COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
I may sympathize with the Moros struggle for self-determination in the Philippines, but not with the Arabs struggle to invade Israel, the traditional and ancient home of the Jews. The Arabs mantra since the Jews immigration into the Holy Land has been “from the river down to the sea.”
Why can’t the Arabs leave Israel alone and let the Jews have their right to self-determination? Armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and later Iran-backed militants have relentlessly attacked Israel since it became a state. What kind of greed that drives a people to seize a piece of 20, 770 sq. km. of land when they are already occupying almost all of the Middle East?
If the Arabs claim to Palestine (now Israel) was through conquest (AD 634), then they should abide by that rule and accept the fact that they were conquered by the British in World War I. Thus, Palestine became under British mandate since 1920, way before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. And Palestine is the homeland of the Jews, for anywhere in the world they are always considered as exiles, as strangers, even as refugees.
Now with this latest offensive by Israel on the Hamas militant group that has been launching rocket fire on Southern Israeli towns, the world cries fowl—human rights violations, invasion, etc. I call it self-defense, or nationalism, where one is “to defend his country from external and internal aggression.”
The wars that Israel engaged in with its neighboring states in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 were all started by the Arabs as several attempts at invading Israel. The Arabs however were defeated and their acts of aggression boomeranged, resulting in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank of Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. Israel’s occupation of these territories beyond the borders of 1948 were more for security reasons, as the Arabs were persistently attacking the kibbutzim and other settlements the Jews were starting to build. If there were no external aggression, there wouldn’t be any need for security measures.
Hamas, or any militant group for that matter, should realize that they are merely being made as pawns by the Arab countries in their fight against the United States by attacking Israel being a US ally. If these neighboring Arab states were really concerned with the Palestinians, they could have shared a little piece of land they widely occupy, and not fuel guerrilla warfare with the covetous dream of taking Israel.
This Middle East conflict all the more gave the US a chance to test its weapons of war and methods of dominance, and build more for a calculated long-term enemy. The Arabs proved to be a reservoir of that enemy force, with their propensity for conflict even among their ranks. And the Jews, after years of exile, have no recourse but to go with the tide of events as they try to secure their re-established homeland.
The Jews belong to an older civilization and bound by their ancient books, and whose allegiance is only to their one God. That is why in their many years of wanderings and with the threat of survival, they have become capitalists, communists, or anywhere in the economic and political spectrum. But we can observe that they’re a superior race, excelling in the different fields of human endeavor, and contributing much to the advancement of modern civilization, from the works of Albert Einstein to Karl Marx.
On the United Nation’s decision granting statehood to Israel, Moshe Dayan had this to say: “Underlying our expression of joy was a far deeper emotion, one that I felt as a Jew—indeed, more as a Jew than I had ever known before. I felt in my bones the victory of Judaism, which for two thousand years of exile from the Land of Israel had withstood persecutions, the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms, anti-Jewish decrees, restrictions, and the mass slaughter by the Nazis in our own generation, and had reached the fulfillment of its age-old yearning—the return to a free and independent Zion.”
The Jews are simply going back to that “Land of Israel” and not swarming the whole of Middle East. And if the Jews have survived many years of wanderings on the face of the earth, I believe they will endure for more years in defending Israel.