Facts Arabs would rather not Admit
Only one people has ever made Jerusalem its capital and only one people ever established their ancestral and biblical homeland between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea: the Jews. The Jews were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Land for millennia before the Muslim religion was created.
However, most people, because they have been exposed for so long to anti-Israel Arab propaganda, believe that there has not been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land for the last 2,000 years. They are thus unaware that the territory was never Judenrein (that is empty of a Jewish presence). And Arabs would rather you forget also that Jews lived for millennia in Mesopotamia and in what became later known as British created Iraq.
Indeed Jews had resided for 3,000 years in that territory from the Babylonian Captivity onwards. It was when Israel was reborn in 1948 that the Iraqi Arabs drove the Jews from their ancient homes, turning them into refugees who found sanctuary in Israel; an impoverished country barely able to support them at the time. More Jewish refugees were created than Arab refugees as one Arab state after another in the Middle East and North Africa drove out their Jewish populations. A crime, which is hardly ever recognized.
Arabs and their anti-Israel supporters try to convince the world that the Jews just appeared in the early 20th century after being dispersed for two thousand years from their biblical homeland. That is a flat out lie and flies in the face of recorded history. But facts never seem to matter to Arabs and pro-Arabs. So this brief history lesson will be for them an inconvenient truth.
Let me start by quoting from an article written in The Weekly Standard, May 11, 1998 by Charles Krauthammer:
"Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one today advertising ice cream at the corner candy store."
The Jewish People trace their origin to Abraham, he who is called the Holy Convert, the first Jew, who established the belief in only one God, the creator of the universe. Abraham, his son Yitzhak (Isaac), and grandson Jacob (Israel), are referred to as the patriarchs of the Israelites who lived in what was then the Land of Canaan; later to become known as the Land of Israel. They and their wives are buried in the Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, Judaism’s second holiest city. (Genesis Chapter 23).
The name, Israel, derives from the name given to Jacob (Genesis 32:29). His 12 sons were the ancestors of the 12 tribes that later developed into the Jewish nation. The name Jew derives from Yehuda (Judah) one of the 12 sons of Jacob. You will find the names of the tribes listed in Exodus 1:1. Yehuda (Judea) is also the biblical name of the southern region of what the world calls by its Arab name – the West Bank. Shomron (Samaria) is the northern half.
Modern Israel shares the same language, culture, and Jewish faith passed through generations starting with the founding father Abraham and the Jews have had a continuous presence in the land of Israel for the past 3,300 years.
Menorah plundered from the Temple, depicted on the Arch of Titus, Rome.
In 70 AD, Rome destroyed the Holy Temple and conquered the Jewish nation, yet only part of the population was sent into exile. Even after the Second Jewish Revolt against the continuing cruel Roman occupation, Jews, though banned from Jerusalem, survived for centuries in other Jewish towns including Rafah, Gaza, Yavne, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea as well as throughout Galilee and the Golan. Ruins of synagogues built in post-biblical Byzantine times are found scattered throughout the Golan and an epic act of Jewish resistance to the Roman legions took place at Gamla, high upon the Golan Heights. Here again, the Jewish presence predates the modern Syrian claims to the Heights by millennia.
Interestingly, early seventh century battles raged between the Persians and the Byzantines over the Land of Israel. The Byzantines were oppressing the Jews and a Jewish general, Benjamin of Tiberius, was able to raise an army of twenty thousand Jewish men from villages and towns in northern Israel to support the Persian cause against the oppressors. This again points to extensive Jewish life in the land well after the erroneous Arab claim that Jews had not lived in the land during the last 2,000 years.
The height of Jewish prominence was again achieved in the tenth century. In Tiberius, by the shores of Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, a symbol system for Hebrew vowels was created which eventually gained universal acceptance. But with the advent of the Crusades in Israel during the 12th century, and the massacres of thousands of Jews in Jerusalem and throughout the land, the Jewish population reached its lowest point. But Jewish populations again revived, strengthened by new Jewish immigrants arriving constantly from the Diaspora. Many such returnees settled in Safed, Tiberius, Hebron and Jerusalem.
