The Origins of Israel

Those Western liberals and leftists who accept the Palestinian narrative, that the Jews established Israel by “stealing” their lands, are being sold a simplistic view of history.  It is necessary to go back before the Israeli War of independence of 1948 to understand the true origins of Israel.

After WWI in various conferences, at Versailles, Locarno and Sevres, various treaties were negotiated by the victorious allied powers that redrew the borders of Europe and the Middle East.  For example, Italy was given the German-speaking Southern Tyrol that had been part of Austria.  But, US President Wilson was intent on making sure that areas of the defeated Turkish Empire would not be gobbled up by other imperial powers, specifically France and Britain. This was in fact the liberal, anti-imperialist view.  It is not generally known that Wilson also refused American Mandates for either Turkey or Armenia in order not be become embroiled in ancient territorial conflicts.

A French diplomat came up with the idea of “mandates” to satisfy Wilson.  These would be areas under British or French control, but that were designated to be eventually transferred to the self-government of the local peoples.  So for example, in 1922 the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) gave France a Mandate over Syria, and Britain Mandates over Mesopotamia and Palestine.  It was explicitly stated that Syria and Mesopotamia (Iraq) were to be Arab states and Palestine was to be a Jewish “homeland.”  But France reneged at first on allowing Syrian Arab home rule and they also unilaterally created Lebanon, to protect the Christians.  Although the Palestine Mandate said nothing about an Arab State, Britain unilaterally established Transjordan (later Jordan) and later in 1938, stopped allowing Jewish immigration to Palestine as required by the Mandate.

So if we look at the facts, it was Pres. Wilson who insisted that Britain not incorporate Palestine into its Empire, but was to hold it for some time until the Jews were able to become self-governing and sovereign.  It was indefensible that Britain prevented Jewish emigration from Europe into Palestine just when Nazi Germany started its program of persecution and genocide against the Jews.

After WWII it was not the Arabs but the Jews of Palestine (at that time numbering ca. 650,000) who fought and defeated the British Empire and forced them to turn the Palestine problem over to the UN.  After many debates, the UN proposed a Partition Plan in 1947 to separate what was left of Mandatory Palestine into two States, Jewish and Arab,  The Jews accepted and established Israel, but the Arabs rejected the Plan and attacked.  It is important to note that none of the belligerent Arab States (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia) had any plans to establish a Palestinian Arab State at that time, they intended to capture Palestine for themselves (replacing the British).

It was only because Israel defeated these Arab States time and time again in their attempts to conquer the Land that they eventually gave up and the problem became a  Palestinian Arab problem.  So actually it was only after the defeats of the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, that the Palestinian narrative was born and twisted into an anti-colonialist leftist story.   If you don’t believe me consult a reputable independent history book.  I don’t expect anyone to be pro-Israel, but I do expect people to be honest and base their views of what actually happened, not on some simplistic propagandistic slogans.