PERSPECTIVES ON ISRAEL & PALESTINE

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by Geoff Dickson, past president of Q Society.

 After many years of researching and writing about Islam, I have become so aware of the deliberate attempts to delegitimize Israel and deny the historical connection to the land. We see events like Israel Apartheid Week played out

Israel Apartheid Week.jpg around the world and movements like BDS which aim at destroying Israel. With this in mind we again visited Israel in September 2016 to investigate issues further and visit known hot spots like Hebron and Bethlehem. Indeed there were travel warnings against Hebron as we booked a tour with a Ramallah based tour group and also we were in Jerusalem at the time of the funeral for Shimon Peres who was revered by Israelis but roundly condemned by Muslims and even Australia’s Green party leader Richard Di Natali.

Why is truth so important?

Increasingly there are signs everywhere of deception and rewriting of our history to distort the truth. Our universities are awash with Arab oil money to subvert the next generation of students and rogue text books are present in our schools, presenting a distorted picture of history deliberately undermining western civilization and culture.

Mind your language

I personally don’t like the word “Palestinian” in the context used today as it originally applied to the Jews not the Arabs. Likewise I find terms like “occupied”,” illegal settlers” and even the “West Bank” offensive as it is a deliberate attempt to undermine Israeli sovereignty.

What are Arabs saying?

At this point before continuing, let us revisit what Arabs have said about Palestine in the past. For over 40 years, Arab figures from PLO, Fatah and Hamas have consistently stated that the Palestinian people is a falsehood designed to destroy Israel. Do our political leaders listen?

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel”. [Zahir Muhsein – PLO figure from 1977]

“If we say we want to wipe Israel out, it is too difficult – it is not acceptable policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world, keep them to yourself”. [Abbas Zaki – Fatah leader in 2006]

“Who are the Palestinian people? They are Arabs from Egypt with names like Al Masri, they are Arabs from Saudi Arabia and Yemen”. [Fathi Hamad – Hamas minister for Gaza in 2012]

That is Apartheid.jpgIt is obvious that the strategy is to deny Israel any state at all and to steal away land piece by piece until Israel collapses. Our tour guide openly stated that Palestine and Israel are names for the same land and that they want Palestine to be for Arabs, not Jews. The mantra we increasingly hear is “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”.

Current PA leader Mahmoud Abbas who bases himself in Ramallah is quite clear on this issue. In July 2010 he made it clear that a future Palestine will have no Jews anywhere.

Why do western politicians still bang on about some two state solution when Arab leaders make it so clear?

Don’t forget the famous Arab mantra “first comes Saturday, then comes Sunday”, meaning first we kill the Jews then the Christians.

What do Arabs say about themselves?

Let us hear from famous Arab historian ibn Khaldun in his work Al Muqaddimah from 1377. 

“The natural talent of Arabs is the plundering and exploitation of others. Belongings of others inspire them to theft and robbery. They feed through their lances and swords, rob and plunder without moral boundaries; on the contrary, they steal everything on their path. If they, during their conquests, occupy a country they paid no attention to the heritage of the people; therefore the property by the occupiers are all violated and robbed”.

If ibn Khaldun is correct about Arab nature, then we should not be surprised that they want to take land away from the Jews who Islamic scripture calls descendants of apes and monkeys.

What did Allah tell Mohammed to do?

The hadith of Bukhari is next in importance to Muslims after the Quran, and Allah guided his prophet with these instructions: [Hadith of Bukhari Vol 1 Book 7 No. 331]

1) Using terror will make you victorious (in spreading the religion)

2) You can steal from those whom you fight against

3) The Earth belongs to Muslims and they can pray wherever and whenever they like

So not only do Arabs have a natural talent for stealing and feed through their swords, they have a divine blessing from Allah to use terror and steal. Mohammed bragged about this in Bukhari 4.52.220. Why is that so hard to understand for our politicians?

Why does not our dim witted Prime Minister understand that Islam has always been about terror and stealing instead of banging on about Arabs inventing the zero in mathematics, or sitting next to Waleed and Susan at some Iftar dinner while the Grand Mufti smirks at a nearby table?

But I had serious questions to be answered as I embarked on our day tour of Bethlehem and Hebron.

