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Israel And Palestine, What Does The Records Say? by thankless(m): 3:59pm On Oct 08, 2023
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes’.” --Jesus Christ in Luke 19:40&41, the Holy Bible.

“If Israel just allowed the Palestinians have a State of their own, there would be peace in the middle east!” When I hear UN ambassadors, European diplomats, Arab politicians and even university professors echo these words, my lips stretch in sad laughter and I shake my head. How can anyone, how much more a professor, fail to understand that at the core of the age long conflict in that area, sits religion? Even though I am not here trying to deny other factors, my point is, when the mask is pulled down, religion stares you in the face as a major inspiration for the hate in that region.

Just so you know, the 3 holiest cities in the Islamic religion according to order of importance are; Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet of Islam and the site of the Kaaba. Medina, the city where the Prophet of Islam migrated to escape persecution in Mecca, and also the city where he is buried in a site known as the Prophet's Mosque. Then Jerusalem, where the Prophet of Islam is said to have ascended to heaven and met with other prophets in a Night Journey. It is also the city where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located, on a site that once held Solomon’s temple…and this city is under Jewish control today! Just so you know, the first two cities are not opened to non-Muslims, and there are three cities considered holy in Islam, so what do you think will be the reaction if one of them is not under Islamic control? There are many more examples, but let me leave at this one for now!

Now, for those who often echo the opening lines of my first paragraph, without taking sides, is it really true that Israel has not offered an olive branch to its cousins, the Palestinians?
Let’s consider what the records say.

After the breakup of the Ottoman empire following World War One which started in 1914, Britain took control of most of most of the middle east, including the area that constitute what we know today as modern Israel. 17 years after the war ended, that was in 1936, the Arabs rebelled against the British and against their Jewish neighbours. Some people have argued that the west, led by Britain, had brought in Europeans disguised as Jews to take over Palestinian lands, others say those who came back only came back to their ancestral home to which they have their roots firmly established. Irrespective of the side of the divide one stands, there is no denying the fact that even Arabs know the truth that they and the Jews are cousins of the same Semitic tribe. Now, because of the Arab rebellion, the British formed a task force, the Peel commission, to study the cause of the 1936 rebellion. The commission concluded that the reason for the violence was that two peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, wanted to govern the same land. The solution, the Peel commission concluded, would be to have two States, one for the Jews and the other for the Palestinians, in the area. A two States solution. The suggested split was heavily in favour of the Arabs, the British offered them 80% of the disputed territory. To the Jews they gave the remaining 20%. Yet, despite the tiny size of their proposed state, the Jews voted to accept this offer, but the Arabs rejected it and resumed violent rebellion.

10 years later, in 1947, the British asked the United Nations to find a lasting solution to the continuing tensions. Like the Peel commission, the UN decided that the best way to resolve the problem ones and for all, was to divide the land. In November of the same year, the UN voted to create two States, again the Jews accepted the offer, the Arabs rejected it. In fact, the rejection this time came with an all-out war. Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria all joined the Palestinians in waging a war with Israel, but Israel won the war. In fact, there are analysts who believe the Arabs were only using Palestinian land to wage a war against the Jewish State that they hate so much. Again, Israel won the war and quickly began to develop the lands within its borders.
Most of the lands set aside by the UN for an Arab state, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, quickly became occupied territory, occupied not by Israel, but by Jordan. 20 years later, in 1967, the Arabs, led this time by Egypt, and joined by Syria and Jordan, ones again started a war which sought to destroy Israel. The conflict, known as the 6-Day War, ended in a stunning victory for Israel. Jerusalem and Best Bank, as well as the area known as the Gaza strip and even Golan Heights, fell into Israel’s hands. The government of Israel at the time became split on what to do with these territory, half of the cabinet members wanted to return the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt in exchange for peace. The other half wanted to give to the region’s Arabs, who had by now began to refer to themselves as the Palestinians, in the hope that they would ultimately build their own State there. None of those initiative went very far because a few months later, the Arab League met in Sudan and issued the famous “3 Nos” statement. No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel and No negotiation with Israel.

In the year 2000, Israeli Ehud Barack met at Camp David with Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO Chairman Yasar Arafat, to conclude a new, Two States Plan deal. Barack offered Arafat a Palestinian State, all of Gaza and 94% of the West Bank, with east Jerusalem as capital. The Palestinian leader rejected the offer, in the words of former US president Bill Clinton who was in power at the time, “Arafat was here 14 days and said no to everything”. Again, the Palestinians launched a bloody wave of suicide bombing that killed over a thousand Israelis and caused mayhem, as many were killed in buses and wedding halls, etc. Of course the Jews responded, striking and killing many more Palestinians, including women and children and the same time too.

In 2008, Israel tried to make peace, as prime minister Ehud Olmert went even further than Ehud Barrack when he extended the peace offer to include additional lands to sweeten the deal. Like his predecessor, the new Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, turned the deal down.

Just so you know, in-between these last two Israeli offers, Israel unilaterality left Gaza, giving the Palestinians complete control of the land. Some experts say instead of developing the place, instead of building a country, the Palestinians focused on destroying another by turning the place into a base from which they began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.

Now, without taking sides, might I ask, what do the Palestinians really want? What does the Arabs want? When will this cycle of bloodshed, suffering and deaths for innocent people, end? Following the news as of this morning, seeing over a thousand dead, on both sides, especially civilians, seeing Palestinians militants entering a social events and firing into the crowd, seeing people scamper in all directions, running for their lives, innocent people who don’t have a hand in all these, one would be forced to ask what could be the inspiration for this level of hate among a people of the same Semitic tribe?

I am very sure that a vast majority of Arabs and Israelis simply want to live in peace and happiness, I know there are those who profit from this endless cycle of violence, and I also know that religion has a hand in all this.
Whatever solution the world wants to find; the scope must be widened to include this!


Albert Afeso Akanbi is a writer & filmmaker. He writes from Abuja

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Re: Israel And Palestine, What Does The Records Say? by AllenSpencer: 4:43pm On Oct 08, 2023
Fvck Israel!

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