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Monday, May 30, 2011

Backing Israel

With Barack Obama's recent request for Israel to return land acquired from the 1967 war to the Palestinians, Israel has been victim to much undeserved scrutiny. First off, let's look at why giving up the 1967 borders would not be in the best interest of Israel nor the United States.

Beautiful area outside of Haifa
In 1967, approximately 465,000 troops from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan prepared to destroy Israel with a massive attack. Israel fought a vicious battle through preliminary air strikes that took out troops from above. The Israelis won this war, in which they were strongly outnumbered, in just six days. According to Wikipedia, "Opinions vary on whether this was an act of aggression or a preemptive strike." Good grief!

Why would any nation attack three countries when so outnumbered if it weren't for self-preservation? Plus, the opposition had outwardly said that they wanted to enter into a battle of annihilation. Since Israel's formation in 1948, she has repeatedly tried to negotiate peace with her neighbors and fought for the right to exist. So don't even think of saying Israel was not trying to save herself in 1967.

Through the 1967 war, Israel acquired the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Gaza strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Obama wants Israel to give this up? We acquired Texas from a battle with Mexico. Should we have to give up Texas too? At least if we did give up Texas, the very existence of the United States would not be in jeopardy.

Jerusalem
As Benjamin Netanyahu said when he addressed our congress, he is willing to make painful compromises in the name of peace, but Jerusalem must never again be divided. Only when controlled by the Jewish state has Jerusalem been open to world tourism. Being a most significant area, it is important that Christians, Jews, and Muslims from all over the world be able to come visit this place of religious significance. When Jordan controlled this area, no one was allowed to visit. He went on further to say that the Palestinians need a homeland and he recognizes this, but they refuse to recognize the right of Jews to have a homeland too.

Although it's been almost a week since Netanyahu addressed congress, I have yet to hear a Palestinian leader come forward and state that Israel has a right to exist. Now stop and think about this for a moment. All the Palestinians have to do is acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and they will receive land and peace, and they have not done this? In light of this fact, many people are saying that the problems in the middle east are all Israel's fault. How can Israel expect to give up land to people who refuse to acknowledge their right to exist? What would giving up land accomplish in the name of peace, when the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel? Would giving up land change anything when the Palestinian leaders refuse to say six words? Israel has given and given to the Palestinian people and nothing has changed. Remember the news reports that showed films of the Israeli soldiers dragging it's own people out of their homes so Palestinians could move in? These folks were crying and screaming when removed from their homes, but it was all in vein.

As for giving up the Golan Heights to an enemy, this would be suicide! Back before the six day war, Syria used the Golan Heights, with an average altitude of 3,300 feet, to cascade missiles down on Israeli citizens. If one stands at the top of this area, all of Israel is in view. If someone stated that you do not have the rights to exist, would you give them the mountainous land that overlooks your nation? I don't think so.

Another point, is the Jewish settlers who live in regions acquired from the six day war. To give up this land would mean uprooting approximately 250,000 people from their homes simply because they are Jewish. We have a word for this: ethnic cleansing!

Beach at Eilat
Although Palestinians lived in land that was captured during the six day war, they have not been forced out of their homes. In fact, Israel has bent over backwards trying to allow them a normal lifestyle after their land was acquired by a new government. The only changes were that Israel required that school text books be purged of anti-Semitic language and anti-Israel wordings. Israel provided economic assistance and allowed these areas more rights than what they had under Arab rule. The people were allowed free travel to Jordan, and during the elections women and non-property owners were given the right to vote for the first time ever. Furthermore, Arabs were allowed to choose whether they wanted to be citizens of Jordan or Israel. If they chose Israel, they were recognized as citizens and given the right to seek representation in the Knesset.

I've also heard United States citizens complain about the money that the United States has given in support of Israel. The reality, this is just a pittance in comparison to what it would cost our nation if Israel did not exist. As the only democracy in the middle east, Israel has patrolled the area, so that we don't have to. The cost of placing our troops in the middle east and making sure these nations do not attack us, would be astronomical!

Furthermore, our friendship with Israel has improved many of our military weapons. We send our weapons to Israel, their scientists improve their construction, and they send them back to us. This alone is worth millions.

campus at Haifa University
As for Israel being a democracy, they most certainly are, but not to their advantage in some respects. If you think the fighting in our congress is bad, check out Israel's. Although we have multiple parties in our nation, only two have any real say in the running of our country. This is not the case in Israel. They have multiple parties represented in their Knesset. Citizens do not vote for the person but rather the party. As long as a party gets a vote of two percent of the population, they may acquire representation in the Knesset political assembly; therefore, multiple parties of varying platforms are all represented in their house. In fact, there are several people serving in the Knesset whose platform is the destruction of Israel! Israel allows these people to have a say too. Could you imagine electing someone to congress who has strongly stated that they want to destroy the United States? That's what Israel does in their true democracy!

