I am deeply disturbed by the anger, deliberate deceptions, and outright evil of those that advocate, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free.” These are all echoes of the horrific events of 1938-1948, as the Jews of Europe were systematically corralled, exiled, stripped of their livelihoods, gathered in ghettos, and ultimately industrially exterminated. From the events of Kristallnacht on November 8-9, 1938, to the blood-curdling jihadist calls for death in 1948, the world stood by far too passively, making excuses and then being shocked when a new Israeli state was victorious.
We have pagan-secular progressives joining with Islamic jihadists on behalf of the “oppressed” Palestinians, forgetting that Israel is a pluralistic democracy (with Tel Aviv among the friendliest cities to the LGBTQ+ communities), the only safe haven for Jews world-wide, and ready for peace at any time. Like the Nazis of the 1930s and 1940s, today’s evil axis projects their intolerance, antisemitism, and anti-liberty ideology onto the only democracy in the region.
I have been asked by many friends to offer a historical perspective on the current war in the Middle East. In this essay, I will offer some context for the current events. At the outset, a few things must be clear:
- This is not a “both sides are equally good/bad” moment. There is no comparison between Israel’s treatment of her citizens and the populations under her control and the indiscriminate, inhuman killing of innocents by terrorists dedicated to killing every Jew on the planet.
- For years, people have been subject to the agitation propaganda and phrases like, “the cycle of violence” or “Israel is an apartheid state” or “The Israeli government is fascist or Nazi.” This is absurd on its face, and the ultimate projection of the intolerant ideologies of Israel-haters.
- The greatest deception of all is, “We don’t hate Jews, just the government of Israel…and Israel is a White, Western, Colonial-Settler invasion of peaceful Palestinian lands”. Israel is a safe haven for Jews from over 80 nations, has over two million Arab citizens, and offers true freedom while surrounded by a sea of Islamic intolerance.
Some important historical markers as we assess the current situation:
- There has been continuous Jewish presence in Israel for over 3000 years, verified by archeology, artifacts, historical accounts outside the Bible, and the biblical accounts themselves.
- In 135 A.D., after a failed Jewish rebellion against the oppressions of the Roman Empire, Jews were exiled (again) and the entire region was relabeled, “Palestine” by Roman leaders seeking to eradicate Jewish history and add insult to injury by renaming the land after the Philistines, enemies of Israel from Crete that settled in Gaza.
- Jerusalem was conquered by Islamic armies in the 7th century, and became a third holy city in the tradition. Jerusalem is NOT mentioned in the Qur’an, but any land conquered by Islam is considered forever Islamic.
- The Crusades (1096-1291) were the reaction of the West to centuries of Islamic conquest and oppression, including persecution of pilgrims in the Holy Land. These crusades included horrific anti-Jewish campaigns as well.
- From the 1600s to the end of World War I, the Holy Land was under the rule of the decaying Ottoman Empire, with local chieftains exercising influence.
- In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a growing Zionist movement called for Jews to return to their ancestral home, and thousands did, legally buying land at exorbitant prices. This movement accelerated with the rise of European antisemitism from the 1880s to 1930s.
- The Mufti of Jerusalem, Husseini, called for the destruction of the Jews from the 1920s to the 1950s, including serving as Hitler’s voice from Berlin and giving approval to the genocide of the extermination camps. His most fervent disciple? Yasser Arafat.
- In 1947-1948, In the shadow of the Holocaust, the United Nations carved out a tiny Jewish enclave and a huge Arab state in “Palestine.” Immediately, every Arab nation called for Israel’s destruction.
- From the Six Day War of 1967 to the present, Israel has offered land for peace (1967, 1978, 1993, 2000, 2008, and even in 2015), relocated thousands of Jewish settlements, and hoped for an end to war…and she is always refused. She gave Gaza to the Palestinian Authority years ago. Instead of a jewel of trade, tourism, and vibrancy, it is an armed camp for Hamas.
- Yes, Israel has real security measures, including multiple fences. No, Israel is not committing genocide. When you are surrounded by people calling for your destruction, you are just a bit cautious. Israel does not target Palestinian civilians for terrorist attacks. Thousand are allowed to live and work in areas overseen by Israel, and they earn higher wages and receive better medical care.
In light of this history, our first position must not include appeasement, false cease-fires, or capitulation to progressive pressures. We must stand with the nation of Israel, and all Jews, with gratitude for their moral and spiritual legacy, current affirmations of freedom, and that fact that Israel is a beacon of hope in a land of intolerance and radicalism. We must love life more than death, virtue-based liberty more than extremism, and truth over propaganda.