The Abbasid Caliphate of Bagdad, which in 750 gained sovereignty over the entire Near East from:
* The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus, who in 661 inherited control of the Islamic lands from:
* The Arabs of Arabia, who in the first flush of Islamic expansion conquered Palestine in 638 from:
* The Byzantines who didn’t conquer the Levant, but upon the division of the Roman Empire in 395, inherited Palestine from:
* The Romans who in 63 B.C. gained it from:
* The last Jewish Kingdom, who during the Maccabean rebellion from 168 to 140 B.C. won control of the land from:
* The Hellenistic Greeks, who under Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. conquered the Near East from:
* The Persian Empire, who under Cyrus the Great in 639 B.C. freed Jerusalem and Judah from:
* The Babylonian Empire, who under Nebuchadnezzar in 556 B.C. gained Jerusalem and Judah from:
* The Jew, meaning the people of the Kingdom of Judah, who in their earlier incarnation as the Israelites, seized he land in the 12th and 13th centuries B.C. from:
* The Canaanites, who had inhabited the land for thousands of years before they were dispossessed by the Israelites.

Arabs are not native to Palestine, but are native to Arabia which is called as such simply because that is the historic home of the Arabs. Given the archaeological evidence, the assertion by the Palestinian Arabs that they are descended from the ancient Canaanites, who were displaced by the ancient Hebrews, is absurd. Where is the record of the Canaanites surviving their destruction in ancient times? We need to remember that prior to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948, the name “Palestinian” referred to the Jews of Palestine.

Lawrence Auster, has no difficulty recognizing the “legitimacy of the Arab’s tenure in Palestine when they had it , from 638 to 1099, a period of 461 years out of a history lasting 5,000 years.” Hardly from time immemorial!

The acceptance by the world of falsified Arab claims is driven by a fatal combination of the desire for Arab oil, leftist ‘political correctness” which has cast the Israelis as “oppressors'”, builders of “illegal settlements” and, of course anti-Semitism.

Daniel Grynglas in a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed of May 12, 2015, “Debunking the claim that ‘Palestinians’ are the indigenous people of Israel” provides further confirmation of the record by means of statics and quotations. He recognizes how in recent decades the arena of conflict from the battlefield to a war of narratives. Of course, one cannot discount the fact that the media war is aided and abetted by terrorism.

Grynglas commences his article by noting that Jewish claims to our heritage in the Land of Israel are fully supported by abundant archaeological artifacts and historical records. On the other hand, there are no such records in the case of the Palestinian narrative. In history, art and literature there is no trace at all of any Muslim people referred to by anybody as “Palestinians.”

Quoting from the Peel Commission report of 1937, “The Arab population shows a remarkable increase—–partly due to the import of Jewish capital into Palestine and other factors associated with the growth of the [Jewish] National Home.” In fact, records show that it was 19th and 20th century Jewish settlement and the resulting employment opportunities which drew successive waves of Arab immigrants to Palestine.

This from Joan Peters highly acclaimed book , “From Time Immemorial” [P252]; ‘—-in the Jewish settlement Rishon l’Tzion founded in 1882, by the year 1889, the 40 Jewish families settled there, had attracted more than 400 Arab families—-Many other Arab villages had sprouted in the same fashion.”

British PM Winston Churchill in 1939; “—-far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country [Palestine].”

Prior to The Six Day War in 1967 when Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt ruled in Gaza, there was no mention of Palestinian independence. This is easily understood as no “Palestinian” nation had yet been invented.

We need to recall that before modern day Israel surfaced, “The Palestine Post”, The Palestine Foundation Fund, Palestine Airways, and the Palestinian Symphony Orchestra were all purely Jewish enterprises.

Thanks to Egypt’s President Nasser aided by the Russian KGB, the PLO came into being in 1964. However, it took until the 1970’s that the “Palestinians” promoted their narrative by means of murder and assassination. They justified their attacks as an entitlement of an indigenous people struggling for national liberation.

For the balance of Grynglas’s paper, he presents extensive comments and statistics from Joan Peters worthy book, “From Time Immemorial “to substantiate his arguments.

” The fabricated Palestinian history” by Nadav Shragai published by Israel Hayom on February 7, 2014 provides further insights to the fraudulence of the Palestinians.

In 1939, then-US President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that the immigration of Arabs to Palestine since 1921 was outpacing the immigration of Jews during that same period.

To Professor Rafi Israeli, a Middle Eastern scholar and an expert on Islam from the Hebrew University who has written over 20 books on Arabs and Islam, the link that the Palestinians have attempted to create with ancient Canaanites is “absurd”. “The early origins of the Arabs who came to this country are in the Arabian peninsula.” They have rendered themselves indigenous Canaanites. One has only to examine their surnames to determine their origin. In addition thereto, history records the Ottoman Empire transferring populations in order to secure control over those areas. Echoes of today’s Islamism i.e. radical Islam.

Professor Israeli is categorical in his assertion that “The Palestinians don’t have roots here” and are “trying to invent origins for themselves—-if we do not debunk this—-it eventually becomes accepted as true, so we mustn’t be quiet.”

Professor Nissim Dana author of “To Whom Does This Land belong – A Reexamination of the Quran” has note that in the Quran “—there are10 passages which states that Allah bequeathed the land to the Jewish people.”

Natav Shragai notes that there are many historical sources which indicate that in previous centuries, wide swaths of the Land of Israel were abandoned and left desolate. Bartal and others poured over these studies.”Charles William Elliot, the president of Harvard University, visited the country in 1867. During his trip, he described the Galilee “as a place of emptiness and misery.” In his famous book “Innocents Abroad”, Mark Twain recalls not seeing a living soul throughout his journey. As did James Finn in 1857 and a German encyclopedia in 1827, “—a deserted land in which were bands of Arab robbers roam around in every part.”

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist, who converted to Christianity and became an ardent and vocal supporter and advocate for Israel and Christianity, immigrated to the US from Jordan, claims that everyone he met in Palestine “knew to trace the roots of their families to the country from which their great-grandfathers came.”

Dr Shaul Bartal, a Middle Eastern scholar who teaches at Bar Ilan points to the waves of immigration from the Arabian Peninsula and the subsequent arrivals of Arabs from Transjordan and Syria, are what led to the continued settlement of Arabs in this country [Israel]. “Even in Ramallah, the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority, the origins of Arab families are traced back to those who came here from Jordan in the late 15th century.”

With all the forgoing knowledge, one has to wonder why the Israeli government and other Jewish leaders fail to utilize history and international law to repudiate the false claims of the Arabs and o make the case for Israel. Surely, the disastrous Gaza test case as a definite example of Israel’s sincerity should be more than sufficient.

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.