All of Israel is the homeland of the Jews

For centuries, the land of Israel lay as a barren wasteland while patiently waiting for the Jewish Nation to return home.Op-ed.

David Billet  ,

campus anti-Semitism
campus anti-Semitism
“Israel is stolen land and rightfully belongs to the Palestinian Arabs.”

This is a leading anti-Semitic and anti-Israel trope that has come to dominate university campuses, the radical left leaning media, and tragically, even the halls of Congress.

It is also argued that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can never come to an end until all Palestinian Arab "refugees" - meaning their millions of descendants as there are only about 20,000 left of the original Arabs who fled during the 1948 war - are allowed to return to a land that they claim is theirs.

Although these claims have grown acceptable in society today, anyone with even the slightest knowledge of history can recognize that the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, has been the eternal homeland to only one nation: the Jewish people.

Over the past 2500 years, the Jews are the only people to have ruled over the land of Israel as a sovereign state. The first Jewish Kingdom, the Davidic Dynasty, arose in 1030 BC and the First Temple was built by King Solomon between 930-970 BC. Although the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC, the Jewish Kingdom of Judea continued to survive for another 136 years until the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Shortly thereafter, the Persian Empire conquered the Assyrian empire and ruled from 586-333 BC.

As often happens in history, the Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquered the Persians and ruled from 322-167 BC. Soon afterwards, the Israelites, led by the Hasmoneans, regained control of the land and ruled from 167-37 BC, until they were eventually captured and defeated by the Romans in 70 C.E.

The Byzantines conquered the Romans and ruled from AD 324 – 638, until the Muslim Empire conquered the Byzantines and ruled until 1099. The Crusaders continued this endless merry go-round of conquerors and defeated the Muslim Empire and ruled until 1260. The Mamluks then defeated the Crusaders and ruled until 1517, when they were conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were eventually destroyed and the British gained control of the land and declared it to be the British Mandate of Palestine (no connection the the Arabs who appropriated the word and now call only themselves Palestinians). The British controlled the land from 1917 until 1947, and soon thereafter the Jewish state was formed.

It is crucial to recognize that even while conquerors have come and gone, a Jewish presence has never left the land and that Jews around the world have been praying to return for thousands of years. A brief glimpse into history clearly proves two essential points:

1) that the Jews are the only People to have ever established a sovereign state in Israel, and

2) of all the nations in the world, the Jews have the oldest claim to the land of Israel in history.

Even after recognizing that the Jewish people are undeniably connected to the land of Israel, many claim that this connection was more than 2000 years ago and lacks any relevance to today. Nevertheless, Karl Marx, the founder of communism, visited Jerusalem in the 19th century and provided an eyewitness account of the Jewish population in Jerusalem. Marx, who was a virulent anti Semite, stated that the Jewish people were a majority in Jerusalem as early as 1854. For all those doubting the legitimacy of the Jewish right to the land of Israel, the Jewish people were a majority in 1854, and have only grown since then.

Furthermore, ever since the Israelite Kingdom was defeated and the Jewish People were exiled, the land lay as a desolate, barren wasteland that was uninhabitable to all. As early as 1267, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman fled from persecution in Spain by finding a new home in the land of Israel. Rabbi Nachman stated in a letter to his son that “Many are Israel’s forsaken places, and great is the desecration. The more sacred the place, the greater the devastation it has suffered. Jerusalem is the most desolate place of all.”

If we fast forward almost 500 years, Mark Twain also stated in a written account that the land lay as a barren wasteland, essentially as fruitless and dangerous as Rabbi Nachman saw 500 years earlier. The land rejected each conqueror just as a human body may reject an organ that is not its own.

The land of Israel has been the homeland of the Jewish People, as proven throughout history. While the Davidic dynasty may have come to an end, no other sovereign state arose in the land until Israel was reborn in 1948. The land of Israel lay as a barren wasteland while patiently waiting for the Jewish Nation to return home.

While life may often pose questions that we will never know, one eternal truth continues to persist: the land of Israel is the only homeland of the Jewish People.

David Billet is a student at Fordham University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Queens College, CUNY. As a hobby, he writes articles on the current political landscape, public policy and anti-Semitism. To date, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Times of Israel and almost twenty other media publications.