Free Palestine? No thanks! (The Israeli perspective you’ve probably never heard.)
This video is going to be interesting. Even if you have heard a thousand different reports about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I promise you that this will give you a new perspective. I will be talking about the settlements, the occupation, the two-state solution, Islam, Jerusalem, the solution, and a whole lot more.
Before I break down the Palestinian narrative, a small trigger warning: I like facts. If you don't like what I'm saying, then bring me facts that contradict what I'm saying. If I say that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran, or that the Jews said "yes" to the Partition Plan in 1947 and the Arabs said "no", or that there was no such thing as Palestinians in the 18th century— then feel free to prove me wrong. Send me a link to a letter from a pilgrim to the Land of Israel who says that he met a nice Palestinian. I'm asking you to challenge me.
If you just write me that I'm Zionist, or that I'm biased, or that I've received money from the Israeli government to make this video— those aren't actually arguments. And for your information, I am completely against the current government of Israel. The good thing about Israel is that unlike most of the Arab-Muslim countries, Israel is a democracy.
I'm not afraid of the government preventing me from expressing my thoughts. Israel is not Iran or Syria or Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Gaza. And I don't delete comments. Some people are 100% for Israel and some are 100% against it. I'm aiming for the middle ground. If I get dislikes and smart comments, then I know that this video has reached the right audience.
But you know, do give this video a like and subscribe. The last thing that I want to ask is this: Don't use bombastic language in your comments if you don't have the numbers to support it. "Ethnic cleansing" is a very powerful expression. If in 1948 there were around 700,000 Palestinians, and today there are 7 million in the Land of Israel, you can't really use this term.
However, if you want to use the words "ethnic cleansing", you can do so to describe what happened to the Jews in Arab countries. In Morocco in 1948, there were 265,000 Jews. Today, there are around 2000.
In Iraq, there were 135,000 Jews in 1948. Today, there are fewer than 10. Algeria used to be home to 140,000 Jews. Today, there are fewer than 50, and I can go on.
It is Muslim countries who perpetrated ethnic cleansing on the Jews. But this statement doesn't quite cover what has been happening. Muslims have been doing this to all minorities, not only to the Jews. If you zoom out, you will see that a hundred years ago there were many Christian communities and other small ethnic groups in the Middle East. They are all being wiped out by Muslims.
For some reason, the Western world, the Christian world, doesn't want to talk about it. As a Jew, I care about what is going on with Jews all over the world, and I find it very odd that Christians don't really care about Nazareth or Bethlehem, which are kind of important to the followers of Jesus, and used to be 80% Christians 50 years ago, and now are 80% Muslims. The same goes for Christians in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.
In Nigeria, Muslim organizations have murdered thousands of Christians. 2 million Christians have fled Iraq and become refugees in the last two decades. But no one seems to care about them, neither the media nor the universities. Everyone is obsessed with the Palestinian refugees. Did you know that the UN has two agencies for refugees? One for hundreds of millions of refugees all over the world, and another one called UNWRA, which is only for the most privileged refugees on earth— the Palestinians.
Don't just take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. So let's talk about the story the Palestinians like to tell and the media likes to repeat: "The Palestinians lived in Palestine for hundreds of years. They lived peacefully alongside a small Jewish minority, until the rise of Zionism: a colonialist movement which, under the umbrella of the European imperial powers, started kicking the Palestinians out of their land and homes, causing the current situation." And now for the facts. In the long history of the Land of Israel, there was never such a thing as a Palestinian people until the 20th century.
Millions of pilgrims have come to the Land of Israel over the last 3000 years. They've come across Jews, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Druze, Turks. They've never met a Palestinian. Now, you might say, regardless of whether they have existed as a nation all people should enjoy human rights and all people should have the right to identify themselves as they wish.
