Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- A Family Affair?

The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a convenient paradox; it changes esp deviously depending on who's telling it and where they start the story. For this reason, it's important to have a grasp of the history of this ongoing conflict. Part of this paradox is from what perspective you present your case for lack of term. Inevitably there is an Israeli perspective and a Palestinian one. Our position is an American one that proclaims we have had enough of funding this never-ending Middle Eastern family feud.

The Introduction


The Zionist movement was founded in response to the worsening persecution of European Jews
and out of a desire to join the community of modern nation-states that defined Europe.
Thousands of Jews began emigrating to Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.[See Source]

What would happen if you created a place of refuge for a persecuted people in a location where another group of people already lived?[See Article] This question is the root of the ongoing struggles, tensions, and death in the area known as " The Holy Land," or Middle East. What an intermediate goal for all humans should be is to work for a just peace in this region that has remained so elusive.[See Article] First, there are a couple of things helpful to understand: [1] many Jews fled persecution in anti-Semitic Europe due to the Nazi holocaust. [2] The Zionists were encouraged to emigrate to historic Palestine that at the time was under the control of the British.  [3]There has always been an age-old connection with this region for the Jewish people.    


As a result of World War I, Britain wins control over the area of Palestine from the Ottoman
Empire. The area becomes known as British-mandate Palestine. [A mandate is an authorization
To govern over conquered territory]. From 1918 to 1948, Britain rules over the Jews and Arabs living in this region.[See Source]

There had always been small Jewish communities in historic Palestine among the majority indigenous Palestinian people. What many Americans and others fail to realize  is that there were episodes of violence between the Jews and Palestinians before the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947.


In April, in response to the killing of Sheikh Izz Aldin Al-Qassam by the British, Arab residents of
British Mandate Palestine begin the “Great Arab Revolt,” causing inter-communal violence, and the
seizure of a shipment of illegal arms destined for The Hagana,  or Jewish defense force. The “revolt”
lasts until 1939, when the British, in part to obtain Arab support for the recently erupted war with
Germany, banned most land sales to Jews.

The United Nations Partition Plan in 1947 suggested that there be a partition of the British-mandate Palestine into two separate states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs. Zionists accepted the partition plan for tactical and strategic reasons. Palestinians considered the proposal unrepresentative of the demographic distribution of Jews and Arabs living in Palestine at that time, and so rejected it.[See Source]

This U.N. plan offered the majority of the land to the newly imported Jewish immigrants, which declared itself the state of Israel, and thus the indigenous Palestinians whole system of things was turned upside down. The Palestinians rejected this plan in its entirety. Several Arab states invaded the new state of Israel. After all the fighting, Israel took control of over 78% of historic Palestine. Some 700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled. When many of these now refugees tried to return to their homeland, they were permanently barred by the Israeli government, effectively making the Palestinians second-class citizens in their former homeland. 
Refugee Camp
Today these people number in the millions. They have resettled in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Jordan. Palestinians have spread themselves throughout the world with many still living in refugee camps. In summary, one group of refugees found a much-needed home, however, in the process, a new group of refugees was created. 

Here Is The Second Thing To Understand.

Israel was founded as a Jewish State. But ask yourself, what does that mean? People have lots of ideas what a Jewish state should look like. Some called for equality for all citizens. But what was created in practice was institutional discrimination against non-Jews.  In other words, Israel ended up being built on the blueprint of exclusion. The newly formed Israeli government clamored for maximum land and resources for its citizens but not for the Palestinians who lived there. Inside Israel, Jews get special privileges, including rights to land and housing that is denied to Palestinians. Palestinians make up 20% of Israel's current population.  Another issue is that Israel has yet to define its borders. There was the so-called 1949 Armistice lines.

1949 Armistice Agreements

1967-Six-Day War

In what Israelis call the “Six Day War,” Israel conducts a pre-emptive attack against Egypt and gains control over territory formerly controlled by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Israel gains control over
The Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. In six days, Israel roughly triples the size of the territory under its
control. Israel begins establishing settlements in Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank, which right-wing Israelis refer to by the biblical names “Judea and Samaria” and consider the biblical lands of the Jewish people.[See Source]

In response to the war, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 242, which calls for the
“withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict [in official UN
languages other than English the article “the” precedes “territories,” thus implying that Israel has
to return all the conquered territory]; termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect
for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of
every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free
from threats or acts of force.” This resolution, with its formula of “land for peace,” is the basis
of for all subsequent peace negotiations between Israel, Palestinians, and the surrounding Arab

Since that time, Israel has built Jewish only cities  in the occupied West Bank supplying them with infrastructures such as roads, army camps, schools, and even a college. As noted in the aforementioned U.N. Resolution, 242 military occupations are meant to be temporary. But, after 40 plus years this one looks permanent and is entirely unjust. In the West Bank Israeli and Jewish settlers live on the same land but live under two separately and unequal set of laws. The Jewish settlers control the natural resources including water and agricultural land. What is even more disheartening is this policy and behavior is backed by the Israeli army. To maintain the occupation, Israel has demolished thousands upon thousands of Palestinian homes, orchids, and confiscated Palestinian land. They have bombed civilian populations in Gaza and punished resistance with raids, arrest, and assassinations, all to gain maximum land while making life so difficult for Palestinians that they will either leave or be too weak and afraid to fight back.

