No Peace ‘Til Withdrawal From Settlements And…
By Gerald A. Honigman
end to colonialist occupation.
This has been a heck of a month for our British friends.
Those who have fought among themselves over the centuries’ old British conquest of Irish lands have shook hands (among others, the Scots were forced to go along with this earlier); thousands of miles away from home--as in the days of the British Empire--British sailors and marines were captured defending the interests of the Crown; and, again, thousands of miles away from home, Argentina is once again demanding that the British acknowledge Argentine sovereignty over the Las Islas Malvinas--aka the Falkland Islands. The two fought a war over this several decades ago.
Note, please, that the Brits--like too many others--have jumped on the Arab bandwagon claiming that there cannot be peace in the Middle East until Israel withdraws from “occupied” territories and settlements.
Note also, please, that any objective look at the historical record will show the presence and sometimes sovereign control in/of these adjacent areas by Jews in Gaza, the Golan, Judea, Samaria, and so forth. These were not lands conquered far away from home, but lands totally within the area of the Hebrews' millennial tribal and other presence. Hanah cried to G_d for a child in Shilo. It was the first capital of the Jewish nation after the Exodus. If you're trying to locate it, simply turn to directions found in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Judges (21:19). It's north of Beth El, east of the road heading from there to Shechem, and south of Levona.
Any similar British directions for the Falklands around that time? And who, indeed, even were "the Brits" at that time?
Abraham buried his family in Hebron, King David had sons born to him in Hebron, and the Jews could be found there long afterwards as well. Indeed, they lived and owned land there until massacred by Arabs in the 1920's and 1930s. And keep in mind that Jerusalem itself--established by David as the Jews' capital over three thousand years ago--is itself in what British imperialism renamed the "West Bank (of the Jordan River)," Judea.
Arab (Trans-)Jordan was carved out of the East Bank of the original 1920 Palestine Mandate in 1922 by the Brits as a gift to their Arab allies in World War I, the Hashemites of Arabia--who were in the process of getting their derrieres booted out of the Arabian Peninsula by the rival clan of Ibn Saud (hence, Saudi Arabia today). But don't take the Zionists' word for this, read British East Bank representative, Sir Alec Kirkbride's A Crackle of Thorns, Jordan's King Abdullah's own memoirs, and other works for corroboration.
While these territories traded back and forth between various empires after the Roman conquest of the Jews’ land, Judaea (Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Arab Caliphal, Turks, Brits, etc.), there is no doubt about a continuous Jewish presence here for thousands of years--despite the devastating effects of the various conquests. As the Arabs, themselves, burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and arrived as imperial and colonial occupiers and settlers, these lands are more accurately described as disputed territories, not occupied "Arab" lands. This is even more the case since Arabs lost said territories in a war they started for the extermination of their Jewish neighbor in June 1967.
On the recent Iranian hostage issue, the Brits managed to get their sailors and marines--taken if not in, very close to, Iranian territorial waters and captured thousands of miles away from home in the name of Her Majesty’s national security interests--back within a few weeks. The latter interests are the successor to His Majesty’s imperial interests in the region--especially oil and connections farther east to India--of a bit earlier era…interests which would lead to British Mandates over Mesopotamia and Palestine after the conquest of the Turks’ imperial hold on the region for centuries. Brits also became intimately involved in Egypt and elsewhere in the region from the days of Napoleon onwards…Disraeli, the Suez Canal, the 1882 occupation, and so forth.
I guess in the world of realpolitik, might does indeed make right.
Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier stationed in Israel proper--not disputed territories (although in the Arab mindset, most, if not all, of the region is purely Arab patrimony)--was captured by Arabs stationed in Gaza around a year after total Israeli withdrawal from that land, land where Jews have also lived and ruled over the millennia, and land which has been constantly used since the days of the Pharaohs to attack Israel.
It’s been almost a year since Shalit was taken--not like the Brits’ forces thousands of miles away from home, but right from within the armistice lines/borders of his own microscopic state--and the Jews have been told that in order to get him back they’ll have to release thousands of Arab murderers or wannabes with Jewish blood on their hands. Yet this is largely the Jews’ own fault. There’s no way that such folks would still be of this world if they acted this way and were caught by Arabs who they intended to victimize. Such folks should be executed rather than kept alive...only to be traded later, as usual, for the bones of dead Jews.
Moving on, check out information on what the Brits call the Falkland Islands today.
Two prominent locations are known as Weddell and Green Goose Settlements. They were indeed colonized, occupied, and settled by Brits just within the past few centuries, thousands of miles away from home and off the coast of Argentina.
I am writing this on Easter Sunday--for Christians, the holiest day of the year, for without it, Jesus was just another Jew tragically caught up in the deadly struggle for his people’s freedom and independence against Roman oppressors and occupiers. And, as in all occupations, Rome had its native collaborators as well. Think Vichy France, Soviet era stooges in Poland, and so forth. Rome crucified and murdered hundreds of thousands of such "trouble making"-Jews, as the records of their own contemporary historians, like Tacitus and Dio Cassius, testify to.
A reading from Matthew 2:1 in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) about that other essential Christian holiday, Christmas, pointing to Jesus’ birth, states, “ Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king…”
Note, please--Judea, land of the Jews--not Palestina (land of the Philistines, a non-Semitic--i.e. non-Arab--sea people from the Aegean or eastern Mediterranean Sea region).
Indeed, Bethlehem, Hebron, Bethel, Shilo, and numerous other sites in Judea and Samaria have become known to us via the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament for non-Jews).
For Jews to live in historical Judea and assert rights there is thus quite different from Brits claiming sole rights over islands thousands of miles away from home and located a relative stone’s throw away from Argentina.
Las Islas Malvinas traded back and forth between British, French, and Spanish/Argentine sovereignty for the past several centuries. When the British Empire came to rule the seas, might indeed make right…and so the Argentines withdrew in the early 19th century. That British “right” had also led the United States to ignore its own “Monroe Doctrine” (a similar "right").
Whatever one’s views are about all of this (and there are usually two sides to an issue, even if they are rarely of equal weight), at a time when Israel is constantly expected to totally withdraw from disputed lands it came to “occupy” (and how, again, did Arabs who lived there come to live there if not via continuous occupation and their own settlement?) as the result of a war forced upon it in self defense, and to yield those territories to jihadists still sworn to the destruction of the Jews’ sole state no matter how large it is, justice demands that we think about such things as Weddell and Goose Green Settlements as well.