The Israeli-Arab Conflict Is About The Presence of Jews, Not the “1967 Borders”

The Arab-Israeli conflict gets so much ink and analysis because the region is always in flux.

Yet some things remain constant.

The Israelis and Palestinian Arabs poll themselves frequently about sentiments on a variety of topics. Occasionally, they conduct joint polls as occurred on January 24, 2023. The Palestinian Center of Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) and Tel Aviv University’s International MA Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation (Israeli Pulse) issued their report as Palestinians and Israelis engaged in a series of attacks. The joint poll is another tool to assess how Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs (there are no Palestinian Jews anymore, as Palestinians exclude Jews from the definition) consider different aspects of living together, and how trends in such attitudes change.

In many ways, the groups agree on much: only about one-third of Israelis and Palestinians supports a two-state solution, a percentage that has continued to decline since 2016. About 85% of both Israelis and Arabs do not trust each other, and 84% of each considers themselves the victim in the conflict. About 60% of each group fears for their safety, roughly 93% of each group believes that they are the rightful owners to all of the land, and about 70% of each thinks the conflict is a zero-sum relationship, in that what’s good for one side is bad for the other.

The areas with some gap in sentiments includes engaging in an all-out war, with an estimated 40% of Palestinians and 26% of Israelis in favor, and roughly one-third of Israeli Jews willing to share the land with Palestinians but only 7% of Palestinians willing to share any land with Jews.

That last figure – only about one in fourteen Palestinians Arabs are in favor of sharing any of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – is frightening and should be read in the context of another question in the joint poll.

“When did the conflict begin?”

To read the news and consider the ideas floated to bring peace to the region, one would imagine that the respondents would answer “the 1967 Six Day War,” to the question when the conflict originated, as that is when “occupation” began and those are the contours proposed in the Saudi Peace Plan. Yet only 8% of Palestinian Arabs and 5% of Israeli Jews believe that is the beginning of the conflict.

A majority of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews (60% and 52%, respectively) believe that the conflict began with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the Zionist immigration wave. It is the increased presence of Jews in the region – with international support – that is the core of the conflict, and why only 7% of Palestinians would consider sharing any of the land with the Jewish “colonialists.”

Only Israeli Arabs don’t hold this position, as they believe the conflict began with Israel’s declaration of independence, which makes sense as that is when their reality began. Similarly, they are the group most likely to promote good relations between Jews and Arabs (70%), followed by Israeli Jews (56%). Almost no Palestinians want to promote good relations (22%), as it has been blacklisted under the banner of “normalization.”

Palestinians do not believe that the Arab-Israeli conflict is about land or religion. They believe it is about the physical presence of Jews in the land they view as singularly theirs. Until the world focuses on changing this jaundiced Palestinian viewpoint, there is no hope for a peaceful resolution.

Related articles:

UN Lies About Palestinians Favoring Two States

The Debate About Two States is Between Arabs Themselves and Jews Themselves

Moral Clarity From Biden Administration About Attacks in Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is flying to the Middle East on a scheduled trip, that is coming days after a series of deadly attacks in the holy land. His responses thus far have been clear, unambiguous and morally correct.

After a Palestinian Arab gunned down seven Jews walking out of synagogue on Sabbath, Blinken issued a statement strongly condemning the attack:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack that occurred today outside of a synagogue in Jerusalem. We mourn those killed in the attack, and our thoughts are with the injured, including children. The notion of people being targeted as they leave a house of worship is abhorrent. It is particularly tragic that this attack occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On behalf of the United States, I express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those injured a full recovery. We are in close contact with our Israeli partners and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.

Earlier in the day, Ned Price, spokesman for Blinken offered the following in response to the Israeli raid into Jenin to root out Palestinian terrorists planning attacks, which left nine Palestinians dead:

Today in Jenin, at least nine Palestinians, including militants and at least one civilian, were killed and over twenty injured during an Israeli Defense Forces counterterrorism operation against a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell. We recognize the very real security challenges facing Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and condemn terrorist groups planning and carrying out attacks against civilians. We mourn the loss of innocent lives as well as injuries to civilians, and are deeply concerned by the cycle of violence in the West Bank. We underscore the urgent need for all parties to de-escalate, prevent further loss of civilian life, and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank. Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely.

This is in sharp contrast to the liberal media which attempted to portray Israel as gratuitously killing Palestinians, while Jews just happen to die in land that Arabists believe should be Jew-free. It’s a welcome show of moral clarity which should be welcomed and appreciated.

