My Open Letter to Presidnet Trump

Yosef Rabin,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Yosef Rabin
Yosef Rabin lives and works in Jerusalem and writes on a wide range of issues affecting Israel and the Jewish world. Yosef can be contacted at ymrabin@gmail.com...

Dear President Trump,

I hope this letter finds you well.

First, I would like to say that I and countless of others here in Israel are very excited about your victory. I grew up in Chicago, IL before rejoining the Jewish Nation in its ancestral homeland. However, I still maintain deep positive feelings towards the United States and I pray that you can help restore that great land to her former glory.    

Mr. President, both you and I share commonalities, we both are law abiding individuals, students of history and lovers of the Bible and I am confident that you will both read and comment on this letter.

National-Religious Identity of the Land of Israel?

The most absurd claim made by the Arabs is the denial of the Jewish Peoples deep national-religious connection to the land. It is no secret that the Bible is not only a holy book of code and law, but also contains the story of the Jewish Nation in her land. The biblical Jewish history of the land, persists even in modern Arab towns and here are just a few examples.

  • Anata is the Biblical (and contemporary) Anatot, the dwelling of the Prophet Jeremiah.
  • Batir is Biblical (and contemporary) Beitar, the headquarters of Bar Kochba, the leader of the Great Rebellion against the Roman Empire, which was suppressed in 135CE.
  • Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birthplace of King David.
  • El-Jib is biblical (and contemporary) Gibeon, Joshua’s battleground known for his command to stop the sun and moon (Joshua 10:12).
  • Seilun is the biblical (and contemporary) Shilo, a site of Joshua’s tabernacle and the Holy Ark and Samuel’s youth.
  • Tequa is biblical (and contemporary) Tekoa, hometown of the Prophet Amos.

The Jewish People have clung to this land ever since Abraham walked in it nearly 4,000 years ago, following biblical injunction. As the Bible states, Chronicles - 16:15-18: "Forever remember His covenant that he commanded forever; That He made with Abraham and swore to Isaac; and confirmed to Jacob, a decree for Israel, as an eternal covenant; saying to You I will give the Land of Cannan (Israel) as your allotted heritage". The national command on the Jews to settle and conquer the Land of Israel is also repeated dozens of times in Deuteronomy. One of the greatest deciders of Jewish Law, Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman (Ramban) wrote "We are commanded to possess the land that the almighty God gave to our forefathers… and not to leave it in the hands of other nations or in desolation, as it says, 'posses the land and live in it' (Numbers, 33:53) …we may never leave the land in the hand of other nations in any generation."

Illegal Occupation?

1. The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are not located in an “occupied territory.” The last binding international legal instrument which divided the territory of Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza was the League of Nations Mandate, which explicitly recognized the right of Jewish settlement in all territories allocated to the Jewish national home under the Balfour Declaration. These rights under the British Mandate were preserved by the successor organization to the League of Nations, the United Nations, under Article 80 in the UN Charter. The San Remo Conference of 1920, British Mandate, Covenant of the League of Nation's Article 22, Article 80 of the UN Charter all explicitly recognize the right of the Jewish People to a homeland in the land that was then called "Mandate Palestine". The UN Charter is international law! 

2. Until 1993 there was never in history a "Palestinian State" or autonomy of any kind. Meanwhile the Jews have re-established sovereignty for the third time in their history within the Land of Israel. It is therefore, natural for Jews to build homes and communities in these areas. Even in UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the terms "Palestinian State" or "Palestinians" does not appear a single time. Instead the term Arab State is used 20 times and the term Arabs is used 6 times throughout the text. Had the Arabs of the region in question considered themselves "Palestinian" in 1947, the text of Resolution 181 would have reflected that reality. 

3. The territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip were captured by Israel in a defensive war, which is a legal means to acquire territory under international law. In fact, Israel’s seizing the land in 1967 was the only legal acquisition of the territory this century. Although Israel did strike first, Egypt and her allies committed six violations which are known in legal law as “casus belli” or legal justification for war.

  • Conspiring with other belligerent countries (in this case, Syria and Jordan) for a coordinated attack against Israel
  • Closing Israel’s access to international waterways (the straits of Tiran)
  • Violating the terms of the 1956 armistice by re-militarizing the Sinai
  • Expelling the UN and USA peace-keeping troops form the Sinai
  • Perpetrating illegal spy-plane fly-overs to reconnoiter Israeli sensitive areas
  • Massing troops and tanks on Israel’s borders.

4. The Jordanian occupation of the West Bank from 1947 to 1967, by contrast, had been the result of an offensive war in 1948 and was never recognized by the international community, including the Arab states, with the exception of Great Britain and Pakistan. This fact was admitted by Stephen Schwebel, who headed the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1970. It is important to understand that at this point, Egypt had perpetrated six specific actions which, in international law, qualify as casus belli, legal justification for war.

Ethnic Cleansing and Refugees?

In 1948, as 7 Arab armies launched a united war to destroy the newly reborn Jewish State. Arab leaders urged local Arabs within the new Jewish State to flee and find temporary shelter in neighboring Arab countries. The Arabs believed that their 7 mighty armies would quickly destroy the Jewish State, massacre all the Jews and allow the local Arabs to return and take all the loot. The problem was the plan failed, the Jews survived and Arabs who left to seek temporary shelter elsewhere, were now stuck in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab locales. This was admitted by many Arab leaders, news sources and even British Command around that time.

