Imagine that you have a beautiful house by the sea. You do not live alone in this house; two other men live with you. Although you have different faiths and might have different origins, the coexistence and tolerance in your lives are magnificent and unique. You have a blessing that many areas in the world wish to have. But all of that will fade away when a group of people who have extremist beliefs decide that this house has no inhabitants, ignoring the existence of you and your friends who live with you.
A day, one that you wish you could forget, this group of extremists attacks you, takes control of your house and gets rid of you. “That was expected!”, you proclaim. But still, you are deeply shocked that many people from your city welcomed this group. Even though this group keeps your two friends hidden, you know that they are being treated very badly.
You try to resist but your enemies are stronger than you. Your tears mix with your anger, your personal possessions are stolen and used by these people and you cannot do anything. You have nothing but complete silence as a response to your children’s question, “Dad, why can’t we go to our real home?”
Your heart is broken, and so would your bones be, if you tried to stand in the way of the extremists and to say “NO!” to their faces.
Explaining the Analogy
In order to understand the Palestinian issue more clearly, assume that the residents of the house are Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The group that attacks them are the followers of Zionism and the house is the historical land of Palestine.
Those who welcomed the existence of such a state were, at first, the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Many other countries followed them, making the leaders of Israel more arrogant and self-confident and justifying the theft of Palestinian territory.
The theft of the house symbolizes the birth of the illegal state of Israel. Question:”Why did so many countries accept and recognize Israel as a legal state?” Answer: “Simply due to ignorance. Nobody knew what really happened in Palestine, they thought that Zionists were angels, dismissing the fact that they attacked both the Palestinian resistance and the British forces and used to smuggle weapons to Palestine as the British forces watched and did nothing”
After sixty-seven years of conflict, things seems to be so complex, but believe me, things are as simple as I have shown in my example above.
Common misconceptions introduced by the Zionist propaganda
1 – There is no such thing as Palestine
This is a very stupid statement that reflects tremendous historical, political and geographical ignorance. The word “Palestine” was used by ancient Greek writers, and was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Umayyad and Abbasid province of Jund Filastin. The name refers to where the Philistines settled. These people fought the Israelis and the Egyptians in order to survive.
But this is not the whole story, the first humans to settle in Palestine were Arabian tribes called “Canaanites”. When Canaanites left Arabia, more than five centuries before the birth of Jesus, they were divided into two main parts, South Canaanites and Phoenicians. South Canaanites lived in Palestine, some parts of Syria, and Lebanon. Phoenicians lived in the coast of Syria, Lebanon, and Northern Palestine. Here you see some proofs about Palestine’s existence before 1948:
2– There were no people called Palestinians before the birth of the Jewish state in 1948
This always makes me laugh because it indirectly says that I, my parents, my grandparents, my dad’s family, my mom’s family and our properties stolen from us in Safed, my city of origin in Northern Palestine, do not even exist.
I have a map of Safed before 1948; it was a prosperous city. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived peacefully there for centuries.
Furthermore, according to Ottoman records, in 1878 there were 462,465 subject inhabitants of the Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre districts: 403,795 Muslims, 43,659 Christians and 15,011 Jews. Also, there were perhaps 10,000 Jews with foreign citizenship (recent immigrants to the country) and several thousand Muslim Arab nomads (Bedouins) who were not counted as Ottoman subjects.
Jaffa and Nablus were the largest and, economically, most important towns with majority-Arab populations.
Today, about 11,900,000 individuals live in the historical land of Palestine, with 46% of them being Palestinian. Another 5.6 million Palestinians live in diaspora.
3- Britain gave Palestine to Zionists because of the Holocaust.
Absolutely not correct. One of the earliest Jewish settlements in Palestine appeared in 1878 CE. The first Zionist conference was held in Switzerland in 1901. Balfour’s promise to Zionists was given on November 2nd, 1917. However, anti-Semitism was common in pre-Holocaust Europe. George Galloway always said that the Muslim world had always saved the Jewish people; for example, the large Jewish population in Northern Africa (Arab and Muslim countries) exists mainly because Arabs saved Jews when Christians ended the Arab rule in Spain. There was no tolerance for Muslims nor Jews.
For more information, I asked my 75-year old grandmother to describe how Muslims and Christians lived with Jews in Safed. She said “Jews lived independently. They had their own neighborhoods just like Muslims and Christians. They bought what they needed from Muslim markets and there was no hatred or any kind of inhospitality towards them”
So, anti-Semitism is, in the first place, the fault of some Europeans. There was nothing but tolerance towards Jews in the Muslim world before 1948. Afterwards, because of the Israeli occupation, voices of hatred towards Jews had risen in the Arab world. Due to ignorance, some Arabs pushed a number of Jews out of the Arab states. But as I learned in school, Zionism is a political movement that utilizes religion for its evil aims and we hate it; Judaism is an Abrahamic religion, just like Islam and Christianity, and we respect it.
As a Palestinian, I will give you a suitable solution to end this conflict. The only acceptable, rational and just solution to this crisis, in my opinion, is that all citizens of Israel who have immigrated to Palestine after the second part of the 19th century, leave Palestine and return to where they came from. Only the Jewish people who were originally living in Palestine side-by-side with other Palestinians, have the right to stay in my country.
Palestine has endured incredible suffering since the birth of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948, when, sadly, millions of refugees were forced out of their homes and spread into the Middle East and the rest of the world.
War crimes being committed by Israel must be stopped. The bombing of civilians in UNRWA’s schools, mosques, and civil buildings, the destruction of the whole of the Palestinian infrastructure, and the damaging of the Palestinian economy, from agriculture and farming to fishing in the Mediterranean sea, reflects how ruthless Israel is.
Unfortunately, the illegal Israeli settlements are expanding quickly, with no responses from Israel to the UN resolutions regarding the issue.
Note: This is solely an opinion piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by the journalists of United Youth Journalists.