Zionism Is Not Colonialism

In 1529, Conquistador Francisco Pizarro obtained permission from the Spanish crown to lead a campaign to conquer Peru. During the invasion, Pizarro managed to capture the Incan emperor. Pizarro demanded a room full of gold as a ransom in exchange for the release of the emperor. After receiving the gold, he had the emperor executed. (Wikipedia)

Rabbi Yehuda Hakohen is a peace activist living in Israel. He tries to create peaceful dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis based on the idea that the Jewish people need to confess to a crime. The sin he wants the Jewish people to confess is that the Zionists “came back” to Israel “using colonial tools.” Rabbi Hakohen argued, “whether we understood it at the time or not, the colonialist methodology that the Zionist movement used was experienced by the Palestinians as an act of aggression.” In this essay, I will demonstrate that every single word in this sentence is false. I will provide a list of the criminal actions carried out by the European colonialists, and I will provide a list of the lawful actions carried out by the Zionists; when the evil actions of the European colonialists are compared to the peaceful actions carried out by the Zionists, then it will become evident that the Zionists did not carry out one of the injustices committed by the European colonialists.

A note to the reader: This essay is about 12 pages in length. At first glance, this might seem like an excessive number of pages to deal with the definition of the word “colonization.” Nevertheless, this is not just a debate over the meaning of a word. Rather, at its core, the colonization question is essentially the argument over who is the rightful possessor of the Land of Israel. If the Jewish people are foreign colonizers, then they are not the true owners of the land. However, there is no historical accuracy in this accusation. The fact is that the Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel, and ARE therefore the rightful inheritors of the land.

A. What was the age of colonialism?

The age of colonialism began roughly with the discovery of two new sea routes. In 1488, a route was discovered around Africa’s southern coast, followed by the discovery of America across the Atlantic in 1492. These new sea routes enabled Europeans to travel to the New World and Africa in order to export resources back to Europe. The period of colonialism was characterized by a mother country sponsoring a colony in a foreign land in order to bring raw materials back to the mother country. To this end, countries such as Portugal, Spain, the Dutch Republic, France, and England began to settle these regions and enslave the native populations.

In the late 1800s, the Jewish people organized a nationalist movement to return to their indigenous homeland. This movement was called Zionism. Rashid Khalidi is a Professor of Modern Arab Studies. He wrote a book called, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017.” The goal of the book is to make a case that a Jewish State should not be allowed to exist. Khalidi contends that the Jewish people are foreign invaders to the Land of Israel who have been waging a colonist war against the resisting indigenous Arab population. Today, colonialism is considered a crime, so Khalidi’s mission is to place the creation of the modern State of Israel in the same time period as that of the development of the European colonialist nations like America and Australia. Khalidi’s goal is to lump the Zionist movement together with the rest of these criminal nations. He proposes that since colonialism is a crime, the only solution to rectify this crime is to dismantle the State of Israel.

Khalidi writes: “Today, the conflict that was engendered by this classic nineteenth century European colonial venture in a non-European land . . . Indeed, those who attempt to analyze . . .  the entire Zionist enterprise from the perspective of its colonial settler origins and nature are often vilified. Many cannot accept the contradiction inherent in the idea that although Zionism undoubtedly succeeded in creating a thriving national homeland entity in Israel, its roots are as a colonial settler project (as are those of other modern countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).”

B. The Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel, in contrast, the Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.

By definition, the word “indigenous” means that a group of people formed as a nation inside a specific piece of land. The Jewish people are indigenous to the Holy Land because their nationhood, religion, and language all formed in the Land of Israel. Sometimes, people falsely suggest that because Abraham migrated from the modern region of Iraq, then the Jewish people are not indigenous to the Land of Israel. However, this allegation is not true, because Abraham came as an immigrant, and his descendants formed their identity as a nation, their religion, and their language inside the Land of Israel.

It should also be affirmed, the reality is that Zionism was not born in the time period of colonialism, rather Zionism was born in the period of nationalism. The 1800s saw a wave of people who sought to found their own countries across Europe and even inside the territory of the Ottoman Empire. In the late 1800s, the Jewish people organized a nationalist movement to return to their indigenous homeland. This movement was called Zionism. Indigenous people cannot be colonizers in their indigenous homeland, therefore the Jewish people cannot be colonizers in the Promised Land. In contrast, colonialism is the desire to go to a foreign land.