These are the four Holy Jewish cities of the Land with Jerusalem, north, south, east and west, the eternal 3,000 year old Jewish capital and veritable jewel in the crown. Jews traveling from Europe, such as the remarkable medieval explorer, Benjamin of Tudela, had to overcome immense perils while crossing lands at war with one another. They had to avoid death or capture by bandits, or at sea from North African pirates and Crusaders based in Cyprus or Malta. That they came at all, however, remains a tribute to the earliest efforts to keep Israel populated with its aboriginal and ancestral folk and abide by the religious commandments to go up to the land of Israel.
A brief list of Jews returning to the ancestral land reveals a constant arrival of people joining existing Jewish villages and communities, themselves always at the mercy of alien occupiers.
According to the Center for Online Judaic Studies, here are just a few of the names of early Jewish returnees:
1075:1141 Yehuda Halevi, poet.
1135: 1204 Maimonides, philosopher.
1210: Settlement in Israel of three hundred French and English rabbis.
1267: Nachmanides arrives in Israel.
1313: Estory Haparchi arrives: The first geographer of Israel.
1538: Renewal of rabbinic ordination in Safed.
1561: Joseph Nasi leases Tiberius from Turkish sultan.
1700: Yehuda HaChasid and his followers arrive in Jerusalem.
1777: Large Hassidic group settles in Galilee.
1797: Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav’s trip to Israel.
1808: Disciples of Elijah, Gaon of Vilna, settle in Jerusalem.
This very partial list of Jewish immigrants, who arrived well before the 20th century, is an inconvenient truth to the Arab and pro-Arab propagandists who would have you believe their myth that the Jews only arrived much, much later.
The national coins, the pottery, the cities and villages, the ancient Hebrew texts…all support the empirical fact that Jews always had a continuous presence in that land for over 3,000 years and the fact that Jewish villages and towns were to be found in all parts of the ancient homeland and throughout all the preceding years, up until the present time, certainly dwarfs any claims that other people in the region may have; especially the Arabs who today call themselves Palestinians.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer, contributing editor, and author of Volumes One and Two of "Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state."
Facts the World would rather not Admit
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nothing could attest to that fact more than the Israel-Arab conflict, which in reality is the Israel-Islamist conflict.
This is not a territorial dispute between Israel and those Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, though it is framed as such. No, the stark reality of the Muslim war against the Jewish state is rooted in one fundamental fact; namely the unchangeable refusal by Muslims to ever accept a non-Islamic nation in territory once conquered in the name of Allah, even if that nation – the nation of Israel – precedes Islam by millennia.
Peace overtures and endless territorial concessions by tiny Israel to the giant Muslim and Arab world have been, and are, as worthless as a thirsty soul in the desert staggering towards an inviting but delusional mirage.
Entire books have been written about the basic facts of Israel’s place in the family of nations as both a state and a people. Their purpose has been to explain why Israel and its people claim the right to an independent state in a small corner of the Middle East; roughly one quarter of the geographical area known as Palestine and a territory that has never been an independent state by that name in all of recorded history; certainly never an Arab state. Plain an simply, the Palestinians are an invented people.
The basic facts, which should be self-evident, need to be repeated again and again as Golda Meir urged nearly 40 years ago. Perhaps the following is the most basic and pernicious falsehood leveled at the reconstituted Jewish state. It is predictably made by a hostile Muslim and Arab world but it is echoed by their useful idiot supporters in the West.
The charge is this:
After the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, the Jews lost their country and forfeited any right to it by going into exile for nearly 2,000 years.
Indeed, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple ended with appalling loss of life. But the Jews maintained a continuous presence in their homeland and it is this continuity which gives them an absolute, inalienable right of self-determination, historically, spiritually and politically in the reconstituted Jewish state.
In AD 132, the charismatic Jewish hero, Simon Bar Kochba, rallied his countrymen against continued Roman persecution and another war of liberation – the second Jewish uprising – was launched against Rome. His Jewish warriors freed large areas of the homeland from the Roman yoke, just as Jewish fighters under Judah Maccabee had similarly freed the homeland from Greco-Syrian occupation in 165 BC, liberating Jerusalem and the Holy Temple and giving the world the festival of lights, Hanukah, which every year falls on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.
