The Nexus and Us
If you look into a hundred year old map of the world, you will fail to locate a country called “Israel.” You might go back 500 years, or 1000 years, or even 2000, but still no luck. The first (and the last) strike of luck would be at 3000 years back from now. And, glue your eyes to that state of Israel well. For, in fifty years it will disappear. It will brake apart into two tiny states that will need a magnifying glass to locate, both of them perhaps the size of the island of Bahrain or a little larger: districts rather than states.
It is claimed that the foundations of the ancient Israeli state were laid 1400 years before Christ when the Israelites left Egypt to settle in the land of Canaan, that is, Palestine. But that foundation extended to no more than a few towns and maybe a dozen villages. And the name Israel did not figure anywhere. Those towns and villages were where the “House of Israel” lived and not where the state of Israel existed. The ancient kingdom then, is more a myth than a reality of the past.
The Israelites had to wait for 400 years to become, so to say, a nation and a state. That happened during the reign of David who came to rule somewhere about 975 BC. His nation building efforts were carried on by his son Solomon who died in 922 BC. Under them the kingdom grew as large as about one-fourth the size of Sri Lanka. It had its capital in Jerusalem where the two built the first and the last Temple that the Israelites ever had in their entire history. This is where all the Jews of the world, down to the last man lived: a few hundred thousand. However, no sooner was Solomon dead than the kingdom split into two. Thus, the mighty Empire that the Jews so often speak of with great pride and greater nostalgia, had lasted no more than 50 years.
After the break up into Israel and Judah, both the territories could be found through the centuries at each other’s throats, invading and killing each other as frequently as beasts tearing each other apart in the forests. But the two were not the only enemies to each other. There were many other tribal nations around that were continuously nibbling away bits and pieces of their territories. Some old inscriptions suggest that the remnant Israel was obliterated off the map by 850 BC itself. What lasted were actually vassal states that occasionally acted as if they were a free people, inviting the nations around to come down, whack them well and remind them about the unpaid tributes.
Meanwhile, by 600 BC, a powerful Babylonian state had appeared on the scene. In their expansion drive, the Babylonians attacked Israel and left it quite disfigured. The entire Jewish population was carried away in chains to Babylon as slaves. The Temple was destroyed and for decades to come the land lay waste. In another fifty years the Jews were back, on clemency. Economically ruined, they were granted some kind of political autonomy. But other states around wouldn’t spare them yet. So Jerusalem exchanged hands several times between the adjoining states. The Jews paid tribute to whosoever happened to be the strongest. Then came the Romans about 200 years before Christ. They swept aside all the local kingdoms, murdered the Jews, destroyed the rebuilt Temple, and declared Palestine one of the provinces of the Roman Empire.
Time and again the Jews rebelled invoking the Romans to harsher and harsher retaliation. Finally, they were dealt a thorough massacre in the year 70 after Christ. Tens of thousands were killed, and the rest dispersed. Thenceforth they were barred from entering into any part of Palestine. Jerusalem was ravaged. The Temple’s traces were completely obliterated. The Jews were only allowed entry into Palestine, once in a year, for a single day, to weep by a heap of stones. As for the Temple, in a few decades nobody knew where it stood. The Jews were not interested in it any way. For, according to their Scriptures, it could only be built by the Final Prophet, the Messiah of the Jews. He would know where it stood. Where did the Jews go? Well, they spread out to the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey and Yemen. Some went to Europe. In another six hundred years, Muslim armies appeared at the borders and after some fight the whole of Syria, including Palestine, fell to them. The Christian Romans left for good.
Now we can go back in our trek and ask, what about the present day state of Israel? When and where did it come from? And year after year search takes our eyes to rest on the map of 1948. It shows the state of Israel. But how did that happen? Well, we said above that the Jews spread into the Middle-East. But, when European forests began to be cleared, they packed up and headed for various parts of Europe. The new places proved to be a good haven until the Christians began to wonder what they were doing there. Persecutions began. Those days, early eighth century, Spain was under Muslim rule. It was fairly rich, in comparison to the ravished Middle-East. Further, there were no restrictions in the Islamic world on Jewish movements. So they started appearing on the Spanish horizon. Gradually they increased their numbers there, and rose up to high positions both in the court as well as in civil life. In fact, they flourished so well that Jewish historians consider their 500 year long stay in Spain as the golden era of their history. But the Muslims themselves lost hold of Spain and by the 13th century both they and the Jews were either massacred or expelled by the Christians.
