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Re: Violence in the Middle East

In reference to the endless slaughter in the Middle East, I am reminded of one of the wisest essays I have ever read.  It was about she Solidarity movement in Poland, and its rather revolutionary tactics.  The author suggested that they had invented a new way of creating radical change.  The principle: BE WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME. If you want democracy, act democratically; if you want peace, act peacefully; if you want justice, act justly.  It became a model for all the other non-violent revolutions in Central Europe.  Would that the same principle could emerge in the consciousness of all the Middle Eastern adversaries.

Richard A. Kellaway
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Editor's Note: A friend, noting the tendency in the HSC, to have articles critical of Israel, has sent me a list of statements about the recent history of the Middle East which puts Israel in a favorable light. My guess is that a portion of our readers would quarrel with the accuracy of some these statements, particularly since a number of them are more interpretations than hard fact. Still, they raise interesting points which are worthy of being kept in mind as each of us sorts out his or her own thoughts about  what should be done in response to the current terrible conflict.

Israel and Jerusalem Facts

  • Israel became a state in 1312 B.C., two millennia before Islam.

  • Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves "Palestinians" in 1967, two decades after modern Israeli statehood.

  • After conquering the land in 1272 B.C., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for three-thousand, three-hundred years.

  • For over three-thousand, three-hundred years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslin entity. Even under Jordanian rule, Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it.

  • Jerusalem is mentioned over seven-hundred times in the Bible, but not once is it mentioned in the Qur'an.

  • Kind David founded Jerusalem. Mohammed never set foot in it.

  • Jews pray facing Jerusalem: Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslins pray facing Mecca with their backs to Jerusalem.

  • In 1948, Arab leaders urged their people to leave promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence. Sixty-eight percent of them fled without ever setting eyes on an Israeli soldier.

  • Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslin countries had to flee as the result of violence and pogroms.

  • Some six-hundred, thirty-thousand Arabs left Israel in 1948 while close to a million Jews were forced to leave the Muslin countries.

  • In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab refugees were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries. Of one hundred million refugees following World War II, they are the only group to have never integrated with their coreligionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than New Jersey.

  • There are twenty-two Arab countries, not counting Palestine. There is only one Jewish state. Arabs started all five wars against Israel and lost every one of them.

  • Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel. Israel ceded most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian authority and even provided it with arms.

  • During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews. Under Israeli rule, all Muslin and Christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths.

  • Out of one-hundred, seventy-five United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, ninety-seven were against Israel. Out of six-hundred, ninety General Assembly resolutions, four-hundred, twenty-nine were against Israel.

  • The U.N. was silent when the Jordanians destroyed fifty-eight synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced apartheid laws preventing Jews from accessing the Temple Mount and WesternWall.

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