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Unfashionable Facts About the Middle East By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, December 17, 2004


1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation-state in 1312 B.C, 2,000 years before the rise of Islam, and was a nation before that.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C., the Jews have had dominion over the land for 1,000 years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The Arabs conquered Palestine in 635 AD, stealing it from its legitimate Jewish rulers, who had evicted the Byzantines while being led by a woman general, one Hefzibah, who then restored Jewish sovereignty.   Palestine was stolen from the Jews by the Arabs and not the other way around.  Arab sovereignty over Palestine ended in 1071 when the area was conquered by Seljuk Turks.   “Palestinian” Arabs never held sovereignty over “Palestine” and cannot even pronounce the name of their supposed “homeland”.   They cannot say “Palestine”.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Qur'an (Koran).

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be between 400,000 and 630,000, many of whom in fact were allowed to return after the Israeli war of Independence ended.. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be much larger.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, the Arabs are the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country smaller than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by 22 independent states, not including what Israel has offered the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended herself each time and won.

14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.   In the 1990s Israel gave the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The United Nations (U.N.) Record on Israel and the Arabs:  Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 U.N. General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.  Kind of like its silence over the massacres of Algerians or Sudanese by Arab fascists.

19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting their holy sites at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.   Similar discrimination against Jews has continued under Israeli rule.


Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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