This is about an article I recently read. The article suggested a similarity between the Indian removal policies of the Jacksonian Era and the current situation in the â€˜occupied territoriesâ€™ of the West Bank and Gaza. I disagree vehemently with the authorâ€™s stance, and feel that anyone who believes that what Israel is doing right now is similar to what America did in the 1800's is a blatant anti-Semite.
The facts are just so incompatible. The U.S. was born out of a war with Britain over â€˜taxation without representationâ€™. The Jewish state was born out of the Second World War, with former colonies grabbing for their independence. But the British mandate wasnâ€™t the only thing on the minds of the founders of the Jewish state. In 1947, as the Jews declared their independence, they found they were surrounded by neighbors who did not want a Jewish state to exist. Once the Israeli Independence was declared, many Palestinians left Israel based on the promises of Arab nations that they would be invading Israel in order to destroy the newly created Jewish state. These Palestinians went to refugee camps in Jordan to wait for the Arab armies to finish with the Jews expecting to shortly be going back to their homes. When it didnâ€™t play out that way, thousands of refugees were left stranded in Jordan, and in the 55 years since that time, they have received little or no help from any of the Arab states. Israel has been condemned by the world for not giving them the â€˜right of returnâ€™. The Arabs attacked Israel again in 1956, again in 1967, and still again in 1973, on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. In each war, Israel threw back the Arabs, also gaining some territory. By 1967, what is tocay known throughout the world as the â€˜occupied territoriesâ€™ had come to be in Israeli hands. Between 1966 and 1968, as the land on which a Palestinian state would be established passed into Israeli hands, the movement for a Palestinian homeland found a sudden outpouring of support from many Arab heads of state, amongst others. One wonders why.
Now that weâ€™ve gotten through the history of how the Israelis came to be oppressing the Palestinians, lets talk about today. The Arab states have not launched an attack on Israel since 1973, for it is clear that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is more powerful than the armies of the entire Arab world. The Arabs have instead turned to terrorism, oil, and propaganda to try and destroy Israel. The European Union is eating out of OPECâ€™s hand, and there is still enough anti-Semitic sentiment in the world so that pro-arab news is enough to influence public opinion against Israel.
Now letâ€™s just compare the behavior of the Jacksonian Americans to the present day Israelis. The American settlers of the early and mid-1800s had the attitude that it was their â€˜manifest destinyâ€™ to one day control all of North America. In contrast, there is no expansionist party in the Israeli parliament, although the protective settlements in the West Bank would constitute expansionism in the eyes of an uninformed observer. The Americans made several peace treaties with the Indians, promising peace for land, all of which the Americans broke as they needed more and more land. The Israelis have made similar deals with the Arabs, some of which still stand today. The only difference is that Israel was the one seeking peace and willing to sacrifice land in order to obtain it. Indians were treated sub-humanly, with their villages burned, their lands seized, and their integrity taken. The propagandists in the Palestinian Authority would argue that the IDF has done the same thing to the Palestinians, but here is a fact to the contrary: in one day in Somalia (US operation in 1990s), the US Army killed more Somalians than the IDF has killed Palestinians in the last eighteen months. Also, the whole concept of a Native American suicide bomber under any circumstances is beyond me. The Indians fought back out of desperation, for if they did not fight, they reasoned, they would be destroyed. In the end, the Americans basically destroyed them anyway. I think that deep down, everyone who hasnâ€™t been brainwashed by propaganda knows that Israel has no intention of wiping out the Palestinian people.
When I read the article, it saddened me more than anything else. I remember feeling so hopeless about the situation, thinking to myself that the author was either incredibly uninformed or simply a hateful person. After reading all the facts outlined above, and the way in which I presented them, you may feel as if I am biased against Arabs myself. I am not. I am just reacting fiercely to the amount of hatred I have seen towards my people. I know most Arabs are good people, and when I say â€˜the Arabsâ€™ I only say it that way because they did, after all, attack Israel with the intent to destroy it four times in the space of twenty six years. Thatâ€™s what I really donâ€™t understand; how the world can expect Israel to look at everything that happens as if it is in a vacuum. If Canada had attacked the US four times since 1945, would we be feeling very friendly towards the Canadians? I think not.