Israel is Not Unique

Living under Arab occupation since the 7th century

David Silon

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Arutz 7
Generally, those who favor giving up Judea and Samaria cite the demographic problems retaining the territories can pose. "If we keep Judea and Samaria," they say, "we will be
Let's take a closer look at the other countries and peoples in the "Arab" Middle East.
compelled to give this large Arab population the vote and that will be the end of the Jewish state."
One of the hallmarks of a democracy is, indeed, giving all a country's residents the right to vote or, at least, to integrate them in society as a whole. But before Israel involves the large Arab population in the territories in this wonderful democratic process, let's take a closer look at the other countries and peoples in the "Arab" Middle East who have tried to integrate with, and democratically coexist with their large and, in most cases, dominant Arab populations.

They are the Middle East's version of Native Americans living under Arab occupation since the 7th century.

The Coptic Christian nation is descended from the ancient Egyptians. In modern times, they have been associated with their Arab neighbors in fighting against the British for Egyptian independence. After independence, though, the local Arabs wished to make Egypt exclusively Arab. When the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in the 1920s, persecution and intimidation of the indigenous Egyptians began. Today, such persecution still occurs. Massacres, such as in El-Kosheh, and the abduction or rape of Coptic girls occurs often.

The Kurds, descendants of the ancient Medes, are one of the first nations to adopt Islam. In the 1960s and 1970s, aside from in Turkey and Iran, they fought the Iraqi Arabs for, at least, autonomy in the Kurdish areas in the north. Their struggle continued in the '80s, culminating in the Arab massacre of Kurds at Halabja in 1988. Since the first Gulf War and the establishment of the no-fly zone in northern Iraq, Arab-occupied Kurdistan has maintained a semi-independent and prosperous existence, and will continue to do so as long as the Arabs are kept at bay.

The Assyrians/Chaldeans
The Assyrians are descendants of the ancient people and empire that later adopted Christianity in the 2nd century; Chaldeans adopted Catholicism in the 16th century. Traditionally one of the most persecuted peoples in Iraq, the Assyrians suffered bloody massacres and expulsions by the Arabs in 1933, from which they have yet to recover. This state of affairs continues to this day.

The "Marsh Arabs"
Descended from the ancient Sumerians, whose homeland was, centuries later, solidified into the marshlands of what is today southern Iraq, the "Marsh Arabs" have lived in that region since time immemorial. Under Saddam Hussein, the marshes were dried up and thousands were driven into exile. Today, they are returning back home, but, because of depredations by the Arabs, it will be generations until their homeland will be what it once was.

The Maronites descended from the ancient Phoenicians and adopted their present form of Christianity in the 7th century. Today, they are forced to share their homeland with Arab neighbors who want to kill them. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the PLO, along with the Lebanese Arabs, massacred roughly 100,000 Maronites. Today, relations are tense, if not violent. As long as the Arabs remain in Lebanon, such a state of affairs will continue.

The Syriacs are descendants of the ancient Arameans. Since the 1920s, they have been suppressed and massacred by the Syrian Arabs. Today, they are probably the most oppressed group in Syria (other than the few Jews who are left there). Even though the Arabs have tried to stifle Syriac identity, their dreams of a liberated Syria exist today and are embodied in the outlawed Athurayo liberation movement.

The Druze
Of both Lebanon and Syria, Druze are descendants of various Middle Eastern tribes who were originally Muslim, but that have, since the 10th-11th centuries, broken away from Islam and Arab society (depending on the clan). forming their own community. Long a powerful force in Lebanon, they eventually formed a majority in the Djebel Druze region of southern Syria. In the 1930s, they had been promised autonomy there, but in the 1960s, this autonomy was ruthlessly suppressed by the Arabs. They remain second-class citizens in Syria today.

North Africa
The indigenous Berber tribes have been forced to adopt the religion of their Arab occupiers since the 7th century. Presently, they are resisting Arab pressure in Morocco to abandon their cultural heritage and have been made refugees from their ancestral lands in Western Sahara. Since 1977, all attempts to assert Berber identity in Algeria have been ruthlessly suppressed. Today, the Kabyle Berbers in Algeria are either pressing for autonomy or independence for their region and it is hoped that once that is achieved, other Berber tribes will follow suit.

Sudan is committing ethnic cleansing today against the indigenous non-Arab populations, because they are not Arab and because they are Black. The Nubians, for example, have traditionally been the major group in the region. Their homeland once boasted a proud
The Jews are the indigenous people of Israel.
history of kings and warriors, but ever since the Arab invasion and occupation, they have been struggling for survival. Many have been forced into southern Egypt where, in the 1960s under orders of the Nasser government, they were displaced and their villages destroyed by the building of the Aswan Dam (which also adversely affected the local Egyptian Coptic population).

The African tribes of southern Sudan, many of whom are Christian, have been ravaged by decades of Arab onslaughts against them. Estimated deaths from these onslaughts range from 500,000 to 2,000,000.

No description necessary.

The Jews are the indigenous people of Israel; they are the original Palestinians. To read about the history of Palestinian Jewish refugees, go to

These are the facts of the Middle East today. So, should Israel give the Arabs the vote? With the exception of a minority of Arabs who respect the fact that they live in countries belonging to other peoples, probably a more desirable general Middle Eastern solution, particularly for Israel, is to have the Arabs transferred back to their original homeland and return those former Arab countries to the control of their non-Arab indigenous peoples.