And I agree. You have the right to identify yourself however you like, but you don't have the right to reinvent history, and the history of the region is very clear. This is probably the most documented piece of land on the planet. There is a very good book, a very ancient and popular book about the connections of the Jews to Judea. It is called the Bible. Now, wait, wait, I know what you are thinking: "He's going to say that God gave this land to the Jews." And no. If you believe that
God gave this land to the Jews—great, and if not—also great. The undeniable point is that there is a strong connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel. There are thousands of books from the last 3000 years that write about Jews and the Land of Israel, and in archaeological digs we find Jewish coins, Jewish texts, and Jewish artifacts. There isn't a single book or piece of archaeological evidence that point to a Palestinian people. You don't like what I'm saying? Then prove me wrong. But it is much more than that.
The connection of Christians and Muslims to Jerusalem is based on the Jewish connection. Jesus was Jewish, and the connection of Muslims to Jerusalem is also based on the Jews. Let me explain. I will go even further and say that Jerusalem was never the capital of a Muslim empire. It was always Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad.
Jerusalem was mostly important to the Muslims when they were fighting against the Jews or the Christians. Under Muslim rule, Jerusalem was often a very neglected city. This makes sense, as Jerusalem, which is mentioned some 600 times in the Jewish Bible, isn't even mentioned once in the Quran. Chapter 17 of the Quran talks about the night journey of Muhammad.
He ascended from Al-Aqsa, which means "the most faraway mosque". How did it come to be associated with Jerusalem? In order to understand this, you need to go back to the Jews. The Jews had two temples on what is now known as Temple Mount.
The temples were located on the holiest site for the Jews, which is the top of Mount Moriah. The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and the second was destroyed by the Roman Empire. 60 years after the Romans destroyed the temple, the Jews rebuilt again, and the Romans changed the name of the region from "Judea" to "Palestina"— and this is how the name came to be.
It was intended to disconnect the Jews from the name Judea. 700 years after the destruction of the temple, the Muslims colonized the Land of Israel and said that Muhammad ascended to heaven from the place where the Jewish temples stood. Now at this point, you may well be saying "What? The Muslims believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven from the exact same spot that is the holiest site for the Jews? And this is not written in the Quran?" Yes. And if you find it strange, that's because you don't know Jerusalem.
Nothing makes a place more holy than competition with another religion. The Muslims took the place which was the holiest for the Jews, 1500 years prior to the existence of Islam, and made it their third holiest place. Don't believe me? Here is a pamphlet of the Waqf, the Muslim authorities, that say that this is the location of the Temple of King Solomon. Although what I'm saying here is very basic history, there is a good chance you don't know about it. And I don't blame you. You hear so much about the conflict,
but the media tends to forget the basics. Jerusalem was always the center of Jewish life. Muslims turn their back on Jerusalem when they pray towards Mecca, and Jews pray towards Jerusalem. When Jews get married, part of the ceremony is to say that we will never forget Jerusalem. Jews have almost always lived in Jerusalem, even under the harshest conditions. Since the 13th century, the Muslims haven't allowed the Jews to pray at their holiest site, the Temple Mount, and the Jews have had to pay extra taxes and suffer harassment.
They have even had to pay the Muslims a fee to pray at the Western Wall, the closest to the Temple Mount they were allowed to pray. The Islamization of Jewish sites hasn't only happened in Jerusalem. In Hebron, one of four cities that are holy to the Jews, there is the Cave of the Patriarchs, which, according to tradition, is the place where Abraham was buried. To humiliate the Jews, Muslims didn't allow them to enter the building, and Jews were only allowed to walk up to the seventh step. Only in 1967, when Israelis liberated Hebron, were Jews allowed, for the first time in 700 years, to enter the second holiest place for Jews. Why do I say "liberated" Hebron and not "conquered"? I will get to that in a minute.
And now we get to the interesting part: The 19th century and Zionism. Jews have always migrated, or, as we say in Hebrew, "gone up" to the Land of Israel. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews came from all over the Jewish world: From Europe, from North Africa, from Yemen—in small numbers, due to the harsh conditions— but there was always a steady movement of Jews coming to Israel. The first Zionist Congress was held in 1897, but 50 years beforehand, in the 1850s, there were more Jews than Muslims in Jerusalem. In the rest of the land, yes, there were more Muslims, but it is important to know that even before the start of the Zionist movement, there were dozens of Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel.
