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The Israeli leadership, unfortunately, does not argue its case well in the hostile international arena, in spite of ample historical evidence supporting the Jewish narrative.

We have to ask ourselves, for how many more decades will we be watching Israeli leadership continue in fruitless discussions with people whose only objective for peace with Israel is the peace of the grave?

Below is a brief historical reality that the world, in general, should be made aware of.

In 960 BCE King Solomon constructed the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar around 586 BCE.

A second Temple was built on the exact same site around 520 BCE, but this was destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 CE.

The claim of Jewish sovereignty to the land of Israel is clearly established by the historical record – Jewish and only Jewish well before the birth of Christianity or Islam. After the destruction in 70 CE, the Romans named the entire area Philistia to rub salt into the wounds of the defeated Jews by naming the entire Jewish homeland incorporating Judea and Samaria (the West Bank as commonly known today) in honour of the Jews’ ancient enemies, the Philistines.

Incidentally, many do not realise that the Philistines were not native to the Middle East. They came from around Greece and the Greek Islands.

Many centuries later at the time of the British Mandate, the British anglicized the area’s name from Philistia to Palestine. Some of today’s “Palestinians” claim they were descendants of the Philistines with no apparent historical, geographical or cultural evidence supporting this claim. If “Palestinians” had a country that was stolen from them to make way for the establishment of Israel, then:

Where were the country’s borders?

Who were its Rulers?

What currency did they use?

What was their religion?

Moving along to the 1967 “Victory”.

I maintain that this gift by Hashem was squandered.

Israel had finally conquered the “West Bank” and all of Jerusalem, including the most sacred site in all of Judaism – The Temple Mount, where both Temples once stood, a site now dominated by the Dome of the Rock Mosque. At least the land was in Israeli hands. But it wasn’t long, however, before General Dayan allowed administrative control of the Temple Mount to remain under the control of the Muslim WAQF, a control which remains to this day. The WAQF at the time were prepared to ceremoniously and symbolically hand over the “keys to the city”. Today, this is a site where Jews who even move their lips in prayer face being ordered off and physically ejected by Israeli Police who do the bidding of the WAQF. How did we get to this stage other than from sheer stupidity and ignorance of our past?

Israel refers to Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, but at the Temple Mount, Jews are not allowed to enter to pray. How can this be? If Israel had retained control of the Temple Mount for the past 55 years, this is where foreign dignitaries could have been escorted to and not to Yad Vashem, a memorial to Jewish gravesites. Additionally, how is it that the Government of the Jewish nation will not attempt to control the propaganda of hatred towards Jews that is and has for decades been taught to “Palestinian” schoolchildren?

Finally, to bring the part in this article related to Jerusalem to an end, it is a tragedy of immense proportions that the issue of stolen Jewish artefacts from the time of the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 CE by the Romans has not been aired publicly by any Jewish organisation or even Israel. The Vatican needs to be publicly shamed into opening its vaults for historical scholars to inspect all they contain as it relates to the 2nd Temple period. It is high time we learn what, if anything, the Vatican holds that belongs to the Jewish people.

The “Right to Exist” is a phrase that the Western World applies to Israel and Israel alone. The strangest part of this is that Jews worldwide and Israel itself have continued to re-iterate this degrading terminology. Which country on this planet is spoken to in this fashion? The Western world graciously granting Jews the right to defend themselves when attacked!

Jews not only take this lying down, but they repeat this nauseating phrase ad infinitum. What is wrong with us?

Of course, Israel has a right to defend itself, but so often, at the time of any hostilities, we hear Jew after Jew, whether Israeli or not, say, “We have a right to defend ourselves”. I repeat, what is wrong with us?

It is obvious that Jews, in general, make the best enemy a hostile actor could ever hope to confront.

Even during a war:

  • Israel never seeks the unconditional surrender of the enemy but fights one war after another to a negotiated ceasefire orchestrated by the UN or whoever. This is one way of ensuring this conflict will never end. Even periodic rocket barrages into Israel lead to the usual Israeli response – reactive and not proactive to eliminate the problem at the source in order to minimise the possibility of a recurrence.
  • Electricity is still supplied to the enemy from the Israeli grid, thus ensuring that tunnelling and other hostile acts can continue unabated.
  • Israeli truck conveys are lined up with medical and other supplies to rush in to help those trying to kill you once hostilities cease.

Unless Israel takes the lead, stands up for its rights and forcefully confronts the historical reality at every opportunity on the world stage, then the political impasse with “Palestinians” will never end. If Israel takes the lead, the Diaspora will follow.

On a positive note, Israel’s newly formed strategic alliances with the Gulf Arab countries, probably concluding with full diplomatic relations in the not-too-distant future, represents to me a unique opportunity to settle the “Palestinian” claims once and for all within the Middle East itself, with the Western World in general (be it the US, UN or whoever) having no part to play other than agree to the outcome.

Israel should take the lead and strive for this outcome by bringing other various Middle Eastern parties to the table.

Gil Solomon is a retired Finance Manager in Sydney, Australia

The Op-ed was first published in J-Wire, the Sydney Jewish news website