Contact White House

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25, 2022. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

Related articles:

Israelis Targeting Terrorists, Palestinians Targeting Civilians

Every Picture And Headline Tells A Story: Raid On Terrorists

Israelis Targeting Terrorists, Palestinians Targeting Civilians

The “cycle of violence” is continuing in the holy land, in a phrase that inappropriately conveys similarity.

Last week, the Israel Defense Forces went after a terrorist cell in Jenin which was planning attacks against Israelis. The gun battle resulted in nine dead Palestinians, seven of them terrorists.

Hours later, a Palestinian Arab shot and killed seven innocent Jews coming out of synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath. The terrorist was killed. The following day a 13-year old Palestinian shot and injured a father and son walking on the streets of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. The perpetrator was taken into custody.

There is no moral equivalence between the actions of Palestinians attacking innocent Jews and Israel defending its citizens. There is no equivalence of intent which is lost in the phrase “cycle of violence.”

While Israel has created a multi-ethnic democracy which has tried to live in peace with its neighbors, Palestinians continue to demand a purely Arab and Islamic region, ethnically cleansed of Jews.

Related articles:

Pray for a Lack of “Proportionately” in Numbers. There will never be an Equivalence of Intent.

The Shrapnel of Intent

Excerpt of Hamas Charter to Share with Your Elected Officials

The United States Should NOT be a Neutral Mediator in the Arab-Israel Conflict

This Day In Palestinians Resorting To Violence History: December 23 (Rabbi Teaching Torah To Spanish Speakers)

This Day in Palestinians Resorting To Violence History: November 22 (Bus Riders)

Every Picture And Headline Tells A Story: Raid On Terrorists

Both the United States and Israel conducted raids on wanted terrorists in January 2023. Both countries killed about ten terrorists and escaped the raids without losing any soldiers. The Israeli raid also was reported by local Arab sources to have two civilian casualties, while no civilians deaths were reported by the U.S. military.

The New York Times covered the stories very differently.

The story of the U.S. raid was found at the bottom of the page. It had no pictures. The title read “U.S. Copter Raid Kills an ISIS Leader in Somalia,” which made the U.S. raid sound mechanical – as if done by a drone. The attack clearly took out a bad person, the leader of ISIS.

The article itself would only quote from the U.S. military. The reporters did not run around Somalia to talk to local people about whether the American claims were true and that no civilians were injured.

That is all in sharp contrast to the Israeli raid on the same day.

The Israeli story was featured at the top of the page with two large pictures, one of a funeral and another of “an elderly Palestinian mourner as the funeral procession began.” The article ran under the header “Israeli Troops Kill Several Palestinians in West Bank Raid.” In this case, there was no distancing of soldiers in the field as there was in the U.S. story. More significantly, the headline made the Palestinians appear as innocent civilians, rather than active terrorists.

The Times article was written by two Arab women, and featured many quotes from local Arabs who used inflammatory language about the raid to stop terrorist activity.

The New York Times is creating a fictional narrative that Israelis are wantonly killing Palestinian civilians to turn American support from the Jewish State. It is an example of the insidious anti-Zionism which has permeated liberal media and is instigating anti-Semitism on American streets.

Six Arab men stomp and pepper spray Orthodox Jew in Manhattan on way to pro-Israel rally in May 2021, calling him a “dirty Jew,” “F–k Israel,” and “Hamas is going to kill all of you.” Attacker sentenced to only six months in January 2023

If this sounds exaggerated, consider the Times headline the following day when a Palestinian Arab murdered seven Jews coming out of a synagogue on Sabbath.

For the anti-Zionist media, Israelis kill Palestinians but some “people” are dead from anonymous shots. Of course, this is a complete inversion of facts, as the Arab intentionally shot and killed innocent Jews, while Israel went to Jenin to capture terrorists.

The Times is maliciously lying to its readers and falsifying the Israeli-Arab Conflict.

Related articles:

NY Times Repeatedly Tells Its Readers That An Israeli Supported A Mass Murderer, But Never That Many Palestinians Embrace Many Terrorists

Every Picture Tells a Story: Israel Is Scared of Female Iranian Shoppers

Every Picture Tells A Story: Palestinian Terrorists are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: No Need for #MeToo for Palestinians

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story, the Bibi Monster

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?

Pro Israel Advocates Should Stop Using “Judea and Samaria”

In the narrative war in the Israeli-Arab conflict, pro-Israel advocates often use the term “Judea and Samaria” instead of the commonly used “West Bank” in an effort to show that Jews lived in the land far longer than Arabs, and that Arabs are actually occupying Jewish land. While the rationale has merit, the approach does not.

