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Who Stole the Land of Israel?

Reader comment on item: Bush Promotes a Palestinian "Right of Return"
in response to reader comment: NO PALESTINIAN STATE – No land concessions R3.

Submitted by Jay Draiman (United States), Apr 7, 2009 at 18:46

Who Stole the Land of Israel?

Why do the anti-Zionists feel that a thousand-year old claim by Arabs who were never ruled by Palestinian Arabs has legitimacy, while a 1,900-year claim by Jews to the land should be rejected as absurd?

So let us see if we have this straight. The anti-Zionists claim that the Jews have no right to the land of Israel because before Israel was re-created in 1948, it had been almost 1,900 years since the last time that the Jews exercised sovereignty over the Land of Israel. And the anti-Zionists claim that it is absurd to argue that anyone still has rights to land that was last governed with sovereignty 1,900 years ago.
And on what basis do they argue that the Arabs have some legitimate claim to these same lands? On the basis of the claim that the Arabs last exercised sovereignty over that land 1,000 years ago.

Are you all with me? 1,900 year-old-claims are inadmissible. Thousand-year-old claims trump them and are indisputable.
Now let us emphasize that even the thousand-year-old Arab claim is not the same thing as a claim on behalf of Palestinian [sic] Arabs. After all, the last time that Palestinian Arabs held sovereignty over the lands of "Palestine" was … never. There has never been a Palestinian Arab state in Palestine. Ever.

It is true that Arabs once exercised sovereignty over parts or all of historic Palestine. There were small Arab kingdoms in the south of "Palestine" already in late Biblical days, and they were important military and political allies of the Jews, who exercised sovereignty back then in the Land of Israel. After the rise of Islam, historic "Palestine" was indeed part of a larger Arab kingdom or caliphate. But that ended in 1071 CE, when Palestine came under the rule of the Suljuk Turks.

That was the last time Palestine had an Arab ruler. After that, it was always ruled by a long series of Ottomans, Mamluks, other Turks, Crusaders, British, and — briefly — French. And in any case, why does the fact that Palestine once belonged to a larger Arab empire make it any more "Arab" than the fact that it also was once part of larger Roman, Greek, Persian, Turkish, or British empires? Now it is true that historic Palestine probably once had a population majority who were Arabs, but today it has a population majority who are Jews.

So if population majorities are what determine legitimacy of sovereignty, Israel is at least as legitimate as any other country.
So why exactly do the anti-Zionists claim that a thousand-year old claim by Arabs who were never ruled by Palestinian Arabs has legitimacy, while a 1,900-year claim by Jews to the land should be rejected as absurd, even though the United Nations granted Israel sovereignty in 1947?

The anti-Zionists say it is because the thousand-year-old Arab claim is more recent than the older Jewish claim. But if national claims to lands become more legitimate when they are more recent, then surely the most legitimate of all is that of the Jews of Israel to the lands of Israel, because it is the most recent!

The other claim by the anti-Zionists is that Jews have no rights to the lands of Israel (historic Palestine) because they moved there from some other places. Now never mind that there was actually always a Jewish minority living in the lands of Israel even when it was under the sovereignty of Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks or British.

Does the fact that Jews moved to the land of Israel from other places disqualify them from exercising sovereignty there? The claim would be absurd enough even if we were to ignore that fact that most "Palestinian Arabs" also moved to Palestine from neighboring countries, starting in the late nineteenth century. But more generally, does the fact that a people moves from one locality to another deprive it of its claims to legitimate sovereignty in its new abode? Does this fact necessitate the conclusion that they need to pack up and leave, as the anti-Zionists insist?

If it does, then it goes without saying that the Americans and Canadians must lead the way and show the Israelis the light, by returning all lands that they seized from the Indians and the Mexicans to their original owners and going back to whence they came. For that matter, the Mexicans of Spanish ancestry also need to leave. The Anglo-Saxons, meaning the English, will be invited to turn the British Isles over to their rightful original Celtic and Druid owners, while they return to their own ancestral Saxon homeland in northern Germany and Denmark. The Danes of course will be asked to move aside, in fact to move back to their Norwegian and Swedish homelands, to make room for the returning Anglo-Saxons.

