Why should the Jews be allowed to take the land and homes of the people of “Palestine”?



This question is both insincere and premised on an antisemitic falsehood. One that I am sick to death of hearing. 

What you describe is not even remotely close to what happened.

In the 1800s, Ashkenazi Jews began returning en masse to Israel – their native land – after centuries of forced exile in Europe. These returnees were driven not by any kind of religious or messianic zeal – they were mostly atheists, after all – but by a shared dream. A dream we’ve had since our exile began.

The dream of returning home, of liberating our land, of restoring and revitalizing our vibrant civilization, and regaining full control of our destiny.

When Europe emancipated Jews from its ghettos, they promised us full civic rights and equality. But as we quickly learned (and as minorities throughout the world know all too well), legal equality is no guarantee of anything in a racist society.

Enter Theodor Herzl. For most of his life, he was a staunch assimilationist. He rebelled against his Jewish roots, even going as far as to join the Teutonic Society. He believed, as many of his contemporaries did, that antisemitism was on the way out, destined to be swept away in the European march of progress.

But these hopes were irreparably dashed by the Dreyfus Affair. Working as the Paris correspondent for the Viennese Neue Frei Presse, Herzl bore first-hand witness as “enlightened”, “tolerant”, “progressive” France erupted in a racist schizophrenic mass hysteria against Jews. Alfred Dreyfus, a military officer of Jewish descent, was charged with treason and sentenced to life imprisonment. The French actively went out of its way to suppress evidence exonerating Dreyfus while ravenous mobs rioted and terrorized the Jewish community.

Herzl realized, in that moment, that no amount of Western bloviation about tolerance, reason, and progress would cure Europe of its disease. Nor would any amount of assimilation, upward mobility, or national devotion on our part convince Europeans to accept us as full members of Western society.

He became convinced that our only hope was to abandon Europe, return to our native land, and re-establish our state. These ideas proved very popular with Jews in Eastern Europe – still impoverished, still caged up in bantustans, etc.

Israel was still under colonial occupation at this time, and the Ottomans had no interest in giving up a piece of their precious empire. They did, however, allow Jews to purchase land.

Great Britain encouraged the Arab population to revolt against the Ottomans and promised them a state of their own if they did. They also made the same promise to us, which we accepted.

The Ottoman Empire collapsed after their WWI, leaving a vacuum that was quickly filled by Britain. However, they had no intention of keeping any of the promises they made and opted to keep the territory under mandate with any final status decisions postponed.

The Balfour Declaration proposed a Jewish and an Arab state in Israel/Palestine. The Jews accepted the proposal, while the Arabs (who, like the Ottomans, had no intention of giving a single square inch of land back to the Jews) refused it.

Jews went on cultivating their land and pursuing independence while suffering periodic massacres, expulsions, and riots from the Arabs. After WWII, the UN voted to recognize Israel as a Jewish state alongside an adjacent Arab state of Palestine. Once again, Jews accepted the proposal, and the Arabs refused it.

The Jewish state was attacked almost immediately by 6 Arab armies with the intention of destroying it and driving all of the Jews out. The first refugees in this war were Jews and, upon the war’s conclusion, not a single Jew remained over the green line.

Israel survived the war and took several parts of the territories originally intended to be part of the Arab state, while Jews were banned/ethnically cleansed outright from the rest of it.

Jewish refugees were quickly resettled within green line Israel, while Arab refugees were denied re-entry (presumably for security reasons, and because most, if not all, had taken part in the violence against Jews) and wound up either in refugee camps or in other parts of the world.

I wish that intelligent people would learn to read actual history, rather than jump on false, band wagon, lies and half truths.