Israel is Jewish – Part Four: The Myth of an Ancient Arab Palestine and the “Five Nos”

Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, 1937 [Getty]
There is no place in Palestine for two races. The Jews left Palestine 2,000 years ago. Let them go to other parts of the world where there are wide vacant places.” –Amin al-Husseini, 1936

And that, in a nutshell, is why there will never be a two-state solution, not because Jewish Israel hasn’t been bending over backwards trying to agree to one, but because the Arab leadership will never accept it. They never have from the start.

By the way, just because I stuck in that link from doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with their opinion. It was just handy.

I’ve decided this will be the fourth and last installment in my “Israel is Jewish” series. Here are the other three:

  1. Is There a “Palestine?”
  2. Israel is not Apartheid
  3. The Creation of the Palestinian Refugee

Of course, what started it all was the wee piece Israel is NOT an Apartheid State or an “Occupier” : A Beginning. I’m getting sick and tired of bullies who manufacture “war crimes” and “human rights crimes” against Israel in the service of exterminating the Jewish citizens of the Jewish state.

So let’s talk about “the occupation.” In order for the Jews to “occupy” Arab “Palestine,” there had to be an Arab Palestinian people in the first place. Were there ever such a people?

Before that, going to the quote from Amin al-Husseini, did the Jews completely abandon “Palestine” for a full 2,000 years?

As it turns out, there has always been a Jewish presence in the Land, regardless of who the conqueror was at the time. Sometimes the population was larger than others. Sometimes Jews were allowed to return to their Land in great numbers. There was even a time when the Jewish population started planning the construction of a third Temple. Other times, they were driven out so that only a few thousand remained. But they remained.

Both in David Brog’s book Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace and at, we see that between the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and the forming of the modern state of Israel in 1948, Jews have always lived in their ancestral land, so no, they didn’t abandon Israel for 2,000 years. They were just the victims of an endless sea of occupiers.

So what about the Arabs? Were they the ones in charge? Depends on who you ask. The site covers some of it, but not in enough detail, at least not during the time frame I’m examining.

After the Romans, there were the Byzantines. Then starting in the Middle Ages you had the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid periods, the Fatimid period, the Crusader period, the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, and then there was the Ottoman period.

That ended only with British rule. During that time, while the Jews always clung to their Land as their ancient inheritance, from an Arab perspective, it was simply a part of southern Syria and they, the Arabs, were whoever the conquerors were. For instance, from the 15th century onward, they were Ottomans, not Palestinian Arabs. If anything, they would have more identified as Syrians.

So at no time did “Palestinian Arabs” come on the radar until the 20th century, and it wasn’t seriously considered and then claimed until after the Six-Day War in 1967, nearly 20 years after the formation of modern Israel.

Even in the early 20th century, before World War Two, the Zionists who had planned a Jewish return to “Palestine” were determined to displace no Arabs at all, and sought only to live in unclaimed land, mainly the Negev which was an unpopulated desert.

As I said before, if the Arabs had accepted the British partition plan in 1948, they would have had a “Palestinian homeland” and there would have been exactly zero Palestinian refugees. However, instead, they decided to wage a “Civil War” against their Jewish neighbors the day the State of Israel was born, and after the British mandate ended, many other Arab nations came across the border for the purpose of making sure a Jewish state would never exist.

Up until the late 1960s, the concept of a Pan-Arabism was one of the primary forces behind opposing the continuance of Israel. While the concept of an “Arab Palestine” didn’t exist as such, the Arab nations believed that the entire Middle East should be one, single Arab domain. No room for other people groups, particularly Jews.

Only after 1967, when the Pan-Arab dream was abandoned, did the Arabs in and near Israel consider themselves “Palestinian.”

So you see, it’s pretty hard to say that the Jews displaced Palestinian Arabs when such an entity did not exist. Also, even after the 1948 war, there were still Arabs in abundance who hadn’t left and they were welcomed in Israel.

The history is long and complex, but the Jews have always been willing to share. The Arabs, or at least their leadership, were absolutely opposed.

