Sadly, history is being distorted to fit certain agendas. We see this happening with respect to Israel and the Palestinians, and with certain aspects of American history. These subjects are too big to discuss in depth here, but I want to touch briefly on some key parts of history that are being distorted. I believe it is important for us to be aware that this is happening since people’s perceptions and government decisions are based on what is understood to be fact. Since most people are willing to believe what they hear about history in the media, anecdotally, and in school textbooks, these lies have become “fact” because no one bothers to verify what they are hearing. You tell a lie often enough, just about everybody will eventually believe it. I hope that after reading this you will be motivated to explore these subjects in more detail and learn the truth.
Yasser Arafat is the author of many of the lies concerning Palestinian and Israeli history. He portrayed the Jews as invaders of the Palestinian/Arab homeland, and the Palestinians as innocent victims of that aggression. However, claiming that Palestine is Arab ignores the fact that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in that area for over 3,000 years. If you are a person of faith, look at the Bible. You can see in many places in the Scriptures that God tells and even promises the Patriarchs and the Israelites that the land is theirs in perpetuity.
Arafat also denied the Holocaust, one of the most documented events in the history of the world. As a matter fact, he pretty much invented the concept of Palestinian nationhood. Technically, there had been no such thing as a Palestinian as it is understood today.
Until World War I, Palestine (the region, not a country) was sparsely populated. Jews from Europe started settling in their ancient homeland in the 1800s, joining the scattering of Jews who already lived there. They purchased land from the few Arabs living there, often at inflated prices. After World War I and the breaking up of the Ottoman Empire, the British ruled Palestine. During this British mandate Arabs from all over the Middle East were invited by the Brits to settle into the area. This was an act of anti-Semitism and helped lay the foundation for the problems we face today in that region.
After World War II, the United Nations divided that area, creating Arab and Jewish nations (Israel and Jordan). When Israel was created by the UN in 1948, those Arabs living in Jewish areas were told to leave by their Arab brethren in the surrounding nations. They were assured that the Jewish state would be annihilated soon, and they would be able to return to their homes. Many Arabs followed this bad advice and left, and they were put in refugee camps “temporarily.” Some Arabs chose to stay in the Jewish state, being assured by the Israelis that they would be safe. Today there are about 1 million of their descendants living in Israel. They are Israeli citizens, have representation in the Knesset, and are reasonably prosperous compared to the descendants of those Arabs who left in 1948.
Meanwhile, the Arabs who left the Jewish state in 1948 were never absorbed into other Arab countries once it became obvious Israel wasn’t going away. To this day, their descendants languish in refugee camps or in squalid settlements. Of course we feel sorry for these people, but we have to realize they are not the victims of Jewish imperialism. They were mistreated and misled by their own people, and they were not even invited to settle back in their homelands. They became people without a country, despite the fact that Jordan was established as the Arab counterpart to Israel.
Of course the Arab nations and those who do not know this history persist in blaming Israel for the Palestinian problem. Yes, it is a serious problem, but it is not the fault of Israel. Israel was legally created by the United Nations and has a right to exist. Moreover, it has the right to keep any land that it gained in the wars it fought. These were not wars of aggression on the part of Israel. They resulted from unprovoked attacks by Israel’s Arab neighbors (1948-1949, 1967, 1973) causing the Israelis to defend themselves. In the process of pushing back the invaders, Israel gained some land. The Arabs started the wars, and Israel finished them! What nation on earth would ever be told by the international community to give back land that they gained as a result of defending themselves from unprovoked attacks by nations that are dedicated to annihilating them? Yet, that’s what Israel is being told to do!
Israel did in fact give back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in the interest of keeping the peace. Moreover, it has also given land for a Palestinian state, removing thousands of Jewish settlers in the process. And what thanks did Israel get from the Palestinians? Rockets being launched daily in an attempt to kill innocent Israeli civilians. After years of this Israel had enough and it attacked the Palestinians. Predictably the world was “shocked” at the aggressiveness of Israel against the poor Palestinians and condemned it for those actions. How ridiculous!
To show you how ridiculous such criticism is, what do you think the United States would do if Mexico shot off rockets from Tijuana into San Diego on a daily basis? I don’t think we would put up with it for very long. We would bomb or attack the sources of this outrage to stop it once and for all. But when Israel does the same thing, they get condemned. Like I said, it’s ridiculous.
What astounds me is how many Jewish people in the United States don’t understand this history and are quite willing to condemn Israel. Either they don’t know the history, or they prefer to be politically correct rather than standing with their own people. Interestingly, a good number of devout Christians are sympathetic to Israel, both from a practical as well as a biblical aspect. That doesn’t mean we believe Israel is correct all the time, but it does mean that we believe it has a right to exist, to defend itself with force, to protect itself (with a large wall, for example), and to keep the land that it won in these wars. All Christians and Jews should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Israel is special in history and in also is the place where the Messiah will return.
In another post I’ll explore American revisionist history.