Questions to be answered

Having read the material provided by the tour company prior to the day of travel, I had formulated questions in my head that demanded answers.

a) If the land of Palestine is another name for Israel, what role is there for Jews in a future Palestinian state?

b) How do you rate Mahmoud Abbas as a leader and who would be better?

c) Who was the best leader of Arabs in your opinion?

d) Why are the refugee camps so permanent when the UNHCR resettles people rather than encamping them?

e) Why do you call Jews settlers when they have been here for over 3,000 years?

f) Why has the Christian population of Bethlehem fallen from over 80% to under 30% after the PA took control?

g) Where is the archaeological evidence to support the Arab Palestinian view?

h) Why does the PA pay prisoners depending on how many Jews they have killed? Isn’t that an incentive to murder Jews rather than a peace initiative?

The tour company

We selected a tour company carefully as one that claimed to be a joint venture by Israelis and Palestinians alike who were working towards peace and mutual understanding.

It is safer to travel into places like Hebron with a Palestinian guide in a vehicle with number plates that would not raise attention by militants.

After registering for the tour I was sent some online material about their version of history and when we arrived at their office in Bethlehem we were given a booklet on the Palestine and Israel conflict. Our tour guide claimed to be a Christian but stated he was a Palestinian first and political, declining to guide us through the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, instead handing the task to another man. We were told that the Israel / Palestinian issue was a modern one forced on Arabs as a result of conquest by countries like Britain and France but I strongly disagree with that position.

Some background to the debate

The land west of the Jordan river was a promise first stated in Genesis and confirmed by both the League of Nations and later by the UN via Resolution 80.

In the Bible in the book of Genesis 17:8 God promises Abraham that his descendants would have all the land of Canaan as a perpetual holding . So all the land west of the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea was the promised land for Israel and this is supported by the Quran in Sura 5:21 when Moses is told to lead his people to the promised land and in Sura 17:104 that God would gather the people of Israel into the promised land. So the Bible and Quran agree that God had promised Israel this homeland which Muslims today reject. Indeed Abraham purchased the cave of Machpela which is in Hebron to bury his wife Sarah. Today this cave is the resting place not only for Abraham but also Isaac and his wife and Jacob and his wife.

When Joshua crossed the Jordan after the death of Moses on mount Nebo, he set about fulfilling the promise by taking the lands God promised to Israel. And it was Caleb who settled in the area of Hebron which also has the graves of the judge Ruth and Jesse, the father of king David who was anointed king circa 1,011 BC.

David ruled in Hebron for about 7 years then moved to Jerusalem where he ruled for another 33 years. The connection of Israel to the land is strong and yet even today bodies like UNESCO try to deny the historical connection.

When in Rome…

Those who deny the historical connection of Israel to the land and even deny the second temple on mount Moriah only need to travel to Rome. When in Rome do as the Romans do, and Romans visit the famous Forum area where democracy played out and victories were celebrated by the Emperors and people alike. Located just inside the Forum complex is the arch of Titus which was built to celebrate General Titus and his victory over the Jews. A relief under the arch shows clearly the victorious Roman soldiers carrying the golden Menorah from the temple back to Rome. Note it was the Menorah which is symbolic of Jewishness not a crescent moon and morning star which symbolises Islam which was carried off to Rome. Moreover it was Flavius Silva who commanded the Roman tenth legion, X Fretensis, which destroyed the second temple on 70AD and later in 74AD completed the humiliation at Masada by breeching the western wall only to find that hundreds of Jews had taken their own lives. Rome understood it was about Jews not Arabs.

After the conquest, Roman coins were minted carrying the words “Judea Capta” confirming that it was Judea and the Jews that had been captured, not Arabs. There is absolutely no doubt that in the first century Romans knew that Jerusalem and the Holy Temple was all about Jews and had nothing to do with Arabs.

What about International Law?

My research told me that the Balfour Declaration of 1917 when the Ottoman Empire suffered defeat after siding with Germany was the basis for a Jewish state in a land that had continuous occupation by Jews for thousands of years and a strong Biblical tradition as God’s promise.

I have read the Declaration many times and I know there is no mention of the word Arab. The intention was clearly for a Jewish state just as Arab states were assigned in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Only a small portion of the land was set aside for a Jewish homeland and yet in 1921 the British government settled a dispute between Arab tribes and stripped off 77 percent of the proposed Jewish homeland for the Hashemite Arabs, which became Trans Jordan and later Jordan in 1947. A UN resolution 181 voted for on 29 November 1947 sought to further divide the land and leave Israel with only 56% of the 23% remnant of the original designated area.