But that is just a beginning. The Spanish will be called upon to leave the Iberian Peninsula that they wrongfully occupy, and return it to the Celtiberians. Similarly the Portuguese occupiers will leave their lands and return them to the Lusitanians. The Magyars will go back where they came from and leave Hungary to its true owners. The Australians and New Zealanders obviously will have to end their occupations of lands that do not belong to them. The Thais will leave Thailand. The Bulgarians will return to their Volga homeland and abandon occupied Bulgaria. Anyone speaking Spanish will be expected to end his or her forced occupation of Latin America. It goes without saying that the French will lose almost all their lands to their rightful owners. The Turks will go back to Mongolia and leave Anatolia altogether, returning it to the Greeks. The Germans will go back to Gotland. The Italians will return the boot to the Etruscans and Greeks.

Ah, but that leaves the Arabs. First, all of northern Africa, from Mauritania to Egypt and Sudan, will have to be immediately abandoned by the illegal Arab occupiers and squatters, and returned to their lawful original Berber, Punic, Greek, and Vandal owners. Occupied Syria and Lebanon must be released at once from the cruel occupation of the Arab imperialist aggressors. Iraq must be returned to the Assyrians and Chaldeans. Southern Arabia must be returned to the Abyssinians. The Arabs may retain control of the central portion of the Arabian Peninsula as their homeland. But not the oil fields.

Oh, and the Palestinian infiltrators, usurpers and squatters will of course have to return the lands they are illegally and wrongfully occupying, turning them over to their legal and rightful owners, which would of course be the Jews!


