A month or so back I found myself lost for words in the face of a friend’s confident assertion of Israel’s evil concerning the Palestinians. It wasn’t a new attitude seldom heard. Very much common place and for the most part unquestioned, it is given as fact largely because of incredible media bias, that unfortunately plays a big part in the shaping our individual and collective opinions. I just went blank.
Because of her confidence, I began to wonder whether the accusation levelled at me (on a previous occasion) – of my obvious bias originating not from actual history of world events but from America’s biblebelt of pro-Israel christianity – actually had some merit, as the ‘truth’ presents as very much bipolar on this topic, dependent on the side taken. Because I had nothing constructive to say to my friend concerning Israel and the ‘Palestinians’ I decided to search online for the land history, trying not to use my favourite Pro-Israel sites as the sole source for my understanding. As it was I found plenty more! The truth of the matter is seen and explained in history itself.
The following, is easily obtained information of the land division of the area pertaining to Israel and it’s immediate neighbours from the internet. (Please use the links for more indepth information.)
Up until WW1 this area was all part of the Turkish / Ottoman Empire and under Muslim rule for around 400 years.
Although there was some change in the 1915 division, including expanding Britain’s control of northern Iraq and dropping claims on what is now part of Turkey, the basic division into French and British zones, along artificial borders drawn up in secret by outsiders, was the basis for the modern borders between Syria and Iraq. www.stripes.com
The following 4 maps come from myths and facts.org and show the progression of land loss for the Jewish people. These maps present the legal status of the areas designated for the Jewish people as determined under the British Mandate 1917-1948. Please visit the website for more indepth information. (Links on the dates are for enlarged map images)
1920 – Original territory assigned as the Jewish National Home
‘…with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France were handed more than 5,000,000 square miles to divvy up and 99% was given to Arabs to create countries that did not exist previously. Less than 1% was given as a Mandate for the re-establishment of a state for the Jews on both sides of the Jordan River.’ (Jack Berger, May 31, 2004.) think-israel.org
July 1922 – Final territory assigned to the Jewish National Home
‘Showing the area of Trans-Jordan, in which the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home was to be postponed or withheld. The territory of Jewish Palestine has been reduced by 77% of the original Mandate.’ (I understand Britain to have acted illegally concerning this)
September 1922 – Jewish Palestine
Golan heights no longer Jewish Palestine??
Within these borders was the Internationally determined area for the ‘Jewish Homeland’ and on 14 May 1948 was declared the ‘State of Israel‘.
This ‘recommended partition plan’ never settled on the ground as to have any legal effect. Though It made the Jewish homeland indefensible from it’s hostile neighbours it was (amazingly) agreed to – for the most part – by the Jewish Palestinians. However it was rejected outright by the Arabs who considered all of Palestine as theirs alone and were not interested in partitioning the land with Jews.
Untenable, in reality to both parties -it never became legally binding, it was only ever a recommendation.
(more posts to come of Israel’s changing borders)