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A Right to EXIST? (August 2002)

Reader comment on item: Israel Does Not Need Palestinian Recognition?

Submitted by Giv Cornfield (United States), Jul 1, 2006 at 20:58

A RIGHT TO EXIST?

by Giveon Cornfield, Ph.D

IHC [Israel Hasbara Committee] Abstract

The author, a third generation Israeli, details Jewish inhabitancy in the

land of Israel for millennia. He reminds friends of Israel not to use the

phrase "right to exist" when referring to Israel, as it implies there is a

question about her existence.

There is a catch-phrase constantly being bandied about by news people,

which never fails to make my blood boil. It is "Israel's Right to exist."

The term is even used by well-intentioned friends and worse yet - by some

of our own tactless people! This offensive expression should be expunged

from the vocabulary of anyone who is (or pretends to be) a friend of

Israel.

The nation of Israel existed in its own land thousands of years before

Muhammad was even a gleam in his father's eye.

Continued Jewish residence in the Land of Israel (Zion, in the Bible)

continued throughout the 2 millennia of exile that followed

the Roman conquest. When Jews from Europe and other countries began to

return to the land of their ancestors in the late 19th century, it was to

be a wasteland, a virtually uninhabited backwater province of the Ottoman

empire. My own grandfather

settled in Rosh-Pina, a small village near the Syrian border, in 1882.

Against all odds, and by virtue of hard work and perseverance, those

people, called Zionists, recreated Israel. It grew and prospered, in

spite of the British Mandate authority's restrications, and constant

attacks by marauding Arab bandits.

Impoverished peoples from neighboring Arab countries began to come to

Palestine (as it was called under the British) to benefit

from new economic opportunities created by the Jewish community. As both

sectors grew and prospered, peaceful coexistence was taken for granted.

My father, born in Rosh-Pina in 1901, had many Arab friends who visited

our home, as we visited theirs. Under a French-installed Christian

Maronite-dominated leadership, Lebanon to the north became the

"Switzerland of the Middle East", with its progressive banking system and

thriving tourist industy.

One of the chief Arab troublemakers in 1930's Palestine was the "Grand

Mufti" of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The British eventually exiled

him, as the clouds of the WWII began gathering. He went to Germany, where

he became an advisor to the Nazis on Jewish questions, and was even

photographed at Hitler's side. It was Hitler's plan to confiscate all

Jewish property and exile the Jews to Palestine, but the Mufti convinced

him that killing them would be a better solution to "The Jewish Problem".

Jewish refugees from Nazism joined the Yishuv, the Jewish community in

Eretz Israel, which numbered some 600,000 at the outbreak of the war. The

British allowed some survivors of the Holocaust to trickle in, but even

more were smuggled in between the end of the war and the November, 1947 UN

resolution establishing the State of Israel in May, 1948.

The combined forces of all neighboring Arab states promptly attacked

Israel, and were defeated as they were time and time again. Even as these

lines are written, Israel is again forced to assert its sovereignty over

its land, by rooting out Arafat's terrorists.

Arafat is a direct heir to the Mufti's legacy, as is Iraq's Saddam

Hussein, who openly professed his admiration of Hitler.

So please, let's hear no more about a "Right to Exist!" Israel has never

ceased to exist, and it will survive all adversity.

Source: Original article contributed by the author, an IHC member, 4

August 2002.

The author served in the Hagana, in the Royal Air Force in WWII, and in

the Israel Defense Forces during the War of Liberation (1948/9). He is

the author of several books, including "Zion Liberated", a historical

biography set in pre-State Israel.

Israel Hasbara Committee: Questions or

Comments? E-mail: infosubmit@infoisrael.net

Submitting....

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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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