Bar Kochba (known as Son of the Star) also liberated Jerusalem but the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, who wanted to build a giant temple to the god, Jupiter, in place of the Holy Temple, sent an army of 35,000 soldiers against the Jewish warriors. After a three year desperate struggle, the Jewish resistance ended at the fortress of Betar. It is estimated that in the ensuing Roman repression some 500,000 Jews were either killed or sent into slavery throughout the Empire.
Even after this second catastrophe, the Jews nevertheless remained an absolute majority in the land up until the 5th century AD and they were the most important single community up until the Arab conquest under the new banner of Islam in the 7th century.
In 1099 the Crusaders arrived outside Jerusalem, having massacred thousands of Jews along their way from Flanders, through the Rhineland, and on to the Holy Land where both Jews and Muslims were killed. They had come to wrest control of Jerusalem from the Muslims. On July 15th, 1099, after enduring a six week siege, the “Franks” broke into the city and the entire Jewish population of Jerusalem was forced into the chief synagogue, the building set on fire, while the Crusaders marched around it singing, “Christ we adore thee,” in a diabolical accompaniment to the screams of the men, women and children burning alive. The bloodbath temporarily ended when Emperor Henry 1V protested to Pope Clement 111 at the abhorrent behavior of those irregular bands of crusaders who had committed the atrocities.
In the ensuing centuries, during which the land was invaded by successive alien conquerors, the Jews maintained themselves in whatever numbers they could sustain. In fact they re-founded the holy Jewish city of Tiberius in Galilee three separate times. In the 16th century, some 15,000 Jews lived in another holy Jewish city, Safed, in Upper Galilee; a center of Jewish mysticism known as kabbalah.
Throughout the dark centuries of exile, Jewish pilgrims and refugees returned again and again to restore the ancestral Jewish homeland. Jewish prayers and festivals recited and celebrated in synagogues throughout the Diaspora, then as now, are based in large part upon the agricultural cycle of ancient Israel: Another testament to the inextricable links to the Land of Israel within the Jewish faith.
In the 1850s the first Jewish agricultural villages were established in what was then largely barren, neglected and empty territory under Turkish Ottoman occupation. By 1844 the Jews constituted the largest community in their eternal Jewish capital, Jerusalem.
In that year, according to the Prussian Consul, there were 7,120 Jews, 5,000 Muslims, and 3,390 Christians in Jerusalem. Even before the State of Israel was re-established in 1948, Jerusalem was primarily a Jewish city with 100,000 Jews out of a total population of 165,000. Many of the non-Jews were not Arabs at all but Europeans, Americans, Ethiopians and other Christians.
The assertion that Jewish ties to the ancestral homeland came to an end in 70 AD is utterly without foundation. It has remained unbroken since Abraham, the first Jew, came to Hebron, the other Jewish holy city, and purchased a burial plot for his wife, Sarah and for his son, Isaac, his grandson, Jacob and their wives: the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people, most of whom are buried in Hebron.
The truth then is that Jews always maintained a continuous presence in their own land despite the depredations of a succession of alien occupiers. There is an absolute continuity between the Israel of the Bible and the Israel of today.
It is the same land, the same people, the same language, the same God, the same prophets, the same holy Book. There has never been a time in the last 35 centuries when there haven’t been Jews living in Israel, sometimes as a sovereign nation, sometimes as isolated enclaves occupied by an enemy power.
And when Jews have been few in number inside Israel itself, they have nevertheless continued to pray for its welfare daily, to pray daily for their return to nationhood, to recount the Biblical promises, and to pray for a quick return.
This is continuity par excellence. This is a basic fact and Newt Gingrich, to his credit, articulated it for all to hear. Why is this important? Because part of the Big Lie of today is to deny Jewish continuity in its ancestral, aboriginal, and biblical homeland and to falsely consider the Jews illegitimate newcomers to the land who can legitimately be pushed out.
More on the truth about Israel and its history can be read about in Victor Sharpe's book, "Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state".