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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


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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Reader comments (26) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Time [5 words]Michele EzellSep 26, 2009 00:02162127
It's the words ... "Right to Exist" is not an acceptable phrase. [148 words]Sofa SogoodDec 8, 2007 22:42115939
Don't follow your logic, Dr. Pipes [321 words]HarryJul 11, 2006 07:0149383
Israel Should Walk Tall: Recognizing "Right to Exist" Small Consolation & Misguided [84 words]Robert VivaletJul 5, 2006 10:3548918
A Right to EXIST? (August 2002) [635 words]Giv CornfieldJul 1, 2006 20:5848691
Israel Does Not Need Palestinian Recognition? [14 words]steven lJun 30, 2006 21:2748622
right on [32 words]allan wallaceJun 30, 2006 17:2948597
Right to Exist [44 words]BruceJun 30, 2006 15:1748585
Recognition [98 words]Robert SolotJun 30, 2006 14:1948579
Cnly the Names Change [153 words]dr. richard s. tombackJun 30, 2006 13:5048573
time to act- end of oslo era [332 words]michael wiseJun 28, 2006 11:5948355
"With God On Our Side" [271 words]GeorgesJun 28, 2006 03:5448322
JEWISH LEMMINGS HAVE THEIR DAY [1656 words]FERN SIDMANJun 27, 2006 13:2648256
The Arabs are such babies, and dangerous ones [128 words]bobJun 26, 2006 19:0148205
I agree [107 words]ServanneJun 9, 2007 02:4948205
The "rightest" nation in the cemetery.... [64 words]AaronJun 26, 2006 10:0048178
The most important Israeli achievement would be Arab Islamic recognition of our right to a sovereign state [194 words]Kenneth S. BesigJun 26, 2006 02:4448163
The "Israel Test" [113 words]PRODOSJun 27, 2006 09:3848163
Recognition is a game, what will matter will be the borders [347 words]Jonathan PfefferJun 25, 2006 22:3748158
voa [32 words]cyrusJun 22, 2006 15:4348057
alamdari [36 words]cyrusJun 22, 2006 16:4248057
A question of reciprocity? [75 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Saikat BiswasJun 22, 2006 15:2548055
in my opinion [40 words]terence silberJun 21, 2006 11:5148001
and? [42 words]S.H.Jun 23, 2006 00:5948001
Israel's legitimacy rests on its embrace of liberty [137 words]PRODOSJun 26, 2006 09:1648001
The Legitimacy of the Palestinians is the Issue [343 words]Alan NitikmanJun 30, 2006 13:4248001

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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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