Jews, an admired group that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust to infuse life into a 2000 year dream to return to their biblically ordained Middle East home, Eretz Yisrael has fallen victim to false narratives and hostile defamation advanced by Palestinian Arab and Iranian neighbor nations. Other detractors have jumped on the bandwagon of baseless haters, as of late.
Perhaps, a look back analysis on historical moments, from a different perspective, may help shed some light as to the who and why of today’s increasingly dangerous and destabilizing environment within the current day Jewish/ Palestinian Arab Middle East.
In 1947, the United Nations approved a plan to partition “Mandate Palestine” into separate Jewish and Palestinian Arab states. The General Assembly voted, 33-13, in favor of the partition, with 10 members abstaining and Arab leadership purported to summarily reject the concept. This would result in short and long term consequences, none of which would prove beneficial for the Palestinian Arabs.
As years passed, the Arabs appeared to distance themselves from their leaders’ role in the rejection of U.N. Resolution 181 and its offer of a separate Palestinian Arab state.
Meanwhile, the Jews began the complex venture of bringing forth the state they contemplated since being cast into the Diaspora.
Britain and the U.N. in pursuing due diligence lent credence to both Israel and the Arab claims to the land. Yet, none foresaw the repercussions that would follow. An estimated 750,000 Arabs and 800,000 Jews would leave their homelands; some voluntarily, some by alleged force, or leadership edicts.
Helping to help fill the population void in the proportionally smaller territory allotted to Jews, in addition to the ever present indigenous Jewish population, were Jewish survivors who escaped the German Nazi death machine and European internment camps. They were subsequently supplemented with Jews expelled from their former Arab homelands and further augmented with Jewish soldiers and resistance fighters who served with allied forces in the W.W. II, “European Theater.”
Having borne witness to the barbaric treatment and near decimation of their Jewish brethren, including 1½ million Jewish children at the hands of the Nazis and their willing and complicit cohorts; the diverse population of Jewish remnants were motivated to avenge the estimated 6 million lost.
This would be accomplished by surviving and thriving in their reinvigorated historic homeland while providing for current and future generations of Jews; and maintaining an open door should they ever need to flee their Diaspora homes, because of their Jewish faith. Permanently etched within their spirit was the concept of “Never Again” that would carry them to fight to preserve their homeland and People; over and over again, no matter the cost in lives lost, as years passed.
The nascent State and its defenders soon fell victim to a coordinated concert of 5 Arab nations: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq; Syria and Lebanon. Each had every expectation that the relatively small, inexperienced Israeli mixed population would be easily driven to defeat, if not annihilated in short order. Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world appeared to adopt a stand down attitude; waiting to see what would happen next.
Although the ultimate destruction did not occur; the cost in lives to reestablish Israel was high and would continue to be high for many years to come.
At the end of the day the Jews did not get all that they dreamed of; but the roots of their national rebuilding efforts on ancient Israel’s soil became a reality. And with that came respect and even some fear of the new Jewish heroes.
Yet, the question still remains; what might have happened had the Arab leaders accepted the earlier U.N. proposed partition terms? Herein may lie a contributing factor for the Arab labeled Nakba-“catastrophe” and continuing Arab loathing of Israel and its population.
With every subsequent economic success that Israel enjoyed, Arab resentment appeared to proportionally grow. Palestinian Arab failures to achieve parity with the Jews was blamed solely on the Jews of Israel.
Difficult and frequently dangerous work and effort were necessary to bring forth and maintain the resultant Jewish state; while, a separate Arab entity seemed to them to be sidelined.
Had the Arabs taken the opportunity afforded them in 1947, perhaps an enduring solution might have become a reality as early as the late 1940’s. There might not then have existed a reason for successive generations of endless Arab anger, violence and hate; always blaming the Jews for every disappointment and tragedy experienced.
Perhaps children on both sides might have been spared suffering and learned to coexist.
Is it too late to see this accomplished in our lifetime?
Dare to ponder history.
Bruce Portnoyis author of the Geo-political thriller, First, the ‘Saturday People’,and then the…; and Opinion Piece contributor to the Jerusalem Post, Miami Herald, Washington Examiner and other media resources.