Co-written with Goldi Steiner from CILR
Sir Anthony Eden, foreign secretary under Churchill and later PM of Britain wrote in September i941: “If we must have preferences let me murmur in your ear that I prefer Arabs to Jews.”
We are fast approaching the 99th anniversary of the British Mandate for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. This Mandate for a home for the Jews in their legal and historical land came about the same time that the borders for Syria and Iran were created by the British and French following WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, an Empire that colonized most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including present-day Hungary, the Balkan region, Greece, and parts of Ukraine; portions of the Middle East now populated by Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and large parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Mandate for Palestine, confirmed in July 1922, was approved by the 52 members of the League of Nations, and included in its Preamble:
“Recognition of the historical connection of the Jewish People, reconstituting their national home in that country.”
What is remarkable, if not miraculous, is that even though the boundaries were not precisely defined at the San Remo Conference in 1920, the prevailing idea was to identify them as closely as possible with the Biblical boundaries: ”From Dan to Beersheba.”
And yet, and yet, in 1921 Britain, unilaterally and illegally cut off the area known today as Jordan and gave it to the Arabs.
Why the name Palestine in the 20th century when the land had been known as Israel/Judea/Samaria in the Bible?
In the year 63 BCE, Rome began its many years of occupation of the land and tried to ethnically cleanse it of all the Jews; and renamed the land hoping the Jews would never return. So they named it after the enemies of Israel – the Philistines and called the land Philistia which over time changed to Palestine. A country with a new name but no “people.”
Over time, Arabs came from the Arabian Peninsula and of course Jews, always a remnant, returned and Christians lived there as well. Remember, Israel was the homeland of Jesus. In the 7th century Islam came into being and over time Muslims roamed the area. But never was the land without Jews. Jews who had come to the Promised land 3500 years earlier. Jews, the people chosen by God because they agreed to a covenant based on the principles that all people are born with equal intrinsic value, all life is sacred and we have free will – the right and the obligation to make choices, based on the commandments upon which our forefathers agreed at Mount Sinai.
The promise of the Mandate for the Jewish homeland included that none of the territory was to be ceded to a foreign power (without consent of the Principal Allied Powers), that Jewish settlement was to be encouraged, and yet at the very time in history when the Nazis were sending Jews to the incinerators for the crime of being Jewish, the British refused to let Jews into the mandated land, this despite the fact that civil and religious rights were given to non-Jews. Jewish settlement was restricted even after the entire League of Nations had approved the mandate because Britain had illegally and unilaterally excised 4/5 of the Mandate for Arab occupation, in 1921. Britain, with the addition of clause Article 25, made the defacto separation of Transjordan (Jordan) official.
Here we are 99 years later and Israel is still under dispute. No other country’s borders are questioned. Not Iran nor Syria nor Egypt nor Saudi Arabia; just Israel.
Today, we hear that Jews are occupiers, oppressors of Muslims. Mohammed never repudiated the Hebrew Bible and it is in the Hebrew Bible that we learn about the Jews and Israel and Judea/Samaria. There was no Palestine. No Palestinian people. In fact the idea of a new people – Palestinian – did not come into fruition until the 1960’s when Khrushchev, wanting a foothold in the area after Israel rebuffed them, turned to Arafat and suggested this new nomenclature for a people who never before existed.
Jew hatred has morphed from hating individual Jews to hating a democratic country, the only democracy on the Middle East and North Africa. We need leaders in the diaspora to stand up for our Rights.
The Jewish people will not be silenced! With a unified voice, and support from our leaders, we will prevail.
There were 14.7 million Jews at the end of 2018, just shy of the 14.8 million there were in 1925 but still significantly fewer than the 16.6 million there were on the eve of World War II in 1939 when six million Jews were murdered for the crime of being Jewish during the Holocaust – while the world stood by in silence.
We are no longer at the mercy of others; dispersed to the four corners of the world where hating Jews has been de rigueur. Now we have a state of our own; a powerful nation amongst the nations. How ironic.
NOW WE ARE THE MOST ATTACKED NATION AMONGST THE NATIONS
So be it. But, we will never be silent, again. We will always affirm our history. If the World chooses not to believe it, it is not our problem. That you choose to attack us is our problem.
Am Yisrael, must stand strong! We will fight for our right to be Jews with a Jewish state.
WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP IS OUR SLOGAN!
PERSEVERANCE AND UNITY WILL ACCOMPLISH THE IMPOSSIBLE
Here is the link to the the Webinar organized by Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights, Im Tirtzu and ZOA
99 years since the Mandate for Palestine-July 25
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”