Judea and Samaria

The Children of Israel came back to Canaan in the 12th century BCE. The land was allotted to the twelve tribes, in a division that was mostly stable for about 300 years.

Jan Jansson’s holy land map, 1630, which shows the migration of the Israelites from Egypt to the holy land, and the location of the twelve tribes.

After the death of King Solomon in 931BCE, the Jewish people split their kingdom under two rulers, creating the southern kingdom of Judah and northern kingdom of Israel. Sometimes fighting together against external foes and sometimes fighting internally, the kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians between 734 and 712 BCE from the Assyrian campaigns of Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II. Sargon II swapped the population of the Jews and his kingdom in Babylon as told in 2 Kings 17:

בִּשְׁנַ֨ת הַתְּשִׁעִ֜ית לְהוֹשֵׁ֗עַ לָכַ֤ד מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן וַיֶּ֥גֶל אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אַשּׁ֑וּרָה וַיֹּ֨שֶׁב אוֹתָ֜ם בַּחְלַ֧ח וּבְחָב֛וֹר נְהַ֥ר גּוֹזָ֖ן וְעָרֵ֥י מָדָֽי׃ {פ}
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozan, and in the towns of Media. (2 Kings 17:6)

וַיִּתְאַנַּ֨ף יְהֹוָ֤ה מְאֹד֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיְסִרֵ֖ם מֵעַ֣ל פָּנָ֑יו לֹ֣א נִשְׁאַ֔ר רַ֛ק שֵׁ֥בֶט יְהוּדָ֖ה לְבַדּֽוֹ׃ The LORD was incensed at Israel and He banished them from His presence; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone. (2 Kings 17:18)

וַיָּבֵ֣א מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁ֡וּר מִבָּבֶ֡ל וּ֠מִכּ֠וּתָה וּמֵעַוָּ֤א וּמֵֽחֲמָת֙ וּסְפַרְוַ֔יִם וַיֹּ֙שֶׁב֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י שֹֽׁמְר֔וֹן תַּ֖חַת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּֽרְשׁוּ֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן וַיֵּֽשְׁב֖וּ בְּעָרֶֽיהָ׃ The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. (2 Kings 17:24)

Those new Assyrians who were settled in Samaria were told to follow Jewish religious customs, but they did not:

עַ֣ד הַיּ֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ הֵ֣ם עֹשִׂ֔ים כַּמִּשְׁפָּטִ֖ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֑ים אֵינָ֤ם יְרֵאִים֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְאֵינָ֣ם עֹשִׂ֗ים כְּחֻקֹּתָם֙ וּכְמִשְׁפָּטָ֔ם וְכַתּוֹרָ֣ה וְכַמִּצְוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב אֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֥ם שְׁמ֖וֹ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ To this day, they follow their former practices. They do not worship the LORD [properly]. They do not follow the laws and practices, the Teaching and Instruction that the LORD enjoined upon the descendants of Jacob—who was given the name Israel— (2 Kings 17:34)

There are many papers written by historians and archaeologists about Samaria during this time period, as there are written documents such as the Annals of Sargon II and prisms which reflect these battles, as well as a shift in types of pottery found with the population migration.

Map of holy land after Israel exiled by Assyrians, from The Carta Bible Atlas

Judea refers to the province of the tribe of Judah which held Jerusalem and the area to the south. King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple in 538BCE, after Nebuchadnezzer destroyed the Temple in 586BCE.

The term “Jews” arose because they were the people of Judea. As noted above, Samaria was part of the region but inhabited by non-Jews who did not follow Jewish rituals.

The Christian Bible also referred repeatedly about the Jew Jesus from Judea (Matthew 19:1; 3:1Luke 1:54:447:1723:5John 4:311:7Mark 10:1; Acts 10:3711:12926:20).

Creation of the “West Bank”

The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition the holy land into a Jewish State and an Arab State in November 1947, but the Arab countries uniformly rejected the effort. Five Arab armies invaded Israel when it declared itself a new state in May 1948, and by the end of the war in 1949, Israel secured more land than conceived under the partition plan.

While the borders were not considered official under the 1949 Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, (“The Armistice Demarcation Lines… are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlement or boundary lines”), the Kingdom of Transjordan opted to unilaterally – and illegally – annex the region it had seized in an offensive war.

United Nations map showing the contours of the various Armistice Lines Israel signed with its neighbors to halt the fighting.

