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July 18, 2006

WaPo Spits In The Eye Of History: Does Bidding For Islamists - Says Israel Is A Historical Mistake

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Palestine In 1020 BC_small.jpg

[Before Cohen writes his next piece on Israel or before he contemplates offering advice to the Jewish state - perhaps he himself might consider "hunkering down" with a brief study on the history of Palestine].
In "Hunker Down With History," Richard Cohen, writing at The Washington Post, apparently agrees with Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and gives credence to the Islamists that seek to destroy Israel. In saying that "Israel itself is a mistake," Cohen foolishly and recklessly attempts to use a premise of the foundation of Israel being a mistake to make an escapable point (while seeming to recognize the mindless hatred of the Islamists) and chooses to ignore the history of Apocalyptic Muslim Jew Hatred and the ancient history of Palestine itself (Maps here) :
The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah, that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran, that was once a tacit ally of Israel's. The underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state in the Islamic world just keeps bubbling to the surface. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and some other Arab countries may condemn Hezbollah, but I doubt the proverbial man in their street shares that view.

As Cohen points out, the Jewish people have indeed had a long and troubled history.

First as the wanderers and slaves of Biblical times and then as victims of persecution across Europe. After the end of the Second World War, the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust were given the nation state of Israel under the auspices of the United Nations.

The solution unfortunately spawned a host of unsolved problems when Arab countries reacted violently against the formation of the new state.

In 1947, the United Nations approved U.N. Resolution 181, thereby carving the British Mandate of Palestine into two divisions, the Jewish state of Israel and the Arab state. Jerusalem and Bethlehem, owing to their religious significance and being claimed as major landmarks by Christians, Jews and Muslims, were placed under United Nations administration.

Since the end of the Second World War there have been numerous conflicts between Israel and Arab nations.

In 1948 Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq invaded Israel.

The combined Arab military forces launched offensives in the north, west and south of Israel but the Israelis, led by able commanders and operating with clear and effective strategies, repulsed the assaults.

The war ended in 1949 after thousands of Arabs and Israelis had lost their lives. The 1948 war was followed in 1956 by the Suez crisis, then the 1967 Six-Day War broke out, years later, the Yom Kippur War erupted in 1973. During the 1980s, Israel invaded neighboring Lebanon to crush the Palestinian militants who had holed up in that country.

Most notable of all the confrontations is the 1967 Six-Day War fought between Israel and the Arab countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

Realizing that they were militarily disadvantaged the Israelis launched a pre-emptive strike and practically destroyed the superior Egyptian airplanes as they were sitting on the tarmac.

The destruction of the Egyptian airforce allowed the Israelis unopposed control of the skies and this advantage helped them to win. Their victory allowed them to capture sizable chunks of territory like the Gaza strip, the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank and the Golan heights.

The Six-Day War has had great implications for the geopolitics of the Middle East. Even the return of most of the captured territories by Ariel Sharon did little to temper down the waves of violence ripping across the region.

Now, the hostilities have been reignited. In July 2006 Hezbollah militants crossed the northern Israeli border and killed several soldiers before abducting two more.

Israel threw a naval blockade on all ports of entry to Lebanon to force the Lebanese authorities to pressure Hezbollah into releasing the captured Israeli soldiers. Israeli warplanes also swooped deep inside Lebanese airspace and pounded hundreds of targets, including Beirut airport and the Hezbollah headquarters in southern Beirut.

In retaliation, Hezbollah guerillas launched hundreds of rounds of screaming Katyuska rockets at the communities and cities of northern Israel.

The ongoing violence has not only killed civilians on both sides but it has also sent the price of oil skyrocketing like the death-dealing Katyuskas

So once again, images of wanton destruction are splashed over the frontpages and the wheels of hate and discord gear up again into the full swing of carnage and devastation.

Taking a short step back from assimilating known facts, to say that Cohen's WaPo piece ignores history would be an understatement, and for Muslims to lay claim to a "Palestine" is is to ignore the reality of time - after all, according to Jewish tradition (existing long before Muhammad was even a twinkle in his father's eye), twelve tribes entered Canaan from Egypt and conquered it, led by Moses approximately 1240-1200 BC. Historical evidence from the Amarna tablets suggests that there were already 'apiru' (Hebrews) among the Canaanites in the time of Egyptian rule. And by all accounts of Muslims themselves, Muhammad came along in the 6th century (AD.C.E.).

Before Cohen writes his next piece on Israel or before he contemplates offering advice to the Jewish state - perhaps he himself might consider "hunkering down" with a little study on the history of Palestine.

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Posted by Richard at July 18, 2006 10:19 AM



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