The Jews, whose last revolt against Rome in 135 AD led to the final loss of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land for almost two millennia, have known terrible persecutions, expulsions, tortures, and unnatural deaths. The purpose of this booklet is not to document all of these sorrowful pages in Jewish history- which includes the Crusades, the expulsion and inquisition in Spain, the massacres of the Ukranian leader Cmielnicki of 1648, nor of the Russian pogroms, nor of the Nazi Holocaust of 1933-45- but to draw a conclusion that there is no people that seeks peace and safety more than the Jews. Ironically, it is this people that knows peace least.
The Jews almost uninterruptedly maintained a presence in the Holy Land even after the failed Bar Kochba revolt of 132-135 AD, but the massive return of the Jewish people to its land began only about a century ago.
With the awakening of Arab-Islamic fanaticism after World War I came the first pogroms (anti-Jewish) riots in Palestine of 1920, 1921, the infamous riots of 1929 in Hebron, and finally, the Arab revolt of 1936-39 against the British mandatory authorities in Palestine. Hundreds of Jews were slaughtered and mutilated during these riots and revolts. All of this was even before the creation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948.
Ironically, though, for every Jew the Arab terrorists killed, they killed 10 of each other in internecine terror.
With the United Nations’ decision in 1947 to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state came agreement by David Ben Gurion of Israel and rejection by all the Arab parties to the dispute. Seven Arab armies invaded the fledging State of Israel on May 15th after irregulars had already been fighting the Jews for over six months.
The War for Independence lasted over a year. By some miracle, Israel survived- and on land greater in size than the U.N. partition plan. A cease fire was achieved after the Rhodes talks in 1949, but not a peace agreement. For years, fedayeen (Arab infiltrators) wreaked havoc on Israeli settlements and even travelers in buses and private vehicles. By 1956, Israel found itself in need of stopping these fedayeen infiltrations and terrorist attacks and, together with Britain and France, participated in the Sinai Campaign against Egypt. This was Israel’s second war.
In 1967, due to a series of Arab miscalculations and blunders, Israel was again cornered into a war for its survival, attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The result of this war was that the 1949 map of Israel ( which was greater than the map of the U.N. partition) was now again increased to include Sinai, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), as well as the formerly Syrian Golan. This was war #3 for Israel in 20 years of existence.
Israel, however, immediately declared that it was willing to return the land it had had to take through war in its own self-defense in order to arrive at a peace agreement with the Arab world. The Arab’s answer came at the Khartoum conference in 1968:
“No recognition, no negotiation, no peace.”
As a result of this refusal by the Arabs to even consider talking to the Israelis, it was decided to begin modest settlement of the newly acquired territories by Jewish settlers. This was a decision of the Labor government of Levi Eshkol in 1968.
At the same time, an unofficial and unpublicized war of attrition was taking place between Israel and Egypt across the Suez Canal. This went on from 1968 to 1970. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers were killed or wounded.
In October, 1973, war #4 took place ( not including the above war of attrition). Egypt and Syria surprise-attacked Israel on Yom Kippur
, the holiest day of fasting in the Jewish calendar. Over 2,500 Israeli soldiers were killed and the same amount made invalid for the rest of their lives.
In 1982, war #5 took place in Lebanon. The aim of Operation Peace in the Galilee was to free Lebanon of the PLO terrorist presence and mini state in Lebanon. Over 800 Israelis died in this operation, as well as the Israeli occupation of the areas south of Beirut over a period of three years.
The reason I mention these five wars between Israel and the Arabs is not to try to attempt to give a history of Israel’s military history, but to put into perspective certain quotes by Syrian President Hafez Assad, who has gone on record as saying:
“These Arabs have lost five wars against Israel. We can afford to lose 99 wars- we only need the hundredth war.”
“We Arabs waited 200 years to kick out the crusaders from the Holy Land. The Israelis have only been here 50 years- so we can wait another 150 years.”
or, in another light of the present Israeli attempts at reaching peace with the Palestinians on the one hand and Jordan on the other:
“Anyone who gives up one inch of Arab land (Jerusalem) will be considered a traitor, and we all know the destiny of traitors in the Arab world.” (Time Magazine, November 22, 1992).
Finally, Israel is often equated with the Christian West. During the Gulf War from January to March, 1991, as the scud missiles were falling on Tel Aviv, Moslem residents of Ramallah would stand on their roof tops cheering the missiles on as they flew overhead from east to west, chanting:
” Ya Saddam, Ya Habib
Ya Saddam, Ya Habib
Which translated means:
” Oh Saddam, Dear Saddam,
Strike at Tel-Aviv
Oh Saddam, Dear Saddam
Strike at the cross.”
Avi Lipkin – Author and teacher. Former Israeli Defence Spokeperson. His website. Recently Avi spoke about president Barack Obama’s Islamic agenda.