When Transjordan annexed the area on April 24, 1950, only the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan recognized its actions while the rest of the world rejected it. After that time, during the years 1950 through 1958, the United Nations used various terms for that area which were tied to either Jordan or the Jordan River:

  • “west bank of the river in Arab Palestine” (1951)
  • “the area west of the Jordan River” (1952)
  • “West Jordan” (19501951195219541955195619571958)
  • “the western bank” (1952)
  • “Western Jordan” (19511952)
  • “that part of Jordan west of the Jordan River” (1956)
  • “west bank of the Jordan” (1957)

Then, in 1959, the United Nations seemed to embrace the de facto Jordanian annexation, referring to the area simply as “Jordan,” no different than the eastern part of the kingdom. To the extent that the U.N. wanted to specifically call out that area it used wordy terms:

  • “Jordan side of the armistice demarcation line”
  • “frontier villagers in Jordan”

That changed after Jordan illegally attacked Israel in June 1967 and lost the region. By the end of that month, the United Nations quickly moved to shorthand (A/6713) by the third mention:

  • “the West Bank of the Jordan”
  • “West Bank area of the Jordan”
  • “West Bank”

This shortened version for that area east of the 1949 Armistice Line has stuck at the U.N. and media parlance since that time.

Judea and Samaria Versus the “West Bank”

As reviewed above, Judea and Samaria and the West Bank are not the same. Judea and Samaria are historical names to much of the land, while the “West Bank” is a smaller, modern day creation due to an illegal act of war waged by Arab states upon Israel.

When people refer to the West Bank, they are only reviewing that part of the land that has been subject to negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as laid out in the Oslo Accords, signed by both parties. They are not considering the broader reach of all of Judea and Samaria, which includes land west of the 1949 Armistice Lines inside of Israel.

If one does not like to give the term “West Bank” – an area that existed for only 18 years from 1949 to 1967 and named only upon its extinguishment – any legitimacy, then perhaps a better term would be “east of the Armistice Lines (EAL)”, to highlight that the contour of such region was created as a temporary measure to halt hostilities, was never intended to be a border, and has no historic significance.

Related articles:

When You Understand Israel’s May 1948 Borders, You Understand There is No “Occupation”

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Considering Carter’s 1978 Letter Claiming Settlements Are Illegal

The 1967 War Created Both the “West Bank” and the Notion of a Palestinian State

Related First One Through video:

The Green Line (music by The Kinks)

Judea and Samaria (music by Foo Fighters)

The New York Times Lies About Ben-Gvir And Muslim Arabs Regarding Temple Mount Visit

Isabel Kershner deposited an article in the international section of The New York Times on January 4, 2023 about an Israeli member of Knesset visiting the Jewish Temple Mount. It should have been posted in the opinion pages.

The article led off with a comment lifted from the Muslim Arab world that Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the holy site was “provocative.” Kershner used the term three times (highlighted in red boxes above). The visit was nothing of the sort. The Temple Mount has standard visiting hours as it did when Ben-Gvir visited on Tuesday.

That was unmentioned in the article. Instead the article was replete with characterizations of Israel as full of “right-wing” and “hard-line” extremists unfairly punishing Palestinian Arabs, rather than Israelis trying to live a normal life with genocidal anti-Semitic neighbors.

After Kershner said that Ben Gvir was provocative, she added this:

The visit under heavy guard to the site – a frequent flash point in the Old City of Jerusalem where past Israeli actions have set off broader conflagration – was the first by such high level official in years and passed without incident. But coming two days after Mr. Ben-Gvir took office, it was an early indicator of the difficulties Israel’s new government , its most right-wing and religiously conservative yet, will face in the domestic and global arenas.

This is a complete inversion of victim and aggressor. A visit by a prominent Israeli Jew to the holiest site in Judaism during regular visiting hours was not the trigger for violence, any more than a woman who rejected an unwanted incel’s advance deserves to be attacked. Adding the clause that Israel’s government is politically and religiously right-wing while saying nothing about the Islamic terrorist groups further paints Israelis as instigators of violence.

The picture accompanying the article showed many “Israeli security personnel” surrounding the visitors, but the article failed to report that Jewish visitors are frequently assaulted during their visits by radical Islamists. The security personnel were not just “near visitors” but there to guard Jews from marauding jihadists.