In his book, Brog coins the phrase, the “Five Nos.” There were the five primary occasions where Palestinian Arabs were offered deals that included their own sovereign land, each offer being sweeter than the last. Each and every time, they said “No.” says the Palestinians said “No” only three times:

  1. The original UN Resolution 181, the Partition Resolution, passed in November 1947, called for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in the land which at that point was controlled by the British-run Palestine Mandate. We know about that one. The Arabs decided to kill the Jews instead.
  2. In the summer of 2000 US President Bill Clinton hosted intense peace talks at Camp David between Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli leader Ehud Barak, culminating in a comprehensive peace plan known as the Clinton Parameters, which was similar to the later Olmert Plan, though not quite as extensive. Despite the vast concessions the plan required of Israel, Prime Minister Barak accepted President Clinton’s proposal, while Arafat refused, returned home, and launched a new terror campaign against Israeli civilians (the Second Intifada).
  3. In 2008, after extensive talks, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and presented a comprehensive peace plan. Olmert’s plan would have annexed the major Israeli settlements to Israel and in return given equivalent Israeli territory to the Palestinians, and would have divided Jerusalem. This was the single most generous offer Israel could possibly make and Abbas still said “No.”

Brog is counting the 1937 partition plan based on the Peel Commission’s recommendation that less than 20% of Palestine be set aside for the Jews. In spite of the inequity of the offer, the Jews jumped at the chance. Not so the Arabs.

He also adds the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War. In spite of the security concerns, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan to Syria. Israelis were divided on whether to return the West Bank to Jordan or to empower the Palestinian inhabitants to govern themselves.

Brog states:

These dreams of peace were quickly dashed. In late August 1967, the Arab League met in Khartoum, Sudan, and adopted a hard anti-Israel line. Among the resolutions these Arab states approved was one specifying that there would be “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” The West Bank Arabs who had been negotiating with Israel decided to fall in line and their talks ended.

It seems that as far as establishing an Arab Palestinian “homeland,” the Arabs are their own worse enemies, at least as long as they are determined to be the enemy of the Jews.

It’s interesting to note that at the 2000 Ehud Barak, Bill Clinton, Camp David peace summit, time after time Yasser Arafat continued to say “No” to each offer, without proposing a counter-offer or giving any details about why he was refusing. Brog records:

Arafat didn’t accept Barak’s offer. Nor did he make a counteroffer. He simply let the clock run out. At the close of the summit, President Clinton “blew up” at Arafat, shouting at the Palestinian leader that he had “been here fourteen days and said no to everything.”

Based on both ancient and modern claims, the Jews do have a right to their historic lands, and even though they have tried again and again to broker a peace with the Arab population, offering them exceedingly generous deals. They have said “No,” just “no.” After Arafat, Abbas followed suit, saying “no” with no counter-offers and no explanations.

However, this series is going to end differently than I expected. I just learned that Israel and United Arab Emirates strike historic peace accord. I want to be excited. I want to say “at last.” But everything I know about the history of Palestine going back two thousand years, or even just going back a century, tells me it’s not going to be that easy. After all of the conflict and enmity between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East and the absolute Arab refusal to accept a Jewish homeland within their midst, how is it ever going to be that easy?

It’s not. To quote the article:

But the move has infuriated the Palestinians. The Palestinian leadership rejected the “surprising” announcement by the US, Israel and UAE, calling it “an assault on the Palestinian people and an abandonment of the rights of the Palestinians and the holy sites”.

See? Told you.

So, when various civil rights groups in the U.S. vandalize synagogues and Jewish businesses, painting “Free Palestine” on those structures, and perhaps feeling justified in attacking American Jews as if they are somehow responsible for the so-called “occupation,” they are most likely operating in ignorance of the facts. If they choose to ally themselves with Arab terrorists groups such as Hamas, then maybe they understand things all too well, more’s the pity.

I know none of this will convince those who have already been convinced by decades of anti-Israel propaganda, and centuries if not millennia of hatred against the Jewish people. Anti-semitism seems to be the only form of bigotry that’s acceptable when all other forms are not.

The ancient Israelites were slaves in Egypt approximately 3,500 years ago and they were reportedly enslaved for 430 years. They have suffered unspeakable losses for those thousands of years, so you’d think anyone else who feels the need to rise up against the inequities of their background would study that history and find kinship, rather than ignoring that history and condemning the Jews and their right to exist as a nation.

Addendum: and speaking of Hamas and terrorism.

