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Keywords: Israel Palestine Jews Christians Moslems

Category: Politics

Date: 2006-04-10


This article may be categorized as a personal opinion though it is based on many true facts. The writer of this text is neither an academy person nor a research man but an ordinary Jewish Israeli citizen who has confronted lack of basic knowledge regarding Israel, Jews and Zionism in the United States of America.

I will try to clarify some misunderstandings of these issues, which lead foreign people to take the wrong side regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, or maybe, Gentile-Jewish misinterpretation, which sometimes leads to Anti-Semitism, or Anti-Zionism opinions, which reflect the current global politics. Yes, I'm not trying to be totally objective. Frankly, I'll be talking from my inner feelings.

Let me start with some clarifications on which I'm going to base my points. An Islamic Sudani citizen asked me at the International Student Center of Manhattan KS, who the first Jew was. Naturally, I answered it was Abraham the first Jew. This answer made him upset since Abraham for him was the first Moslem. Judge yourself. I tried to explain him my answer but unfortunately an older religious Moslem would not listen to a younger self-confident Jew. Biblical Abraham was called a Hebrew (Ivri), which means a "passer" or even a "crosser". There were ancient tribes who originally lived in the Persian Gulf area or Biblical Ur-Kasdim who moved west to the Land of Canaan about 4000 years ago. These people crossed the Jordan River east to west. That's why they were called "Hebrews". Abraham was one of them. Of course he spoke the Hebrew language. Isaac his son was a second generation and Jacob his grandchild was a third generation. I'd say, here starts the first Jewish-Moslem conflict.

The Islamic holy book of Koran that was written at Mohamed the Prophet times about 622 ad. tells the story of Ishmael's sacrifice. On the contrary the Jewish Torah (First 5 books of the Bible) tells us the story of Isaac's sacrifice. How can you settle the conflict?

I tried to confront another Moslem person with this conflict. I also know there is a verse in the Koran which says the Bible is true. The Moslem person didn't hesitate and answered me: "Yes the Bible is really true but Jews have faked the current version we have today." I had no answer for that unexpected answer at the time. Now however I do have a simple answer: Suppose Jews have a faked Biblical version, how come all Christians who have their Old Testament (which is the Jewish Bible), agree with a faked Jewish version? One cannot blame Christians along history for loving Jews or accepting their views. Simply read history books regarding Church prosecutions and Anti-Semitism against Jews. On the other hand Moslems do not have their own "true" version of the Bible. So, the Moslem claim of Ishmael's Sacrifice must be base-less. Anyway, who was Ishmael? He was Abraham mistress' son who was sent away with his mother to the desert so he wouldn't challenge Isaac, Abraham wife's legal son.

I did not explain yet why I keep calling Abraham the first Jew although he was called a Hebrew. Well, Jew is a later term for the chosen people of god. Jacob name was changed to Israel after Jacob's Dream and as the story goes on we learn he had 12 son's of which 12 Israelites tribes came, where each had a tribal territory in the Land of Israel (Previously called the Land of Canaan), with the exception of Levi who had a special religious purpose with no tribal territory and Joseph who has received two tribal territories for his two children Ephraim and Menashe. Tribe of Judah was the strongest and most dominated of all. After David and Salomon kingdoms ended, Israel was divided into two kingdoms: Judah and Israel. Due to first exile of both kingdoms, 9 1/2 territorial tribes of Israel kingdom were mostly mixed and lost in the Diaspora. Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, 1/2 Menashe, and the non-territorial tribe of Levi have survived the Diaspora establishing the second Kingdom of Judah where its residents were Jews (In Hebrew: plural form of Judah).

Israelites ancient enemy were the Philistines. These were people who came from the Mediterranean Sea islands and invaded a coastal strip at southern Israel. Their name derives from the Hebrew word "invasion". Their land was called Land of Invaders (Eretz Pleshet). Just for comparison, let me jump 4000 years forward to our time where Ethiopian Jews who immigrated to the State of Israel were named "phalashas" in Ethiopia, which also means "invaders". Originally, Jews were not belonging to Ethiopia so they were named "invaders" by the local Ethiopians in Amhari language. Amhari, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and other ancient languages are all Semitical languages and share some common or similar words and sentences. Now back to Biblical times, the Hellenists eventually conquered Kingdom of Judah, then it was completely destroyed by their followers the Romans who than still worshiped idles. They destroyed the Holy Temple of Temple Mount in Jerusalem which was till then the Capital of the Kingdom of Judah, changed the town's name to Ilea Capitolina (I think this was named after a Roman Idle), changed the town's name of Shechem to Nia Police (I hope this is spelled correctly) which means "The New Town" as many other name changes in order to eliminate any Jewish connection to the land. The Roman also took Israelites worse enemy name and changed the "Land of Israel" to "Palestine" (The name came from the Philistines). Since than all Israel haters kept calling the Land of Israel as Palestine.

Since Roman Empire occupation till 1948 Jews were not allowed to return to their ancient homeland for the passing 2000 years. Jews however kept hoping and never forgot their identity and their country. There was almost always some Jewish representative in the Land of Israel. Empires have changed during the long years and among the occupiers were Hellenists, Romans, Crusaders, Arabs, Ottomans and finally a British Mandate given by the UN named Palestine. This mandate included today's State of Israel, Judea Samaria Jordan Valley and Gaza Strip, and Kingdom of Jordan. At the end of the 400 years of Ottoman Empire rule, Britain and France have divided the Middle East between themselves. Since Abdullah, a Bedouin Arab fought with the British against the French, he received a gift from the British Empire: 2/3 of mandatory Palestine. All the area east of the Jordan River was given to the British-made Hashemite King Abdullah, the first king of the Trans Jordanian state in 1946, laterly called the Kingdom of Jordan (Named after the Jordan River and NOT vice versa!). This was the first division of mandatory Palestine where Jews were not allowed living on the East Bank (of the Jordan River) since. In 1948 when last British left the West Bank, not before second division of remaining Palestine between Jews and Arabs, Jews have still accepted the remaining land given to them for establishing their independent state on a smaller part of their big ancient homeland.

However while declaring independence with Jerusalem as the natural capital city on May 14 1948, five Arab countries, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq (Which had no boundaries with Israel), declared war against the new born State of Israel. Being cynical, it is not the State of Israel to blame for winning the battle and annexing extra territories that were not originally given by the "lovely" British.

Moreover, 1948 was the first time in Jerusalem's 5000 years of history where this city was divided. This miserable division of Jerusalem lasted for 19 years (19 out of 5000 years is 0.38% of Jerusalem's age where it was divided). Of course, justice lover world including the United States, Europe and most of the rest of the world believes one should 'cut the baby'. They believe 19 years of divided Jerusalem are more significant than 4981 years where it was united. Does this make sense to you? All of these lovely countries that have diplomatic relations with the State of Israel have put their embassies in Tel Aviv instead, calling it the capital of the State of Israel. What a shame!

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