A historical narrative about the turbulent middle east. History


The Inevitable two State Solution

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISRAEL
Israel's history and Jewish history are both intertwined inextricably. The primary source of their history can be obtained from ancient Hebrew texts like the Pentateuch, the Talmud, the biblical books of Kings and chronicles, the book of the Maccabees, and also the writings of Flavius Josephus.
The writings of Flavius Josephus are somewhat akin to the historical accounts of Thucydides for the ancient Greeks, Livy and Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus' accounts of imperial Rome, and Herodotus' account of ancient Egypt.
Archaeological findings corroborate the biblical accounts of the Canaanites as the original inhabitants of the ancient land of Israel before the habiru, a nomadic people mentioned in Assyro-Babylonian literature from 2000BC, and often identified as the Hebrews of the Bible.
The most recent of such archaeological finds was the discovery of a 3000 year old Canaanite temple, unearthed in Southern Israel by Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the year 2020.
One of the discoveries was an idol of the Canaanite god Baal, which is mentioned frequently in many old testament texts of the Holy bible.
According to Jewish tradition, the temple of Solomon, also known as "The first Temple," was built by the biblical King Solomon[990-931]. The first Temple went through different phases of destruction and desecration under the oppressive rule of the Babylonians before it was restored and reconstructed by the Medes and Persians between 520-515BC. The restoration led to the emergence of the "Second Temple."
The second Temple was desecrated again by Antiochus IV[Epiphanes], the king of Syria of the Seleucid dynasty, and one of the successors of Alexander the Great. He desecrated the temple by offering the sacrifice of a pig on an altar to Zeus. This abominable act of his, deemed sacrilegious by the Jews, led to a rebellion by the Maccabees, under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus from 167-160 BCE. The successful rebellion is marked yearly in the festival of Hanukkah in honour of the recapturing of Jerusalem, cleansing of the second temple, and rededication of the altar.
The Second temple was utterly destroyed by the Romans, under general Titus in the year 70AD, as a retributive measure against Jewish insurrection.
The Sicarri were a splinter group of Jewish zealots who, in the decades preceding Jerusalem's destruction in AD 70, strongly opposed the Roman occupation of Judea, and the final destruction of the second temple. They found refuge in the fortress of Masada, from where they rebelled against the Romans. In 73AD, their rebellion ceased, when they all committed mass suicide at Masada.
The Roman emperor Hadrian cursed the Jewish people and decreed that Judea should be henceforth called "Palestine" after the Philistines, the age-old traditional enemies of Israel, who had more or less vanished from the world stage about 600 years earlier.
In 132AD, Simon Ben Koseba, a Jewish military leader led another rebellion against the imperialist Roman government to re-establish the Jewish state that had fallen in 70AD. The Bar Kokhbar revolt, as it was then called, turned out to be a fiasco, and Ben Koseba was killed by the Roman forces. At the very outset of the rebellion, he had been seen by many of his Jewish country men to be the long expected messiah.
Jewish communities proliferated in Europe, the middle east, the far east and North Africa. The Hebrew word "Aliyah," which literally means "immigration to Israel, or ascent to Jerusalem," became synonymous with Jews in the diaspora. Their dream of moving back to Jerusalem, or the land of Israel or Judea, as it was then called, became a long expected dream for centuries.
Pervasively, the Jews were persecuted by their host communities, especially in Europe. Examples abound with the Alhambra decree of 1492 by Queen Isabella I of Castille and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon. This draconian decree expelled all the Jews resident in both medieval Kingdoms of present day Spain. Another was the coercive conversion of Jews to Catholicism, which was enforced by King Manuel I of Portugal in the year 1496. In some cases, large sums of money were extracted from Jews by their overlords in some European kingdoms. A very good example was that of the English king Henry III, who imposed heavy taxes and forced gifts on the Jewish population. His son, and successor king Edward I became the first English king to be out-rightly antisemitic, when he expelled Jews in 1290.
The other historical accounts of persecutions against Jews were the pogroms of the Spanish inquisition in the middle ages, and the pogroms that happened in the Russian empire between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The exit of Jews from eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, recorded tremendous successes through the birth of companies like, Twentieth Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures in the United States.
In the late nineteenth century, the Zionist movement was gathering momentum. Popular people attached to this movement began to champion and spearhead the cause of establishing a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Theodore Herzl was the founder of this movement. Before him, there had been a proposal to establish a national home for the Jews in the early nineteenth century by the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. His proposal failed. Another proposal came from the British colonial secretary, Joseph Chamberlain in the form of the "Uganda Scheme" in 1903.
It was presented as a temporary refuge for Jews who wanted to escape widespread antisemitism in Europe. The proposal faced opposition from the Zionist movement.
The British mandate in Palestine, which had been created after World War 1, with the Sykes-Picot survey/plan, gave its support for the establishment of a "National home for the Jewish people."
Antisemitism saw its climax in Europe during the holocaust. Between 1933-1945, the Nazis had embarked on ethnic cleansing programmes like; The night of the broken glass, The Madagascar plan, and the final solution. The final solution, orchestrated by Reinhard Heydrich, led to the holocaust, which decimated over six million Jewish lives.
The May 15th, 1948 rebirth of the state of Israel, led by its first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, led to the foundational events of the "Nakba" in which dozens of massacres targeting Arabs were conducted, and about 400 Arab-majority towns and villages were depopulated; with many of these being either completely destroyed or repopulated by Jewish residents and given new Hebrew names. This declaration of independence ignited the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Prior to this independence and devastating conflict, terrorists' Organizations like Irgun and Haganah had been created in Israel to spearhead the independence movement by employing acts of terror. Some of their nefarious activities were; the bombing of the king David Hotel in 1947, the hanging of two British soldiers that had been abducted by them, other acts of terror against the British for restricting Jewish immigration at some point, and the brutal assassination of United Nations chief negotiator, Folk Bernadotte.
The second Arab-Israeli War/crisis came as the aftermath of the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. A French, British, and Israeli coalition attacked Egypt, but soon withdrew under international pressure. The third Arab-Israeli War was fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, primarily Egypt, Syria and Jordan. At the end of the conflict, Israel had seized Syria's Golan heights, the Jordanian annexed West Bank and East Jerusalem, Egypt's Sinai Peninsular and the Egyptian occupied Gaza Strip.
The Yom Kippur War was the fourth of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It happened during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. Egypt and Syria both attacked Israel simultaneously, with the intention of recapturing lost territories in the 1967 six day War.
There were other minor and relatively prolonged conflicts like the War of Attrition in 1970, the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006, and other minor skirmishes with either Hamas or Hezbollah. The first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel was Egypt in1979. The peace treaty was brokered by US president Jimmy Carter in Washington D.C. The other signatories were Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel. This treaty with Egypt led to the ceding of the Sinai peninsular to Egypt, after eleven years of Israeli occupation.
Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005, after nearly 38 years of occupation.
The most recent conflict is the Israel-Gaza War, caused by the "operation Al Aqsa Flood of October 7th, 2023." It came a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.
Zionism has to a very large extent benefitted the Jews through the re-establishment of the state of Israel on May the 15th, 1948.
Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion did achieve the elusive "Aliyah dream," but at a heavy cost to the Arab population. It is estimated that between 500,000 to 750,000 Palestinians were displaced by Israel's independence, and about 15,000 were massacred in 1948. In the ongoing conflict today, at least 25,000 Palestinians have been killed as reprisals for about 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, massacred by Hamas. Hundreds were taken hostage, a few of whom have been released in a prisoner swap with Israel during a truce.