Addendum 8-14-2020: Erdogan: Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal

The Palestinian response is of course, violent.

Addendum: 8-15-2020: Rockets fired from Gaza, after IDF incendiary balloon response strike.

Just another reminder that there has Always been a Jewish presence in Israel.

Addendum 8-19-2020: You see, this is exactly why the Palestinians will never consent to a two-state solution. Their leaders say any cooperation with Israel is treason, probably punishable by death. The Palestinians’ own leadership is their worst enemy, not Israel.

Addendum 8-24-2020: More antisemitism.

Addendum 8-30-2020: 10th of Elul:

Addendum 8:31-2020: Los Angeles, today.

Addendum 9-22-2020: New Report Shows Palestinian Textbooks Still Rife With Antisemitism, Glorification of Terror, Despite Promised Changes

23 thoughts on “Israel is Jewish – Part Four: The Myth of an Ancient Arab Palestine and the “Five Nos””

  1. Note, regarding your penultimate citation of 430 years, that this was the period elapsed from when Avraham was told about a future slavery and the Exodus. The actual enslavement in Egypt lasted less than half that time, only after the death of his great-grandson Joseph and the change of the Egyptian regime that ousted the Semitic Hyksos rulers and crowned a new non-semitic Pharaoh who did not acknowledge the prior contribution of Joseph and instead viewed his people the Israelites as an internal threat. We can verify, though, that this slavery began sometime before the birth of Moshe ben-Amram, who was 80 years old when he led the Exodus. So the minimum duration of the actual slavery was no less than a century; and Israelites lived in Egypt only about 210 years out of that 430, if I add up the genealogy data correctly. Of course, it took another 40 years to bring them back to the Canaanite region where Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov had lived (not to neglect his 12 sons). And it took some time for the Israelites to settle in and get on with nation-building. But that’s another story.

    1. I would call this article a bit premature, since it is not clear just how secretive have been the negotiations for this treaty. Saudia has been moving in a similar direction, because of the Iranian threat, and may not be far behind the UAE if people would refrain from embarrassing them by criticizing their “silence”. Someone in the Arab world had to step forward first, and the UAE has now done so. The question now is how best to encourage Saudia and others to do likewise by normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel without the interference of the false Palestinian political narrative. It is not good that this process may have pressured Israel not to emphasize its sovereignty at this time, to normalize the application of its laws to all its citizens, but it is understandable.

      1. I would like to call attention to a key statement in the article, which was that the resistance to joining in on the latest peace agremement is based on an API plan produced by the former king of Saudia some 17 years ago. What is not noted here is that things have changed a bit under the current king. Consequently this article’s focus on the past rather blinds it to the optimism that has been based on a currently shifting political undercurrent. I stand with my previous observation that the article cited previously was premature, and that rumblings under the surface may yet surprise us just as the UAE has done.

      2. I did notice that, PL. I do think it’s clearly possible “Saudia” will get in on the act. I picked out the part I did because I keep wondering why the world emphasis isn’t on all of the antagonistic deciders and attackers from the beginning of Israel’s reestablishment. I also hope that simply making all the rich and mix of rich and terroristic surrounding nations satisfied isn’t considered enough — but that the wrong done to the refugees will be substantively addresses for their benefit.

        I also said this to James, below:
        Did you finish the book you were reading? I have recalled something a Messianic rabbi said one day, when I was visiting after I had moved. It’s in the realm of the surrounding Arab nations, or the Arab League, “looking down” (as I’ve mentioned before but not remembering the rabbi) on the people living in Palestine [what was called Palestine wether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or anything else] who were sssociated with them even if loosely (I don’t know how loosely/tightly).

        I remember from the book I read (made available at the synagogue I attended) that the surrounding nations manipulated, looked down on, and didn’t care about their fellows they asked to largely get out of the way for the attack on Israel. The rabbi put this more “colorfully” that day I mentioned. There was a Palestinian who had become a Christian visiting that day I visited. He and his very blonde American wife were very friendly. I wonder if the rabbi was trying to trigger the husband, or test his reaction.

        Meanwhile, I wish I had gone with my first instinct and copied the full Forward [a respected publication] article to which I linked (as seen under 11:55 this morning). The whole somewhat long (comparatively) article is quite enlightening, to say the least. I don’t have a subscription, so I couldn’t return to the article. I wonder if James is still asking Why — or if he can find it in himself to ask why in a varied context.