Kershner’s article continued in the same noxious vein. She wrote that Israelis had “a nationalist and religious agenda,” and held “hard line policies,” and Ben-Gvir “support[ed] a terrorist group.” She failed to mention that Hamas is a recognized terrorist group by the United States which seeks the destruction of Israel. She did not write about the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-to-slay” terror-incentive program. She ignored Palestinian polls which show half of all Palestinians supporting the murder of Israeli Jews in their homes, and ADL polls which shows that almost every Palestinian is an anti-Semite.

Quite the opposite. Her opinion piece masked as reporting said that Israelis are “hard liners” and Arabs are peaceful victims.

Kershner claimed that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ignited the “second Palestinian intifada”, when it was actually deliberately launched by Yasser Arafat in the collapse of the Oslo Accords in which he led the slaughter of over 1,000 Israeli civilians in hundreds of terrorist attacks (also unmentioned). She said that Israel’s new government had an “uncompromising approach to the Palestinians,” as if terrorism and threats to murder deserve a compromise.

Perhaps only kill Jewish males and leave the females alive, like the Egyptians in the bible?

To underscore Kershner’s fake narrative on the peaceful ways of Muslim Arabs regarding the Jewish Temple Mount, she added this bit of malarkey:

the [Temple Mount] compound was conquered by Israel during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. Under an uneasy arrangement that has prevailed for decades under Jordanian custodianship, Jews are permitted to visit, as are non-Muslim tourists, but they are not supposed to pray there.”

This fantasy narrative for the ignorant has Israel forcefully seizing the Temple Mount and the Jordanians giving Jews and other non-Muslims the right to visit.

The Times is lying to its readership and inverting history.

The reality is the Jordan attacked Israel in 1948, ethnically cleansed all Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem, destroyed the synagogues and illegally annexed the Temple Mount compound, the Old City of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. During the eighteen years 1949-1967 while Jordan illegally held the Temple Mount, it barred Jews from even visiting the western wall/ Kotel, let alone the Temple Mount. Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967 and Israel took the Old City in a defensive battle. The Jewish State granted Jordan administrative rights on the Temple Mount while it provided security.

In short, it is Israel – not Arabs – which has tried to create a system of coexistence in the holy city and holy places, exactly the opposite of NYT reporting.

It is seemingly insufficient that Jews must fight to survive among genocidal jihadists in the Middle East and anti-Semites in the diaspora. Mainstream media is working to ensure that Jews will be hamstrung in public opinion, as the anti-Zionists attempt to sever the ties of the Jewish State’s critical backer, the United States, and leave Israel isolated among those hell-bent on its destruction.

Related articles:

The New York Times Refuses To State Judaism’s Holiest Site

Will The New York Times Write About Terrorism From Israelis’ Point Of View?

The New York Times Is Morphing Into The Notorious Dearborn Independent

New York Times Mum on Muslim Anti-Semitism

New York Times Buries Stories of Slaughtered Jews in Temple Mount Account

New York Times Recharacterizes Hamas as a Right-Wing Terrorist Group

For The New York Times, “From the River to the Sea” Is The Chant of Jewish and Christian Zealots

New York Times Pushes the Lie of Israeli Apartheid

There Is No Backing For A Palestinian “Right Of Return”

Palestinian Arabs and their supporters claim that they have a “right of return” to towns in Israel based on two principles. One is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (established December 10, 1948) and the other United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (issued the following day, December 11, 1948). These are grossly misapplied, and if anyone wants to see a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, this issue is a complete roadblock.

UDHR, Article 13

Article 13 of the UDHR makes two statements that Palestinian propagandists assert give Palestinians the right to move into Israel:

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Regarding the first point, the freedom of movement is “within the borders”, meaning that any Israeli Jew or Arab should be free to live anywhere inside of their home country of Israel. This clause has nothing to do with Palestinian Arabs or wards of UNRWA who live outside of Israel. It simply means that Israeli Arabs should be free to move into Israeli towns – where grandparents may have lived or entirely new locations – as long as there are no security matters which render such movement impossible.

As it relates to the second point of leaving and returning to a country, there are two issues with Palestinians using this clause to move to Israel: the people and the land.

Israel is a new country, founded on May 14, 1948. There are only an estimated 20-30,000 elderly Arabs who lived in Israel on that date who now reside outside of the country’s recognized borders. The other 14 million Palestinian Arabs were born elsewhere and have no such claim to “return” to Israel, including the 6.4 million registered persons with UNRWA.

The second related matter has to do with the borders of Israel. If one were to take the non-factual view that the land of pre-1948 Palestine is a single country (it was a region / territory), then the millions of Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank today still live in that same country, so there is no argument under the second clause. Only the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs) in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan could argue to move into Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. The right of return in UDHR relates to returning to a country, not a particular town or region.