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Reader comments (105) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Palestinian right of return... to Arabia [346 words]AlJan 20, 2010 12:00167612
20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews [885 words]Jay DraimanJun 25, 2008 09:30133363
muslims claim that islam is a way of life that leads to paradise or heaven whateverit may be.but according to bible it isa deception. [340 words]ronson silvaJul 19, 2009 15:25133363
Right of Return [109 words]CONFUSEDMay 23, 2008 17:10129721
Rice is totally clueless about the situation, but Cheney is 10 times worse! [322 words]DrRJPMar 31, 2008 16:50124224
1No such thing as "Palestinians", no Palestinian "Right of Return", and the right of Jews to live in the Holy Land. [587 words]Doc TaterFeb 6, 2008 17:50119671
Those crafty Arabs, trying to dupe us again! [451 words]Susan BrowneFeb 11, 2008 10:53119671
to Susan [637 words]Doc TaterFeb 12, 2008 15:21119671
1Israel should have responded sooner - It is Israel's government fault for this escalation. [219 words]Jay DraimanMar 3, 2008 02:09119671
NO PALESTINIAN STATE – No land concessions R3. [766 words]Jay DraimanMar 3, 2008 02:15119671
Jay Draiman [18 words]SAMSON BELLJun 6, 2008 06:32119671
1Who Stole the Land of Israel? [1100 words]Jay DraimanApr 7, 2009 18:46119671
2Jewish right of return to Arab lands [28 words]Jose AmramJan 31, 2008 21:52119411
"the right of return." [132 words]Robert Lee Kantor, MDJan 21, 2008 20:52118713
1Return of Terror [152 words]jennifer solisJan 20, 2008 01:07118610
If Palestians have the return, Israel will not exist anymore [80 words]NessieJan 19, 2008 16:39118564
Bush Promotes a Palestinian "Right of Return" [105 words]Richard FinnJan 16, 2008 22:49118360
A Way To Destroy Israel [25 words]M H NathanJan 16, 2008 22:25118357
Oil Money Speaks Loudly [184 words]Rena CohenJan 16, 2008 14:31118342
What Kind Of Friend? US - Israel [258 words]John R. PeacherJan 16, 2008 11:54118337
right of return [100 words]mark goldbergJan 16, 2008 03:05118313
What is 'palestine'? [124 words]Marcos BerensteinJan 15, 2008 21:09118298
2Right of Conquest [246 words]DavePJan 15, 2008 20:23118294
Bush May Be The Worst Friend Of Israel of Any President [630 words]Jim BeerJan 15, 2008 19:43118288
There is, of course a great solution, which involves Palestinians facing reality. [111 words]Victor LipshutzJan 15, 2008 18:58118284
We need to be careful [62 words]Steve MerkelJan 15, 2008 18:37118281
Palestinian Right of Return [84 words]Steven SternJan 15, 2008 17:52118274
Whatever happened to Bush? [104 words]Stef from BelgiumJan 15, 2008 13:08118254
Israel's only friends! [214 words]Susan BrowneFeb 11, 2008 11:10118254
What is the "right" of Return according to the Palestinian Authority? [127 words]Rochelle MichaelsJan 15, 2008 09:22118242
" Return to Sender " Arabia. [758 words]Simon NéhméJan 15, 2008 07:39118240
Will Mr. Bush Now Broker the Return of Northern Ireland to my Country, The Republic of Ireland? [119 words]maura collinsJan 17, 2008 08:47118240
with friends like these [167 words]leo solomonJan 15, 2008 04:04118229
Can't Olmert say the Right of Return is not on the table since Israel is a Jewish, not Islamic state? [283 words]LarryJan 15, 2008 02:28118225
Right of Return [196 words]JayJan 15, 2008 00:27118221
Doubting Tom no more! [140 words]larry B.Jan 15, 2008 18:43118221
right of return? [138 words]larry BJan 16, 2008 12:20118221
"Palestinian's "Right to Return" [142 words]Dannel R. BallesterosJan 14, 2008 21:38118211
Baffled [32 words]Charles NickalopoulosFeb 9, 2008 17:10118211
I think you're jumping to conclusions [225 words]Robert SolotJan 14, 2008 21:28118210
A Rude Awakening [111 words]Herb StoneJan 14, 2008 21:25118209
By the end of the day [92 words]YnnatchkahJan 14, 2008 22:24118209
True Friend? [135 words]larryJan 15, 2008 17:39118209
Right to Return to Palestine [87 words]Edward HalperJan 14, 2008 20:57118207
whose right of return? [74 words]joe roseJan 15, 2008 09:43118207
On the Right of Return [141 words]JoeJan 15, 2008 19:31118207
Justice and History [208 words]Edward HalperJan 16, 2008 14:04118207
Bush Promotes a Palestinian "Right of Return" [191 words]Victor LipshutzJan 14, 2008 20:35118205
Bush Promotes A 'Palestinian Right Of Return' -He Is Israel's De Facto Enemy Through His 'Efforts' [234 words]Adina KutnickiJan 14, 2008 19:48118204
Thank you Adina. [7 words]larryJan 15, 2008 17:41118204