      3. In other words, it’s imperative (I agree with my rabbi of back then) that those surrounding nations should make real compensation and restitution for the position into which they put the refugees (and should not continue to see them or treat them as low-counts as they did in 1948).

      4. Might you acknowledge and admit that your last (prior to this one) “example” of anti-Semitism (indicative of what you’ve been trying to do with this series) was a lie?

        Instead, you simply carry on like you have so many examples of black people and people who say black lives matter being the evil other in this country. Here is some information about one of the producers of Lovecraft Country:
        Abrams is married to public relations executive Katie McGrath and has three children.[5][66] His daughter, Gracie Abrams, is a pop singer-songwriter.[67] He resides in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California.[68][69] He is Jewish and his wife is Roman Catholic, and he sometimes takes his children to religious services on Jewish holidays.[70]
        [By the way, jjabrams is not a black Jew.]

        I wonder if this kind of involvement is the reason the article you shared says the people who made the show might not understand that what they portrayed was anti-Semitic.

      5. I know he’s Jewish, which makes his involvement in this all the more baffling. I do know that there are plenty of liberal Jews who take anti Israel and even anti Jewish positions. Since I simply posted a link to a news story, how am I a liar? Why is it that you have somehow elevated the Black Lives Matter movement above the right for Jews to live and have their own tiny nation? What am I missing here? I mean, everything I’ve said I’ve backed up with facts, not feelings.

  2. I don’t see, on my current shelves, the book I read back a few decades ago, covering this subject matter. I want to ask what anybody has read concerning Saudi Arabia in 1948. I don’t recall Saudi Arabia having been exempted or innocent.

    [If anyone doesn’t know to what I’m referring, I’ll go find it and quote it here in this comment section… tomorrow. For now, I’ll just share a little bit of background that is readily available on a common internet site.]

    From Wikipedia:

    The Arab League (Arabic: الجامعة العربية‎, al-Jāmiʻa al-ʻArabiyya), formally the League of Arab States (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربية‎, Jāmiʿa ad-Duwal al-ʿArabiyya), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab League was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 initially with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.[3] Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945.

    Later on the page:

    Each member state has one vote in the League Council, and decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them.

    Under the History subheading:

    Following adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945. It aimed to be a regional organisation of Arab states with a focus to developing the economy, resolving disputes and coordinating political aims.[9] Other countries later joined the league.[10] Each country was given one vote in the council. The first major action was the joint intervention, allegedly on behalf of the majority Arab population being uprooted as the state of Israel emerged in 1948 (and in response to popular protest in the Arab world), but a major participant in this intervention, Transjordan, had agreed with the Israelis to divide up the Arab Palestinian state proposed by the United Nations General Assembly, and Egypt intervened primarily to prevent its rival in Amman from accomplishing its objective.[11] It was followed by the creation of a mutual defence treaty two years later. A common market was established in 1965.[9][12]

    1. Quote: Brog covered some historical ground about World Wars One and Two, and how in their aftermath, whole populations were moved hundreds of miles away from lands they’d occupied for nearly a thousand years. Then there were the massive reshifting of national boundaries as well as the creation of brand new countries. So whether you agree or not that the Jewish state should have been created by the U.N., it was hardly a rare or unique event.

      When the British Mandate for Palestine was officially ended on May 15, 1948… Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, and Iraq [went] … attacking the tiny, newborn Jewish state.

      The Arab states did not invade Israel to help the Palestinian refugees … It was the … invasion that produced the Palestinian refugees. [End of quote.]

      My question: So what about Saudi Arabia and Lebanon? Even Yemen? But, obviously, Saudi Arabia is the most powerful.

    1. You “can’t lay this squarely at their feet” (or really at their feet at all) — so why do you? It seems you promote the same kind of thing whoever did those things did. I understand you’re not the only person doing so. But is that an excuse?

      1. I don’t know what conflict was occurring between the Jewish and black residents of Crown Heights 30 years ago, but an Orthodox Jewish man accidentally hit and killed a black kid. That’s not the same as a bunch of cops shooting a black man in the back or a disputed police shooting of a black person. Yes, it was horrible and it was tragic, but it was an accident, not malicious attempt. And yet the result was days of rioting and the cry “Kill the Jews.” But why?

