Crash course in Middle East history
Nationhood and Jerusalem
Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE -- 2,000 years before the rise of Islam.
Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for 1,000 years, with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem has always been the Jewish capital.
Jerusalem has never once been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. In the 20 years that Jordan occupied Jerusalem (1948-1967), they never sought to make it their capital, nor did Palestinians demand it as theirs.
Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Jewish Bible.
Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
King David founded the city of Jerusalem 3,000 years ago.
Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
Jews pray facing Jerusalem, wherever they are in the world.
Moslems at the mosque in Jerusalem pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
Arab and Jewish Refugees
In 1948, approximately 630,000 Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
In that same era, approximately 850,000 Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to brutality, persecution and pogroms (click "Next" below to read details on the treatment of Jews in several Arab countries).
Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
Arab refugees were intentionally not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of 100 million worldwide refugees since World War Two, these Arabs are the only refugee group in the world that has not been integrated into their own peoples' lands.
The Arab - Israeli Conflict
The Arab world includes 22 separate nations.
There is only one Jewish nation; collectively, the Arabs have 50 times the population of Israel, and 800 times the territory! And yet, Israel is the one who must always exchange "land for peace".
The Arab nations initiated five wars against Israel, and lost.
Israel defended itself each time and won.
The P.L.O. Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.
Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated: all synagogues in the Old City were torched, and tombstones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery was used to pave roads and build latrines. Jews were also denied access to places of worship at the Western Wall, Tomb of Rachel, Tomb of Joseph, and cave of the Patriarchs. The Palestinians have recently destroyed Joseph's Tomb and a number of synagogues under their "protection".
Under Israeli rule, all Moslem and Christian holy sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs
Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetary on the Mount of Olives.
The U.N.was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.
The U.N. has been totally silent on the Palestinian history of suicide bombings, lynchings, terrorist attacks, bus hijackings, cafe bombings, etc.