In 638 CE, the Arab-Islamic armies conquered Jerusalem. The Arabian Peninsula is near to the Land of Israel, but geographically it has always been seen as a different location from the Holy Land. The Arabs came to the land of Israel as foreign invaders; they controlled the Holy Land for centuries but they never attempted to create a separate nation called Palestine inside the historical territory of the Land of Israel. The descendants of the original Arab imperialists who conquered the Land of Israel also never developed a separate language from Arabic, or a separate religion from Islam. The Arabs living inside the geographic region of the Land of Israel saw themselves as one people with the rest of the Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula and the rest of the Middle East.

In 1956, Professor Fayez Sayegh Sayegh wrote: “Until World War I, Palestine was essentially and inextricably a part of the Arab World. As a political entity, it had no existence of its own; it was an indistinguishable part of a larger Arab region, subject to Ottoman rule. As a community, its language and dialect, its culture and social structures, were identical with those of the surrounding Arab communities.” The descendants of the Arab imperialists who settled in the Land of Israel developed an emotional attachment to the land, but their nationhood, religion, and language all formed in the Arabian peninsula. The Arabs have always focused their attention towards Medina as the fountain of their civilization. If the Arabs define themselves as being indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, then it means that they cannot simultaneously define themselves as being indigenous to the Land of Israel.

C. Zionism is not colonialism.

The age of colonialism was characterized by a mother country sponsoring a colony in a foreign territory in order to bring back material resources to the motherland. One example of colonialism is the story of a French explorer named René-Robert Cavelier. He was one of the first Europeans to lead an expedition down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. In 1682, he claimed the Mississippi River basin for France and gave it the name La Louisiane in honor of King Louis XIV.  The Encyclopedia Britannica depicts his motive: “he acquired for France the most fertile half of the North American continent.” Presto Chango, the French colonialists simply announced that the entire Mississippi River basin belonged to France. In contrast, I will demonstrate the difference between the European colonialist criminal actions and the peaceful actions of the Zionists immigrants. When the word “colonialism” is defined, then it will become clear that the Zionists do not match the definition. In order to demonstrate this point, I will outline the most devious practices of the historical period of colonialism and demonstrate how the Zionists do not meet a single criterion of the era.

1. King Sponsorship: The European colonialists were sponsored by a mother country. The European colonialist’s journey’s were funded by the king. The Zionists immigrants were not funded by a king, instead the early Zionists collected donations for Jewish immigrants to travel to the Ottoman Empire. The Zionists immigrants came from different countries primarily as poor refugees. The Zionists did not plant any flag of a foreign country in the Promised Land. Instead, the Jewish people raised a Jewish flag they created!

2. The European Colonialists were Motivated by Finding Gold: Christopher Columbus wrote, “Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world.” The European kings funded sea voyages in the hope of gaining a monetary return on their investment. The young men who got in boats and traveled across the ocean were dreaming of getting rich, for example, Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Listen to how Wikipedia describes him: “Born in Trujillo, Spain to a poor family, Pizarro chose to pursue fortune and adventure in the New World.” And, “Francisco Pizarro and his brothers (Gonzalo, Juan, and Hernando) were attracted by the rumors of a rich and fabulous kingdom. They had left the then-impoverished Extremadura, like many migrants after them.”

In 1529, Pizarro obtained permission from the Spanish crown to lead a campaign to conquer Peru. During the invasion, Pizarro managed to capture the Incan emperor. The World Monuments Fund website illustrates the scene: “When the Spanish conquistador Pizarro began his pillaging of Peru in 1533, he seized the Inca emperor Atahualpa and held him prisoner in what has come to be known as the Ransom Room. In exchange for his freedom, Atahualpa offered to fill the twelve-by-eight-meter room with gold – up to the height of the emperor’s outstretched arm. Upon securing the gold, Pizarro had Atahualpa executed anyway.” After Pizarro looted the mighty Inca Empire, expeditioners from all over Europe flocked to the New World, hoping to get their hands on the prize. Many of these voyagers were motivated to discover the legendary City of Gold, also known as El Dorado.

3. The Zionists were Not Motivated by Finding Gold: The psychological motivation of the European colonialists was completely different from the Zionists. In 1881, there was a series of brutal assaults against the Jewish communities in Russia. These pogroms motivated the Jewish people to promote Jewish immigration to the Ottoman Empire with a mission to develop small farming communities. These groups called themselves: Lovers of Zion. From 1881 to 1903 these groups organized a wave of roughly 25,000 to 35,000 Jews from Eastern European countries to return to their ancestral homeland.