The Palestinians have fought back. 

For decades they[Palestinians] tried to achieve national liberation through armed struggle. Some groups still do. However, the majority of Palestinians today support traditional protest. The profound and harmful control, repression, and violence has proven to be more detrimental to Palestinians still living under occupation.

Now that you have an understanding of the problem what are the solutions?  

After two decades of U.S. backed peace talks, the situation is worst. The U.S. has helped the Israelis maintain their illegal occupation. We have seen years of talking and in the backdrop,  Israel expand its building and presence in the occupied areas. There has been a redrawing of the map. Peace talks are good if they are real but not when they are fodder to mask a land grab. So now what? The bottom line is the USA has been a terrible friend,  enabling the destructive behavior by funding the Israeli military, which is the biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the world.  

Does Israel Benefit from US Foreign Aid?  

The American Jewish Media Bias.

Like most Americans, I paid very little attention to the bias that is prevalent in today's media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, I knew very little of this issue just five years ago. It's fair to say I was a casual observer of the problem and what I thought I knew was based on what I heard coming from mainstream media. Once again, like most Americans,  I skimmed the headlines on this critical issue. There was an acceptance of the confusion on my part, and I moved on. What is vital to "wrap your head around' is that until 1947, there was no such country we now know as Israel! It did not exist.  The area for many centuries had been home to the Palestinians. So, based on the introduction in this article,  we know where this modern-day conflict comes from. You don't have to go back a thousand years to identify the problem. What goes unnoticed is  that before the mass migration of Jews to the land,  the demographics of the area was 80%  Muslim, 15% Christian and 5% Jewish.

There was a movement that started in the late 1800's in Europe called Political Zionism.  

This movement coined a beautiful shiny slogan, " Land without people, for a people without land." What is so imperative to grasp is that the region was a multi-cultural area and for the most part,  people were living and practiced their religions harmoniously. In a nutshell, Political Zionism advocated that there needed to be a Jewish state somewhere in the world. [See Source]

 The countries of Uganda, Argentina, and even parts of North America were considered, but they eventually settled in Palestine because of the Biblical connection some 2000 years before. Let's take a moment to examine that slogan. On its face,  the slogan sounds beautiful, and most people would endorse its narrative. There is one major fatal flaw. The land was not without people. As previously noted, it was fully inhabited. One of the early Zionists, who ventured to the area wrote back to his family stating:

"I have seen the bride, and she is beautiful, but she is married." 

Sadly, nevertheless the migration began in earnest by Zionists to Palestine to create a Jewish state. As the history has shown throughout the "sands of time," indigenous people do not greet their colonists with open arms. "Cowboy and Indians ring a bell?"  To make matters worst, it was clear from the onset that the Zionists' goal was to dispossess the people who had been living there for thousands of years. As a result, there was the tragic but predictable violence.  Then, as now, many innocent lives were lost.[Collateral Damage] What our research has found is that the vast majority who died were Muslims and Christians.  

This violence has continued up to this very day.  In retrospect, we here at the House of Public Discourse raise the question:  What was the United Nations thinking when tasked to solve this migration and violence problem after the British passed the buck to them after creating the problem in the first place? This violence between the Palestinians and Jews was more than the British could stand, so they just simply handed the issue to the U.N. to solve. The United Nations at this point had the option of affirming a bedrock principle of democracy, which was a self-determination of peoples, or they could revert to a medieval version where an entity gives someone else's land away or divides it in half. Sadly for the world and everyone in the region, instead of affirming the right of self-determination of people in which the people choose a course of action,  the U.N. recommended the aforementioned Partition Plan of 1947. The plan suggested that half the area be made a Jewish state and the other half a Palestinian one. The Partition Plan was a coerced plan from an outside agency.[U.N] As with any problem of this magnitude,  there is a strong need for compromise.  In fact, compromise is the reality of the day and what has been lacking in this ongoing conflict.[See Source]

However, when you place this arrangement under a microscope it clearly shows an imbalance towards the Zionists.  A group of people who had been living in the land for centuries got the 'short-end of the stick.' What it boiled down to was that 95% of the population took a backseat to the new colonists. To the House of Public Discourse and to others as well,  this course of action makes no sense. No matter the mitigating factors like the Nazi holocaust or the overall anti-Semitic mindset of Europe;  even with the mass migration of Zionists to the land they still only made up 30% of the total inhabitants of the area. Our research found many factors that brought about this result. One of the most glaring were the Capitalists whose primary subliminal goal to dispossess the people of the region was to buy the land. This effort was funded and can be accurately traced back to the infamous Rothschild family with their massive banking infrastructure. [See Source] This plan was a successful one but even so, the land ownership by Zionists rose a modest 8% total. So no matter how you try to fashion a reasonable explanation for the imbalance and injustice to the Palestinians people in favor of the Zionists, there is not one to be found in the facts.

