Palestine: Land of Lions
Not many international disputes have generated as much emotion, anguish and diplomatic gridlock as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rooted in decades of clashes over religion, borders, and territory. Peace processes have been tantalizingly close on numerous occasions only to be dismantled at the 11th hour. Now the Israelis are biting and will not stop. Innocent Palestinians have been ripped their national identity and basic necessities. Western media seems to label the victim as militants and the oppressor as defenders. Muslims nations stare silently at the brutality. Spokesman of western democracy are taking a step back to keep their pals happy and the rest of us have our eyes glued to the world cup!
Historic Palestine (Filistine) is located in the Middle East, in a region bordering Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Muslims, Christians and Jews had lived alongside one another for centuries under the rule of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. All citizens were living safely without harm.
During the First World War (Balfour declaration), Britain pledged to support ‘complete and final liberation’ for the people of the wider region in return for them rebelling against the Ottomans. Britain also promised the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.’ Britain occupied Palestine in 1917 and remained until 1948.
Despite the Jewish population only making up a third of residents, it was recommended creating a Jewish state on 56% of the land. The Palestinians refused to accept the partition of their homeland, yet in 1948 Israel was established unilaterally. By 1949, the Nakba (“catastrophe”) had resulted in the ethnic cleansing of two thirds of the Palestinian population, with Israel ruling over 78% of the land.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip have been under an illegal Israeli military rule since they were occupied in the 1967 war, and today are referred to as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. East Jerusalem was also annexed illegally by Israel in 1967. For over 60 years the Palestinians have been denied the right to self-determination and statehood!
Today over 6 million Palestinians live as refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom still live in overcrowded refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza, and in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Although the Rafa border (Egypt) is currently open, no Palestinian is able to cross.
The Palestinians wish to remain in their land therefore resist the Israelis.
The Israelis wish to claim the land as it’s ‘rightfully (historically) theirs’ by ousting the Palestinians.
A claim that the land belongs to the Israeli’s is seriously flawed. The vast majority of Israeli’s are immigrants who have been living in Europe for the past two millennia. Over time, intermarriage would’ve weakened the Semitic genes to the point where European Jews are, genetically, more European than Semitic. On the other hand, the Palestinians are completely Semitic. The historical claim is a tie, at best. So don’t allow them to use this argument!
As well as this, archaeology does not show the existence of a Jewish kingdom or kingdoms in the so-called First Temple Period, it is not clear when exactly the Jewish people would have ruled Jerusalem except for the Hasmonean Kingdom.
The Assyrians conquered Jerusalem in 722. The Babylonians took it in 597 and ruled it until they were themselves conquered in 539 BCE by the Achaemenids of ancient Iran, who ruled Jerusalem until Alexander the Great took the Levant in the 330s BCE. Alexander’s descendants, the Ptolemies ruled Jerusalem until 198 when Alexander’s other descendants, the Seleucids, took the city. With the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BCE, the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom did rule Jerusalem until 37 BCE, though Antigonus II Matthias, the last Hasmonean, only took over Jerusalem with the help of the Parthian dynasty in 40 BCE. Herod ruled 37 BCE until the Romans conquered what they called Palestine in 6 CE. The Romans and then the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium ruled Jerusalem from 6 CE until 614 CE when the Iranian Sasanian Empire Conquered it, ruling until 629 CE when the Byzantines took it back. The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and ruled it until 1099 when the Crusaders conquered it. The Crusaders killed or expelled Jews and Muslims from the city. The Muslims under Saladin took it back in 1187 CE and allowed Jews to return, and Muslims ruled it until the end of World War I, or altogether for about 1192 years.
Adherents of Judaism did not found Jerusalem. It existed for perhaps 2700 years before anything we might recognize as Judaism arose. Jewish rule may have been no longer than 170 years or so, i.e. the kingdom of the Hasmoneans.
For any reference to religious books (Torah, Bible and Quran) that God promised the land to the Jews, God was talking about were those in submission to God. As God also revealed the coming of the Prophet Muhammad in both Torah and Bible, the Jews and Christians have denied this thus misguided so currently, it’s the Muslims who have the right.
However, regardless of the claim. What is that gives Israelis right to massacre and torture the Palestinians.
Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the people of Palestine have continued to endure extreme hardships, political insecurity and economic instability. Historians have catalogued this as ethnic cleansing.
The ‘separation barrier’ in the West Bank, construction of which was started in 2002, cuts deep into Palestinian land and, along with the “settler only” roads, cuts off many communities from water supplies, hospitals and their agricultural land. & set up hundreds of checkpoints and barriers, severely restricting the movement of Palestinians. The residents face severe travel restrictions and for many it is impossible to enter Jerusalem or to travel abroad. This treatment of the Palestinians, both within Israel and in the Occupied Territories, is widely recognised as a system akin to the Apartheid regime of South Africa.
Over 46% of Palestinians in the West Bank live below the official poverty line, while in Gaza the figure is as high as 80%. It has been estimated that there are over 200 such factories inside the West Bank, including: aluminium, leather tanning, textile dyeing, batteries, fibreglass, plastics, and other chemical industries of which the Palestinians receive the poisons but see no financial gain. Tons of rubbish are taken daily by lorry from Israel to the Occupied Territories, to avoid the strict environmental laws that control operations within Israel.
Collective punishments, such as prolonged curfews and house demolitions are frequently imposed. They are considered to be second class citizens.
If 9/11 deserves a minute silence, the people of Palestine deserve us to never talk again.
On November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly approved an upgrade from the Palestinian Authority’s current observer status to that of a non-member state. If it joins the International Criminal Court.. Palestine could file complaints of war crimes against Israel. We are yet to see the benefits of such membership, if any.
In June, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed while hiking in the occupied West Bank. Their bodies were recovered days later and a burial was held in early July. The day after their burial, the burned body of a missing Palestinian teenager was found in a forest near Jerusalem. The incidents increased tension between Israelis and Palestinians, including riots in East Jerusalem and an exchange of rocket fire in Southern Israel and Gaza, where Israel targeted Hamas. Netanyahu asked the Israeli police to investigate what he called “the abominable murder” of the Palestinian teenager in what may have been a revenge killing in reaction to the death of the three Israeli teenagers. Within a week, several Israeli Jewish suspects were arrested in connection with the killing of the Palestinian teen. Netanyahu also promised to punish those responsible for the killing of the three teenagers. Hamas leaders praised the kidnapping and killing of the three teenagers, but did not take credit for the incident.
The situation continued to escalate throughout July. Allegedly hundreds of rockets were launched into Israel by militant groups in Gaza. The rockets reached areas in Israel that previous rocket attacks could not. In response, Israel launched an aerial offensive in Gaza, killing dozens of Palestinians, and called up 20,000 reservists for a potential ground operation
Currently 1437 killed and 8500 injured in 25 days. The Israelis are showing no mercy!