Monday, December 06, 2010

Today's Teeny Tiny Israel




Teeny Tiny Israel
Nadene Goldfoot
In the pictures above at the top is the 1947 partition plan of Palestine between a Jewish and an Arab state. The orange would be Israel and the yellow would be Palestine.
The 2nd picture shows biblical Israel and the 3rd shows Israel as it is today in pale yellow.


It's easy to get around in Israel because the distances from one place to another is so short. Israel can be crossed from west to east in 90 minutes by car. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are an hour apart. From Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea to Eilat on the Red Sea in the South would take you only 5 hours of travel. It takes me about 6 1/2 hours to travel from Ontario, Oregon to Portland, Oregon which is the width of Oregon from East to West. Israel sits between 2 continents and 2 seas so has always been on the crossroads between Asia and Africa. Throughout its history people with imperial ambitions have wanted to possess the land. We've had Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans and the British traveling the land to take over some other people's land.

To go from Haifa to Jerusalem by car, you have to travel 94 miles. To go from Tel Aviv to Haifa you only have to drive 59 miles. From Tel Aviv to Gaza, you would drive only 48 miles. Jerusalem is only 5 miles away from Bethlehem. I'm telling you, it's a small, small country.

A large part of Israel is the Negev desert. People live on the edge of it. Jerusalem is on the doorway of the Judean Desert. The Sinai Desert separates the Land of Israel from the land of Egypt. Northern Israel is the Galilee where mountains rise to 3,300 feet. In the center of Israel is Samaria and Judea which people refer to as "The West Bank" and it also has mountains of this height.

What are the boundaries of Israel? Until 1967, its boundaries were made of temporary armistice lines, agreed on in 1949. Since 1967, pending a peace settlement, armistice lines demarcate the area under Israeli control. They are 523 miles long compared with the armistice lines which were 570 miles long.

The Armistice Agreements of 1949 were with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. At this time Israel was most vulnerable as the middle of Israel was only 10 miles wide, like a woman's waistline. Here lies Tel Aviv with Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva on the east, Bat Yam and Holon to the south, Herzliya and Natanya in the north. This is the commercial and industrial section of Israel. To the North the Huleh Plain had been land reclaimed from swamps and holds green villages on a flat tabletop lying under the Golan Heights which had been held by the Arabs of Syria. They want it back, of course. The South with the Sinai desert holds Egyptian military airfields. It only takes 3 to 10 minutes to fly to Israel's coastal strip of dense population.

Under this scrutiny of all its enemies, Israel stopped the June 5, 1967 invasion and wound up gaining land. The Arab states had threatened and tried to destroy her but wound up losing land themselves. For eighteen years the Arabs had been hostile and all their acts broke every paragraph in the Armistice Agreements of 1949 where they had all negotiated and signed a paper of promise in their relations with Israel, and they had broken it.

Israel's birth certificate has been validated by "The Old Testament" or Tanakh, uninterrupted Jewish settlement from Joshua's time till now; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate which included the Balfour Declaration ; the UN partition resolution of 1947; Israel's admission to the UN in 1949, recognition of Israel by most other states; and a society created by Israel's people in living there. Abba Eban has said that Israel has the right to exist just like the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states.

The Peel Commission in 1936 said that the "Jewish National Home to be established was understood, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, to be the whole of historic Palestine, including Transjordan."The British Mandate created an Israel with only the area west of the Jordan River excluding part of the Upper Galilee north of the ladder of Tyre which was given to Lebanon. The southern Negev beyond the Rafiah-Gulf of Elath line had been handed over by the Turkish Ottomans to Egypt for administration in 1906. The UN resolution of Nov 29, 1947 recommended the Jewish state to be in the larger part of the mandated area of western Palestine, but it had a complex frontier. The agreements of 1949 left Israel with 8,000 square miles, a larger area than envisioned, but with complicated borders. The original Promised land contained 58,000 square miles of land.

