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Don James (Rev), National Development Director, Bridges For Peace Canada: Land or Hate?

by Don James (Rev), National Development Director, Bridges For Peace Canada, July 12

Don James (Rev), National Development Director,  Bridges For Peace Canada: Land or Hate?

In the wake of the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, a torrent of attacks on Jews occurred around the world, including in my own city of Winnipeg. I spoke with an elderly Jewish hot dog vendor in Winnipeg who was surrounded by an anti-Israel mob  who called her a “dirty Jew,” one brandishing a knife.  At dueling rallies, it was reported that shouts of “rape their women, stab them in Tuxedo” were heard.  Serious physical injuries were suffered by Jews in other places.

From my vantage point as a Christian Zionist, it is horrific that Jew-hatred erupts when Israel simply defends herself from incoming rockets.  But, as observed by Jewish leaders, most of the world either yawns or participates in the Israel-bashing.  That is also horrific.

In explaining all of this, there are those who believe that the hatred spewed forth by Israel’s enemies is an outgrowth of Israel’s actions in occupying and oppressing the Palestinians and/or  in failing to  advance a two-state solution. In this regard, I am reminded of former UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon’s response to the 2016 knife slaughter of Dafna Meir in her Judea doorway, as she tried to protect her children from a Palestinian attacker.  Moon said: “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of half a century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.  It is human nature to react to occupation.”

I disagree with Ban  Ki Moon.  I am of the view that there is a deep vein of Jew-hatred running through much of the human race, and that it is much closer to the surface in those  Muslims  for whom Jews are “infidels” and are illegitimately living in a land once occupied by Muslims.  It is this hatred on the part of some Muslims which is at the root of the conflict, and not any failure of the Jews to share the land with its Arabs, now known as Palestinians.  I believe this argument is supported by the history of Palestine/Israel through the twentieth century:

1. A “two-state solution” was already enacted, at the  very beginning of the British Mandate for Palestine.  The entirety of Ottoman Palestine had been given to the Jewish people by the League of Nations following World War 1 – to be a Jewish homeland.  Almost immediately 77 % of that land was given to the Arabs, as Transjordan.  Voila! A two-state solution.

2. Between the two world wars, the virulently antisemitic leader of Palestine’s Arabs, Haj Amin Al Husseini, continued to foment violence against the Jews in what was left of British Mandate Palestine.  He did this for decades and refused another partition proposed by the British Peel Commission in 1937.  Finally, he was banished by the British and joined Hitler’s team in World War II.  Husseini’s vision did not allow for a Jewish state or a Jewish presence of any size in Palestine.  

3. Husseini’s position is essentially the Palestinian position today, as evidenced in the charters of both Hamas and the PLO/Fatah, which call for a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea”.

4. Attempts were made, by the British and then the international community, to offer the Arabs a further partition of the land – in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, 2001 and 2008.  These were all rejected by the Arab side because they would necessitate an acceptance of a Jewish state of any size.

5. Very tellingly, when Jordan illegally occupied the “West Bank” following the 1948 War of Independence, there was no effort expended to give the Arab residents of that territory statehood.  Quite a missed opportunity.  In the same vein, it is enlightening to know that the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, when the West Bank and Gaza were in Arab/Jordanian hands.  The goal of the PLO, then and now, is to eliminate the Jewish state altogether.

6. Because, in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000 and 2001, the Arab/Palestinian side would not make a treaty with Israel to create a Palestinian state, Israel decided to unilaterally create one in 2005 – by withdrawing all of its citizens and troops from Gaza.  Voila! A three-state solution. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon described his motive to a group of American Christians, who he knew would be concerned.  “We will make a clear gesture of peace to demonstrate Israel’s goodwill”, he told them.  But instead of a flourishing Palestinian state in Gaza, a Singapore on the Mediterranean as was hoped, we now have a terror state, firing rockets at Israeli civilians and building tunnels underneath Israeli kindergartens.

7. This is exactly what will happen if a Palestinian state is created in the West Bank.  It will become a Hamas-run terror state. And the only thing currently preventing a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian territories is the Israeli military presence there, authorized by the Oslo Accords.

8. What of the future?  The next generations of Arabs/Palestinians are being taught in their schools to hate Jews and to consider all of “Palestine” as belonging to them.  Lessons in how to stab a Jew in kindergarten! Thus, antisemitism is perpetuated.

9. In summary, the Jewish homeland, authorized by international law, has been sub-divided twice already and there have been multiple opportunities for a further sub-division.  These have all been sabotaged from the Arab side.  It is a travesty of historical blindness for today’s supporters of the Palestinians to blame Israel for their lack of a third state, Jordan being the first and Gaza the second. 

10. To repeat, the goal of the “Palestinian movement” is not to provide for the Palestinians; it is to take away from the Jews – drive them into the Mediterranean.  Not every Palestinian feels this way.  Israel is 25% Arab and most are very content, though not all, as seen in the recent attacks within Israel during the Gaza conflict.  But the current Palestinian leadership is antisemitic.  This is deeply troubling, as these leaders have been either appointed by Western powers (Haj Amin Al Husseini and Yasser Arafat) or, in the present case, are supported by Western powers, especially the European Union and the U.S., under the current administration.

I submit that the cause of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is antisemitism on the Palestinian side and the resulting unwillingness of that side to accept the presence of Jews in any numbers or any sized state.  No amount of “land for peace” will satisfy the “Palestinian agenda” unless it is the whole land. The solution is not to appease this hatred and refusal to co-exist with a Jewish state, appeasement through Western support, money and anti-Israel lies.  The solution is to call it out for what it is, to stand with the Jewish state, and to hang the current Palestinian leadership out to dry until they renounce their Jew-hatred, their support of terrorism and their theft of aid money intended for their people.

As for the anti-Israel rhetoric and violence in our streets, it ought to be denounced for the Jew-hatred that it is.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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