Shlomo Avineri is an Israeli professor of Political Science. He wrote a book called, “The Making of Modern Zionism.” In the book, Professor Avineri recounts how the Jewish people who had been experiencing persecution in Eastern European countries had primarily two choices to escape: They could either choose to travel to America or the Land of Israel. But, Avineri specifies that the Jews who were motivated by financial safety chose to travel to America, while the Jews who traveled to the Holy Land were not motivated by finding wealth. Professor Avineri explains, “Those Jews who were seeking just survival and economic security emigrated to America in the wake of pogroms and pauperization. Those who, on the other hand, went to Palestine did not just flee from pogroms nor were they bent on economic safety and success–Ottoman Palestine was hardly an economic paradise.” The Zionists were working against their own monetary interests when they traveled to the Land of Israel, because they were motivated by the idea of creating a Jewish State. Avineri continues, “They were seeking self-determination, identity, liberation within the terms of post-1798 European culture, and their own newly awakened self-consciousness.”

4. Theft of Land: The European colonialists stole huge tracts of land from the natives. The Europeans developed multiple theological and legalistic concepts to justify taking lands in the New World. For example, in 1513, the Spanish Crown produced the El Requerimiento, (The Requirement Declaration). The declaration explained that God had created the earth and God ordained St. Peter to establish the Roman Catholic Church. St Peter’s descendant, the Pope, had given the New World territories to the King of Castile.

In a farcical ceremony, before conquistadors were allowed to attack villagers, they were required to read the document to them, generally without a translation, or any understanding of what was being stated. After reading the declaration, the region’s inhabitants were thus considered to have been advised of Spain’s legal rights to conquest and warned of the punishment for resisting. In contrast, the Zionist immigrants did not have the power to steal land. The Zionist immigrants were arriving on land in the Ottoman Empire that already had an existing military structure, when the early Zionists arrived they did not steal the land, rather they paid for the soil where they settled. Sadly, the historical fact that the Zionists paid for every piece of dirt where they settled has been covered up by the Arab propaganda myth that the Zionists stole the land.

5. The Land Grant System: In Feudal Europe, a king or an overlord granted a piece of land to a vassal. This economic system was imported to the New World where the colonists arrived. The land grant system was the basis of the colonial economic system. A king would grant tracts of land taken from the newly discovered area to individuals arriving in the new territories.  Essentially, the land grant system was used as a form of payment to the new arrivals in newly discovered lands, and in exchange, the king would receive taxes and material goods. For example, Charles II sought to gain English control of the area between Virginia and Spanish Florida. To achieve this aim, in 1663, he issued a royal charter to eight loyal supporters, each of whom was to be a feudal-style proprietor of a region of the province of Carolina. King Charles II also granted William Penn a massive land charter to create a Quaker settlement in North America. By 1685, Penn had sold 600 individual tracts, making up 700,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s land.

Dr. Craig Considine is a Christian Sociology Professor, who helps promote dialogues between Muslims and Christians. Professor Considine also has Irish ancestry, and he was invented to speak to a Muslim community to express his view that the Israelis behaved in a similar fashion to the British in Ireland. In a lecture comparing Zionism to colonialism, Considine falsely implied that the Zionists used the land grant system to establish the State of Israel. Considine told the story of Oliver Cromwell, who led the conquest of Ireland (1649–1653). Cromwell invaded Ireland and after the conquest he paid his soldiers with land grants. Professor Considine explained, Cromwell “guaranteed all of these soldiers money for fighting in the war. When the war was over, Cromwell was bankrupt. So what could he do to please his soldiers?” Considine imitated Cromwell’s thoughts, “I have no money, I am going to give you land.”

In this case, Professor Considine is claiming that when Cromwell gave land grants to his soldiers in Ireland, then it was similar to the Zionist behavior in the Land of Israel. An analogy is based on a comparison, which is the idea that two events had something in common. However, in order for Considine’s comparison to be true, then he would have to find a date in history when the Zionists were given a land grant by a king, but the Zionists were never given a land grant by a powerful ruler, which means that Considine is making a fictional comparison. In reality, the Zionists did not establish the State of Israel based on a king giving them land grants; in fact, it was the exact opposite, the Jewish people had to pay for every drop of land where they settled.

John Hope Simpson was a British politician, who conducted a survey on Palestine. Simpson was not a fan of the Zionists, and yet, he still acknowledged that the Jews “paid high prices for the land, and in addition they paid to certain of the occupants of those lands a considerable amount of money which they were not legally bound to pay.” Ironically, instead of being powerful colonialists, the Jews were exploited by wealthy landowners who charged them over inflated prices for land purchases. By 1903, the Zionists had founded 28 new communities and purchased 90,000 acres of land.