1967 saw the occupation of all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Sinai up to the Suez Canal. Israel gave back the Sinai to Egypt in the early 1980's.

Our twelve tribes of Israel constituted the first monarchy in Palestine in about 1000 BC. Saul was the first king and David, the 2nd king, made Jerusalem the nation's capital. We're people who have a 2nd chance in holding our country and mean to keep it. Jews from Europe and elsewhere started to go back in large numbers in 1882 when fewer than 250,000 Arabs lived there. More Arabs immigrated into the area when they saw construction going on and were seeking work. In 1920 8,223 Jews immigrated into Palestine. In 1933, on the brink of Nazi rule in Germany, 37,337 Jews immigrated into Palestine. The next year 45,267 came and in 1935 had 66,472 enter. In 1939, as the door in Germany about closed, 31,195 arrived.

Between August 1945 after the war and Israel's creation in May 1948, 65 illegal immigrant ships came carrying 69,878 people from Europe with nowhere to go but to Israel. By August of 1946, the British began to confine or impound those they caught in camps in Cyprus. About 50,000 people were detained in camps, 28,000 of whom were still imprisoned when Israel declared independence. These people were in great need of having an Israel and even after all they had gone through in the Holocaust, still were being treated indecently by the British.

The fact remains that many peoples and countries are tying to get Israel pushed back to the vulnerable pre-1967 armistice lines. The attitude of the Arabs has not changed. They still are adamant about destroying Israel. They're mad because we have gained Judea and Samaria . Our continuing presence there is not a violation of the agreements in the UN Security Council Resolution 242 or the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords, or the Road Map.

Resolution 242 asks for Israel to withdraw from territory in the context of negotiations that assure the "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." There has been no peace summit or signed accords defining "secure and recognized boundaries". That's what Abbas has balked at.

UNSCR 242 does not specify the extent of Israel's withdrawal from Judea-Samaria. The people involved in this creation said that security doesn't come from arms, territory, geography or domination of another. It can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding and that's what we haven't received from the Palestinians. People like Canadians and Americans have been good neighbors. That's not happening between Israel and the Palestinians.

In its creation, Jews settled for less than half of the land promised by the English to become the state of Israel. It was given a crumb of land that was certainly hard to defend. This division of land was done after finding that the Arabs resented that Jews were receiving such a good deal at a time that other sheiks were taking over land after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and they were creating states of their own. Why should Jews be cut in on a deal that should go to them, they thought. Even so, they did not take advantage of the offer and did not create their Palestine.

I maintain that Israel cannot go back to the size it was in 1948. It was vulnerable and open for attack constantly. The British developers were short sighted or evil to think that Israel could exist safely without any defenses. There has to be a judgement against nations that attacked it in violation of world treaties in that it was a declared nation among all the other nations, even though it was so little. Since the Arab countries gathered as if in a gang and attacked Israel, they will have to suffer the consequences and accept the fact that they have lost land. After all, Jordan had occupied Judea and Samaria illegally themselves so should not complain.

Since the Palestinians have not tried to make peace with Israel, they can kiss their chance of creating their Palestine now, after 62 years of warfare, goodbye. It will take a complete make-over of their people to convince me that they are a peaceful neighbor and deserving of having their own state. They need an overhaul on their educational programs and their parental psychology to become civil people. Abbas wants to create a state right now but has not come to terms with Hamas in Gaza or even Israel.

Perhaps as soon as 100 years from now something like that might happen, but certainly not now. In the meantime, the Palestinians are free to live peacefully as they should be and start acting like good neighbors. Nobody is thinking of deporting them. However, such problems that exist like their intention of flooding the area with millions of relatives just cannot happen. I would suggest that they emigrate to their relatives if they wish to all live together. Wherever they are there must be more room than in Judea and Samaria.

Reference: Facts About Israel: Division of Information, Ministry for foreign Affairs, Jerusalem
Battleground: fact and fantasy in Palestine by Samuel Katz
Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb
The Case Against Israel's Enemies by Alan Dershowitz
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