Take the west out of the equation for Jews and Arabs to coexist

It has been more than 75 years since Israel came into existence. It cannot be wished away with, nor can one blindly support the Palestinian cause, which has now been hijacked by Islamic terrorists.

Published: 15th October 2023 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2023 11:36 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

After the Ukraine-Russia crisis, another tragedy is unfolding. An unprecedented terror attack has shook Israel again, and the Middle East is heading for another bloody war. Among Indians, only the greatest partisans, due to religious affinity or vote bank compulsion, will support Hamas, which is a terror organisation in the mould of ISIS or Taliban. In this particular incident, if taken in isolation, there can be no doubt that Israel is the victim. It is like the 9/11 attack on the US by the Taliban or the 26/11 Pakistani terror attack on India. The world needs to unite to crush terror organisations of all hues, and India’s official support to Israel in this incident is a welcome move.

In the din of immediacy,  however, we should not forget the history and root causes of the Palestinian problem. Who owns the slice of land in the Middle East? One of the most popularised histories is that Jews had to flee their homeland and had been nomads for the past 2,000-2,700 years. This is mainly a Jewish national myth. The kingdom of Israel was destroyed first around 720 BCE by the Neo Assyrian Empire. Later, Neo-Babylonians ruled, and in 587 BCE, they dissolved the Judean empire and excelled the elite among Jews. After a few decades, in 539 BCE, the Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great, allowed jews to come back and self-govern the area.

They also rebuilt the temple. During the next 300 years of Greek rule, the Jewish population remained in this area without much disturbance. The Roman occupation was more violent and in the series of Jewish-Roman wars during the sixth decade of the Common Era, the Second Temple was destroyed and a considerable population was killed or displaced. In the first half of the next century, another revolt against Roman rule resulted in Jewish defeat and expulsion of jews from Jerusalem. By this time, the jews had dwindled, but their dark ages started with the rise of Christianity under Constantine in the fourth century. Jews were discriminated against and oppressed by the Church and authorities.

By the late sixth century, the crusades had started and in 634, Rashidun Caliphate conquered the area, and till the end of Ottoman Empire in early 20th century, it was under Islamic rule. Many Jews had migrated to various parts of the world by this time, and except in pockets of Kerala and Gujarat, they faced discrimination wherever they went. The level of persecution the Jews faced, however, was worse in Christian kingdoms than the Islamic ones. By 1881, the Ottoman-ruled Palestine was welcoming Jews who fled the pogroms of Europe. In 1896, Theoder Herzi, the founding father of the modern political Zionism movement, proposed a Jewish home state in Palestine. By 1914, around 40,000 Jews had been given asylum there by Islamic rulers, and the native population who had mostly converted to Islam during the last 14 centuries, welcomed these people with more tolerance than the average European country. 

By 1917, the British empire had come up with a unique solution for the problems created by Europeans: export the issue to Asia. After conquering the Levant area in World War I, Britain and France divided it among themselves and decided to take the land of Palestinians and give it to Jews that the Christian Europe didn’t want. And the first major Arab-Jewish issue started from there. At this time, Jews accounted for 11 percent and the rest were Arabs. 

European Christianity went after Jews in their territories with a vengeance. They built concentration camps, gas chambers and other persecution methods. We associate this with Hitler, but he was just one among many modern rulers who went after the Jews. The Communist Russia wasn’t far behind. This led to another exodus of Jews to Israel. By the end of World War II, Europe had managed to throw out most of their Jews and they ended up in the Arab’s backyard. The Jewish population had swelled to 31 percent. Arabs rebelled and got 10 percent of the population culled by the British.

After dropping two atom bombs on Japan and looting Asia and Africa dry, exterminating the native population of America and Australia, and 300 years of slave trade, the West suddenly got enlightened and became a champion of human rights. They decided they should do justice to the Jews. How to do it? Force the Arabs out of their homeland and give it to the Jews they had thrown out. And, lo and behold, they have created a perpetual zone of conflict between the Arabs and Jews. Conflict zones are profit zones for the West. 

It has been more than 75 years since Israel came into existence. It cannot be wished away with, nor can one blindly support the Palestinian cause, which has now been hijacked by Islamic terrorists. Jews claim Israel based on their myth that it belongs to them. To put this in perspective for Indians, Mahabharata says Arjuna established Indraprastha after throwing out the Nagas. Imagine, Nagas coming back and claiming Delhi after 5,000 years based on this story and the superpowers of the West side with the Nagas. While condemning terror groups like Hamas, we should not forget that the common Palestinians, who gave asylum to Jews, have become refugees in their own land. Take the West out of the equation and perhaps Jews and Arabs may coexist like how they did for many hundred years.

Anand Neelakantan

Author of Asura, Ajaya series, Vanara and Bahubali trilogy


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