Monday, May 15, 2006

Letter to Mojo: Part 2

Perhaps, Mr. Ahmadinejad, you think Americans are ignorant of history and we won't know any better when you play fast and loose in rewriting it. You underestimate us. Facts are facts, and the truth is that Israel is fact; "Palestine" is fiction.

There was never a real country called Palestine. That was merely a name given by the Romans to eradicate the Jewish identity from this province after they expelled the Jews from Jerusalem in 135 A.D. It then existed for many centuries as a southern region of Syria under the administration of successive conquerors including the Byzantines, the Islamic Empire and the Ottomans.

The Allied victory ending World War II may have provided the occasion for re-establishing Israel in their ancestral homeland. But it was not, as you have asserted, a guilt-driven European dirty trick on the poor Palestinians. At that time, "Palestine" was largely an undeveloped wasteland. When the Ottoman Empire was defeated and dismantled at the end of World War I, the land was up for grabs. Under a League of Nations mandate, the British designated it as a national homeland for the Jews.

To appease the Arabs, the larger territory of Transjordan was allowed to separate and become an independent Arab state (Jordan). Sounds more like a dirty trick on the Jews, to me. First, their homeland is cut by more than half. Then, Jordan tires of the violence-prone Palestinians and kicks them out—an event known as Black September, creating an enormous refugee problem for Israel--whose massive public works projects were what made the area a desirable place to live in the first place.

Historically, the Jews have been there far longer than anybody else. The Israelites first occupied the land as early as 1400 B.C., about 2,000 years earlier than the Arabs, who arrived in the area in the seventh century A.D. during the Islamic conquests. Only the Canaanites—a Hamitic people unrelated to the Arabs—predated the Israelites. Scripture says God gave the land to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant and commanded the Israelites to conquer Canaan completely and to drive out the inhabitants.

The Palestinian people themselves are actually a conglomerate by intermarriage of Arabs and many different peoples from the larger region, as opposed to a true ethnic group. This included Canaanite, Philistine and Bedouin peoples along with myriad others—Turks, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Druze and Armenians—recorded in the census of 1931.

So, if you want to hate the Jews, don't blame it on history. That won't wash. The real reason, sir, is what you see when you look in the mirror—the naked evil of racism.


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