The Fight over the Jewish State
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been ongoing for almost 100 years and has deep roots in culture and religion. In the opinion of many, the conflict was caused by Britain’s control over the country in 1917. Many politicians have tried and failed to bring peace to the peoples of the region, but with the controversial creation of the nation of Israel and other factors, it has proved to be quite difficult. Many politicians, Christians, and Jews from the United States stand in solidarity with Israel, but do they know the whole truth? In this document I hope to layout the facts that clearly point to the immoral creation of the “Jewish State”.
Firstly, we will explore the creation of Israel. The State of Israel was formed on May 14, 1948 with the “Israeli Declaration of Statehood”. But the fate of the Palestinian people would be decided much earlier. After Britain had acquired Palestine during the First World War (which was a part of the former Ottoman Empire), Arthur James Balfour signed a decree that would, “…favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. After this, Britain put in place a provisional government until they could decide how they wanted to go about creating a home for the Jews. They started first by making room for the Jews to live. Zionists, those that believe the creation of a Jewish State is biblical, had been pushing for large scale Jewish immigration to Palestine since the late 1890s, but it had not been on this magnitude. To create living space for the Jews the British started by buying out Palestinian farmers, and setting up strictly Jewish communities. This was accompanied by the large influx of Jewish immigration to traditionally Palestinian neighborhoods, which created growing hostility among those living there. In a correspondence between The Palestine Arab Delegation and the Zionist Organisation, the People of Palestine state how they feel about the proposed constitution, “If the British Government would revise their present policy in Palestine, end the Zionist con-dominion, put a stop to all alien immigration and grant the People of Palestine — who by Right and Experience are the best judges of what is good and bad to their country”. Later that year in August, The League of Nations declares Britain as the provisional power of Palestine under the name Mandatory Palestine. Under the rule of Britain, many native Palestinians felt their say in the country’s future was being suppressed. These instances show the British government’s immoral seizure of sovereign soil and the displacement of people from their homes. Many feel that Britain’s approach to reconstituting Palestine was ill guided and unfair.
To further explain the desire for the creation of a Jewish State, we need to take a look at the ideology that spawned its creation in the first place, Zionism. As stated previously, Zionism is the belief that the creation of a Jewish State is necessary for the return of the Messiah. As stated by the Jews United Against Zionism, “According to the Jewish faith and Torah law, the Jewish people are forbidden to have their own state while awaiting the Messianic Era”.
This is in stark opposition to the beliefs of Zionists. In addition, this highlights the fact that not all Jews are in agreement on the formation of the Jewish State. In 1896, Theodor Herzl published a pamphlet that outlined the need and sense of ownership the Jews have for the region of Palestine. (Herzl) Throughout the document Herzl says how he believes that Jews cannot assimilate in Europe because of growing anti-semitism. He also feels that because host nations of large Jewish immigration in Europe have encouraged intermarriage between jews and non-jews, that those said nations are trying to eliminate the Jewish people. Herzl goes on to say, “Hence, if all or any of the French Jews protest against this scheme on account of their own “assimilation,” my answer is simple: The whole thing does not concern them at all. They are Jewish Frenchmen, well and good! This is a private affair for the Jews alone.” By this he explains how he thinks that creation of the Jewish State doesn’t concern those Jews who have assimilated in European countries. This statement led many Jews who had assimilated to feel disconnected with Herzl because of his feelings toward them. These beliefs were encouraged by Christian Zionists who felt that for Jesus to return, there needed to be a unified Jewish state in the Holy Land. Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer explains, “The origins of the movement can be traced to the early 19th century when a group of eccentric British Christian leaders began to lobby for Jewish restoration to Palestine as a necessary precondition for the return of Christ.” This points how that the plan for the creation of a Jewish State had been dreamt up long before it would finally become a reality. Christians, as a whole, are divided on this belief, and is still debated among the Christian community. These instances highlight the toxic beliefs of Zionism, and the effect they have on the people of Palestine.
Lastly, we need to examine the treatment of the Palestinian people then and now. After the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Statehood more than 700,000 Arabs were expelled from their homeland. Many faced harsh conditions and were forced to live in refugee camps.
The Palestinian Arabs were denied any say in the matter. Israeli commandos would march into town and send out all Arab Palestinians. This was known by the Arabs as Al-Nakba or, the catastrophe. This alone was the single greatest injustice toward the Palestinian people, the theft of their homeland. On April 9, 1948, the Irgun, a pro-israel militia, stormed the village of Deir Yassin killing 107 people, mainly women, children and the elderly. After the British withdrew from Palestine, most of the surrounding Arab nations declared war on the newly formed state of Israel. Later in 1967, Israel launches a preemptive strike on Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. This was known as the Six Day War named for its short duration that lead to an Israeli victory. From now on it has been peace deal after peace deal with violence and bitter distain between both parties. Currently there are about 1.5 million Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps dispersed from Lebanon all the way to the Gaza Strip. Many of the camps are highly overcrowded and make for terrible living conditions. Humanitarian aid has helped improve the lives of those living in the camps. This highlights the terrible trials and tribulations the Palestinian people have undergone at the cost of creating a strictly “Jewish State”.
These occurrences expose the truth of the Zionist movement for creating a home for a people, within another people’s home. According to many, the creation of the State of Israel has been immorally conjured through persuasion, displacement, and persecution. I hope that these facts lead the reader to this conclusion, bearing in mind the hardships that the Palestinians have endured and are enduring.