In the rest of Europe also the Jews could not live long in peace. Anti-Jewish feelings spread and persecution began. By the end of the 13th century, Jews were completely expelled from Britain. France was quick in following suit. In the 14th century the Jews were severely persecuted in Spain. Massacres followed massacres. A great number were forced to become Christian. By the end of the fifteenth century they were expelled from Portugal also. So, once again they had to put on their back packs and get going. This time they went to Turkey and Eastern Europe. In Turkey, they enjoyed complete peace. In fact, they once again flourished there reminding them of their days in Spain. But Eastern Europe and Russia were different. Feelings were rising high against them. Prejudicial treatment first led to their assignment to ghettoes and slums where they lived in abject poverty eking out their living on the barest minimum. They were not allowed to trade, run shops, live in Christian quarters, travel freely, or own property. Then came the Nazis, who did to the Jews what they did. History is too fresh to need repetition. The interesting point however is that while the Jews were being exterminated in a systematic manner in 1930s, the West European nations pretended to be unaware. So, when ships loaded with Jews arrived at Western ports, berthing was refused. In fact, the USA, ever hungry of immigrants as fresh blood building the country, refused entry to the Jews. Something was cooking up.
The last and the severest persecution in Europe, despite the so-called enlightenment, led the Jews to firm belief that they were not wanted anywhere in Christian lands. Once again they were looking for a land to settle in. And they knew that the way they would be tolerated by Muslims, they would be tolerated by none else. At that hour, in came the Zionist movement. They led them to believe that not only Palestine was the most suitable land as a destination but also a religious requirement. So, the Jews began to move into Palestine. The Westerners accepted the Zionist argument that Palestine belonged to the Jews. Hadn’t the Jews established a kingdom there 3000 years ago? Hadn’t the mighty Empire lasted full fifty years then? It is similar to today’s white Australians claiming that since originally they lived in Britain, as close as a hundred years ago, the native British may be dispossessed of their government which the Australians rightly own. Although the two cases are not exactly analogous, the grotesqueness of the Jewish claim is apparent: except to the Westerners. While, to them, citing such an example would sound grotesque, the Jewish claim on Palestine is not.
Consequently, when a piece of South American land – truly a land without people – was offered to the Jews for the establishment of a Jewish state, they refused to accept. They wanted Palestine. So they continued to migrate to it. When their size grew there, to the level of some 10% of the local Palestinian population, the Zionists started pressurizing the Western governments to declare a Jewish state there. The Western governments became spokesmen of the Jewish words that Palestine was a land without people that could be given away to a people without land. (Western record of dishonesties is as large as to need a CD to register. A floppy won’t do). The Arab protest and their votes in the UNO did not matter. Votes of a few other weaker non-Arab nations were either purchased or they were coerced into voting in favour: 33 for, 13 against, and 10 dishonest ones absent. Israel came into being in 1948. It was by sheer deceit.
The territory marked for it by the UNO resolution was no larger than a district: as large as it was when the Jews were last seen as a body, 3000 years ago. But the Jews were well prepared, and the Arabs of as long a tongue then as now. As soon as the UNO granted them statehood, the Jews began to attack the Palestinians. At gunpoint a vast area was made “a land without people” and the bull-dozers did the rest. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees overnight.
The Arabs launched a half-hearted military action, but, were those, who cannot manufacture bullets today, better equipped at that time? They lost more territories to the devastatingly equipped Jews. Another war in 1967, and greater disaster to the Arabs and Palestinians. Another large chunk of territories was lost to the Israelis. In 1972 Arab pride was restored but not the Palestinian lands. Since then the Americans have been occupying the central chair during negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The negotiation process is a farce and a carefully designed deceit. They are meant to push years. That allows the Israelis to create ground realities: more and more Israeli settlements across Palestine for which USA pays. They are pushing the years for a day when they can say, “OK. But now there are half a million Jews on these lands. Where are they to go?” So, the Westerners will turn to the Arabs and plead in such sincerity as to melt the heart of the Devil (they know his language): “Now, for heaven’s sake, don’t be fanatic. Any idea, where are these people to go? Can you imagine the human suffering if they are re-located?”
Through and through, the Western world has been solidly behind the Jews. After all, the Westerners are human beings. They too have compassion in their hearts. Should they not place it somewhere? While the Jews were being burned in the ovens, they had pretended there was no smell. And earlier, for a millennium and a half, they had massacred the Jews wherever they found them. Now the time has come to show them mercy, especially when Europeans towns, cities and countryside look so empty without the Jews. The hearts of stone are now melting like butter under the sun.
The Palestinians are told to make peace with the Jews. It is like this. Someone is planted in say your outhouse. You protest. So you are unreasonable. You threat you will strike. You are an extremist. You shoot a catapult. You are a terrorist. You blow yourself up along with a few of the occupiers and your 50 year old refugee camps need to be bombarded with tank fire. This is how the Western mind works. It is a totally and completely pervert mind. It is useless talking to them.