6. The Jewish immigrants arrived in a land with an imperialist legal system already established.

The Jewish immigrants were arriving in an empire that already had an established government. They did not have the power or the tactics to carry out acts of colonialism under the Ottoman Empire. Even if the Zionists had wanted to use colonists tactics to take over the region, they didn’t have the power. It simply wasn’t an option. The Ottoman Empire was fully aware of the Jewish immigrants attempting to escape persecution and travel into the empire. The Ottoman Foreign Ministry had a file called the: “Situation of the Jews; Question of their Immigration into Turkey.”

The Ottoman Empire had a vague understanding that the Jewish immigrants wanted to gain some type of control over their former homeland. In response, the Ottoman government made a decision to allow Jewish immigrants to travel into the borders of the empire; however, they forbid Jews from immigrating into the region of Palestine. In 1881, the Ottoman Council of Ministers announced that Jewish “immigrants will be able to settle as scattered groups throughout Turkey, excluding Palestine. They must submit to all the laws of the Empire and become Ottoman subjects.” Put simply, the Ottoman Empire issued a policy that Jewish immigrants were not allowed to settle in Palestine.

On June 29, 1882, a group of 14 Jewish immigrants set sail from Constantinople for Jaffa. On the same day, the Ottoman government sent out an order to prohibit any Russian, Romanian, or Bulgarian Jews from disembarking at Jaffa. Instead, they were only allowed to proceed to some other Ottoman port. Imagine the hurtle, the Jewish immigrants were coming in tiny numbers with no military power; they were poor immigrants who arrived on boats, who had to gain permission from government clerks to get off a boat. When the Jewish immigrants are falsely compared to European colonialists, then it creates a totally exaggerated image of their power. However, there is no comparison between an unarmed Jewish refugee who had to get a pass from a government clerk to exit a boat and a group of European colonialists who arrived armed with heavy steel weapons.

7. Population Displacement: One of the features of the colonialist age was the displacement of indigenous tribes. In 1830, the US government passed The Indian Removal Act. This law institutionalized the practice of removing Native Americans from their ancestral lands. This law led to the forced displacement of approximately 60,000 Native Americans. The government began to round up and force the natives to march hundreds of miles from their ancestral lands in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina to new territories west of the Mississippi River. These forced marches became known as The Trail of Tears.

In Arab propaganda, it is common to hear the accusation that the early Zionists immigrants displayed the Arab population. There is no truth to this accusation. When the Jewish people began to purchase farmland, in some limited cases, the Arab farmers were fired from their jobs in the fields. In 1931, the British conducted a survey to determine if the arrival of the Zionists was displaying the Arab population. The British conducted a survey of the landless Arabs population and proposed offering new plots to any Arabs who had been allegedly dispossessed. British officials received more than 3,000 applications, of which 80 percent were ruled invalid. This left only about 600 landless Arabs. When the real numbers are presented, the arrival of the Zionists did not displace the Arab population.

In Arab propaganda, the loss of these jobs is portrayed as one of the greatest crimes of the early twentieth century, it is falsely compared to America’s theft of Native American land. However, a few hundred Arab farmers losing their jobs, because a new group of people legally purchased farmland, was not one of the greatest crimes in human history. It should also be noted, the arrival of the Zionists also caused a work boom, Arabs from other regions came looking for new work opportunities.

8. The Introduction of Steel Weapons: The Conquistadors who swept through the New World were armed with steel swords forged in the Spanish city of Toledo. The natives were overwhelmed by the guns and armor of the conquistadors. This kind of interaction was not possible when the Zionists encountered the Arabs. The Arabs were not naive souls, who wandered out onto a beach and accidently cut themselves touching swords for the first time. In reality, by the start of Israel’s war for independence, the Arab nations surrounding Israel had modern armies and advanced military equipment. The Arab nations had far more steel than the Jews. The Jordanian, Egyptian, and Syrian armies had far more planes, tanks, and armored vehicles than the early Jewish forces fighting in The 1948 War.