shaky relations [215 words]Rebecca MouldsJan 14, 2008 18:11118196
Lame Duck Quacking [157 words]coyote_uglyJan 15, 2008 00:28118196
On the Other Hand, Who Was Any Better? [212 words]Sheldon DanJan 14, 2008 18:00118195
The Worst of Times are Coming - But Look for the Return of the King of kings in the Aftermath [341 words]M. ToveyJan 14, 2008 17:52118193
Sow the wind? [95 words]Larry B.Jan 15, 2008 18:08118193
Christianity May Fail - But Jesus Christ Will Not Fail [298 words]M. ToveyJan 17, 2008 19:15118193
Night of return [51 words]Charles NickalopoulosFeb 9, 2008 17:26118193
The "best friend" ? [78 words]TonyJan 14, 2008 17:44118192
Right of Return for "Palestinians" [126 words]KafirJan 14, 2008 16:14118189
Doubting Thomas [188 words]Bush Promotes . . .Jan 14, 2008 16:08118188
Perhaps in the very long term there could be a Palestinian return [286 words]Steven AbramsJan 14, 2008 16:07118187
Resurrect Ariel from his coma [705 words]john w mcginleyJan 14, 2008 14:53118178
The Second Half of the Sentence [313 words]Robert KaufmanJan 14, 2008 14:29118174
Steps that need to be taken [134 words]David W. LincolnJan 14, 2008 14:04118170
Bush-wacked [83 words]David SabghirJan 14, 2008 14:01118168
When does the spokesmouth for the Royal Dubai Investment House leave the White House? [318 words]James BurkeJan 14, 2008 12:33118163
To James [111 words]larry BJan 16, 2008 12:51118163
Head in the sand? [74 words]Charles CountrymanJan 14, 2008 12:19118162
Zionism with conditions [97 words]HarraKJan 14, 2008 12:05118159
Response to Harrak [194 words]JoeJan 15, 2008 12:26118159
Qid pro Quo? [360 words]trans-parereJan 15, 2008 15:51118159
Arab Egypt and Jewish Israel both are wrong [114 words]HarraKJan 16, 2008 10:21118159
Who Needs Friends?! [194 words]BlackspeareJan 14, 2008 11:57118157
Outrage! [121 words]Peter J. HerzJan 14, 2008 11:48118155
How about compensation for Jewish refugees who fled Arab lands? [262 words]Michael P BiberJan 14, 2008 11:45118154
Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands [138 words]KafirJan 14, 2008 21:49118154
Israel, watch your back! [37 words]Ron KilmartinJan 14, 2008 11:43118153
Resolution 194 and The "Right" of Return [172 words]Rochelle MichaelsJan 14, 2008 11:34118152
Quotes by Arabs in newspapers - "The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily..." [218 words]Rochelle MichaelsJan 14, 2008 11:26118151
Jewish Identity [86 words]DebraJan 14, 2008 11:24118150
"Right of Return Issues" [87 words]JeremyJan 14, 2008 11:21118149
Right of Return equals destruction of Israel [176 words]ChrisJan 14, 2008 11:18118148
Rights of return [82 words]Steven LJan 14, 2008 11:06118146
God Sent Bush to punish the US, Israel caught in the blowback [163 words]Charles MartelJan 14, 2008 10:47118143
President Bush is a serious Christian [112 words]Ralph C Whaley MDJan 14, 2008 10:43118142
What do Evangelicals think of him now? [406 words]Roy WeinbergJan 14, 2008 10:23118139
right of return [56 words]leo solomonJan 14, 2008 10:08118136
RIGHT OF RETURN [205 words]tasdevilJan 14, 2008 10:03118135
Bush introduces the Palestinian "Right of Return" [65 words]Rich McGahanJan 14, 2008 10:00118134
Who wants to return? [179 words]A v BJan 14, 2008 09:53118133
Tipping the scales in favor of Arabs [287 words]RickJan 14, 2008 09:36118131
"Right of return" part of Bush's Yasir Arafat impersonation [555 words]DrRJPJan 14, 2008 09:30118130
Arafat's Invention: The Palestinian [343 words]Arlinda DeAngelisFeb 10, 2008 21:37118130
Bushh Promotes a Palestinian Right of Return [349 words]Kim SegarJan 14, 2008 09:23118129
BUSH PUSHING ANTI-ISRAEL AGENDA OF STATE DEPT ARABISTS [156 words]G. MarcusJan 14, 2008 09:20118127
Advocating Suicidal Behavior is a Bush Administration Norm [175 words]Paul SaundersJan 14, 2008 07:43118118
Right of Return? [79 words]Elisha GalonJan 14, 2008 07:39118117
law of return [129 words]yuval Brandstetter MDJan 17, 2008 01:27118117
"Right of Return" [195 words]Eve LaingJan 14, 2008 07:22118115
a code phrase to overwhelm Israel demographically ? [43 words]AndreJan 14, 2008 07:21118114
"Right of Return" [30 words]Gerry MandellJan 14, 2008 07:18118113
Exchange right of return Jews to Arab countries [182 words]Rachel GarberJan 14, 2008 06:52118112
Palestinians want a "Right to remain!" [357 words]DrRJPJan 20, 2008 15:37118112
Palestinian "RIGHT OF RETURN" [63 words]DAVID R. GROESBECKJan 14, 2008 06:41118111

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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