A Brief History of Gaza
The history of Gaza spans over 4,000 years. In ancient times, it was originally a Canaanite settlement, just like the ancient land of Israel. It had been under the control of different kingdoms, Empires, dynasties, and nations, notably; Egypt, Assyria, The Philistines, Babylon, and Greece, under Alexander the Great.
In the early 16th century, it came under the control of the Ottoman empire. After World War 1, Gaza became administered by Great Britain, under the British Mandate of Palestine, largely due to the Sykes-Picot survey of the middle east. The Ottoman empire lost their control of it, as a result of the treaties of Sevres and Lausanne.
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza strip, whilst Jordan took charge of the West bank. The West Bank and Gaza were both captured by Israel in the six day war of 1967. Israel has maintained its control of the West Bank, ever since it was captured, and has officially absorbed East Jerusalem as its capital. Another area of land that was under Jordanian control until 1967. Israel officially withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005, after 38 years of occupation.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization[PLO] was founded in 1964. Yasser Arafat and his Fatah faction controlled the PLO until 2006 when Hamas, an organization considered a terrorist organization by the West, took charge of the reins of power. Hamas was founded in 1987 by Ahmad Yassin. It was founded after the first intifada.
It had carried out acts of terror against Israel, the worst of them was the "Operation Al Aqsa Flood" on October the 7th, 2023, when about 1,200 Israelis were massacred, and hundreds were taken hostage.
Conclusively, I would say that the flow of blood for nearly seventy-four long years has been to say the least, terribly costly for both Jews and Arabs. The best and the only solution to this protracted conflict that has bedeviled the region for many decades is "a two-state solution."




Short story by Joseph Ogbonna
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Written on 2024-01-30 at 00:44

Tags Israel  Gaza  Arab 

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Ingvar Loco Nordin The PoetBay support member heart!
I absolutely agree with Beck. And that is not hard, either.
2024-01-30


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
The "two-state solution" is a ridiculous fantasy entertained by Zionism's apologists. Zionism, like all forms of nationalism, represents racism. Israeli Jews already have officially taken most of Palestine, killing, evicting and severely mistreating Arab Palestinians. Piece by piece, they are incorporating the West Bank into Israel. As a result, there is no place in which to establish this second state. Moreover, the exiled Palestinians deserve to return to the homes throughout Palestine from which they were driven. A "Jewish" state, like a white South African state, is an abomination. It should be abolished, replaced with a normal, respectable secular democracy which is equally welcoming to Jews and Arabs.
2024-01-30