From time to time, I think it is important to remember some of the facts that tend to get lost when the Israel/Palestine dispute is presented. This fight over “Palestine” was once known as the “Arab/Israeli Conflict”- which was a more accurate description:
“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.
“For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”- (PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.)
The name “Palestine” is a Hellenized version of the ancient Philistine civilization that lived there and eventually became extinct. The area was never referred to as “Palestine” until the Ottoman Empire began using the term in 1872. When Mark Twain visited the region in 1867, the population of the entire area was about 600,000. He observed what other accounts also reported at that time:
“….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” (Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad, p. 361-362)
When Britain took over administration of the region after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I- the region steadily grew and developed from the economic opportunities and investment from Western countries. This development- coupled with a realization that the British intended to restore the Jewish homeland here- caused Arabs from across the region to pour in.
Unable to reach agreement with the Arab groups that demanded, primarily, that the region belonged to them, Israel began expelling all those who had no claim to the area. Many of these ‘refugees’ ended up in Jordan:
Axel Becker, University of London:
According to Yasser Arafat, the former and late leader of the PLO, Jordan killed about 10′000 Palestinians during the Black September conflict fought in Jordan between the Jordanian Armed Forces, under the leadership of King Hussein, and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), under the leadership of Yasser Arafat.
The conflict, which was started by the Palestinians, lasted primarily between 16th and 27th September 1970.
This being so, Jordan has actually killed more Palestinians in a single conflict than Israel ever has in any of the various conflicts the Palestinians have also started against Israel.
However, the world has of course never acknowledged this not entirely irrelevant fact, and, instead, continues to bash Israel simply for exercising her sovereign right to defend her citizens against the same Palestinian terrorist threat Jordan also faced once upon a time.
Jordan expelled the PLO, which then took up residence in Lebanon and before long provoked a 15-year civil war which, according to Heinson and Pipes, claimed 150,000 lives:
“When Palestinian men beat their wives, it’s Israel’s fault.” – Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights Commissioner
Genesis 12: 1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.