The world is full of Israel-haters.
I don’t know why. It probably has something to do with anti-Semitism – and even more to do with lack of knowledge and understanding about the Middle East.
So, I thought it might be a good exercise to consider what the world would be like if Israel had never been reborn in 1948.
Let’s suppose that United Nations vote to partition the Palestinian region into two – one Arab and one Jewish – had gone differently. Let’s imagine the Soviet Union or some other nation that supported the Jewish state voted the other way. What would the Middle East be like today? What would the world be like?
Well, for starters, the Blame Israel First crowd needs to remember that the bloodiest conflicts in the Middle East in the last 60 years would still have taken place – because they had nothing to do with the State of Israel.
For instance, does anyone doubt that the Iran-Iraq war, which killed more than one million people and featured the widespread use of chemical weapons, would still have taken place, even without an Israel on the map?
Not even Saddam Hussein or the Ayatollah Khomeini could suggest that Jews had anything to do with that little dust-up. It was simply the latest round in fighting between ancient enemies, a turf war between a Sunni Muslim dictator and a Shiite Muslim dictator.
But what might have happened to nearly one million Jews in Arab lands who found a home in Israel after 1948? Those refugees often left hostile Arab lands with little more than the clothes on their back. Today, those Jews, if they were lucky, would still be living under the yoke of Muslim tyranny, in “dhimmi” status. Surely many would have been murdered in the kinds of pogroms that regularly occurred in Arab and Muslim countries while they still maintained Jewish communities.
We hear so much about the “Arab refugee crisis” that was created by the 1948 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The highest estimates of Arabs who fled Israel during that war are put at 500,000. They fled, most often, because they were instructed to do so by the Arab leaders who declared war on Israel at its very birth. Yet, nearly 60 years later, this refugee population hasn’t decreased, it has increased exponentially.
Not because Israel has created any new Arab refugees. It is because the Arab nations have refused to settle the original refugees they encouraged into refugee status. They see them as critical pawns in their asymmetrical conflict with Israel.
One thing is certain. Without Israel, there would have been no Palestinian national movement. There would be no Palestinian Authority. There would be no future Palestinian state.
Because prior to the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel conquered what we call the West Bank and East Jerusalem, there was no such movement. Even though there was no Palestinian Arab state and never had been, no one had ever promoted one. When Jordan controlled the West Bank, the so-called Palestinians were not agitating for a homeland. They’d never had a country of their own and apparently never wanted one. Suddenly, when Israel captured the ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria, the Arabs discovered their sense of Palestinian nationalism for the first time ever.
I can also promise you that if Israel had not unified Jerusalem and declared it the eternal capital of the Jewish state, it would not be considered the third-holiest site in Islam.
How do I know this?
Because during the time that East Jerusalem was under the administration of King Hussein of Jordan, prior to June 1967, not a single Arab leader ever visited – including the king himself. It would seem that if Jerusalem had always been so important to the Muslims, their leaders would have expressed some interest in it before Israel captured the city in war.
The modern Islamic jihad movement is thought to have been launched in earnest in 1979, when the Ayatollah Khomeini assumed power in Iran from the overthrown shah. At the time, Khomeini made clear that the real enemy – “the Great Satan,” as he called it – was the United States of America, not Israel.