If the Arabs had accepted Resolution 181 as Israel had reluctantly done, then Israel would have received only 13% of the original land. It was the Jews who were robbed, not the Arabs.

And here comes the deception.

We are told that Israel tried to steal land from these poor Arabs who want a two state solution. Yet the two state solution came about in 1922 when all 51 members of the League of Nations voted to grant the land west of the Jordan to Israel. Even the USA agreed with the ruling.

When the UN came into being, Resolution 80 accepted prior rulings of the League of Nations. In fact I believe that Israel is the only nation to be approved by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. Sadly today, the UN is united against Israel thanks to the large Muslim voting block.

Bethlehem and the Separation Wall

After changing buses and drivers at the office in Bethlehem we first visited the church of Nativity where another Christian guide took us through the complex. We had visited here two years ago and so there was nothing new for us. Of course, overlooking the church and St Catherines is the huge mosque of Umar reminding us of the superiority of Islam over other religions. There are hijabed women everywhere as they have their belief in Jesus (sorry, Isa) and he was born under a date palm somewhere not in a manger, but don’t let facts upset the story!

Boarding the bus we headed off to the separation wall and the Dawah became heavier.  

Separation Wall.jpgThe Separation Wall in Bethlehem - yes, it is imposing and I would not want to have this ugly wall near my house. The wall is plastered with stories, pleas for freedom and peace. I understand that. There was the typical Arab shop nearby and we were encouraged to buy something to help these “poor Palestinians”. Many stories are moving and I do feel for people caught up in what is not just a political storm but one with religious overtones. Our tour guide went up a notch here and we were invited to read the many stories about how Arabs are oppressed by nasty Jews.

Our tour guide posed the question “why did they build this wall?” and I thought to myself that maybe it was because Muslims have a desire to throw Molotov cocktails and stones and even strap bombs to their children and send them off to a coffee shop or a bus to detonate their bombs. I did look for one story in particular which was not there.

It was about the Arab Christian woman, Christy Anastas, whose family home was surrounded on three sides by this wall and who fled to Britain after going public about the persecution of Christians by Arab Muslims. Christy reported there had been a 300% increase in honour killings in 2013 as hairy-chested Muslims take the advice that their prophet gave in Bukhari 8.82.829. I asked our guide about the Jizya tax and did he know how many Christians were forced to pay this protection tax. I received a blank stare only.

I asked him if he knew that Christie’s uncle was shot dead in front of his house because he refused to pay the protection tax. Arab Muslims came to the Christian houses to launch attacks on Israelis and naturally the IDF responded damaging Christian houses. But by complaining about not being protected, Christie’s uncle received a bullet through his chest.

Our guide had no knowledge about Christie or that incident, nor could offer an explanation as to why the Christian population of Bethlehem has dropped from over 80% under Israeli rule to less than 30% under the PA. Maybe they just decided to leave, he said dryly.

My questions were indeed being answered and my hopes for balanced reporting from a supposed Christian man were fading fast. We now move on to visit a refugee camp nearby.

Visit to a Refugee camp in Bethlehem

Along the way, the narrow streets are full of cars. The streets and footpaths are cluttered and dirty, uncollected rubbish is evident everywhere and there is a constant noise with horns blowing and cars and motor bikes filling the narrow streets. And then you park nearby and walk into this concrete jungle which is supposedly the largest refugee camp. How depressing it was and I would certainly not want to live here or raise children. But I had more questions I wanted answered.

Refugee Camp: Martyrs Wall or Murderers Wall?

Martyrs Wall.jpg

The political nature of this tour now became evident as we walked through a district of concrete squalor. We were led to a section that displayed the names and faces of Arabs who are called martyrs because they died fighting to rid the land of pesky Jews. I asked the guide at this stage could he comment on the recent reports that the PA used a part of its income from foreign governments, including Australia, to pay Arab murders in prison with amounts depending on how many Jews they had killed. He was not aware but commented that most Arab leaders were corrupt. Surely, paying people based on how many Jews they kill will never bring peace. I also asked what he thought of Mahmoud Abbas who refuses to hold elections and has profited handsomely from western money. He was not impressed by Abbas and I thought with his tour company based in Ramallah which is home to Abbas he was careful about what he said.

I then asked him who he thought was the better Arab leader and his quick response was Yasser Arafat. My jaw dropped, but then I remembered this guide called himself a Palestinian and certainly did not follow the Christianity I understand. I reminded him about the hundreds of millions of dollars Arafat was reported to have but this was brushed away. Maybe his wife did, but Arafat was good. 

Alley.jpgI remembered that Arafat spoke two languages. He said “Peace. peace, peace” in English and “Jihad, jihad, jihad” in Arabic. However I accepted that Arafat was a hero to my Palestinian guide. How can people live in this environment, and this prompted my next question.

“Why does the PA build permanent structures like this when the UNHCR resettles refugees?”

This question was met with a shrug of the shoulders and no comment. Most Arab leaders are corrupt I was told many times.

Then we were also shown a section of wall about UN resolution 194 which called for the right of return for people displaced by an act of war, and Arabs have been vocal about demanding their right of return. I also knew that more Jews than Arabs could call for their right to return as about 800,000 Jews were displaced around 1948. Jews living in Egypt lost their homes, businesses and bank accounts after being forced to leave.

But is there a more sinister reason for wanting Arabs to flood into Israel under Resolution 194? Of course there is, and who better to inform us of that than a former Fatah minister to Lebanon and now a PA minister in Abbas Zaki. It is all about numbers.

If Arabs are numerically superior to Jews a simple majority can force Israel to surrender to all their demands, and that includes having no Jews in Israel, according to Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas Zaki was quoted as saying this in September 2011 as a senior Fatah minister and a believer in the desire to return things to the 1967 borders which would leave Israel not defendable in a military sense and easy to defeat (in their minds).

"The greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.... If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end. If we say we want to wipe Israel out, it is too difficult – it is not acceptable policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world, keep them to yourself”.

That is not hard to understand is it?

He was also quoted as saying in May 2009 when acting as the foreign minister to Lebanon

“My advice is that we don’t give Israel a truce (hudna). If Israel withdraws from Samaria, Judea and Jerusalem, Israel will collapse. Their Zionist dream will be lost”.

So the right of return as stated in Resolution 194 of the UN is so important.

UN Resulution 194.jpg

We return to our tour bus and drive slowly away from Bethlehem in the direction of Hebron, noting the olive groves and even vineyards dotting the landscape. Our guide commented numerous times about Nakba day referring to 1948 when the state of Israel was declared and this being a catastrophe for Arabs who lost the war.

Time and time again I was told that Arab armies were forced to enter Israel because the Jews were killing Palestinian Arabs who couldn’t defend themselves.

Of course I knew differently as it was Arab armies from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt who poured into Israel determined to rid the land of Jews and deliver it to the Arabs who had been promised this reward. The catastrophe was that the Arabs lost and the Jews won the war. I also reflected on the fact that when the Jordanian army took East Jerusalem, they destroyed synagogues, desecrated graves and used tombstones as building material and built houses next to the western wall (Kotel) so that Jews could not pray in their most Holy site. After retaking the district in 1967, the houses were demolished but why did Israel hand control of the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf? How crazy is that?

Hebron and a visit to a glass and pottery factory

Driving into Hebron our tour guide stopped the bus outside a factory which used recycled glass to produce glassware. Attached to the glass blowing area was a small pottery operation where mostly blue glazed pottery was produced, mainly plates and pots with the typical Arabic squiggles adorning the pottery. My first impression was there were no signs of a factory adopting modern practices and instead I noticed many Workplace Health and Safety issues.

During my professional life I have spent decades in vitreous china factories like Dalton and Armitage and toured glass blowing factories like Waterford Crystal in Cork, Ireland.

Where was the attention to World Best Practice?

Where was the signs of Quality and Waste management?

Where were the signs of the adoption of Continuous Improvement Methodologies?

No room here for Kanban systems or JIT methodologies.

What I observe was an unclean workplace where the workers looked bored and unmotivated.

Factory.jpg

I looked for the typical motivational boards displaying improvement in quality, production or reduction in waste due to management policies. There were no signs.

The glassblowers looked bored and uninterested. The pottery lacked finesse and imagination. So what was I meant to feel?

Was I meant to be impressed? Well, no, I wasn’t impressed. Was I meant to feel sorry for the workers? Possibly I was meant to feel for these poor Palestinians oppressed by mean Israel. I really don’t know.

I came away thinking this is another example of Islamic Inshallah manufacturing.

If Allah wills it, then it will happen. No room here for human creativity and improvement.

