Unbalanced American Statements about the Israel-Gaza War

Unbalanced American Statements about the Israel-Gaza War October 18, 2023

U.S. President Biden went to Israel and met yesterday with its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amidst this Israel-Gaza War that erupted on October 7th when Palestinian militants from Hamas that governs the Palestinian Gaza Strip broke through the boundary fence barrier that separates Gaza from Israel and killed an estimated 1,300 Jews within about 24 hours and took about 200 Jewish hostages back to Gaza. It was the largest number of Jews that have been killed in one day since the Holocaust of WWII.

Netanyahu then declared war on Hamas. For the past seventeen years, Israel has controlled the Gaza Strip as a fenced off enclave. It is a rectangular-shaped piece of land that borders on the Mediterranean Sea. The prime minister called forth hundreds of thousands of mostly reservist troops near the Gaza border. They now are awaiting orders to conduct a massive ground assault of Gaza for the purpose of destroying the Hamas leadership so that it can never rule the Gaza Strip again. But there is a huge problem with that, which is that Israel will try to avoid as many killings of civilians as it can. Already, Israel has reportedly killed about 2,500 Gaza civilians due mostly to its bombardment of the strip with rocket fire. And then there is the problem of the hostages, which the U.S. and others are trying to get freed.

Hamas is an Islamic organization derived from the Muslim Brotherhood that has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2006. The previous year, in 2005, Israel unilaterally extinguished its eight Jewish settlements there, pulled its troops out, and gave the entire Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Why? The Gaza Strip had always been a problem for Israel to control ever since it took possession of it, which the UN deems “occupied territory,” in the Six-Day War of 1967.

The next year, in 2006, Hamas won a legitimate election and has been ruling this very densely populated Gaza Strip ever since. However, no election has ever been held there since. And no polls have been conducted. Gaza Palestinians have always been cutoff from the world. It is suspected that a large portion of them do not favor Hamas rule. About 2.3 million Palestinians live there, with the average age being about 19 years old, and they suffer from nearly 50 percent unemployment.

Upon meeting with Netanyahu, U.S. President Biden made a statement of solidarity between the U.S. and Israel. Biden announced to the media, “I come to Israel with a single message–you’re not alone. You are not alone. As long as the United States stands, and we will stand forever, we will not let you ever be alone.” But Biden’s whole statement was not a balanced statement.

I appreciate President Biden taking such a bold stance as he has in an effort to protect U.S. democracy, including U.S. financial and military support of the war in Ukraine in which Russia invaded that country to take it over. But I don’t think President Biden sometimes makes wise statements. In his complete statement yesterday about supporting Israel, he never acknowledged the ongoing plight of the Palestinian people in their quest for statehood. That is what causes the Palestinian anger. That is what causes these Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, to arise and take over the politics.

The U.S. has been the power broker in the Middle East for many decades as well as Israel’s #1 ally and broker of the peace process concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yet that peace process has been dead since 2014, and I think that has been a mistake. It’s obvious why. That process went on for decades, yet everyone–including Israeli Jews and Palestinians–now acknowledge that the two sides are farther away from solving their conflict than they ever have been. And how have they been trying to solve this conflict?

There is only one way this conflict will ever be solved, and it is by the Palestinians getting their own state. A one state solution, with both Jews and Palestinians living there–NO WAY HOSEA–ain’t gonna happen. Just read up on the history, when the Brits had the Palestine Mandate for 25 years. They tried everything. Her majesty’s government defied her experts, who said this problem could only be solved with two separate states, by claiming there needs to be one state with both Jews and all the Palestinians living there. PIPE DREAM!!! Never happened and never will.

So, the only way this problem will be solved is with a so-called “two-state solution.” However, both Palestinians and the international community, thus the UN, has always had the wrong solution–a Palestinian state located in the two separate territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with an adjoining corridor. Folks, in my humble opinion (I hope), that is not the best solution nor will it work if it ever happens. It looked more plausible decades ago. But now, there are nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers living in the West Bank. Many of them are religiously Orthodox and therefore demand that the West Bank, which they refer to by the biblical names Samaria and Judea, belong to Jews because it is their ancestral land. I do not argue with that. What I argue with is that the nation of modern Israel does not exist in the Jews’ ancestral land. The entire coastal plain south of Tel Aviv to El Arish was “the land of the Philistines.” Ancient Israel rarely possessed any of that land. Actually, during the hundreds of years of the ancient rivalry between Israel and Philistia, Philistia possessed more of Israel’s land than Israel ever possessed of Philistia’s land. This is a discussion that has been sorely needed for decades in Israel. What discussion? A discussion concerning the question–“What is Eretz Yisrael, meaning “land of Israel.”

Right after the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel gained possession of four occupied territories that included the Gaza Strip, I write about this in my book Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia (p. 23), “When an Israeli leader asked U.S. President Johnson to recognize Israel’s acquisition of the occupied territories, he retorted, ‘You are asking me to recognize your borders? You have never defined the borders of Israel.’ Indeed, ‘the definition of what constituted the confines of Eretz Israel is one of the thorniest problems in Jewish literature.'” That last statement is a quote from Jewish author Yehuda Elizur’s book, Whose Homeland: Eretz Israel: Roots of the Jewish Claim, p. 42.

This is where the peace process should be resumed, with a discussion of what is Eretz Yisrael. Why? On May 15, 1948, Jewish leaders announced their Proclamation of Independence, similar to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and that’s what began the war that ended with Jews having their own state. That two-page document is the sole basis for the modern State of Israel since it does not have a constitution. It repeatedly claims the right of the Jewish people to “Eretz Yisrael,” which obviously defines as the Jews’ “ancestral land.” But there was no way that that war was going to end with Jews having their state only in their “ancestral land” since Arab Palestinians lived in what became the West Bank and Jews mostly had emigrated to the coastal plain since it was not such a good place to live and that’s why Arabs didn’t live there.

I believe the only way this problem is going to be solved is with two states, but the State of Palestine existing solely in the coastal plain as a very expanded Gaza Strip that will approximate “the land of the Philistines.”

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