Response: why a “claim to your land” is not enough

in Opinion by

On April 24th, iPatriotPost published an article supposedly providing reason as to “why “Israel has a claim to its land.” The article frankly lacks factual integrity and misconstrues an array of crucial points considered in formulating an opinion on the matter. Through this article, I aim to provide you, the reader, with a clearer window through which to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I’d like to begin by saying that the issue with this article isn’t the claim it makes. One has the right to opinion, without a doubt. That opinion, however, lacks credibility and legitimacy until backed by, well, credible and legitimate proof of its reason. The absence of such necessary data in the article in question creates a blur of the falsity and truth of the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, subsequently tainting one’s understanding of the unequivocally complex and sensitive issue.

The article opens with a statement declaring that “Israel has historically been land that the Jews settled on since the founding of the faith,” and goes on to say that “the first five books of the Bible provide the history of the Jewish kingdom.” However, the Bible in this case, as in many politically-concerned cases, does not independently qualify as sufficient enough evidence off of which to base politically repercussive opinion.

A large part of the solution will come from the understanding that the “historicity” of either Israel or Palestine cannot solve, and therefore does not pertain to, the issue of land distribution that we currently face. Millenia-old warrants based on biblical claims cannot possibly provide grounds for any sort of practical resolution to an ongoing conflict which utilizes a lethal combination of modern political science and modern warfare. The solution lies in addressing what defines now and only now: human and civil rights abuses, modern politics and international relations as pertinent to both Palestine and Israel. The solution lies in working to define what makes sense for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples in this era, not for the Biblical writers of thousands of years ago.

As one continues reading the original article, one will notice a shift in tone which prioritizes a display of Palestinian accusation, with emphasis on the idea that “Israel has been trying to give the land back” to the Palestinians and a suggestion that violent refusal on behalf of the latter party acts as a prime inhibitor of potential progress. However, that claim is simply not the case. Israel has not merely offered to return land back to Palestinians in a friendly, passive gesture and been denied the proposition.

Since the 1960s, Israel has established several illegal settlements in the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem as well as in the Syrian territories of the Golan Heights. The United Nations has upheld a series of resolutions declaring that these settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, criticizing Israel’s lack of cooperation, and encouraging the state to cease the establishment of the aforementioned illegal settlements – each to no avail.

The article cites a parallel source which states “everyone has to understand [the two-state solution]. [The land] has to be divided in a fashion that is…safe for both sides,” which is absolutely correct. What the article neglects to reference, however, in addition to the indeed undeniable faults of the Palestinian government are the similar abuses carried out by Israel which ultimately also threaten the aforementioned “safety of both sides.”

The article stands by the importance of bilateral understanding, yet leans toward the defense of only one side in a manner both controversial and contradictory. The first step to recognizing the previously mentioned bilateral quality of the two-state solution is self-recognition by both the Palestinians and Israelis of their historically evident wrongdoings, which will only persist under a realm comprised of empty, angry accusations and little else.

The heaviest tension and conflict stems from argument over supposed historical precedence and a series of scripture-inspired claims and warrants. Since the birth of the issue, Israelis have warranted their claim to the land based on their Biblical linkage to it. The Palestinians have taken an analogous approach in attempting to further their stance via similar arguments of historical precedence. Clearly, after 70 years, that methodology has not been successful in yielding any solvency. By falling into the pit of religious argumentation which simply fails to hold water in the status quo, we enable more conflict to arise, we enable more bullet-firing to ensue; we contribute to the problem, not to the solution.

The realization of any attempt at resolving the conflict depends on the ability of our generation – the younger generation of teenaged activists and proactive minds – to truly understand that change can only be brought about by a brand-new approach comprised of minimal bias and maximum sensibility, based not off of assumed duties of Palestinians and Israelis to take sides, but off of fact, reason and a willingness to truly create lasting peace.

 

3 Comments

  1. Obviously a conflict that has been prolonged to the twenty first century has to be evaluated within the context of the time and current events. However, a conflict that is inarguably linked to a religious divide will reference holy scriptures on both sides. While this article was responding to an article that was concerned with Israel’s right to exist as supported by the Bible, the current Israeli Palestian conflict rarely references fundamentalist religious ideas. No one on the front lines in the West Bank is carrying the Torah nor Quran.

  2. Pretty upsetting to see this sort of response. The targeted article was, of course, pro-Israel, what with a name like “Why Israel has a claim to its land,” but this response was hypocritical in its analysis and rebuttal. After trying to delegitimize part of the original article’s argument, the response criticizes the original article for not properly showing all facts or all sides of the argument, only to spend the rest of its time doing the same, from a different viewpoint. Instead of analyzing all of the information fairly from an unbiased position as it calls for, this response seems to attempt to erase or undermine anything said in the first article and replace it with other judiciously chosen facts. I’m pro-Israel, but I always make sure to look at foreign situations critically. I believe in what Israel stands for, but I don’t always agree with what Israeli leaders end up doing. I agree with the point this response was trying to make, but the execution just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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