- The Zionists of the early 20th century purchased much of the arable land in what is now Israel. The land had been owned by absentee Jordanian landlords and was being worked by local sharecroppers (mostly Muslim Arabs). The sharecroppers were forced to leave by the new landowners, who were building farms and cities on their new possessions; this created something of a refugee problem.
- The United Nations granted Israel legal statehood in 1948, mostly in gratitude for support of the Allied effort during WWII from Jewish residents of the area. (Most of the Arab countries supported Nazi Germany until it became obvious that the Axis would lose the war.)
- In response to the UN action, the countries surrounding Israel declared war on the fledgling state in 1948. Jordan occupied Trans-Jordan (now called the West Bank), which had been considered by the UN as a homeland for the Arab refugees of the area. Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Egypt had their asses handed to them by Israeli brigades and militia.
- In 1953, the Arab countries again declared war on Israel. And they again had their asses handed to them by the Israeli army, which then proceeded to occupy Sinai, Trans-Jordan, and the Golan Heights. The resulting armistice called for Israel to return these occupied territories, which they did.
- In 1967, the Arab countries declared war yet again, and they had their asses handed to them yet again. This time Israel took permanent possession of the Sinai, Golan Heights, and the West Bank, both because of their strategic values and as punitive punishment for their neighbors’ aggression.
- There was another war in 1973; this time the Arab aggressors gave no warning. Israel beat them soundly for a fourth time.
- In 1979, Egypt sued for a permanent peace in the region. Israel and Egypt signed a treaty pledging permanent peace and stating that Israel had a legal right to exist. As a result, Israel returned the Sinai to Egyptian control. The two countries have been at peace since then.
It is true that Israel has been guilty of many human rights violations; the King David Hotel bombing was a horrific loss of life and was attributed to radicals within Israel. However, in comparison the surrounding countries
- have declared that Israel will be annihilated, and all Jewry forced into the sea
- condone ongoing terrorist attacks upon Israeli citizens (per Hamas, “there are no civilian targets in Israel”)
- have manipulated and militarily supported the disaffected Arab peoples who reside in Israel (for the political and military advantages)
Israel is the only democracy in that region of the world. (Hopefully Iraq will stay a democracy.)
Israel grants full civil rights to women.
Israel is coming quickly up to speed on LGBT rights.
Israel acknowledges religious freedom to an extent unheard of in the surrounding countries.
Tell Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan to declare the same level of peaceful co-existence to Israel that Egypt has done, and there might just be a chance for real peace. If all countries involved (including Israel) would quit granting political power to the religious extremists within their borders, that peace just might last.