UNGA Resolution 194, Article 11

As opposed to the general UDHR meant for all people, UNGA Resolution 194 was specifically adopted for Palestinians. Article 11 calls out the matter of returning to “homes,” not a country as specified in UDHR:

Resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

At the most fundamental level, General Assembly resolutions are simply suggestions and not binding in law. Israel is not beholden to GA resolutions.

Critically, Palestinians have shown in deeds and words since the founding of Israel that they are not willing to “live at peace with their neighbors.” Add to the fact that only 20-30,000 people at this time are actually “refugees” makes this resolution relatively meaningless in application.

Two State Solution

Those people who back the notion of a “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Arab Conflict, with one state for Jews and one state for Arabs, should be appalled at the idea of a Palestinian “right of return” to the Jewish State. The Jewish State currently has 25% of its citizenry being non-Jews. It would destroy the basic principle of the “two state solution” for millions of Arabs to enter Israel. It is even more outrageous, when the United Nations demands that NO JEWS be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State. There’s no two-state solution if 50% of the Jewish State is comprised of non-Jews and 0% of the Arab State has Jews.

One State Solution

For advocates who argue for a single Jewish-Arab country and that Palestine was always a singular country, there are a couple of considerations.

One, Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza already live in such country, so are not and have never been “refugees” but just internally displaced people, taking billions of dollars from the world’s largess over the past decades. Resolution 194 Article 11 is specifically for refugees which excludes Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank. Only UDHR 13.1 would argue for freedom of movement within the single country, if security matters permit.

Secondly, there is only return to a country under UDHR 13.2, not to villages where grandparents once lived. Allowing refugees from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to move to the West Bank or Gaza satisfies this clause as much as moving inside the borders of Israel.

Palestinian Sentiment

Importantly, Palestinians have no interest in either of these solutions. According to the PCPSR December 2022 poll, only 32% of Palestinians support a two-state solution and 26% support a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Arabs. That compares to 55% who favor terrorism against Israelis, to destroy the Jewish State and replace it with a single Arab state. It’s outrageous for Palestinians to demand the right to move to homes under UNGA Resolution 194, and skip the basic premise of coexistence that the resolution demands.

The poll also showed that the right of return issue was the second most important issue for Palestinian Arabs, behind establishing a state. The fact that UNGA Resolution 194 requires coexistence while Palestinians support new armed gangs can only be viewed as an attempt to better infiltrate and take over the Jewish State, as part of establishing a new Palestinian State.

Sentiment of Israeli Arabs

When polled in June 2018, Israeli Arabs were the most likely to cap Palestinian refugees coming to Israel (the proposed question used a figure of 100,000 people) with the balance going to a new state of Palestine and getting compensation for lost property. A whopping 84.1% of Israeli Arabs supported such limited “right of return”, compared to 21.3% of Israeli Jews and 47.5% of Palestinian Arabs. When offered a different formulation in which a capped number of Palestinians would get permanent resident status but not citizenship in Israel, and Jews in the West Bank would similarly get such status in a new Palestinian State, Israeli Arab support (63.8%) dwarfed that of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs with 36.1% and 31.7%, respectively.

Beyond the differences in granting a Palestinian “right of return” among Israeli Arabs, Jews and Palestinian, the same poll showed a big difference in support for a two state solution. Not surprisingly, no Israeli Arabs favored the idea of “apartheid” or expulsions of the other, while 14.9% of Israeli Jews voted in favor of minimal rights for Israeli Arabs, and 17.2% of Palestinians favored expelling all the Jews from the region.

SAPs in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan

The Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) only poll people in Gaza and the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have control and self-determination, having been given land to administer by Israel. The SAPs who might have some actual claims under UDHR and UNGA Resolution 194 are those in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan as described above but were not polled.

Almost all of the SAPs in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship so cannot be considered “refugees.” Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank after the 1948-9 War against Israel, and granted all Arabs living there citizenship– as long as they were not Jewish – in 1954. Palestinian-Chileans have the same non-claim to move to Israel as these Palestinian-Jordanians.

The Palestinians who might be considered “refugees” with rights to move to the holy land are those elderly Palestinians who left Israel in May 1948 and now reside in Lebanon and Syria, countries which have denied them citizenship for almost their entire lives. Of the 1.2 million SAPs in those two countries (18.8% of the total people getting services from UNRWA), around 2% are over 75 years old and would qualify to move to Israel under UDHR Article 13.2, and under UNGA Resolution 194, Article 11, if they are willing to live with Israelis in peace. While it is well understood that Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza have no desire to live peacefully with Israelis, it is possible that those in UNRWA camps in Lebanon and Syria might.

