The Palestinians who demand the right of return to all of the land encompassing even pre-1967 Israel are simply trying to steal what does not belong to them. So-called “Palestine” belonged for centuries to the non-Arab Turks from whom Jews purchased large tracts of land and developed it. The truth is that Egyptians and other Arabs from Syria, Yemen and Trans-Jordan migrated from neighboring areas into the Palestine territory. They were not an indigenous population. Indeed, one of the most important Arab migrations into Palestine came from Egypt during the early and mid-nineteenth century, not much before the beginning of significant Jewish migration, which added to the continued Jewish presence in the Holy Land that has existed for more than three thousand years. To say that Arab non-Jewish migrants have any greater claims to all of the land into which they migrated, to the exclusion of Jewish migrants of various ethnic backgrounds who also settled there to join their fellow Jews, demonstrates the same strain of Arab racism that shows up today in Sudan, where the Arab rulers are slaughtering the black population.
Nor do the Palestinians have any legitimate claim to what they call East Jerusalem, which Jordan had seized illegally in 1948 after the Arabs tried to destroy the new Jewish State. This portion of Jerusalem includes Jerusalem’s Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism.
There has been no Muslim majority in Jerusalem based on records going as far back as 1844 (referencing Ottoman census figures) through 1945 (referencing British Mandate census and Anglo-American survey data) and continuing through today, which would justify its artificial division. Indeed, we know what happens when Arab Muslims take control of areas containing other religions’ sanctuaries. They often destroy them. When the Jordanians controlled Old Jerusalem, for example, they desecrated Jewish holy sites. The idea of an East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem divide is no more legitimate than was an East Berlin/West Berlin divide.
The Palestinian victimhood narrative is built on a tissue of lies. This September at the United Nations promises to be more of the same. Any United Nations body that recognizes the Palestinians’ unilateral claim to independent statehood without a negotiated settlement and allows full Palestinian participation should not receive another dollar of U.S. financial support.
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