Home Special Reports The History of Palestine and Israel in the light of Hebrew Bible

The History of Palestine and Israel in the light of Hebrew Bible

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The story of the Palestinian Catastrophe, ‘Al-Nakba’ is too historical in its real essence. This concept laid its foundation on the wrong propaganda of Biblical and Rabbinical Literature. The Propaganda first took place in Christian Era of Roman Empire in Jerusalem, when Herod was ruling the land of Canaan. This Project was revised during the period of re-emergence of Islam in 610 A.D. The Mizrachi Jews (Jews of Arab and Asiatic origin) understood Hazrat Umar (R.A) and the forces of Islam as their liberators from callous Roman Empire. They also tried to take opportunities from Arab invasion and considered Arabs as their Messiah (the anointed one). There were many causes of this Arab invasion, as Jews and Christians supported the Arabs to take their city in their control. The Jews and Christians were given full religious rights in the umbrella of Arab empire. The second attempt was practically done in the 11th century, during the time of Crusades. But this time, both Muslims and Jews failed to gain their booty in Palestine. However, in 18th and 19th century, these plans were revised by Jews by making Christians as their ally in encroaching the Muslim Lands. Aljazeera television documentaries broadcasted its featured documentary with these prologue words: “The Nakba did not begin in 1948. Its origins lie over two centuries ago‚ĶSo begins this four-part series on the ‘Nakba’, meaning the ‘Catastrophe’, about the history of the Palestinian Exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the State of Israel. This sweeping history starts back in 1799 with Napoleon’s attempted advance into Palestine to check British expansion and his appeal to the Jews of the world to reclaim their land in league with France.
The narrative moves through the 19th century and into the 20th century with the British Mandate in Palestine and comes right up to date in the 21st century and the ongoing ‘Nakba’ on the ground. Arab, Israeli and western intellectuals, historians and eye-witnesses provide the central narrative which is accompanied by archive material and documents, many only recently released for the first time. For Palestinians, 1948 marks the ‘Nakba’ or the ‘Catastrophe’, when hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes. But for Israelis the same year marks the creation of their own state.”
Acre: This story starts in 1799 A.D, outside the walls of Acre in Ottoman Controlled Palestine. When an army under, Napoleon Bonaparte besieged the city. It was all part of a campaign to defeat the Ottomans and establish the French presence in the region. In search of Allies, Napoleon Bonaparte issued, a letter offering Palestine as a homeland, to the Jew’s under French protection. He called on the Jew’s to “rise up” against what he called their oppressors. Napoleon’s appeal was widely publicized, but he was ultimately defeated. In Acre today, the only memory of him is a statue atop hill overlooking the city. Yet Napoleon’s project for a Jewish homeland in the region, under a colonial protectorate did not die. Forty years later, a plan was revived by the British. this time as a means of thought in the rising power of Egyptian Governor, Muhammad Ali. In 1840, British Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston wrote his Ambassador in Constantinople, urging him to convince, the Sultan and his Imperial government, to open Palestine for the Immigration of Jews. At that time, there were estimated to, be no more than three thousand (3000) Jews in Ottoman controlled Palestine. Over the years, Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, helped on by wealthy benefactors. One of these was Baron Admond Rothschild. He began visiting Palestine in 1880’s and became one of the Jewish communities leading sponsors. He spent over 14 million French Francs to establish 30 Jewish settlements. The most important was “Rishion Luxion” founded in 1882 A.D. Today, the remains of Baron Admond Rothschild, lie in a mausoleum in northern Israel. It is a popular site for the Israeli school children. who are taught about the wealthy patron in bank rolled Jewish settlement building in Palestine? Over one hundred 134) years ago. In 1885 A.D, the term Zionism was first coined by Austrian writer Nethan Birnbaum. It is derived from the word, “Zion”, one of the biblical names for Jerusalem. Zionism came to mean, the establishment of Jewish homeland in Palestine. But not all Jews, supported this. One of the famous Israeli Historian, Hillel Cohen, comments on the birth of Zionism. He says,
”Of course there were Jews in the country under, Ottoman rule. But they weren’t Zionists, they were locals. The Jews who came from Europe especially Eastern Europe. In the late 19th century wanted to assert a ‘new Jew’.”
1870’s-1896: The Prologue of Zionism: In 1896 A.D Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian Journalist wrote a book, called the ‘Jewish State’. It is considered one of the most important texts of early Zionism. Herzl envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state, during the 20th century. His colleague, Max Nordousent two Rabbis to Palestine to investigate the prospectus for a Jewish state. Their report concluded:
“The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man”.
