|PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST:
Seven Reasons Why Israel Is Entitled To The Land
Senate Floor Statement by U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla), March 4, 2002
|I was interested the other day when I heard that the de facto ruler, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah, made a statement which was received by many in this country as if it were a statement of fact, as if it were something new, a concept for peace in the Middle East that no one had ever heard of before. I was kind of shocked that it was so well received by many people who had been down this road before.
I suggest to you that what Crown Prince Abdullah talked about a few days ago was not new at all. He tallked about the fact that under the Abdullah plan, Arabs would normalize relations with Israel in exchange for the Jewish state surrendering the territory it received after the 1967 Six-Day War as if that were something new. He went on to talk about other land that had been acquired and had been taken by Israel.
I remember so well on December 4 when we covered all of this and the fact that there isn't anyhing new about the prospect of giving up land that is rightfully Israel's land in order to have peace.
When it gets right down to it, the land doesn't make that much difference because Yasser Arafat and others don't recognize Israel's right to any of the land. They do not recognize Israel's right to exist.
I will discuss seven reasons, which I mentioned once before, why Israel is entitled to the land they have and that it should not be a part of the peace process.
If this is something that Israel wants to do, it is their business to do it. But anyone who has tried to put the pressure on Israel to do this is wrong.
We are going to be hit by skeptics who are going to say we will be attacked because of our support of Israel, and if we get out of the Middle East - that is us - all the problems will go away. That is just not true. If we withdraw, all of these problems will again come to our door.
I have some observations to make about that. But I would like to reemphasize once again the seven reasons that Israel has the right to their land.
The first reason is that Israel has the right to the land because of all the archeological evidence.
That is reason, No. 1. All the archeological evidence supports it.
Every time there is a dig in Israel, it does nothing but support the fact that Israelis have had a presence there for 3,000 years. They have been there for a long time. The coins, the cities, the pottery, the culture -- there are other people, groups that are there, but there is no mistaking the fact that Israelis have been present in that land for 3000 years.
It predates any claims that other peoples in the regions may have. The ancient Philistines are extinct. Many other ancient peoples are extinct. They do not have the unbroken line to this date that the Israelis have.
Even the Egyptians of today are not racial Egyptians of 2000, 3000 years ago. They are primarily an Arab people. The land is called Egypt, but they are not the same racial and ethnic stock as the old Egyptians of the ancient world. The first Israelis are in fact descended from the original Israelites. The first proof, then is the archeology.
The second proof of Israel's right to the land is the historic right.
History supports it totally and completely. We know there has been an Israel up until the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans conquered the land. Israel had no homeland, although Jews were allowed to live there. They were driven from the land in two dispersions: One was in 70 A.D. and the other was in 135 A.D. But there was always a Jewish presence in the land.
The Turks, who took over about 700 years ago and ruled the land up until about WWI, had control. Then the land was conquered by the British. The Turks entered WWI on the side of Germany. The British knew they had to do something to punish Turkey, and also to break up that empire that was going to be a part of the whole effort of Germany in WWI. So the British sent troops against the Turks in the Holy Land.
One of the generals who was leading the British armies was a man named Allenby. Allenby was a Bible-believing Christian. He carried a Bible with him everywhere he went and he knew the significance of Jerusalem.
The night before the attack against Jerusalem to drive out the Turks, Allenby prayed that G-d would allow him to capture the city without doing damage to the holy places.
That day, Allenby sent WWI biplanes over the city of Jerusalem to do a reconnassance mission. You have to understand that the Turks had at that time never seen an airplane. So there they were, flying around. They looked in the sky and saw these facinating inventions and did not know what they were, and they were terrified by them. Then they were told they were going to be opposed by a man named Allenby the next day, which means; in their language, "man sent from G-D" or prophet from G-D." They dared not fight against a prophet from G-D, so the next morning, when Allenby went to take Jerusalem, he went in and captured it with-out firing a single shot.
The British Government was grateful to the Jewish people around the world., particularly to one Jewish chemist who helped them manufacture niter. Niter is an ingredient that was used in nitroglycerin which was sent over from the New World. But they did not have a way of getting it to England. The German U-boats were shooting on the boats, so most of the niter they were trying to import to make nitroglycerin was at the bottom of the ocean. But a man named Weitzman, a Jewish chemist, discovered a way to make it from materials that existed in England. As a result, they were able to continue that supply.
The British at that time said they were going to give the Jewish people a homeland. That is all a part of history. It is all written
down in history. They were gratified that the Jewish people, the bankers, came through and helped finance the war.
The homeland that Britain said it would set aside consisted of all of what is now Israel and all of what was then the nation of Jordan -- the whole thing. That was what Britain promised to give the Jews in 1917.
In the beginning, there was some Arab support for this action. There was not a huge Arab population in the land at that time, and there is a reason for that. The land was not able to sustain a large population of people. It just did not have the development
it needed to handle those people, and the land was not really wanted by anybody. Nobody really wanted this land. It was consider-ed to be worthless land.