In the last decades of the Ottoman Empire, as in all empires, there were lots of different groups. Some groups got bigger with time, some smaller. Some bought land, some sold land.
Many European powers bought land for institutions, and some groups, mostly Germans and Americans, settled in the Land of Israel to speed up the second coming of Jesus. Many different groups. None of the groups used the word "Palestinian" to describe themselves. The First Zionist Congress took place in 1897. The Zionist movement was a national movement, not a colonialist or an imperialist movement, but a national one, one of many. This was the age of the fall of empires— the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire— and of the rise of national movements. And the Zionist movement was the national movement of the Jews. It is as simple as that.
In the first half of the 20th century, millions of people moved from one place to another to create nation states. What's special about the Jews is that they never stole or used violence to take any land in the Land of Israel. I'm always getting comments from Muslims and pro-Palestinians about Jews stealing the land from the local Arabs. Here is a challenge for you: Give me the name of one village that the Jews stole from the Arabs— from the seventh century, when the Arab Caliphate colonized the Land of Israel—until 1947, when the Arabs started a war to wipe out the Jews. From the year 636 till 1947,
not a single square foot was stolen by the Jews. Again, if you don't like what I'm saying, then prove me wrong. Give me the names of villages that Jews stole prior to the War of Independence.
On the other hand, I can give you lots of names of Jewish villages that Arabs— or Palestinians, if you will— destroyed before 1948. Take Hebron, for example. Jews lived in Hebron for hundreds of years. In 1929, the Arabs—not 1 or 10, but whole gangs of Arabs— murdered 70 Jews, and the ancient Jewish settlement had to be abandoned until it was brought back into Jewish hands in 1967.
You want more names of Jewish villages that were abandoned because of Arab violence? Here are some more. Many were rebuilt after a few years. The Arabs used violence against Jewish civilians in the Land of Israel many years before the occupation, and many years before the Land of Israel was established. And by the way, they didn't only use violence against the Jews, Christians suffered as well.
Remember the German and American settlements I told you about? They suffered as well. The family of John Steinbeck, the American novelist, had a farm outside Jaffa. Or at least they had it until Arabs broke in and murdered Steinbeck's great uncle and sexually assaulted his wife and his daughter.
Here is an interesting anecdote: Two other great American novelists, Mark Twain and Herman Melville, visited the Land of Israel, and like hundreds of other pilgrims, they wrote about how neglected the land was, and many wrote about how violent the local Arabs were. From 1917 until 1948, the British and the French were in control of the Middle East. The Jews blamed the British for being pro-Arab, and the Arabs blamed the British for being pro-Jewish. I will tell it as it was: the British were pro-British. They had two main interests in the region: to have oil flowing from Iraq to the port of Haifa, and to ensure the Suez Canal remained open.
And because both of these interests lay in the hands of the Arabs, they were pro-Arab. Today it is very fashionable to be against colonial powers, and of course they did do a lot of damage. But I find it absurd that pro-Palestinians are anti-colonial, as it was the Roman Empire that gave the name "Palestine" to the area, and the British Empire that gave it its borders. When the British and the French drew lines on maps, they invented two nations that never existed before: the Palestinians and the Jordanians.
Another fact that is often overlooked is that pro-Palestinians are always talking about Jewish immigrants coming from Europe. No one talks about the Arabs who came to the Land of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs from Egypt, Syria and other places entered the Land of Israel in the 1930s and 40s to work for the British, and are now seen as native Palestinians. It is hard to estimate the number of Arabs who entered the Land of Israel between 1917 to 1947 to work for the British, as the borders were open, but the number is in the hundreds of thousands.
Probably about half of the population of Gaza came to the Land of Israel during the British Mandate time. Their last names usually hint towards the actual origin of the family. I find it absurd that people like my great grandmother, who came to Israel from Eastern Europe in the 1920s after dreaming about the Jewish homeland for generations, are seen as white colonialists, while Egyptians who came to work for the British in 1945 are seen as native Palestinians. Now you might be saying, "Who cares where they came from and if they have been here for generations? They have the right to self-determination". And again, I agree. In 1947, the UN proposed a division of the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state.
