- ISRAEL & PALESTINE, WHO'S IN THE RIGHT? -
There is no clear right of ownership of Palestine if we look at the history of the region. Since before the Romans invaded, Jerusalem was Jewish, owned by the descendants of Abraham.
The Western Roman Empire held Jerusalem until Saladin & Christendom fought the crusades. Then the Turks held it until WWII after which the British gained control of Palestine (and much of the surrounding Arab world) as a mandate from the League of Nations.
The British promised the Arabs a country in Palestine, and they also promised a country to the Jews. After WWII the UN subdivided the mandate, creating a Jewish state. The Arabs rejected the partition, which caused a civil war in Palestine. The result of that civil war was a UN brokered ceasefire line on boundaries that gave the West Bank & half of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Arabs, the rest became Israel.
Then (was it 1967?) Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Egypt ganged up and attempted to invade Israel. The Israeli army managed to resist that invasion, and when the dust settled, Israel stretched from the Suez canal to the Jordan river and the Golan Heights. Many Palestinians fled across the Jordan river to Jordan and remain to this day as uneasy inhabitants that form a majority of inhabitants of that mostly desert kingdom.
Since then Israel has encouraged immigration from Jews worldwide, without much success. It is said that there are more Jews in New York than Israel. (about 80% of 6 million Israelis are Jewish).
From 1992 to 2000, Bill Clinton labored to bring peace to the region. He browbeat the Israelis to the point they were prepared to cede more sovereignty of Jerusalem than was offered by the UN ceasefire partition. The negotiations failed because Arafat introduced a new demand: he insisted that all Palestinians & their descendants should have the right of entry to Israel. Such a condition would have destroyed Israel because there would then have been the potential for a majority of Palestinians in Israeli elections, who could then have contested for government on religious grounds.
On 9/11/2001 the US was attacked by suicide bombers believed to have been of Arab extraction. Bush labeled that act as terrorism, declared a worldwide war on terrorism, and invaded Afghanistan, apparently bent on capturing the terrorist organizers.
Since then Palestinian children have become suicide bombers, creating terror in Israel. US Defense secretary Rumsfeld has condemned Iraq for paying $25,000 to the parents of any suicide bomber. This payment undoubtedly eases the pain of Palestinian parents who condone their children's sacrifice, however the large number of parents who claim the blood money provides worrying ammunition for those racist hate cynics who speculate that ethnic Arabs are members of Homo callous rather than Homo Sapiens.
Arafat has made no serious attempt
to arrest or hold those responsible, and has failed to condemn the perpetrators
(except in English for consumption by Liberal US & European media television
audiences). Israel has responded by declaring (as did Bush) that
those who harbor terrorists are terrorists, & hence Arafat is a terrorist.
They have invaded Ramallah on the West bank, and appear bent on taking
over the whole of Palestine & capturing terrorist infrastructure.
Arab nations are expressing concern about the invasion, but since 9/11
they tacitly recognize that Arafat's failure to condemn terrorism legitimizes
the Israeli military action.