If one advocates for a two-state solution, one must simultaneously be against a Palestinian “right of return” for any Arab other than the elderly living in UNRWA camps in Lebanon and Syria. All other Palestinians wishing to return to the region would need to move to Gaza or the West Bank under the approval of the Palestinian Authority. This has long been the logical bipartisan approach of both Democrats and Republicans.

In summary, there are very few people who qualify for a Palestinian “right of return” and there is very little support for, or belief that it can be implemented peacefully amongst the people in the region.

Related articles:

Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Fourth ‘No’ of the Khartoum Resolution: No Return of Palestinian Refugees

The United Nations Bias Between Jews and Palestinians Regarding Property Rights

The “Great Myth of Return”

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

No One Mentions Actual Palestinians’ Sentiments

UN Lies About Palestinians Favoring Two States

UNRWA in the eastern portion of Jerusalem (photo: First One Through)

Obama’s Ego Came For The Jewish State and Global Jewry

On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334. The resolution was disgraceful in several familiar respects in condemning Israel unfairly. To name just a few:

  • It falsely labeled a place called “East Jerusalem” which had only existed for a mere eighteen years from 1949 to 1967
  • It called East Jerusalem a “Palestinian territory”, when it never was anything of the sort, before, during or after 1949-1967
  • It proposed a “two-state solution based on the 1967 lines” when Israel and the Palestinian Authority had already signed agreements to negotiate lines without any preconceived final boundaries
  • Demanded that Jews be prevented from living in “East Jerusalem” and other “occupied Palestinian territory”, a blatantly anti-Semitic demand
  • Called for countries to treat Israel and Israeli territory differently, even though countries around the world – including the United States – do not distinguish in labeling their own products

The U.N. General Assembly (GA) had frequently made such horrible comments. What was new and alarming in this instance was that the resolution PASSED THE SECURITY COUNCIL, which may become legally binding.

As noted by the UN, “resolutions adopted by the GA on agenda items are considered to be recommendations and are not legally binding on the Member States. The only resolutions that have the potential to be legally binding are those that are adopted by the Security Council.” Further, “in contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions…. As Article 25 of the UN Charter states, “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.””

This alarming anti-Israel action managed to pass because the United States opted to abstain in the Resolution 2334 vote. Until that time, the U.S. had always voted against such anti-Israel measures at the Security Council because of possible ramifications.

This time, President Obama took this action in the final days of his administration because of lobbying from Jewish pro-Palestinian groups like J Street, and as payback for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepting an invitation from the Republican House Speaker to speak to a joint session of Congress about the existential threat of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, without coordinating with the president’s office.

At that time, a senior Obama official said that Netanyahu “spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015

Anti-Jewish attacks in the United States jumped 22.9% shortly thereafter in 2017, the largest spike since the FBI tracked hate crime data.

The ever-increasing number of boycotts and lawsuits against Israel, and the dramatic spike in harassment on college campuses and other locations of global Jewry, is related to Obama’s bruised ego and lobbying of alt-left groups like J Street.

Related articles:

On Accepting Invitations

Netanyahu’s Positions Are Not Leaving

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

Israel And Jews Everywhere Must Be Protected As An Ethnic, Religious And Linguistic Minority

Biden Enables Anti-Semitism On College Campuses

The Menorahs of Defiance

On December 19, 2022, The New York Times published an article about a menorah that was lit in the window of a Jewish home across from a Nazi flag in Germany, in defiance of the edicts to ban Jews from participating in society. The descendants of that German family brought the menorah back to Germany to rekindle it once again.

It’s an interesting story on many levels. To consider the defiance and fear that the Jewish family must have felt in 1931 as Nazis gathered power in Germany, to openly declare their Judaism in the face of growing anti-Semitism. And then, eighty years later, to return to Germany after the genocide of European Jewry with that same menorah.

Chanukah candles lit in the ashes of millions of slaughtered Jews.

Yehuda Mansbach, the grandson of the Jewish couple who lit that menorah in the iconic 1931 photograph, wept openly after lighting the two candles to mark the holiday of Chanukah in Germany in 2022.

It was the only story that the New York paper would write about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, other than some recipes for latke cocktails and how to make a DIY menorah. The actual holiday story of Jews expelling the Hellenist pagan rituals from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and throughout the Jewish holy land 2,200 years ago must have been considered too political for the anti-Zionist paper.