The Jews said "yes", and the Arabs said "no", and then started a war in a bid to eliminate the Jews. The morning after the Partition Plan, Palestinians attacked a bus and murdered five Jews. This is how the war was started. They were offered a state, they said no, and started murdering Jewish civilians. Not a single Jew was spared in all of the places that fell into local Palestinian hands. Luckily for us, after 15 months of fighting the local Arabs and the five Arab armies that invaded Israel, we won.
And yes, during the War of Independence, many Arab villages were destroyed and about 700,000 people were displaced. That's what happens when you try to wipe out your neighbors. You might well lose and have to pay the price. At the same time, 800,000 Jews were brutally expelled from Muslim countries. For some reason, no one cares about them or wants to tell their story. Millions of articles and papers have been written about the Palestinians who had to evacuate their homes because of a war they started. Yet very little has been written
about the Jews living in Muslim countries who were subjected to pogroms and had to flee, even though they were innocent. Please tell me why you care so deeply about the Palestinian refugees, and yet you couldn't care less about all the millions of other refugees who had to flee at the same time: 14 million Germans, about the same number of Hindus and Muslims, Ukrainians, Armenians, Poles, people from the Balkans... and I could go on and on.
The Palestinian refugees are the most privileged refugees in the world. Some say that the Partition Plan wasn't fair, as the Jews made up one third of the population, but got two thirds of the land. To that I will say this: The Arabs actually also got what is now known as Jordan. So in fact, the Jews got a much smaller part.
And I should also add that the Arabs got all the good land and the Jews got the swampland and the desert land. And now I'm going to state a fact that is definitely going to annoy all the haters of Israel: The Jews took the swampland and the desert land and made the impossible possible. We turned the land into gold. Israel is a pioneer in irrigation systems and desalination systems. Israel invented vegetables and fruits that can grow in salt water and yet taste sweet. As for the Arabs, the large part of their land is now polluted and contaminated.
After 1948, the Palestinians had years to establish a free Palestinian state as they were under Egyptian and Jordanian rule. Yet they didn't do that. In 1964, the Palestinians established the PLO, or the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now, this is interesting. 1964 is three years before the Six-Day War, so before Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and before a single settlement was built, they were already calling for the destruction of Israel. When the Arabs say "free Palestine", they don't mean "we want an independent Palestinian state next to Israel."
What they want is a Palestinian state that replaces Israel. The Palestinians kept rejecting all offers made to them from 1947 till 2008, when Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, offered the Palestinian all the West Bank and East Jerusalem as their capital. They said "no" to every offer that was made to them, invested all the money they received from the world in terror, and then cried that they were the victims. The Palestinians do have a harder life than we Israelis, but they only have themselves to blame.
So what is the solution? When will there be peace? Not in the near future, because this conflict is not about the land. I've already told you that even before the Six-Day War, and even before 1948, the Palestinians were trying to wipe out the Jews. Here is another example. Take Gaza. In 2005, Israelis withdrew from the Gaza Strip. Gaza is an Israeli/Jew-free area. The Palestinians get more money than any other group on the planet.
From the US, from the European Union, from Arab countries, from the UN. And what do they do with this money? Infrastructure? Education? No. They build tunnels and buy weapons to kill Jews. Why do they do that? The Hamas constitution makes it very clear. The first sentence is "Israel will exist until Islam wipes it out." It doesn't say "we want peace." It doesn't say "we want a Palestinian state."
It clearly says "until Islam wipes it out". They want a Muslim Caliphate. I respect Hamas for one thing only: For actually expressing and being clear about what they want, which is to eliminate Israel.
Personally, I want the Palestinians to have a democratic state with human rights and freedoms, and I wish for all Arabs and Muslims to have the same. But what I want is not necessarily what they want. To solve the problem, you need to understand the problem. And the problem is made up of two things: One, which Westerners don't understand anymore—religion, and one which Westerners don't want to talk about—values. Religion plays no role at all in European politics.