        Sadly, almost exactly the same thing is happening in L.A. right now:

        No, I’m not saying that all black people are antisemitic, and not even the majority of them, but the Jews have been history’s scapegoat for thousands of years. How convenient that they, along with police officers, are now the focus of blame for racism in the U.S. Again, why? What’s going on? Why are Jews always the target when pretty much anyone gets mad about something? Is it right?

      2. This has gotten ridiculous. I will begin my response with the weakest point: the quote from the article you linked to, concerning 1991, included the word “Get” rather than your proferred “Kill” — even if some jerk ended up killing someone. Hint: no, it’s not “right” or okay to kill someone. Next, you admit you don’t know what was going on back then — but expect us to forget in that you assert you can say, as if you know, “almost exactly the same thing” is going on now.

        Did you finish the book you were reading? I have recalled something a Messianic rabbi said one day, when I was visiting after I had moved. It’s in the realm of the surrounding Arab nations, or the Arab League, “looking down” (as I’ve mentioned before but not remembering the rabbi) on the people living in Palestine [what was called Palestine wether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or anything else] who were sssociated with them even if loosely (I don’t know how loosely/tightly).

      3. Well look what we have here: the IsraelNationalNews article you linked to, Jemes, was FALSE ! ! !
        The chant “Prosecute killer cops” has been heard at protests throughout the country over the summer, including in Los Angeles.

        I could tell, from the scenario in the one video that was used, that there was a serious misunderstanding. But I wanted to wait until there was some clarity to say anything specific. First of all, people were obviously not saying to kill even one Jew, much less to incite hatred of “Jews.” Additionally, there was calm conversation and a display of a press credential. I used that conversation to further search online, today.

        As for the original day that you/James posted about it, the only other place I could find it mentioned then was at a site called something like squirrelzippers. And the IsraelNationalNews site is the ONLY place I’ve ever gotten spam showing up on my device (that particular device) when I went to their site— on a few of its pages the night you posted a link to it.


    I’m curious what you think should happen with someone like this. I would hope the people with the cameras got a segment of footage with her license plate. Not only did she say this stuff, about all n…… (as she put it), she then drove down the road in the wrong direction. I wonder if she is connected to any causes in her life. Any cause should be poo-pood right now. [I do hope they got her plate. I don’t think any cause should be dismissed out of hand because of her.]

    1. I have this image of Pandora having opened her box again, as if all civilized restraints have been trashed along with any sense of civility itself. I have no explanation for why this should erupt in LA, rather than Portland, or Kenosha, or in one of the other cities under seige by rioters at present.

      1. I guess she was channeling the seventeen-year-old radicalized already-law-breaking-then-murderer who the pathetic president is defending in the public eye of his cult followers. Or channeling the spirit of all the other lawless individuals who previously led to the complaints that have now blossomed out onto the streets. Still, she covered her butt by saying she won’t do it, because it’s against the law. Yet, if it was up to her, they’d ALL be dead (all “niggers” everywhere). If she’s Greek or Jewish, we don’t know. We only see that she’s white. If she is for saving giraffes, we don’t know.

        But, back to one of the (purposely by James’ design) competing main subjects, black lives do matter — not in the sense that they should all be dead. In the sense that they shouldn’t be murdered by cops and vigilantes and a supposed neighborhood watch (even while told by police not to proceed), and then the perpetrators let off. Just as that white woman (of whatever personal causes or identities) shouldn’t be an excuse to dismiss people or justice or good interests, anyone who says criminal or questionable things should not be just one more so-called reason to not give two hoots about people.

    2. My instinct, Marleen, would be to involve police and social authorities to visit and interview this woman — since, after all, she was overtly expressing threats to violate a most basic law against murder. Her description of her avowed targets reveals something of her motivation and most likely a psychological disorder. This would be the same treatment one might recommend for an adolescent who brandishes a firearm in a threatening manner, or who expresses threats of violence against fellow students in any context regardless of potential access to firearms. Personal liberty demands that more than mere suspicion must be required before any sanction may be applied to impinge on any liberty, but a complaint based on observational evidence could suffice for a least a single investigative visit.

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