Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our memory is longer - Dror Eydar

by Dror Eydar

The Zionist aliyah waves increased the demand for farm workers, as did, of course, the British Mandate after World War I. Later, the Arabs went and told the world they'd always been here.

"Acknowledging past crimes" -- this is how MK Ayman Odeh (Joint Arab List) termed Israel's victory in the War of Independence. Has Odeh forgotten the Arab crimes against the Jewish yishuv in 1921, 1929, and through today? 

Participants in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University read out the names of the Arab villages destroyed in the war, such as Sheikh Munis, on whose ruins the university stands. Odeh claimed: "The Nakba was an attack on our people. There are places [in Israel] where there are already Jews, so we certainly don't need to right a wrong by harming others, but in most cases it's definitely possible to bring [the Palestinian refugees] back to the same place." 

And so it was that Odeh issued a crystal-clear call to bring Arab refugees back to Israel, a solution that even most of the Left thinks will annihilate the state. Most of the refugees came here in the 19th and 20th centuries seeking work, after the Egyptian conquest of 1831. Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ali, conquered the land, taking it out of Ottoman hands, and settled tens of thousands of fellahin [peasants] and Egyptian soldiers in it. 

The Zionist aliyah waves increased the demand for farm workers, as did, of course, the British Mandate after World War I. Later, the Arabs went and told the world they'd always been here. 

The historical irony is that a huge part of the Arab villages that were destroyed or still exist today used to be Jewish communities in the time of the Bible, the Second Temple, the Roman and Byzantine occupations. After the Arab occupation from the seventh to the 20th centuries, many of the Jewish residents were forced out or to convert to Islam. But the Jewish names remained in the names the Muslim occupiers gave these places. 

Shfaram, for example, was an Israelite city from the biblical period, and Jews lived there until 1920. In the time of the Mishneh, the Sanhedrin -- the supreme Jewish religious and political authority -- was located there. 

Sakhnin was the city Sakhne, part of David's kingdom, a flourishing Jewish city in the Second Temple period, and a center of spirituality in the time of the Mishneh and the Talmud, and there is plenty of proof. Therefore, maybe we should talk about the "Nakba," the Muslim conquest perpetrated against the Jewish population that survived the Romans and the Byzantines. 

Why were the villages destroyed? Because many of the Arabs left based on promises by Arab leaders that they should come back after the slaughter they hoped to execute against the Jewish. Other villages were demolished because they served as enemy strongholds. Just imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, the Arabs had won that war. "Slaughter" is an understatement for what was planned for the remaining Jewish refugees who had gathered in their ancestral land. 

And after all that, it's important to remember what the Arabs, with the assistance of the stupid and lost among us, are mourning. They are grieving their fathers' failure to wipe out the Jewish population after the U.N.'s partition proposal and after the founding of the state was declared. The Arabs of Israel and the reason still haven't looked at themselves as they should have after their defeat. They're busy clinging to revenge. Rest assured, Mr. Odeh, our historical memory is longer than yours.

Dror Eydar

Source: www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=16107

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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