The "Occupied Territories" - Part II

The Jews revolted against harsh Roman rule and were defeated, after a long and brutal war. As punishment, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and renamed that city Aelia Capitolina and renamed the land from Provincia Judea to Provincia Philistia/Palaistina in an attempt to erase even Jewish history. No Arabs were involved in this action.

Rachel Neuwirth,

OpEds Rachel Neuwirth
Rachel Neuwirth
[The first part of this article can be read at]

Two thousand years ago, Rome ruled much of the known world. The Jews in the land of Israel (called Judea at that time) were a colony of Rome with their capital in Jerusalem. The Jews revolted against harsh Roman rule and were defeated, after a long and brutal war. As punishment, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and renamed that city Aelia Capitolina and renamed the land from Provincia Judea to Provincia Philistia/Palaistina in an attempt to erase even Jewish history. No Arabs were involved in this action.

The capital's name later reverted back to Jerusalem, but the name Philistia/Palaistina evolved into Palestine and came to designate only a region, but never a country or a distinct people. This is the origin of the term "Palestine", which is not even an Arabic name.

Over the following centuries, that land was overrun multiple times by various armies until about 1517, when that area became part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Four hundred years later, in 1917, during WWI, the British armies defeated the Turks. That vast Middle East region, including Palestine, was now the subject for setting new boundaries.

Briefly, England and the victorious allies designated new nations along with establishing new boundaries, such as what became Iraq and Jordan. Those allies designated all of Palestine, as a British Mandate, to become the Jewish National Home. At international conferences following WWI, boundary issues were settled with Jewish and Arab delegations participating. The Palestine Mandate included all of present day Israel, Jordan, Gaza, the "occupied territories", plus the Golan Heights. The Jews would have received about 45,000 square miles, which would have been less than 1% of the 5,000,000 square miles assigned to the Arabs.

At the time, there was amicable agreement between Emir Feisal and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing the Arab and the Zionist delegations respectively. The League of Nations ratified this amity in an agreement, making it legally binding under international law. It has never been legally altered or abrogated.

"Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish People as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period... The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel..." ("Our Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty to the Land of Israel under International Law" by Howard Grief, Nativ, vol 16, no. 3, May 2003)

The conventions are cited and they include implementing the Balfour Declaration with commitments by the League of Nations, and the governments of France, England and America.

The British unilaterally detached three fourths of the Palestine Mandate and created Trans Jordan, which was only for Arabs and banned to Jews. The British detached the Golan Heights and transferred that area to French-controlled Syria. They also instigated the local Arabs against the Jews to sabotage the very obligation they were duty-bound to implement.

"The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state.... The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish People by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper [which severely limited Jewish immigration from Nazi controlled Europe into Palestine] despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine....

"Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world." (ibid.)

Had the Western nations and the Arabs honored their international agreements and obligations, there would not be an Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the remaining one-fourth of the original Mandate into a Jewish and an Arab sector. The Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected it. Five Arab armies attacked the re-born State of Israel on the day it declared independence. The UN totally failed to support its own resolution. During the subsequent war, the boundary changed and, when fighting ceased, the armistice line of 1949 became what is referred to as the pre-Six-Day War lines. That armistice line is not a legal border or boundary as some prefer to call it, and there is no geographic, demographic or legal requirement for it to become permanent.

At this point, designations changed. The term Palestine becomes temporarily moot. In that area, there were now Israel and Jordan, and the so-called West Bank was occupied by Jordan, while Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. The term "Palestinian" originally referred to Jewish pioneers who were returning to reclaim their historic homeland. Local Arabs were simply called Arabs, and they did not want to be confused with the appellation of "Palestinians", who were the Jews.

In the 1960s, Yasser Arafat and others invented their own Palestine/Palestinian identity. In 1964, three years prior to the Six-Day War and the "occupied territories", the PLO had issued its infamous PLO Covenant calling for the destruction of Israel. Upon Israel's rebirth, the terms Palestine and Palestinians were vacated and the local Arabs seized that identity for themselves as a political tool to use against Israel. A revealing statement comes from PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, as quoted in the Dutch newspaper Trouw on March 3, 1977. In a moment of candor he admitted:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."

Their forged identity now matched their covenant, which denied Israel's right to exist. The Six-Day War provided another excuse to claim a Palestinian territory and a Palestinian People that never existed. Jewish leadership failed to challenge that identity theft, which allowed time for that falsehood to acquire legitimacy. Local Arabs were then taught from birth that they were Palestinians who had their "Palestinian" land stolen by the Jews. This falsehood has existed for decades with little challenge. By now, it has acquired the status of established truth.

A map of the Middle East shows a vast Arab territory of five million square miles, plus another area of Muslim non-Arab countries that occupy nearly another five million square miles. How did all that come about? At the birth of Mohammed, the Arabs resided on the Arabian Peninsula and Islam did not yet exist. Mohammed's legacy was the Quran, the holy book of Islam, plus a militant drive to spread the faith by conversion and by conquest. Except for the Arabian peninsula, all the Muslim countries of today, both Arab and non-Arab, are the result of that early expansionist drive. In places such as Spain, that expansion was eventually repulsed, but most of that conquest remains in force to this day.

We can now view the Middle East with new eyes. It is not Israel, but the Arabs who are the true occupiers in the Middle East. Their long possession of conquered lands does not necessarily legitimize their original conquest. The entire Land of Israel itself bears testimony to the presence of two Jewish commonwealths in ancient times, as evidenced by archaeology, with that presence including the Golan Heights, Gaza, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Palestinian claims are totally fabricated. There is no evidence of any prior Palestinian culture, language, religion, coinage, leadership or any other evidence backing their extravagant claims.

But if all that is true, then how come almost everyone believes that the Jews stole part of "historic Palestine"? This happened over recent decades because of Arab fabrications and the dismal failure of the Jewish leadership to even tell the truth on their own behalf. The Arabs committed a crime in lying against the Jews and the Jews committed a crime in acquiescing in these lies.

A brief word for those Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who are adamant in attacking Israel over the so-called "occupied territories". The lands beneath their own feet are also occupied territories by this logic. America was colonized after Columbus by foreigners who invited themselves over here. They displaced the native peoples, and slaughtered many of them, mainly in the 1800s. The Indians 'traded land for peace' and received neither. Their reservations house the poorest of all the minorities in this country, with over 300 treaties with the US government still unfulfilled. People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones, as the saying goes.

This conflict has destroyed many lives in the course of the past century, with no end in sight. There is much blame to assign to the major powers and to the Arabs. But it is also time to assign blame to those Jewish leaders who failed, from the start, to stand firm for Jewish rights to the land. They foolishly allowed the big lie to grow, and over time, to become deeply entrenched in popular thinking and even in the minds of many Jews. To this day, these failed leaders cannot bring themselves to speak the simple truth on behalf of their own people.

It would be revealing if readers would send this article to those in the US Jewish leadership positions requesting a reply. See if any of them will be able to respond honestly.

[Part 2 of 2]