Finally, much of the news toward Israel has been slanted against them. I even wonder what exactly Obama did say as opposed to what the media claims he said. After he made his damaging comments, he addressed APAIC, an Israeli pro-lobby organization that met in DC, and received a standing ovation. Why would APAIC applaud Obama if he made awful claims against Israel? I have to wonder.

My daughter is just now finishing up a semester abroad at the University of Haifa. Enclosed are a few photos that I have stolen from her blog. If you'd like to see more beautiful pictures and read about her experiences, you may visit her at http://ahavahfromisrael.tumblr.com

14 comments:

ed said...

interesting, did not know that was the reason we give israel our monies.

Joyce Lansky said...

Yes. This country needs to get the word out. Thanks for visiting.

GigglesandGuns said...

Thanks for the insight.
Giving up that land would be suicidal for Israel.

Joyce Lansky said...

Exactly! I don't understand why Obama asked them to do it. It goes against long time American policy. Either he doesn't understand or something worse.

Sandy said...

I think it's appropriate to have people examining the things Israel has done through the years, in terms of not sticking to the compromises and contracts made. It time for Israel to quit living in the past. Yes they were treated badly-horribly in fact but one can't live in the past. They have not been without blame, seems neither side can try at the same time. It's a terrible problem, but I don't think the 2 sides know how to play fairly together, and sometimes it seems to me they don't try. I fear this problem will continue long after we're all gone.

Sandy said...

When Germany attacked multiple countries they too thought they were protecting themselves, but a realty check--they were the aggressor, much like Israel it seems to me.

When Japan bombed Pearl they too used the excuse it was preemptive.

Has Israel said Palestine has a right to exist? These two sides hate each other, hate everything about each other. It's not going to go away.

Joyce Lansky said...

YES! YES! YES! Just last week in fact, Netanyahu said that Palestinians need a state, and we will make tough compromises if they will say the same for us. Israelis have often given blood to injured Palestinians but never the other way around.

You think Israel hasn't tried? They forcefully removed their own people from land so that the Palestinians could live there! What specific compromises or contracts has Israel not kept?

In 1967 massive amounts of troops built up around their country on all sides while boasting that they were planning to annihilate Israel, so Israel air bombs these troops. It would have been suicide not to. I can't imagine the US ignoring something like this, but interestingly, no one would call this being an aggressor in our situation. The media is sooo slanted against Israel.

Look at this footage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaiMjAULWn0 Israeli soldiers boarded a ship carrying "aid" to make sure other things weren't being smuggled into the country. Reports went on to say how Israel was "the aggressor and harmed innocent people on this ship." See for yourself.

Word Nerd said...

This is embarrassing to admit, but I don't possess enough knowledge on this subject to add an intelligent comment. I have a gut instinct and have always had an opinion on Israel and its place in the world situation--seeing it as more a victim than an aggressor--but the state of the world today, combined with my rather hippie-ish, pacifistic attitude, makes me really wish for a countryless world.

Jayne @ Mimi to Tee and Bee said...

I continue to support Israel and pray, seriously pray, that they give up nothing.

And if we are going to call Israel out and claim they have a "boo hoo you owe me because you were mean to me" attitude, I can think of many more people groups that continue to do the same.

In my opinion, this is a spiritual battle that has been going on since Isaac and Ishmael. Peace treaties are not going to solve it.

Theresa Wiza said...

America took land away from the Native Americans too, and gave them Reservations to live on. As somebody who is part Native American, I have to wonder if my ancestors believed that what the American government gave them was better than what they had before. America cannot give the land back to the Native Americans any more than Israel can give back to the Palestinians what once belonged to them. Sadly, we are a world with borders and, in agreement with Word Nerd, I'd love to see this world admit that we are all ONE and learn to live peacefully with one another. Like you, I can't believe Israel would applaud Obama if he said derogatory remarks against that country.

Sandy said...

Thanks Joyce for posting that Netanyahu did say that, I hadn't heard that at all through all these years of turmoil.

I still don't think Israel is without blame, and think the problem through the many years has become very entangled and not easily solved.

Joyce Lansky said...

Of course you think Israel is to blame! How could anyone not with all the slanted news reports? It amazes me how billions of dollars go to Palestinians, yet the people live in squalor? If you want to blame someone for the Palestinian poverty, blame their own leaders who spend relief funds on weapons to destroy Israel instead of taking care of the needs of their own people. It's the biggest con game in the world and everyone buys it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KUcv452KbU

Anonymous said...

I do not know enough about this subject to truly comment and not sound ignorant. However I do want to commend you on your passion for the truth and your committment to get the word out there in the best way you can. :-)

Michelle

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