During the holiday, the paper preferred to write stories about Arabs who had “ancestors” in “modern day Israel” whose towns were destroyed at Israel’s creation. These “Palestinian citizens of Israel” (commonly called Israeli Arabs) have been trying to get back to the homes where their grandparents lived but have been blocked from doing so by the Israeli military and courts because the town sits in a buffer zone along Lebanon which is in a state of war with the Jewish State.

These are stories that neatly contour to the Times’ jaundiced narrative: Jews are native to Europe but were pushed out by Nazis, and Arabs are native to Palestine but were pushed out by Jews.

The actual Chanukah story disrupts the anti-Zionist propaganda, that Jews have thousands of years of history in Israel and not just throughout the land, but on the Jewish Temple Mount itself. That is where the original menorah of the Jews was lit, not in defiance of any edict but as a basic part of Jewish religious ritual.

Today, while Arabs may be blocked from returning to living in villages alongside the border of a hostile country by Israel’s military, Jews are considered to be in violation of United Nations edicts for going to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. While Israeli Arabs freely drive around Israel as recognized citizens of the Jewish State, countries around the world demand that Jews be forbidden from living and praying in their holiest city.

Jews have been lighting menorahs for 2,200 years, even in the face of blatant anti-Semitism from neighbors, governments and media propaganda. And Jews will continue to light their menorahs in their windows as proud Jews, and visit the reestablished Jewish State, as they use the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda as the rags that they are.

A single menorah of defiance lit before a Nazi flag in Germany, dozens of menorahs held aloft in Montana in 1993 amidst a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and thousands of menorahs lit in Jewish homes in Jerusalem and around the world today in the face of blatantly anti-Semitic articles and resolutions. Jews are indigenous to Israel and will always insist on the basic human right to practice their faith everywhere, especially in their holiest city.

Related articles:

The UN Talks About Jews Building In Jerusalem On Chanukah

Chanukah And The Puppets Of Power

For Chanukah, Arab League Shines Light On Why It Should Be Condemned

Chanukah and Fighting on Sabbath

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

This Day In Palestinians Resorting To Violence History: December 23 (Rabbi Teaching Torah To Spanish Speakers)

On December 23, 2015, two frustrated Palestinians aged 21, Anan Abu Habseh and Issa Yassin Asaf from the Qalandiyah refugee camp, came to Jerusalem. Inspired by Palestinian polls which showed 67% support stabbing Israeli Jews (even higher in refugee camps), they left their cellphones and ID cards at home after posting on social media that they were looking to become martyrs. The pair went looking for Jews who walked the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem with impunity, as if their “filthy feet” (to quote Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) had any right to walk on purely Islamic holy land.

Rabbi Reuven (Eduardo) Birmacher, age 45, had just finished teaching bible classes to Spanish speaking students at Yeshiva Aish Hatorah in the Old City. He had moved to Israel from Argentina and loved teaching Judaism to young men in Jerusalem. His fluency in Spanish made him an excellent teacher to students who came to Israel from Spanish speaking countries, such as Argentina, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

As Rabbi Birmacher was heading home to his wife and seven children out of the Jaffa Gate, the two Palestinian Arabs set upon and repeatedly stabbed him. He died a short time later.

Rabbi Reuven Birmacher, age 45, a teacher from Aish Hatorah Yeshiva, stabbed by two Palestinian Arabs because he was a Jew in Jerusalem.

Israeli border police shot and killed the two Palestinians who had to resort to violence because Jews had the audacity of teaching Judaism in Jerusalem.

The father of Anan Abu Habseh celebrated the actions of his son. As posted on Fatah’s website, Muhammed Abu Habseh said “with our skulls we pave the path to victory, until the liberation of Palestine. Our compass will not deviate from Jerusalem nor from Palestine.”

The United States House of Representatives had just recently met on October 22, 2015 to discuss the incitement to hatred and violence of Palestinian leadership. It said of PA President Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry:

this culture of hate is being cultivated by Palestinian leaders. After being exposed day in and day out to these types of messages for most of their young lives, many of these young people will react and once the 
Palestinian President declares, in his words, ``We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem'' there are consequences to that.
    And it doesn't help when those in the media--or the Secretary of State for that matter--give this incitement a pass.

The terrorist-apologists are telling you that Arabs resort to violence. If only there were no Jews in the holy land, they wouldn’t have to kill them.

Related articles:

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Tourists)

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Kitchen Staff)

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity