Historic facts disputed over Mideast conflict

By Fred Remington

Resident, Del Mar

Faith Attaguile asked, “What came first: Israeli occupation or Qassem rockets?” Perhaps a better question would be, what came first: “The long oppression of Palestinian Jews under Islam or Kassem rockets?”

If, as Attaguile alleges, David Ben Gurion said in 1937: “We must expel Arabs and take their places,” then it was because of David Ben Gurion’s understandable concern over decades of unprovoked Arab attacks upon Palestinian Jews who were purchasing land in the Palestinian territory (Palestine was never a nation) from the Ottoman Empire and Arab absentee landlords.

The root of the conflict stems from Qur’anic jurisprudence, which holds that lands conquered by Muslims must remain Muslim in perpetuity as part of the umma. Non-Muslims living in the umma are required to submit to a condition known as dhimmitude in which most of the rights we take for granted in free societies are abolished. Jews, who are reviled in the Qur’an, suffered under dhimmitude in Palestine from 638 CE until the birth of the modern Jewish state in 1948.

David Ben Gurion clearly understood in 1937 that if the Jewish people in Palestine had any chance of freedom and self determination, they would need a state that met three basic requirements: 1) a Jewish majority, 2) sufficient size to achieve strategic depth, and 3) defensible borders. Most military experts agree that Israel’s current borders, including the strategic Golan and Judean heights, are necessary for Israel’s self-defense.

Attaguile refers to “Israel’s occupation.” Israel’s occupation in part of historic Jewish Palestine differs from the European occupation and colonization of the American continent. Jews are the indigenous Palestinian people and Jews have been living continuously in Palestine (Judea-Summeria) for 3,500 years. Unlike Americans, Australians and New Zealanders, Jews are occupying their own land.

Israel has been seeking peace since 1947, when it accepted U.N. Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state based on demographics. Arabs could not tolerate a Jewish state, they attacked and lost. Israel’s first obligation remains self-defense against the majority of Arab-Palestinians who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist under any conditions.