The Rabbis understood, that the Palestine spouse was the Palestinian society, rooted in its soil. In 1897, Theodore Herzl with Bim Baum and Nordov convened the first Zionist Congress, in the Swiss city of Basel. The Congress adopted a program for the establishment of homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. Anis Sayegh, Palestinian scholar and Arab-Israel conflict expert, comments on an early Zionism of 19th and 20th century, He says, “Herzl openly lobbied for this. He contacted the major European powers to persuade them to protect such an entity. Herzl was the father of the Zionist state. But he didn’t create the Zionist ideology. Herzl didn’t hold a conference to bring these countries together. He exploited the competition between them. He told each one he’d secure their interests, if they supported the establishment of a Jewish state at the expense of others.”
In 1907 A.D, the British Government set up a Committee, to devise a strategy towards the Muslim Arab population of the Ottoman Empire. The Committee’s report, submitted to British Prime Minister, Henry Campbell in 1907 recommended, establishing a so called ‘Buffer state’ in Palestine. The report proposed, this state be hostile to its neighbor’s and friendly to Europe. The aim was to divide the region, and so assure Britain’s continued imperial dominance. Dr. Mohsen Saleh of Al-Zaytouna Research Centre comments on the strategical dividing policies of British Colonialism, in order to snatch the rights, freedom, liberty and hopes of colonies. He says:
“Such a foreign entity would be, dependent on European Colonialism. Its survival would be guaranteed in return for keeping surrounding states weak.”
“The Europeans also believed the Jews to be closer to them than the Arabs. A Jewish state here would be better for them.”
Hillel Cohen, Israeli Historian: In 1907 A.D Chaim Wiezman, a Chemist who had emerged, as a leader, among British Zionists visited Palestine for the first time. He sat out, to establish a company in Jaffa, to develop the land of Palestine. A practical means to pursue the Zionist dream of building a Jewish state. His venture, was supported by Baron the Rothschild. Within three (3) years, a major deal was struck. The Jewish National Fund, set up to buy land in Palestine purchased some 10,000 Dunums in the Marj Bin Amar region of northern Palestine. The sale to the Jewish National Fund, had dire consequences for the thousands of Palestinian farmers living on the land. Wakeem Wakeem the Palestinian activist, who runs the Palestinian NGO comments, on the land encroachment of 1907 A.D in the northern Palestine region of Marj Bin Amar. He says:
“Over 60,000 Palestinians in the Marj Bin Amar area were forced to leave. If the ‘Nakba’ signifies the expulsion of the Palestinian citizen from his land and the seizure of his land, then the ‘Nakba’ began decades before 1948.”
More over David Hirst, U.K based Journalist comments on the harsh policies of colonialism in the final and initial decades of 19th and 20th century.
“The more drastic form of colonialism then the average classical European colonialism. In the sense, the purpose was actually not only to exploit the locals, but let them out.”
Illan Pappe, an Israeli Historian remarked the unjustified position of injustice prevailed during the first decade of 20th century. He says:
“From the very early moment, the Zionist movement targeted Palestine, as the place for Jewish Independence in statehood. And it was clear, that there were Palestinians on the land. Zionist leaders and common people alike were caught used to the idea, that the only way of making Palestine a Jewish state, is by causing the Palestinians to leave.”
Azmi Bishara, an Arab Political Analyst, describes the Expelling of Palestinian farmers from their lands, as a bad omen and initial strategic policy of Zionists snatching, grabbling of lands and expulsion of Palestinian Diaspora. According to Azmi:
“Expelling the farmers accomplished and replacing Arab farmers with Jews from eastern Europe and Yemen were the instruments of encroachments during British Mandate.”
A Jewish Militia, known as Hashemiya was established to protect the growing number of Jewish Settlements. Jews held demonstrations, to demand the recognition of Hebrew as an official language under Ottoman rule. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Palestinian activist who runs his NGO namely Passia, draws the conclusion that Palestinians knew about Zionism. He demonstrates that from the very first, Palestinians were familiar about the movement of Zionism. According to his views:
“The Arabs and Palestinians were aware of the concept of Zionism from day one. It’s a racist movement seeking capital to colonize land and exploit religion, to create a homeland for the remaining Jews of the world. This was clear in the writings of Najib Azuri and Najib Nassar.”