In the US, politicians do say "God Bless America", and the debate surrounding abortion is partly religious. But when it comes to foreign policies, you don't hear American generals talk about spreading the Word of Jesus. In the Muslim world, it is very different. When Arabs kill Jews at a music festival, or Christians in a school in Nigeria, or one another in Syria, Yemen, Libya. What is it they shout? "Allahu Akbar!" "God Is Great!" "Jihad" is a religious war against the infidels. To many Europeans, the words "infidels" and "heresy" probably remind them of dark days that played out hundreds of years ago, when Catholics and Protestants were killing each other.
Sadly, this is still the situation in some parts of the Muslim world. Just think about the organizations you hear about in the Muslim world: Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban. These aren't national organizations. They are all religious organizations. Now let's talk about the bigger issue: Values. Lots of people run from this as if they were running from fire, because the biggest concern is potentially being called a racist.
I want to be 100% clear here, although I know that some will do their best to misunderstand me. If I say that men are more violent than women, does it mean I hate all men? No. Does it mean that I think all men are violent? No. Does it mean that there are no violent women? No. But if in almost all countries, more than 90% of those in jails are men, then you can say that men are more violent than women.
I believe you can criticize anyone for anything. You can criticize me as a Jew, as an Israeli, as a man, as a tour guide. You can criticize me for things I can't change, like my identity, and for the things I chose, like my profession, the music I like, the fact that I'm a father. My identity is comprised of thousands of different aspects, and you can criticize any one of them. And I can agree or disagree.
I can say, "True, Israelis aren't very polite, and they don't know how to form a queue, but I'm different". And I can also accept the criticism. If you are not a narcissist, you know that you're not perfect. I don't subscribe to the narrative that you are only allowed to say good things about other groups and criticize your own. I actually want to be criticized.
I want to be made to think, to be made to improve my ways. The #MeToo movement made me rethink the way I interact with women and made me more aware of the language I use. I criticize all groups: Americans, Germans, Britney Spears fans, ultra-Orthodox Jews, women, Gen Z and Muslims. I even criticize the most dangerous group of all: Israeli mothers. If a teacher writes that she is sick, there is no need for 30 "get well soon" messages. You don't show that you care
by writing a message, you are just spamming my WhatsApp. If there were peace in all of the Middle East, and only the Arab-Muslim Palestinians were resorting to violence, I would say, "Okay, maybe we are in the wrong." But if the Palestinians were using violence before 1967 and before 1948, and almost all of the Arab-Muslim countries are dictatorships with high levels of violence and low levels of human rights, then maybe there's really a problem here..? I'm also getting comments from Muslims blaming colonialism and the Americans for all the problems in the Muslim world.
And it is true that the creation of many countries and borders in Africa and Asia were determined by the interests of the European empires, and that the US thinks primarily about its own interests. But I'm always shocked to find that Muslims take no responsibility for their wrongdoing. The fact that most of the Muslim countries aren't democratic has nothing to do with the US. The fact that 17 of the 20 most dangerous countries for the LGBTQ community are Muslim has nothing to do with colonialism. The fact that almost all of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian are Muslim, has nothing to do with imperialism. The Muslim world is huge.
It has a lot of oil, and its failure has very little to do with colonialism. Look at the Jews: One-third of them were murdered by the Nazis, Israel has no oil, and it is surrounded by enemies. And yet we are successful. And it's not because of American money.
Most of that money has to be used to buy military equipment from American companies. And besides, the Palestinians get way more money. We are successful because we are open minded, think outside the box, invest in education and are not violent. This is true outside the Middle East, too. Look at Arab-Muslim communities in Europe.
If there were violent riots in Paris or Sweden, Rotterdam or London, would it be in the Jewish neighborhoods or the Arab neighborhoods? Peace will only come when the Arabs change their values, when Muslim countries become democratic, when all of the different groups in Syria stop killing one another, when Iranian women are free to cover or not cover their hair, when gay men are not thrown from rooftops in Gaza or thrown into jail by the PLO, when the Christian populations stop shrinking in the Middle East, and when the Israeli Arabs stop killing one another— then, and only then, will there be true peace. Please like and share this video with any friend who needs to see this. I have much more to say about this topic, so please write a comment. If you find it interesting, please consider supporting my work. All the details are below.