I have deleted my last posting in order to put this closer to my posting Were Holocaust victims linked genealogically to biblical Israel?. I have decided to simply place some quotes here from the booklet, "Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace" published by the The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
In my last posting I quoted this from the booklet:
“The founding narrative of the State of Israel links the modern-day Jews’ claim to the land of Israel/Palestine to their direct genealogical descent from the ancient Israelites. Recent anthropological scholarship shows that this widespread belief is very likely a myth, not historical fact. Shlomo Sand, an expert on European history at the university of Tel Aviv, and author of When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? posits that the Jews were never exiled en masse from the Holy Land and that many European Jewish populations converted to the faith centuries later. Thus, he argues, many of today’s Israelis who emigrated from Europe after World War II have little or no genealogical connection to the ancient land of Israel.”
This anti-Semitic statement makes the whole booklet suspect but there is more. I will write out a couple of quotes from Steadfast Hope and then show how the quotes are misleading by using other authors to counter them.
"On March 10, 1948, (Well before surrounding Arab nations joined the conflict), David Ben Gurion (Who later became Israel's first Prime Minister) and his advisors implemented Plan Dalet, a military operation to depopulate and destroy non-Jewish villages, The goal was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine's non-Jewish population." (p.9)
The term "ethnic cleansing" is used constantly in this booklet. In contrast, Walter Laqueur, who is not a conservative, but an excellent historian, in his comprehensive book "A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel," writes about what happened shortly after The United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine:
"The next morning the Palestinian Arabs called a three day-protest strike, and Jews in all parts of the country were attacked. On that first day of rioting seven were killed and more injured; the fighting continued to the end of the mandate. The next months, as chaos engulfed Palestine, were a time of crisis for the Jewish community. ...The most pressing task facing the Jewish population was to strengthen its defenses, since the Arab countries had already announced that their armies would enter the country as soon as the British left. Syria was not willing to wait that long: an 'Arab Liberation Army" inside Palestine was established in February with the help of Syrian officers as well as irregulars." (p. 583-84)
"While Britain continued to supply arms to the neighboring Arab countries, and America had declared a general arms embargo, the Jewish forces had great great difficulty in obtaining supplies. By February the Arab forces were on the offensive throughout the country. While they did not succeed in capturing Jewish settlements, they all but paralysed the traffic among them, and even Jerusalem was about to become a besieged city. The Jewish relief force sent to the help of the Ezion settlements had been wiped out to the last man, a terrible loss by the standards of these days." (p583)
And writing of the horrible retaliations that happened on both sides, including the destruction of the Palestinian town Dir Yassin, Laqueur writes:
"Fighting became more intense and savage, as acts of reprisal followed one another. On 8 April, most of the inhabitants of the Arab village of Dir Yassin on the outskirts of Jerusalem, 254 in number, were killed by a combined IZL-Sternist force. Three days latter, a Jewish medical convoy on its way to the Hadasssa hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed in the streets of Jerusalem with the loss of seventy-nine doctors, nurses and students. A British force stationed two hundred yards away did not intervene." (p 584)
Another statement from "Steadfest Hope."
"On June 5, 1967, Israel initiated a preemptive strike by bombing and then invading Egypt, Jordan, and Syria with the goal of expanding the boundaries of the state."
Not only had there been constant terrorist attacks against Israel but Egypt began to mass troops along its borders with Israel. Nasser ordered an international peace keeping force to leave. Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israel stopping her flow of oil. Mitchell G. Bard in his book Myths and Facts: A guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict writes that Israel was ringed by a massive troop build up from many Arab countries. Nasser announced :
'The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.'
Syrian defense minister Hafez Assad stated that 'I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.'" (p 53-54)
While it is true that dialogue and understanding often being peace, lies, such as these above, bring discord and even persecution. I will continue in some further posts writing about the problems with this material.