  • “We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.” ( Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Said wrote in Sir Am Nakbah -The Secret Behind the Disaster) by Nimr el-Hawari, Nazareth, 1952)
  • “Azzam Pasha assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade … and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean” ( Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League, Successor to Azzam Pasha’s, Al Hoda, June 8, 1951)
  • “[The Arabs of Haifa] fled in spite of the fact that the Jewish authorities guaranteed their safety and rights as citizens of Israel.” ( Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, New York Herald Tribune, June 30, 1949)
  • “Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe.”(Haifa District HQ of the British Police, April 26, 1948).

Where did the Arabs in Israel come from?

In regard to the dubious Palestinian past: The British Consul in Palestine reported in 1857 that "The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population." In fact, an Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine to the League of Nations, June 1921 found that "There are now in the whole of Palestine (Israel and Jordan combined) hardly 700,000 people." (4/5 Muslim). During the course of the 30 year British Mandate both the Arab population dramatically rose from around 550,000 to nearly 1.3 million, due to Arab immigration. Churchill said in 1939,... "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population". Additionally, the Palestine Royal Commission Report, London: 1937 reported:  "This illegal [Arab] immigration was not only going on from the Sinai, but also from Transjordan and Syria."

The Palestinian Families betray their true origins.  Names like as al-Masri (the Egyptian,), al-Djazair (the Algerian), el-Mughrabi (the Moroccan), al-Yamani (the Yemenite) and even al-Afghani are very common. Arab immigration to Israel was recorded even before the British Mandate. It should be mentioned that Yassir Arfat was born Yassir Arafat was born in 1929 Cairo, Egypt. He served in the Egyptian army, studied in the University of Cairo, and lived in Cairo until 1956! His full name was Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini. The House of Al-Qudwa family originated in Aleppo Syria back in the seventeenth century. This is why Yasser Arafat wrote in his authorized biography that, "If there is any such thing as a Palestinian people, it is I, Yasser Arafat, who created them."

Let's look at a few more sources, just to solidify that there is no "historic Palestinian nation" and that they are just a collage of different Arab tribes from all over. 

"In 1860, entire Algerian tribes immigrated en masse to Safed. The Muslims of Safed, are "mostly descended from these Moorish settlers and from Kurds that came earlier to the city." -De Haas, Jacob, History of Palestine, The Last Two Thousand Years, New York, 1934, p. 425.

"There are villages populated wholly by (Arab) settlers from other portions of the Turkish Empire in the 19th century. There are villages of Bosnians, Circassians, and Egyptians". - Parkes, James William, History of the Peoples of Palestine, Hammondsworth, Great Britain, 1970, p. 212.

"After 1870, the [Turkish] forward policy included the planting of Circassian colonies in the country." -Smith, CG in Studies on Palestine During the Ottoman Period, Jerusalem, 1975, p. 93.

It is also important to mention that the word Jewish appears 38 times in the UN General Assembly 181 (Partition Plan), while the word Arab is mentioned 53 times, however the word Palestinian is not mentioned once! Don't you think if the Arabs had a NATIONAL Palestinian identity this would have been referenced at least one time in a UN resolution to (illegally) divide the land. I added illegally because the partition plan violated article 80 of the UN charter.   

The Land is Holy and Historically Jewish!

Mr. Trump, you must understand that the Arabs do not wish for a return to Judea and Samaria (West Bank), they wish for a return to places like Tel Aviv University. The now prestigious Israeli University, was once known as, Al-Shaykh Muwannis, and was home to a small community of nearly 2,000 Arabs before 1948. The regions of Judea and Samaria, harbor the deepest Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and if Jews do not have rights to these areas, how can we dare argue for rights to Tel Aviv University? Hebron in which lies the tomb of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rivkah, Jacob and Leah; Bethlehem, and its tomb of our matriarch Rachel (second wife of Jacob); Shechem (Nablus) which hosts the Tomb of our prophet Joseph; Shilo in which the remains of the Jewish Tabernacle are still visible; Jerusalem, where King David and Solomon reigned, where the first and second holy Jewish Temples were built and destroyed, and where the third Temple awaits; Hashmonayim, the home of the courageous Maccabees; Beitar, where Jewish martyrs fell resisting the Roman occupation.  

We, the Jewish Nation were unable to perform the holy command of "inheriting and conquering the land" for  1,878 years (70 C.E -1948 C.E) and our access to Jerusalem was limited for 1,897 years (70 C.E - 1967). As we say in our prayer service, "Because of our sins, we were exiled from our country and ripped from our land, and we are not able to ascend and bow before you". Now due to the grace of God, for a brief period in the middle of the last century, the hearts of the nations opened and they helped to facilitate our return to the land via the UN resolution of 1947. We have merited seeing the first signs of redemption as the Talmud teaches. "Rabbi Abba taught, 'There is no greater sign of redemption than this, as it is written (in Ezekiel ch.36), 'You O Mountains of Israel will give forth your branches and give forth your fruit for My People Israel shall soon return".

Yours Truly,

Yosef Rabin

Jerusalem, Israel (Native of Chicago, IL)