Four thousand years ago, in Genesis, God told
Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who
curses you." Mount Moriah - now the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - is
where Jewish and Christian tradition holds that Abraham almost sacrificed
his son Isaac. Isaac's son Jacob was renamed Israel by God, and given the
promise of the land of Canaan (now Israel) and a covenant that he and his
descendants would be "God's people."
Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C., and
since then Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. In 586 B.C., the first
Jewish temple (on today's Temple Mount) was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzer,
king of Babylon. In 70 A.D., it was the Roman Empire's turn to conquer
Israel and destroy the second Jewish Temple, slaughtering or driving out
much of the Jewish population.
The Romans called the land Palestine for
the Philistines, as a humiliation to the Jews who had defeated the
Philistines centuries earlier. Many Jews left because conditions of life
were made unbearable, yet thousands stayed and rebelled for centuries to
rebuild a Jewish nation in this Holy Land.
Over the next 1,878 years - the diaspora -
various peoples, religions and empires, including Christian crusaders, the
Ottomans and, briefly, the British marched through Jerusalem. None was
interested in building a nation there.
Included in these "invaders"
were the Arabs. In 636 A.D., Arab marauders came to the land and uprooted
many Jews, but they did not form an Arab nation, certainly not a
The name "Palestine" is
mentioned four times in the Bible, not once in the Koran. The name
"Jerusalem" is mentioned 767 times in the Bible, not once in the
No nation, other than ancient Israel and
the reborn nation of Israel in 1948 has ever reigned as a sovereign
national entity in the land of Canaan.
Modern Israel is a miracle. This tiny
nation is the fourth-greatest military power in the world.
In November 1947, the U.N. General
Assembly voted to partition the British mandate of Palestine into two
territories that were envisioned as future states - one predominantly
Jewish, the other Arab. Six months later, on May 14, 1948, hours before
the British withdrew, the state of Israel was proclaimed and immediately
recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union.
At that moment 54 years ago, the
Palestinians had a state, or a territory designated for a creation of
their state. If reason had governed, two small nations might have thrived
as neighbors at peace. But it was not to be.
On May 15, one day after Israel's
declaration of statehood, the Arab regimes of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq
and Syria set their armies in motion with the stridently declared
objective of driving the Jews into the sea. History shows they failed.
The Arabs had 250 million people; Israel,
3 million. The Arabs had 1.5 million square miles of territory; Israel,
7,500 square miles.
The Arabs failed again in 1956 at Suez
and, even more decisively, in the Six Day War of 1967, which ended in
humiliation, especially for Egypt, whose soldiers threw down their weapons
and fled on foot back across the Sinai, with some 10,000 perishing in the
The final failure was in the 1973 Yom
Kippur War, which began with an Egyptian and Syrian attack on Oct. 6, the
Hebrew Day of Atonement and the 10th day of the Muslim holy month of
After four wars and tens of thousands of
Arab and Israeli deaths, the Arab states had enough. In a series of
historic blunders, they ensured the Palestinians' continued statelessness.
Having spent lives and treasures to no point, Egypt and Jordan agreed to
The Israelis did not take any land from
the Palestinians, but won it in battle from the Arab nations after being
attacked, so there are no "occupied territories." Through those
25 years of confrontation and 28 troubled years since, no Arab country
except Jordan has allowed Palestinians to immigrate in significant
numbers, extended rights of citizenship or committed resources to
relieving the misery in the refugee camps.
About 2 million Palestinian refugees have
lived in camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt
since 1948, and about 1 million live in the West Bank and Gaza. If the
oil-rich Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority have such compassion
for the refugees, why do they leave them in camps?
Israel has absorbed 2 million Jews from
the Soviet Union and the Arab nations, at great expense, yet there are no
Jewish refugee camps.
The Palestinians are just an excuse for
the Arabs, a means to have a surrogate guerrilla army within Israel.
Generations of young, born in the camps, have no profession but violence,
no ambition but martyrdom, no creed but rage.
So today, Palestinian youths strap
explosives to their bodies and blow themselves to eternity, somehow
imagining it will help secure for their people the state they could have
had in 1948, except for the tragic miscalculations of their Arab brethren.
The virulent hatred is flamed by militant Muslims, who have declared a
holy war of terror against Israel - and the United States for supporting
Without us, they would again try to drive
the Jews into the sea, and if Israel could be destroyed the United States
would no longer be the enemy.