“The Jews Stole the Land”

By | April 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

 

               

Some time ago, my wife and I went to the mall. I noticed a magazine on the news rack. The cover affected me so strongly that I remarked, “That may be the most immoral magazine cover I ever saw.”

My wife thought I was referring to an X-rated magazine, but it was much worse than that. The cover showed two teenage girls who looked enough alike that they might have been sisters. But large print announced, “Suicide Mission.”

The story involved another bombing in Israel. One of the girls was a mass murderer; the other was one of her victims. What angered me was the equating of criminal and victim, as well as the use of the term “suicide mission” rather than “murder mission.”

As I approached, I could read the smaller print, which noted, “A Human Bomb and Her Victim: How Two Teens Lived − and Died.” Seeing this, I felt less angry. At least the term “victim” was used.

But before I could comment further to my wife, a man standing nearby intruded into our conversation by declaring loudly, “Nobody’s innocent over there.”

I looked over and saw a large man who appeared to be a well-dressed professional in his 30s. He was obviously upset by my remark about the magazine cover.

I asked him, “Do you really believe a teenage girl deserved to be murdered?”

He replied sternly, “They stole the land.” Clearly, “they” were “the Jews.”

So I retorted, even more sternly, “Keep away from me − you must think I deserve to be killed, too.” He looked blank, so I explained, “I stole land from the Indians and the Mexicans, didn’t I? We’re in Los Angeles, aren’t we?” I didn’t add that if I deserved to be murdered for this reason, so did he. But he walked away, muttering something about how I should go back on my medication.

But was what the man said correct? Did the Jews “steal” the land? If so, from whom did they steal it? And from whom did we “steal” the Southwest?

The Southwest belonged to the local Indian tribes, who probably had taken it from other tribes. Aztecs have no more business in Los Angeles than do Celts or Slavs. But even this is incomplete. Aztec legends relate that their people originally came from the north and conquered the Valley of Mexico. So if Americans “stole” the Southwest from Mexico, Aztecs “stole” Mexico from Mayans and others who were there previously.

Spain conquered the Southwest by force. Mexico revolted and achieved independence in 1821. Texas revolted and achieved independence in 1836. Mexico controlled Texas for 15 years. Texas was an independent republic, which then sought admission to the United States. If Texans had no right to independence, neither did Mexicans. If Texas belongs to Mexico, Mexico belongs to Spain.

Californians revolted and raised the Bear Flag in 1846, during the Mexican War. Mexico thus controlled California for 25 years. The argument that the Southwest “belongs” to Mexico is reminiscent of Bin Laden’s argument that Spain “belongs” to Muslims, who conquered much of it in the early Middle Ages.

Spain ejected the Muslims in 1492 after centuries of fighting. But Muslim extremists claim that any area they ever occupied “belongs” to them forever, regardless of who was there before, or who is there now. We see an example of this in the current strife over a Palestinian state. The Jews were there before, and the Jews are there now, but that doesn’t matter − the Muslims were there in the interval, so it “belongs” to them.

Israel was reestablished in 1948, and Jews have had a continuous presence there for almost four millennia, since the time of Abraham. But one year earlier, in 1947, Pakistan was established. It had never existed before. Even the name was made up – it stands for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan.

When the British left India in 1947, Hindus wanted the nation to remain united. But Muslims insisted on a separate nation, so the areas where they were in the majority were cut away from India and named Pakistan. Hindu nationalists were so angry at splitting up India that one of them assassinated Gandhi, who had reluctantly approved the partition.

Millions of Hindus fled to India, and millions of Muslims fled to Pakistan. At least half a million people died or were killed on the way, and millions more were left homeless. The enmity between India and Pakistan persists to this day. But no one − literally no one − claims that Pakistan is illegitimate, and must be dismantled and returned to India. What happened was correctly seen as an immense tragedy, but as a mutual exchange of populations, not as a unilateral expulsion that demands redress. No one claims that Pakistanis “stole” the land.