In 1908 A.D Najib Nassar, a Palestinian Pharmacist began publishing a newspaper, called ‘El Carmel’ In it he warned of Zionism as a movement aimed displacing the Palestinians. He wrote a Jewish state, would be a poisonous dagger in the heart of the Arabs. The outbreak of World War 1 in 1914 created new opportunities, to reshape the Middle East. Prof. Dr. Eugene Rogan of Middle East Centre, University of Oxford understands the annexation of Palestine as a planned decision of post-1914 War. He says:
“During the war the British planned to secure the area of Palestine. Which lay close to the Suez Canal, especially as the British had a presence in Egypt. They favoured the Zionist Organisation as a partner in a strategic colonial order.”
In January1915 A.D, a secret memorandum was presented to the British Cabinet under the title, ‘The future of Palestine’. It was drafted by Herbert Samuel, a British Politician and Zionist committed to Palestine becoming a home for the Jewish people. In the document, Samuel advised the, time was not right for the establishment of an autonomous Jewish state in Palestine. He recommended instead that Palestine be annexed to the British Empire. Describing this as, the most welcome solution to the supporters of the Zionist Movement. He expressed the hope, that under British rule and over time more Jews would settle in the land and grow into a majority. Among what he called, ‘The Muhammadan’s of Arab race. Samuels recommendations were taken into account in the secret British-French agreement formulated by British Politicians, Sir Mark Sykes and French diplomat Francois Picot. The Sykes-Picot agreement, opened the way for the establishment of a Jewish state. In 1917 A.D, the British Cabinet by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, pledged to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The pledge came in the form of a letter from the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to the influential British Zionist, Lord Walter Rothschild. Dr. Eugene Rogan remembers the role of Balfour in British government.
“Balfour represented the British government. When he wrote his letter to Lord Rothschild, it was on behalf of the British government. Rothschild played the role of lobbyist to encourage the British government to take a stance regarding the Jews in Palestine. Behind all this stood Chaim Weizmann heading the World Zionist Organisation. And Weizmann took part in the writing of the pledge?”
Prof. Avi Shlaim, a British Historian and Professor of Imperial College of London, understood the British annexation and Balfour Declaration as immoral and illegal.
“Britain had no moral or political or legal right to promise land, that belongs to the Arabs, to another people. So, the Balfour Declaration was both Immoral and illegal.”
After the pledge of Balfour Declaration, there were many Zionists who participated in the meeting to celebrate the Declaration. The Jewish Chronicle of December 7th, 1917 A.D, has published the full account of meeting. It’s coming issues, commemorates the Declaration and the speakers of celebration meeting in an advertisement:
“There is a full account of this meeting in the Jewish Chronicle for December 7th, 1917. The speakers at the meeting were:
Lord Rothschild
Lord Robert Cecil
Sir Herbert Samuel
Sir Mark Sykes
The Chief Rabbi (Dr. J.H. Hertz)
The Ha..an (Dr. Ganter)
William Oranby-Gore
Israel Sangwill
Chaim Wiezmann.”
A month after Balfour’s pledge a meeting took place in London to celebrate the Declaration. Speakers include, Lord Rothschild, Sir Herbert Samuel, Sir Mark Sykes, and Chaim Weizmann. Just several days later, Dec the 11th 1917 A.D, the British Army commanded by General Admund Allenby captured Jerusalem. entering the Holy city. Alongside Allenby was a Jewish Military Unit, established under British auspices. One member of this Unit was David Ben Gurion, who would later be Israel’s first Prime Minister in 1948 A.D. The Unit also included Zaed Jabensky, a future Zionist leader. As well as Nehemiah Rabbin, soon to be father of a young boy Yithzak Rabbin. Within a month, General Allenby welcomed Chaim Weizmann in Jerusalem. There were approximately 50,000 Jews in Palestine at this time. Which summed up 10 percent of the population among half a million Arabs.
The great war ended in 1918 A.D and preparations were made for a Peace Conference in Paris . President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, commissioned an investigation into the Non-Turkish areas of the former Ottoman Empire. The Commission was headed by the Academic Dr. Henry King under Politician Charles Crane. When it was eventually published, the Crane-King report proved to be Political dynamite. The report stated, that the non-Jewish population of Palestine, nearly 9/10th of the whole was in fatically against the Zionist Program. The report went on to warn that Anti-Zionist feeling in Palestine and Syria was intense, not likely to be flouted. It divulged conversations with British officers, who suggested a force of not less than fifty thousand (50,000) soldiers would be required to initiate the Zionist Programme. The Authors judged all this as evidence of what they describe as a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist Program. The report concluded, Jewish immigration should be definitely limited and a Project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish Commonwealth should be given up. The Crane-King report fell on deaf ears. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 A.D, Britain was represented by Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour. A Delegation from the Zionist Organisation, attended headed by Chaim Weizmann. They presented a map of whole Palestine proposing the area to be allocated for a Jewish Homeland.