The fact of the matter is that a much smaller group who now owned just 8% of the land were given what most historians agree to be  55% of the total land mass. As  history has shown,  the more inequitable and unjust the situation has become over the years, the more violent the region has become.[Why Is Israel Putting Boots On The Ground In Gaza Now?]  Rather than the U.N. solution leading to more peace, these outside agencies[USA]  have created more violence. This political settlement led to war in 1947 and after the results, some 800,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homeland by the victorious Zionists. What went unreported in the American media were the massacres levied by the Zionists on these now refugees. What went unreported in the America media were the harsh and inhumane conditions  this political arrangement brought to the Palestinian people. Our research found many of these atrocities occurred even before Israel declared its independence. So the narrative played out in the American media of five Arab countries besieging this little helpless country now known as Isreal is inaccurate, disingenuous, and is a prime example of the definition of propaganda. What went virtually unreported in the American media was the ethnic cleansing going on inside Israel before the first Arab nation attacked.[The Nakba, 65 Years of Dispossession and Apartheid]

Is It Not Ironic That The Jews Did To The Palestinians What The Nazi's Did To Them?

According to International law,  and morality, in this writer's view,  these refugees  have the right to return to their homeland. But Israel did not allow them to then, just like now. This Israeli position is the critical factor in the present day situational  affairs concerning the Middle-East conflict.

This truth is something the American media did not cover back then and very rarely to the point of never talks about today. But it is the position of the House of Public Discourse that this is significant in the overall dynamics of this conflict. There is this complete misconception that it has been Israel defending itself from Palestinian attacks. Other than in 1947, the Israelis have been the aggressors as was the case in the beforehand mentioned " Six-Day War in 1967." To this day the Israelis have failed to return the West Bank, and have blockaded the Gaza Strip.[See Article] Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is an illegal one.[See Article]  During this 1967 period, Israeli force even attacked  a US Navy ship operating in international waters. 34 American sailors were killed. 

In 1967 Israeli Jets Attacked the USS Liberty, Survivors Want Investigation

Admiral Thomas Moore

According to then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Thomas Moore, this was an act of war on the United States by Israel;   moreover, an act of murder against American servicemen. Admiral Moore testified in 2003 on Capitol  Hill a  highly significant testimony not reported in the America media. Other than just a few newspapers, this hearing and subsequent evidence went unreported in the mainstream media. 

Taking Land By Conquest Is No Longer Legal Under International Law

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of it own civilian population into the territory it occupies.[See Source]

There is no doubt whatsoever that Israel is guilty of this practice. What hardens this writer is that America has been a willing enabler of this international illegal action by the Israelis  by both political parties in the past and the present  That is exactly what Israel has been doing since 1967.  In Gaza, there has been the removal of these illegal settlements. However, Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli government to the point many experts refer to it as a prison. Israel controls the borders and air space and the importing and exporting of goods and services.  The Gaza Strip is just one big prison. Gaza has no Global Independence.[See Source]  The West Bank is a different story. While the settlements in Gaza were being removed, they were on the increase in the West Bank. This occurrence has not been covered by the American media. 

There is a lot of context to know that our news media in America are not telling us  the facts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As I began my research into this subject matter, it was quite frankly all new to me. Like many Americans, I did not know the history or the actions going on in the present. As our research staff here at the House of Public Discourse began to dig into this complex and important issue of our modern times, it occurred to us how significant this media bias towards Israel is and how this lack of under-reporting and often times no reporting has skewed the American people to the side of the Israelis.  

What is so clear and based on what we have learned, it appears our national interest and needs as a nation were the opposite of what we were being told, and our moral responsibility as human beings were the opposite of what the mainstream media would have us to believe. It seems so important that with all the misinformation being propagated in the news media we felt a duty to report this to our readers.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- A Family Affair? 

In closing, what is never mentioned or alluded to in the American media  is the Israeli and Palestinian people are a family. No matter if you take a Biblical perspective or a scientific one. 

The Biblical Perspective

Abraham's life left a legacy in many different ways, but have you ever stopped to consider the legacy of his Y chromosome?

The Scientific Perspective

Jews and Arabs are 'genetic brothers.'

According to a BBC News -SCI-TECH, report Jews and Arabs may have their differences but they share a common genetic code that reaches back thousands of years.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that Jewish men shared a common set of genetic signatures with non-Jews from the Middle East, including Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese.[See Source]

Dr Mark Jobling of Leicester University, UK, 

"The kind of DNA we have used to analyze this question is the human Y chromosome. This represents only 2% of our genetic material and it is passed down from father to son."

"This makes it particularly interesting to use in the study of Jewish populations because Jewishness is passed down from the mother to children - it is maternally inherited. So using a paternally inherited piece of DNA gives us an excellent opportunity to see the signal of mixture with other populations if this has occurred."
"The fact that we don't see it suggests that after the Diaspora these populations actually have managed to maintain their Jewish heritage."

"It seems that in many of these situations where groups are in conflict with each other they are likely to be pretty much genetically indistinguishable, and this factor, to the peoples involved in these conflicts, clearly isn't the point and isn't likely to change their behaviour very much."  

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