But talk is what they want. “To the conference table” they say once in every four years. At the table the Palestinians are offered patches of waste land, about 20% of the West Bank lands in all, and effectively told, “This is the Palestine you are welcome to rule. Here are the counties that you will control. (The 20%). The posh Jewish settlements will be out of bounds for you. However, as you know we have suffered so much in Germany, that now our settlers, no less than 5% of the West Bank population, need 80% of water. Of course, you cannot drill wells. That’s absolutely not allowed. As for planting new olive trees, what you claim as your 5000 year old agricultural occupation, well, you can’t plant a tree. Where is water? As for power, come on now, why do you need power? How much do you need for a bulb or two in each house? Also, forget about Jerusalem. Forget about fertile fields. Forget about the hundreds of settlements built in occupied territories: sorry, territories that belong to us since we were here 3000 years ago. (More will be coming, the reason why we have declared such vast areas off-limits for you). Forget about keeping an army of your own. Forget about all that and look at the tin sheds. You live there. Right? What about work? Well, that’s no problem. The settlers from the Western countries, the off-white breed, need housemaids, gardeners, cleaners and so forth. As for the freedom you are asking, well aren’t we giving you the freedom over full twenty percent of the West Bank with full guarantees that you will be allowed to run the village municipalities?” This is what the Palestinians are offered at the negotiation tables. The American Presidents stand right on top of the Palestinian negotiators and urge them: “Sign up. Hurry up man. Never again will you get such a generous offer from any other Israeli government.” If they refuse to sign, the Palestinian leaders have betrayed their people and lost a golden chance to peace!
Europe sounds softer towards the Palestinians than the Americans. But that is another farce. They are solidly with the Israelis. First, they don’t wish to sound as principle-less as the Americans. Second, they have been sidelined by the Americans and so must protest. Third, they only utter hollow words, and never do any favour to the Palestinians, or Arabs, or Muslims. Why should they be thought any different from the yesteryear good boys who consigned the Jews to the ghettoes, giving them equal rights only when the great majority had been pushed out and dumped down on Arab lands? None of them ever says, “What are the Israelis doing in the West Bank? Why can’t they either end the occupation and walk back, or, if they want to keep the lands for the Jews of the world, then annex them and give the Palestinians citizenship?” This kind of sensible talk is nonsense to the Europeans. So, you know what those statements mean that express sympathy for the Palestinians.
So the struggle goes on. At the beginning of the affair, the Palestinians were as simple a people as peasants anywhere. They lived a primitive life and were totally unaware of the cruelty that was being planned against them by the West. The Jewish onslaught took them completely by surprise and so initially they ran as chicken from the fox. They thought it was an aberration. Nobody in the world could be so cruel to them for no fault of theirs. Surely, there was a big mistake somewhere and the civilized nations will soon correct their mistake. Probably the Jews will go back to where they came from. Such were their initial thoughts under which they suffered silently for several decades. They demonstrated a patience that only the Arabs are capable of. But, more deceits have followed earlier deceits. A bitter fruit tree gives bitter fruit in every new season. Now they will not be deceived any more. They have known that the men they are facing, both the Jews and the half-Christian-half-atheist Westerners, have no morals, no sense of justice, and, most of all, no shame. You call one of them a crook, he frowns. But when he turns sideways to his friends, he smiles. As for the Western masses, in fact, even Eastern, they are of the same stock, same leanings, same dark souls.
So, the Palestinians expect nothing from any quarter now. They have realized that either they must fight it out, with catapult, stones, bombs, anything, or accept to live in ghettoes surrounded by posh settlements, to be fed to the ovens whenever the Israelis decide, while the world pretends it smelt nothing. Even those of them who had once held some ideas about the modern world being civilized, which cared for values, etc., have abandoned those foolish notions. Turned away by everyone they turned for help, they have now turned to God. The once sleepy, simple people, who now account for the largest number of PhD’s in the Middle-East, have learnt the lesson that “if you are not ready to die, you have no right to live.” They are a mere three million against an army that is the best-equipped after the American army. Every village is surrounded by tanks. But that doesn’t break their will.
The struggle is definitely taking a religious turn. It is being increasingly perceived as essentially a Jewish-Christian nexus on one side, and Islamic peoples on the other (sans their leadership). That gives it a new dimension. It promises to draw the Muslim masses in. If that happens, then it’s gonna be a long struggle. It’s gonna be a deadly struggle. And it’s gonna be a decisive struggle. The Muslims are ready. Is the nexus ready?