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It seems that the article plays on the word “indigenous”. However, history is a story of endless infusion of incoming populations that mingle with, and sometimes replace, prior inhabitants. It is easy to cut history and point to the current occupants, at any particular time, then say these are the “indigenous” people. But they never are, and never were. Polemics and demagoguery are at the root of all social, political and religious problems. “Leaders” want to attain and keep their prominence by evoking strife, fueling antagonisms, creating dissension. And those who want to exploit the situation or jump on the band wagon continue to stoke the fire. That has been the lesson of Gaza, given over to the current inhabitants by Israel, and exploited by Fatah, then even more bloodily by Hamas, to inflate discord, not to promote peace. By the reasoning of “indigenous” and their assumed rights, one should abolish all migration, expel all refugees, so that the rights of the current, “indigenous” populations of the USA, Europe, Australia, etc., should not be “violated” by intruders. Fact is, that people will move, for all kinds of reasons, and the only aspect that needs to be considered is a peaceful resolution of ensuing differences. Historically, Jews could count more on hostility and rejection, on becoming scapegoats rather than partners, regardless of their place of residence. Despite that, as history also has shown, they have done more for the creation of the modern world than many other “ethnic” or religious polities. Their reward has been the Holocaust, and continued, now again increasing, antagonism. British occupation of the middle East was simply the usual aftermath of the military overthrow of the Ottoman empire. That empire itself was the outcome of destruction of the previous one, the Byzantine. Istanbul was once Constantinople. The Ottoman Turks were invaders. So were the Arabs, propelled by Islamic explosion of the 7th to 11th century expansion. How far should one go back? There were hominids there even before the expansion of the homo sap from Africa some 80,000 years ago. So in the cause of peace, there should be no arbitrary decisions regarding arbitrary religious or spurious territorial claims. The British, as conquerors, had the same “right” to do with their new territory as did the preceding Ottomans, Arabs, whatever. The British allocated those and other territories into arbitrary “nations”. They also, under the Balfour doctrine, assigned Jews the right to their own country. Just as they did for various Arab nations: with no more, or less, right than any other conquerors throughout history. However, the British did not keep their word. It took the UN to do so, after the WW2 massacre. The creation of Israel was just as arbitrary, and just as “right”, as the creation of the various Arab and other states. But the neighbors of Israel chose immediate military onslaught to eradicate Israel. They lost. They tried again, and lost again. Arabs, Moors, invaded Spain and held most of it for centuries. They were expelled. Who are the “indigenous” populations? Israel, like all other countries throughout history when victorious, retained some of the territory during the conflict. If Istanbul, once Constantinople, belongs to Turkey, then the territories gained by Israel belong to Israel. If California and Florida and New Mexico and Texas belong to the USA, if Australia and Canada belong to their current inhabitants, if Spain and Portugal belong to their respective inhabitants, then so do the lands that Israel gained in a conflict it did not provoke, but which it was able to win. China does not give up Tibet, Russia does not give up Crimea. There is only the logic of the most recent occupant and the ability to hold onto the territory. Israel has not tried to exterminate the current inhabitants. The current inhabitants have tried, repeatedly, to exterminate Israelis and Israel. Those inhabitants need to try less mayhem and rhetoric, but more cooperation. The world needs to take a good look at its own behavior. But that is not likely; the “leaders” will continue to sow discord in order to promote their own status and power. And lackeys and jackals will continue to legitimize discord for their own profit and enhancement. And those who lack understanding but are full of anger will continue to kill and maim. Will we wake up, or perish?

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