9. Slaves: The European colonialists took millions of slaves. In contrast, the Jews never took a single Arab slave.

10. The European Colonialists Avoided Labor: Obviously, the European colonialists captured slaves to avoid performing manual labor. Taking a different approach, the Zionists sought to work the land themselves. Aaron David Gordon was a Labour Zionist. In 1904, when he was 48 years-old, Gordon traveled to Ottoman Palestine. Gordon came to perform agricultural work with his own hands, because he believed that the Jewish people needed to redeem the soil through their own manual labor. He exclaimed: “There is only one way that can lead to our renaissance – the way of manual labor.” In the book, “Religious Zionism,” Dov Schwartz explains, “in their view, manual labor heals the disease of exile because it brings to the creation a new religious individual, healthy in body and soul.” And, “In the theological realm it created a new outlook, stating that God is present in nature, and is revealed through manual labor.”

11. Sexual Exploitation: The European colonialists participated in the sexual trafficking of native women. Tragically, the conquistadors kidnapped native women and children to be used as sex slaves. Columbus recorded how women and child sex slaves were sometimes sold for as much as a hundred castellanos, which was a Spanish coin. Columbus wrote, “For one woman they give a hundred castellanos, as for a farm; and this sort of trading is very common, and there are already a great number of merchants who go in search of girls; there are at this moment from nine or ten on sale; they fetch a good price.” In contrast, the Zionists never trafficked Arab women.

12. Taxes and Export of Raw Materials Back to the Mother Country: The Jews never tried to tax the Arabs to send the money back to Europe. The Jews never sent goods back to the mother country, because there was no mother country sponsoring Zionism.

13. Renaming Territories: The European colonialists named the new locations they encountered after kings or queens in their homeland back in Europe. For example, The State of Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth, in honor of “The Virgin Queen.” New York was named after the English Duke of York. But, none of these examples exist with the Jewish people. The Jewish people did not have to rename any of the Land of Israel, because they were already returning to a realm with Hebrew names. In fact, in many cases, the Arabs had adopted Arabic versions of older Jewish names for their cities and the Jewish people restored the original pronunciation.

There are many examples of Palestinian towns named after the original Hebrew title for the city. For example, Beit Jala is a Christian Palestinian town named after the biblical town of Gilo, where King David’s counselor plotted treason against him. The Silwan Valley was called Shiloach in the original Hebrew. Anata was Anatot (the Prophet Jeremiah’s hometown). Selum was Shilo (one of the first capitals of ancient Israel). Tequa was Tekoa (the Prophet Amos’ hometown). Mukhmas is Michmash (King Saul’s fortress). Jenin was Ein Ganim, Batir was Beitar, and Jaba was Geva. Why do so many Palestinian towns have Hebrew names if the Jews supposedly came as foreign colonizers after the Arabs?

14. Expansion of Colonies: The British tried to set up colonies in America, Australia, Africa,  and India. In contrast, the Jews never attempted to set up a single colony in any other country, because the Zionists were not seeking to create colonies all over the world; instead the Jews were seeking to create one single state in their own indigenous homeland.

15. The Spread of Language: The English set up colonies all over the world, which spread the English language all over the world, roughly, 1,350,000,000 people speak English. The Arabs also conquered territory all over the world, roughly, 420,000,000 people speak Arabic. In contrast, approximately 9,000,000 people speak Hebrew. It’s clear by comparing the massive number of Arabic speakers to the tiny number of Hebrew speakers that the Arabs were trying to spread their dominion over other groups of people. Unlike the Arabs, the Jews have never tried to conquer the entire Middle East, but rather establish one homeland.

16. Missionaries: The Christian missionaries who came to the New World dreamed of converting all of the natives to Christianity. In contrast, there was no such thing as a Zionist missionary. The Zionists did not express any hope of converting Muslims to Judaism. Jewish people have no interest in converting Arabs to Judaism. In contrast, historically, the Muslims have always tried to convert Jews.

17. Cultural Erasure and Government Schools: In the 1800s, the US government, in conjunction with Christian missionaries, attempted to erase Native American culture through a system of forced boarding schools. The goal of the schools was to civilize the natives. The objective of the schools was to cut off the natives from learning their own history and to replace it with western culture. Schools forced native children to convert to Christianity, to stop speaking their native tongue, to replace their names with English names, to cut their hair, and to wear American-style uniforms.

Dr. Julie Davis laments that the schools were “intended to assimilate Native people into mainstream society and eradicate Native cultures.” Richard Henry Pratt was the founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, he described the mission of the schools: “Kill the Indian… and save the man.” The Canadian government created the same style of boarding schools, and the Australian government developed a similar program for Native Aboriginal children. In contrast, the Zionists never forced Arab kids into abusive boarding schools. There was never an attempt by the Zionists to eradicate Arab culture.

