Israel's Rights

January 7, 2012
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Many arguments against Israel have been made, and many accusations have been stated, by people who utterly believe Arab (and Palestinian in particular) propaganda.

These are a few frequently forgotten (or altogether unknown) facts about Israel. FACTS, and not opinions—everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but no one’s entitled to their own facts.

1. The Hagana (Israeli Defense Force), in 1948, when Israel became a state, did not conquer land. The British Mandate ruled over the area at the time and, as we can see by Balfour’s Statement, they encouraged a Jewish state here. After World War II, the British Labor Party decided to withdraw the 1939 White Paper, which called for a joint Arab-Jewish Palestine, in favor of a Jewish State. The war that followed, Israelis against British soldiers, was solely for the purpose of Jewish Independence. The British had already agreed that the Jews deserved Israel. Hence, Israel was given to the Jews not taken by them.

2. Palestinian propaganda has everyone believing that Israel’s the bad guy, the one not willing to give up land for peace, the ones holding up the peace process now days. This isn’t true for a number of reasons: Israel has, in the past, given up lands for hopeful peace. They evacuated Gaza, and gave the Sinai Desert (larger than Israel itself) back to the Egyptians. But after they evacuated Gaza, a step that the PA encouraged, was peace obtained? No, instead rockets and missiles were fired incessantly into Israel’s borders, especially in Ashqelon and Ashdod, large industrial cities. So can you really blame Israelis for being skeptical, suspicious about giving back the West Bank? If it really would obtain peace, most would agree; but most don’t think it will bring peace, only more war.
Another obvious reason why it’s not Israel holding up the talks is simply because Israel met the Palestinian Authority’s demands: It stopped construction in the West Bank for ten months. Yet still, the PA refused to accept the right of a Jewish state to exist, and refused to return to the negotiating table.

3. Another seriously understated fact is 1967. Most people seem to believe that Israel went out and conquered half of Jordan, the Sinai Desert and the Golan because they felt like having more land. This is completely untrue. Think about this logically; why would small Israel go out to war against Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon? They had almost no chance of survival, tiny little Israel (with an army half the size of the current, still small one) against huge Arab countries. They still had unsettled parts of Israel at that time, they didn’t need more land. After receiving intelligence, and watching the Arab states prepare for war against them, the IDF chose to launch a preemptive strike against the country where the options were clear: Attack first or die. Israel, like any other country would have done, attacked first. Chasing the Jordanians, Lebanese, and Egyptians back further, therefore “conquering” the lands, was a purely strategic move: When your enemy is fleeing, follow them, don’t stay where you are and wait for them to lick their wounds and then attack again.
Now, what’s being asked of Israelis is this: Give the land back to the same people who attacked you, so they can have strategic advantages over you and possibly—very probably, with Iran—threaten your existence yet again.

Palestinian propaganda was created in order to isolate Israel from the rest of the world. And it’s working, because people prefer to believe the propaganda from the mouths of mothers instead of actually researching the subject. History, we must realize, cannot be rewritten; what happened, happened. So before you accuse men of crimes, and besmirch his name, take the time to make sure you have the facts and not the stories.

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IntrepidRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm
Remember to consider both sides of the issue. Both Israel and Palestine have done things which make the situation worse, but right now the world needs to stick up for the Palestinians. The Israeli government and military, with the support of the USA are violating basic human rights. I'm not telling you how to think, but just take a good look at the civilians of Palestine. No one should be forced to live like that. It's not their fault, and it's not the fault of the Israeli civilians. Right now t... (more »)
Sunshine15 replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm
I agree with you that no one should be forced to live like that, but if you believe in the basic right of Israel to exist as a state, you can't blame the IDF for doing what it takes to protect the country. In addition, as an Israeli, and a human rights activist, I think the world should look at Israel's perspective as well: We are fighting for our very existence as a country surrounded by countries and people calling for our destruction. If it were your family on the line, and your brother about... (more »)
Sunshine15 replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm
By the way, I truly respect your sentence about not agreeing with me, but being willing to fight for free speech, and I feel the same way. Although I think I'm right, I realize that being completely unbiased is not an option for someone who has seen what I have through Israeli eyes. I do strive to only look at the facts, however, and I'll try to take what you said into consideration.
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