Exactly the same thing on a smaller scale happened in the Middle East one year later, in 1948. Somewhere between a half-million and three-quarters of a million Arabs fled from what became Israel, and roughly the same number of Jews fled from Arab lands. What occurred was a mutual exchange of populations, but somehow it was recast by hostile commentators into a unilateral expulsion that demands redress.

There was a difference, however. Most of the Jewish refugees were resettled an integrated into Israel, while others came to the United States and elsewhere. In contrast, many of the Muslim refugees were confined in refugee camps, where they and their descendants remain to this day. They were not allowed to become citizens of the nations in which the camps were located, but were forced to remain in crowded conditions for the purpose of gaining sympathy from the “world community.”

In fact, Palestinian authorities declare that even if a Palestinian state is established, it will not admit Palestinian refugees. This demonstrates clearly that the refugees are not seen by the Palestinian leaders as suffering human beings, but as weapons to be used against Israel. If this were not so, they would have been resettled and integrated into Arab society decades ago, just as the Jewish refugees were resettled and integrated into Israeli society.

All peoples could be accused of “stealing” land. Irish legends relate that when the Celts first arrived in Ireland, they found it occupied by the “dark people.” No one knows who they were, but they may have been the original modern Europeans related to present-day Basques.

The strongest proponents of the connection of “race” and land were the Nazis. The Neanderthals were the first Europeans. But after them, the original inhabitants of much of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland were Celts, who were later displaced by Germanic tribes. So carrying this argument to its illogical conclusion, even the “Aryan” heartland was “stolen” from others.

About 1.6 million Arabs live in Israel, while the Palestinian authorities declare openly that no Jew will be allowed to live in Palestine. The Gaza Strip, which is now controlled by Palestinians, is already free of Jews − that is, judenrein as the Nazis termed it. No, that isn’t right. “Free of Jews” is judenfrei, but judenrein means “cleansed of Jews,” as if Jews were dirt that had to be rubbed out.

Maps issued by the Palestinian Authority for school children omit Israel entirely. The ultimate objective could not be clearer − the elimination of Israel. When we talk about the “occupied territories,” we mean the West Bank. But when Muslim leaders talk about the “occupied territories,” they usually mean all of Israel.

                 

Nor is this erasure of Israel limited to Middle Eastern extremists. For example, the Los Angeles Times published a front-page news article that discussed “…Israel’s right to exist in Palestine.” [Emphasis added.] California exists in the United States, but the United States just exists. Similarly, Israel doesn’t exist in Palestine, it just exists – as do all 193 members of the U.N. Or at least, it exists until the Iranians obtain nuclear weapons.

Why is Israel, and none of the other 192 nations, said to exist within the territory of another nation, and thus to have its very existence called into question? What makes Israel unique? Could it be that Israel is peopled by Joooz? Naw, that couldn’t be the reason, could it? That couldn’t be the reason that this is the only subject on which the “progressives,” the neo-Nazis, and the Islamist extremists agree, could it?

Anti-Semitism is like beige – it goes with anything.

There are about 1.4 billion Muslims in the world. There are roughly 14 million Jews. That is, Muslims outnumber Jews by about one hundred to one. How this makes Muslims the underdogs is hard to explain. Israel covers about the area of New Jersey. If critics claim that even this is too big, the critics’ motives deserve close scrutiny.

Was I right to have been angry about the magazine cover? Is the equating of murderer and victim something to get angry about? Is excusing mass murder something to be upset about? Is trying to rid an area of “them” something to be disturbed about?

Or was the man in the mall right? Is nobody innocent over there, not even children? Did “they” steal the land? If so, does this justify mass murder of civilians? And if it does over there, does it also justify murdering civilians over here? If not, why not? Are “they” subject to different rules from everyone else, including Americans?

Something “belongs” to you only if you put it to good use, and you can defend it against attackers. Otherwise it soon won’t “belong” to you at all. This applies everywhere, as Western Europe is discovering to its dismay. And it applies to America as well as to Israel.

Most peoples, including Americans, “stole” the land. Get over it. We can’t rewind the past. All we can do is try to build a just and peaceful future. That’s a hard enough task.

Author’s Note: For a brief review of the Middle East situation, spend a few minutes here and here. And for a more complete explanation, visit here.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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