18. The 1948 War was Not an Act of Colonialism.

Professor Rashid Khalidi wrote a book called, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017.” In the book, Khalidi argues that the Palestinians have been experiencing one continuous act of colonialism that has lasted a hundred years, but which has taken different manifestations. Listen to one book review: “Consolidating this colonial settler paradigm, in Khalidi’s telling, was the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.” Put simply, Khalidi puts forward that the The 1948 War was the climax of Jewish colonialism on Arab land. The problem with this false accusation, is that the Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel, and the Arabs are the descendants of imperialists.

The earliest Arab-Islamic conquerors came from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century and invaded North Africa and the Levant. They went on to conquer lands from Spain to India. They subjugated numerous indigenous populations and imposed upon them their own language, customs, and religion. In roughly two hundred years, Islam became the political organizing principle of one of the largest empires in the world. For roughly 600 years, Islam was the dominant religion and military power in the world.

The early Arab-Islamic imperialists wanted to unite all of the territories they conquered into one powerful Muslim community called the Ummah. In the 1900s, the religious concept of the Ummah was mixed with modern concepts of nationalism and gave birth to Pan-Arabism, which seeks to unify the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, the entire Middle East, and North Africa into one Arab superpower. In 1945, The Arab League was formed, initially with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, soon after Yemen joined. The goal of the Arab League is to safeguard “the interests of the Arab countries.”

Hen Mazzig is an Israeli writer whose Jewish ancestors fled persecution from Arab countries and traveled to the modern State of Israel. Mazzig has devoted himself to telling the story of the oppression of Jews living under Arab rulers. He exposes the transgressions of the Arab states, “Since the twentieth century rise of Pan-Arabism, its leaders have pushed Arabization policies on indigenous groups. Whether it be the Kurds, the Amazigh, the Sudanese, the Copts, or the Maronites – none of whom would have called themselves Arab – Pan-Arabism has sought to permanently reduce the status and power of indigenous religious groups across the region.” In other words, the Jews are just one of several indigenous groups who the modern Arab states have tried to subjugate.

In 1948, the Jews tried to re-establish their ancient indigenous nation and declared their independence. In response, the Arab League states started a war against the Jewish people to prevent them from gaining their freedom. The Arab League states believed that they were entitled to own all of the land that their imperialist ancestors had conquered in the past, so  they started a war to steal all of the land that the Jews had legally purchased. The Arab League Secretary, Azzam Pasha, seethed: “this will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre or the Crusader wars.”

The war generated a group of Arab refugees. Sometimes, these refugees are falsely compared to the forced displacement of natives caused by the European colonialists. However, the Jewish people were defending themselves, if the Arabs had not started the war, then there would never have been an Arab refugee problem. During The 1948 War, the Jewish people were fighting to break from centuries of Arab-Muslim persecution, while the Arab League was fighting to restore Arab-Islamic supremacy over the entire Middle East and North Africa. Which group of people sounds like the big bad colonialists? The group of people trying to regain their indigenous homeland from a legacy of Arab imperialist conquest cannot be described as fighting a colonialist war.

D. The Jewish people never committed the same crimes as the European colonialists.

In conclusion, at the beginning of this essay I quoted Rabbi Hakohen’s assertion: we have to understand that from the perception of the Arabs, the Zionists were colonialists. Afterwards, I listed every crime committed by the European colonialists, then I demonstrated that the Zionists did not carry out even one of the injustices committed by the European colonialists. In other words, we do not have to accept that from the Arab perspective the Zionists were colonialists, because colonialism is not a perception, colonialism is defined by a set of specific criminal actions, either the Jewish people practiced these immoral behaviors or they did not. The Arabs cannot offer a single story from history to demonstrate how the Jewish people practiced the same crimes as the European colonialists. The accusation is completely false.

Despite their false propaganda claims, the Jewish people never committed the crime of colonialism. Ironically, it is a criminal offense to make false criminal accusations against someone. In this case, it raises the question: If the Arabs never experienced the crime of Jewish colonialism, then why did they make up the false accusation? The answer is that the Arabs made up the false accusation to justify stealing the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people. It needs to be stated bluntly: The Land of Israel does not belong to the Arabs. They have no legal or historical right to own the land. In the beginning of the essay, I also stated that the colonization question determines who owns the land. Since the Jewish people are the indigenous to the Land of Israel, then they are the true owners.

About the Author
Daniel Swindell is a Zionist. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri, and has studied in Yeshiva.
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