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Let’s Talk About Zionism and the Arabs

It wasn't Palestinians who saved Jews from the Holocaust. It was Zionists. It wasn't Arabs who reclaimed Israel. It was Zionists. It wasn't Tlaib's ancestors who made room for 600,000 Jews starving in the death camps a year after the end of WWII--it was the Zionists. It wasn't the Holocaust that forced the state of Israel into being. It was the Zionists, armed with rifles and the motivation of fighting for their existence, who fought off armies many times their size.

Either Rep. Rashida Tlaib is too ignorant to serve in Congress, or she is peddling a horrendous lie. There have been plenty of factual explanations exposing Tlaib’s remarks for what they are.

“There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports,” Tlaib said. 

“And, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And, I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”

Townhall, May 12, 2019

And Democrat leaders feel compelled to attack Republicans for pointing out the lies.

So let’s go where it’s obvious that Reps. Tlaib and Ilhan Omar want us to go. They want to talk about Zionism. They want to talk about the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land. So let’s go back and look at the numbers.

Since the Diaspora of the Jews, when the Roman Emperor Titus destroyed the Temple. About 55 years later, Julius Severus wiped out nearly 1,000 Jewish villages and began the long drought of Jews in the Holy Land. Hadrian then renamed the province of Judea to Syria Palaestina, determined to destroy any connection of the Jews to the land.

Yet, despite a complete ban on Jews, there was a continuous presence over the next 1,400 years. The Jewish population dipped as low as 5,000 in 1517. Then, 300 years later, it began to rise, as a movement called Zionism grew. It was the desire of Jews to return from the Diaspora to their ancient land. At first, the Arab population remained steady at around 300,000–as it had been for centuries.

Then, as Jews started reclaiming the desert and infested swamps that Jerusalem had become, the Arabs decided to incentivize their own immigration. Much of that was because the Jews were raising the standard of living.

The Arab population also grew because of the improved living conditions created by the Jews as they drained malarial swamps and brought improved sanitation and health care to the region. Thus, for example, the Muslim infant mortality rate fell from 201 per thousand in 1925 to 94 per thousand in 1945 and life expectancy rose from 37 years in 1926 to 49 in 1943.

Pre-State Israel: The Arabs in Palestine

Jews returning to the Holy Land did not, as the Palestinian narrative suggests, displace native Arabs.

Jews actually went out of their way to avoid purchasing land in areas where Arabs might be displaced. They sought land that was largely uncultivated, swampy, cheap and, most important, without tenants. In 1920, Labor Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion expressed his concern about the Arab fellahin, whom he viewed as “the most important asset of the native population.” Ben-Gurion said “under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them.” He advocated helping liberate them from their oppressors. “Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement,” Ben-Gurion added, “should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price.”

The influx of Jews was greatly helped by the Balfour Declaration during World War I. And of course, the Ottomans opposed it, being the enemies of the British.

With the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, some extremist Arabs found cause to begin murdering Jews. The British responded with (as always) a commission.

In his memoirs, Transjordan’s King Abdullah wrote: 

It is made quite clear to all, both by the map drawn up by the Simpson Commission and by another compiled by the  Peel Commission, that the Arabs are as prodigal in selling their land as they are in useless wailing and weeping (author’s emphasis).

The Jews were paying cash to Arabs who were more than willing to sell the land. By 1936, there were 174,610 Jews, and 861,211 non-Jews in the Holy Land; by 1939 the number of Jews had grown to 449,000. Yes, many were fleeing Germany.

By 1947, Jewish holdings in Palestine amounted to about 463,000 acres. Approximately 45,000 of these acres were acquired from the Mandatory Government; 30,000 were bought from various churches and 387,500 were purchased from Arabs. Analyses of land purchases from 1880 to 1948 show that 73 percent of Jewish plots were purchased from large landowners, not poor fellahin. Those who sold land included the mayors of Gaza, Jerusalem and Jaffa. As’ad el­Shuqeiri, a Muslim religious scholar and father of PLO chairman Ahmed Shuqeiri, took Jewish money for his land. Even King Abdullah leased land to the Jews. In fact, many leaders of the Arab nationalist movement, including members of the Muslim Supreme Council, sold land to Jews.

So, in a way, Rep. Tlaib was right. The Arabs sold their land to the Jews. They made a lot of money selling that land. And when the Israeli flag was raised over the Tel Aviv Museum in May 1948, those same Arabs told their countrymen to flee, because five Arab armies were coming to destroy the Jews.

A word about the Israeli flag. It was adopted as the Zionist flag in 1897. It first flew over the Holy Land in 1885–above the Zionist community of Rishon Lezion. It flew in Boston in 1891, before the Balfour Declaration. Before World War I, before the Holocaust. Zionism was a thing before there was such a thing as Palestinians.

The Arab plan was to take the Jews’ money for the land, then defeat the Jews and take the land. But it didn’t work out that way. The Zionists–the Jews–won.

The Zionist victory has rippled throughout the world, and come to America, where those who want to undo what happened 71 years ago claim that they feel warm all over because their ancestors were saving Jews from the Holocaust. None of that is true. The Muslim Brotherhood allied with Hitler. That’s not even in dispute, historically.

It wasn’t Palestinians who saved Jews from the Holocaust. It was Zionists. It wasn’t Arabs who reclaimed Israel. It was Zionists. It wasn’t Tlaib’s ancestors who made room for 600,000 Jews starving in the death camps a year after the end of WWII–it was the Zionists. It wasn’t the Holocaust that forced the state of Israel into being. It was the Zionists, armed with rifles and the motivation of fighting for their existence, who fought off armies many times their size.

Jews owe their (our) current homeland, and indeed many owe their lives, to the Zionists. So when people say they don’t hate the Jews, but hate Zionism, you know what they’re really saying–they hate the Jews.

For me, knowing this is a calming feeling. But for the increasingly shrill anti-Semites in our nation, it’s reason for rage.

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