The Cave of Machpela and lunch with a Palestinian family

Unfortunately for us it was Shabbat and it was also days after an incident where a Palestinian youth was shot dead by an IDF soldier after an attempted stabbing attack. Visiting the cave was not allowed and the tension was high as we descended into the area.

For some reason we parked in a street high above and descended through narrow laneways and even a rubbish dump to enter the wide deserted street where the Arab family lived.

We passed through IDF checkpoints and had to show our passports.

Rose and I were fine but our two Bangladeshi Muslims with Australian passports always raised attention. Every time, a soldier questioned them and even rang someone to check the passports. We were on edge now and my wife felt uneasy.

Our guide even complained about why he was asked about his religion when soldiers approached him. He stated openly that a person’s religion should not be in question.

However I thought that one religion asks its followers to kill those who don’t follow their Moon God while two other religions I could recall ask their followers to love their neighbour. Funny about that!

Gutnik Centre.jpgThe night before I had done some research and discovered that there were over 250,000 Arabs living in Hebron today and only about 6,000 Jews and they were gathered in one district.

The Arab man who owned the house welcomed us and embraced our Christian tour guide acting like they were brothers. When he heard we were from Australia, he asked me if I knew Joe Gutnick. I said I knew he was a successful businessman from Melbourne and I was told the Arabs hated Gutnick. The pointed out of the window at a building funded by Gutnick and bearing his name. Apparently his crime was to help the small Jewish population rebuild and grow.

Our Arab host complained about the Jews having too many children (and only one wife). He smiled as he told us of multiple wives and only 18 grandchildren. He wanted more.

Lunch was served in a front room and luckily we were provided with low couches so did not sit on the floor. Forks were also provided so we did not eat with our fingers. However, the bathroom did come with a squat toilet which is a custom now being forced on us in Australia under the guise of Multiculturalism. How I hate that word.

Our Arab’s wife and daughter stayed in a back room where the kitchen was and had their back turned to me so as not to have contact. What could I see anyway as the clothing was head to toe covering? Very Islamic, and after all, I was just a filthy infidel, a kafir, the vilest of creatures according to Sura 98:6 of the Moon God’s holy book called the Quran.

During lunch I sat next to the Arab’s son who showed us all on his iphone images he caught of the IDF staging the whole event by first shooting an unarmed Arab youth and then putting a knife in his hand. Pallywood is alive and well in Hebron I thought!

I observed that I could see cats everywhere but no dogs, and the son told me that dogs are dirty animals and only used as guard dogs. Apes & Pigs Alliance.jpgI recalled an obscure Hadith which told that Mohammed was bitten by a dog when in the act of stealing bread . Of course Mohammed did order the killing of dogs in Medina and stated that a dog will annul a prayer. Not all hadiths are reliable, but it did make some sense to me. As we parted company and gave our thanks I noted at how our Bangladeshi Muslims received big hugs and backslaps. I heard the word “Inshallah” many times as they hope their Allah will deliver Palestine to them. No group hugs for us though. Our return trip was uneventful but I had profound feelings as I realised that true peace is a dream and impossible as long as the Quran exists and mosques available to preach hatred of Jews and Christians alike. As we walked back to our Jerusalem hotel we noted how clean the streets were, the flow of traffic orderly and people well-dressed walking about, even walking dogs. What a contrast!

What can I conclude?

My questions were answered but not in a way I would have liked. Obviously the tour promoted as balanced was biased towards an anti-Israel direction. Nothing new here.

I reflected on Nakba day for the Palestinians when Israel has its own day of catastrophe – Tisha B’Av. It was on 9th Av when Israel became afraid to take the land of Canaan as the promise of God.

Only Joshua and Caleb were positive whereas the other 10 spies sent by Moses were afraid, so God has punished Israel for more than 3,000 years for not trusting in His promise.

The Jews were punished for not trusting God to deliver all the land west of the Jordan river . The Arabs lament they did not kill the Jews and steal what belonged to the Jews for themselves. How ironic is that? How Arabic? I am sure ibn Khaldun would agree.

The destruction of the first and second temples, the expulsion from England in 1290 AD, and later from France and Spain all took place on Tisha B’Av as did the final withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, a land that was promised to Israel. After withdrawing from Gaza which was part of the promise, Israel has been on the receiving end of over 15,000 rockets.

God certainly delivered on His promise!

Contact Geoff Dickson via geoffdickson (at) fastmail (dot) fm

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This page contains a single entry by Zeudberg published on November 30, 2016 11:09 AM.

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