May 18, 2006
What are the facts about Jewish and Arab claims to the Holy Land of Israel?
Dear Friend of FLAME:
At a friend’s dinner party recently, the talk turned to Israel. I was frankly surprised by the opinions of some of the guests: Quite a few believed that "the Jews" had no valid claim to Israel and that they were essentially given the right to "colonize" the Holy Land as reparations for World War II. Several guests expressed the opinion that Jews should be given a state "somewhere" in Europe, since that is "where they came from." I only wish I had had a copy of the list of hard facts I’ve appended below to pass out among these guests, because I think these facts may have gone some way to clarifying the rightful claim of Jews to the Holy Land.
While I’ve discovered that the most vocal critics of Israel will not likely be swayed by facts and logic, many at the dinner party who were unclear or neutral on the subject of Jews, Arabs and Israel, may have seen the light. These facts confirm the continuous Jewish presence in present-day Israel long before Arabs arrived---and over three thousand years before "Palestinians" made their claim. The facts also show that Islamic identification with the Jewish and Christian Holy Land is tenuous, and secondary to the most important sites in Islam. Finally, these facts underscore the unremitting campaign of Arab nations to destroy Israel in the face of numerous overtures by Israel to trade land for Middle East peace. If you have friends, acquaintances, or fellow synagogue or church members who would appreciate knowing these facts, I encourage you to pass this document along to them. Please join us in our mission of spreading the truth about Israel, the Arabs and the Holy Land. We believe that every time you help someone understand the facts about Israel, you do a mitzvah---a divinely good deed. This list will help.
16 Important Facts About Jews, Arabs and Israel
1. Israel became a state circa 1030 B.C., more than two millennia before Islam.
2. Arabs from Israel first began to be called "Palestinians" in 1967 by Yasser Arafat and other Arab leaders, two decades after modern Israeli statehood.
3. After conquering the land in about 1250 B.C., Jews ruled it for more than 1,300 years and have maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years.
4. For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (East) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it.
5. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Bible, but not once is it mentioned in the Qur'an.
6. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it.
7. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem.
8. In 1948, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence†some 70% of them fled without ever being ordered by Israel to leave, most of those without ever having seen an Israeli soldier.
9. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslim countries had to flee as the result of violence and pogroms.
10. Some 650,000 Arabs left Israel in 1948, while about 850,000 Jews were forced to leave Muslim countries.
11. In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab refugees from Palestine were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries. Of 100 million refugees following World War II, they are the only group to have never integrated with their coreligionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than New Jersey.
12. There are 22 Arab countries (with 800 times the land mass of Israel), not counting the Palestinian territories. There is only one Jewish state. Arabs started all five wars against Israel, and lost every one of them.
13. The Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel. Israel has agreed under several proposals to cede most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, and even supported the arming of its police force after the Oslo Accords in 1993.
14. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths and maintained in good order at Israel’s expense.
15. Out of 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; out of 690 General Assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel;
16. The U.N. was silent when the Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced apartheid laws preventing Jews from accessing the Temple Mount and Western Wall (Kotel).