By Rev. Ted Pike
21 Aug 08
In 1948, beginning with the Deir Yassin massacre, Zionists terrorized 800,000 indigenous Palestinians into fleeing their homes in Palestine. ( See, Israel: Founded on Terror) Yet, much Zionist propaganda today, responding to evangelical gullibility, adds insult to horrific injury. It claims that Arab refugees who inhabit Israeli concentration camps and demand return to their ancestral lands and property have no claims at all. Why? Because their parents and grandparents didn't truly occupy Israel.
Such propaganda asserts that Palestine was a wasteland of desolate sand dunes when Jewish pioneers arrived at the beginning of the 20th century. A tiny indolent Arab population may have lived there; but Jews, through vision, enterprise, and hard work (as well as divine blessing) made the land “blossom as the rose.”
This Zionist mythology says Arab "Palestinians" only arrived after Jews brought Palestine to life. They were neighboring Arabs who swarmed in, seeking to benefit from Jewish-created prosperity. They lied, say Zionists, about owning and occupying Palestine for centuries. Having no deep and vested loyalty to the land (as did Jews), these imposters fled in panic in 1948, fearing the crossfire of an Arab-Israeli war. As a result, Israel says the land claims of these so-called “Palestinians” need not be honored.
Pastor John Hagee, dependable mouthpiece of Zionist disinformation, summarizes what tens of millions of evangelicals unquestioningly believe:
The land of Israel never belonged to the Palestinians…there has never been a land called Palestine. There is no Palestinian language. Before 1948, the people now called Palestinians lived in Egypt. They lived in Syria. They lived in Iraq. They moved into the land of Israel when they were displaced by the war of 1948, which the Arab nations started, but Israel is not occupying territory these people now call home. 1
Such claims lead to Israel-absolving conclusions: No injustice has been done to Palestinians. Israel need not return land and property it never took.
The Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem (EPP) rebuts these lies with documentation that is truly encyclopedic, as have Israeli "new historians" such as Benny Morris. 2
Many cultures and nations passed through Palestine since Jews were banished in the 2nd century A.D. But EPP says its occupants largely remained descendants of the ancient Philistines, from whom the title “ Palestine ” is derived. EPP quotes Abraham Granott, former managing director of the Jewish National Fund, who admits: “When the kingdom of Byzantium was subjected by the Arabs, practically the whole land belonged to the big proprietors…while the soil was cultivated by the former owners who had remained on their plots as tenants…” Thus, EPP says, “The Palestinian Arabs are…the descendants of the Philistines and of all Semitic peoples who have lived in Palestine since the time of the Canaanites” (p. 33). This included the ancient Samaritans whom God, in the time of Jeremiah, allowed to occupy Palestine because the Jews would not obey. The same divine invitation extends to Gentiles today until a remnant out of Israel will at last repent at Christ's second coming. (See, Almost Anyone Can Occupy Palestine)
Palestine : Mideast Breadbasket
Despite de-forestation and over-grazing of its highlands, Palestine always lived up to its Biblical reputation as a breadbasket – “a land flowing with milk and honey.” EPP says,
“The historical record disproves the Zionist lie that Palestine was undeveloped before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Palestine. Muqqadisi, a native of Jerusalem who died in 986 A.D., enumerated the principal products of Palestine in the 10th century: ‘…among whose agricultural produce was particularly copious and prized: fruit of every kind (olives, figs, grapes, quinces, plums, apples, dates, walnuts, almonds, jujube, and bananas),” etc.
[A late 10th century description says,] " Palestine is watered by the rains and dew. Its trees and plowed fields do not need artificial irrigation. Palestine is the most fertile of the Syrian provinces.”
“In 1615, the English traveler George Sandys described Palestine as ‘a land that flows with milk and honey.’”
[A British missionary who visited Palestine in 1859 describes the southern coastland area as a] “very ocean of wheat.”
“The German geographer Alexander Scholch concluded that between 1856 and 1892, ‘ Palestine produced a relatively large agricultural surplus which was marketed in neighboring countries…’" [including Europe.] "Laurence Oliphant, who visited Palestine in 1887, wrote that Palestine’s Valley of Esdraelon was a ‘huge green lake of waving wheat…and it presents one of the most striking pictures of luxuriant fertility which it is possible to conceive.’”
[According to Paul Masson, a French economic historian] “wheat shipments from the Palestinian port of Acre had helped to save southern France from famine on numerous occasions in the 17th and 18th centuries” (p. 33).
So much for the Zionist “barren sand dunes” claim!
Who Made Israel Blossom?
Contrary to Zionist mythology, Palestinian farmers were among the most efficient in the world. EPP presents extensive records (largely from British and UN archives) of Arab agricultural production in the decades before expulsion by the Zionists in 1948. Agricultural production and efficiency exploded, especially in the first half of the 20th century. Palestinians took deep pride in themselves and keenly anticipated statehood.
EPP says after Zionists terrorized most Palestinians into flight, Israel suddenly possessed vast holdings of citrus, olives, grapes, tobacco, wheat, etc. Israel since boasted that it planted these crops on former sand dunes, but EPP reveals the truth: Israeli agriculture didn't burgeon before 1948 primarily because of Western Jewish subsidies or the celebrated kibbutzim (socialist, low-incentive collectives later largely abandoned as inefficient). Instead, “In 1948, the Zionists seized 90 percent of Arab-owned citrus groves, packaging and storage facilities, as well as that year’s crop, looting the prosperous Arab citrus groves and making them [the Arab owners] destitute refugees” (p. 41).
EPP also presents extensive statistics proving that the Palestinians were hardly the ignorant “donkey drivers” of Zionist propaganda. Their population boasted a disproportionate number of urban professionals.
These Arab towns and villages…were developed communities, containing farms, factories, stores and schools, with an infrastructure of doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, merchants, mechanics, industrialists, workers and farmers which would be the envy of any developing country today (p. 34).
How Many Arabs in Palestine?
EPP says that 634,133 Arabs lived in Palestine in 1914. The first official census in 1922 listed 590,890 Muslim Arabs and at least 50,000 Christians Arabs. By 1948, an estimated 1,440,274 Palestinian Arabs dwelt in 12 cities or major towns and 830 small towns and villages (p. 25-26).
EPP exhaustively documents all major aspects of Palestinian life during the 20th century preceding 1948. Such data confirms that Palestinians were very capable of creating a thriving mid-east democracy as soon as permitted.
"The indigenous Arab population was recognized by paragraph 4 of article XXII of the League of Nations Covenant as ‘a provisionally independent nation.’ Palestine was placed under a Class A mandate, the very status of which indicated that the indigenous population was well advanced toward self-determination” (p. 35). [Under the British in 1947,] “…there were 309 high Government Arab officials and 30,178 lower grade Arab officials…” (p. 27-28)
From 1919 to 1948, no fewer than 10 Palestinian political parties tried to stop more Jews from entering Palestine, prevent further acquisition of Arab lands by Jews, and form a working Palestinian state. Bedeviled by disunity, Arab Palestinians could not hold at bay the much more focused, organized, and implacable ambitions of Zionists to ultimately displace the Palestinians altogether (p. 36-39).
Yet some early and brutal Zionists were more truthful than contemporary Israeli mythmakers. Gen. Moshe Dayan said bluntly:
"We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is, a Jewish state here. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either…There is not one place in this country that did not have a former Arab population." 3
1. John Hagee, In Defense of Israel, 2007, FrontLine, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746, p. 58.
2. Nakahleh, Dr. Issa, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, 1991, Intercontinental Books, P.O. Box 756, Grand Central Station, NY, NY 10163-0756.
3. Ha'aretz, April 4, 1969, quoted in Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, p. 34.
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