Well, how did you fare?
"We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another.
It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures."
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem - Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. Arabs have only had control of Israel twice - from 634 until the Crusader invasion in June 1099, and from 1292 until the year 1517 when they were dispelled by the Turks in their conquest.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. There are vague references to Jerusalem in the Hadiths - stories about Mohammed - that he stopped his night journey (which the Koran explains took place in a dream!) at the "farther mosque" (or "distant place"). Muslims explain that this means "at the edge of the Temple mount", although no direct reference to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount is made.
7. King David established the city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Some Muslims (i.e. those between Israel and Saudi Arabia) pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees - In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict - The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs - Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
For those of us who believe that the "Israeli Occupation" has been bad for the Palestinian people, these facts may change your perception. The "occupation" seems to have brought nothing but good to the Palestinians - we can only imagine how much worse they would be if Israel hadn't helped them!
1. During 20 years of Arab rule Palestinian male life expectancy grew from 42 to 44. During the next 20 years of Israeli rule Palestinian male life expectancy grew from 44 to 63.
2. During 20 years of Arab rule Palestinian female life expectancy grew from 45 to 46. During the next 20 years of Israeli rule Palestinian female life expectancy grew from 46 to 67.
3. During 20 years of Arab rule Palestinian infant mortality rate decreased from 200 per thousand to 170 per thousand. During the next 20 years of Israeli rule Palestinian infant mortality rate decreased from 170 per thousand to 60 per thousand.
4. During 20 years of Arab rule Palestinian crude death rate decreased from 21 per thousand to 19 per thousand. During next 20 years of Israeli rule Palestinian infant mortality rate decreased from 19 per thousand to 6 per thousand.
5. Before 1967, when Israel's rule began, only 113 hospitals had been built in the territories. By the time of 1989 Israel had helped establish more than three times that number to 387.
6. Before 1967 only 23 Mother & Child Centers had been established. After 1989 about six times as many could be found. (135)
7. Malaria, which had existed in the territories before 1967 was finally eliminated during the Israeli rule.
8. Israel also more than tripled the number of Palestinian teachers and boosted the Palestinian educational system by establishing a number of universities.
Among those universities were the College of Scientists (Abu Dis) - est. 1982, the College of Social Welfare (El Bira) - est. 1979, the College of Religion (Beit Hanina) - est. 1978 and the Islamic College in Hebron- est.1971.
9. This was not the only effect Israeli rule had on the Palestinian education system and the Palestinian people.
Before 1967 the percentage of illiterates on average had been 27.8% among men and among women even higher at 65.1%. By 1983 Israel had helped reduce illiteracy to only 13.5% among men and 38.9% among women.
The Truth About the Mideast
Fourteen fundamental facts about Israel and Palestine
By David G. Littman
October 7, 2002
It's time to look back on 14 fundamental geographical, historical, and diplomatic facts from the last century relating to the Middle East. These basic facts and figures were stressed in recent statements to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and its subcommission, to the surprise of representatives of both states and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
1) After World War I Great Britain accepted the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, and then — with League of Nations approval — used its article 25 to create two distinct entities within the Mandate-designated area.
2) The territory lying between the Jordan River and the eastern desert boundary "of that part of Palestine which was known as Trans-Jordan" (nearly 78 percent) thus became the Emirate of Transjordan.
This new entity was put under the rule of Emir Abdullah, the eldest son of the Sharif of Mecca, as a recompense for his support in the war against the Turks, and of Ibn Saud's seizure of Arabia (Faisal, Abdullah's brother, later received the even vaster Mandate area of Iraq).
3) Turning a blind eye to article 15, Great Britain also decided that no Jews could reside or buy land in the newly created Emirate. This policy was ratified — after the emirate became a kingdom — by Jordan's law no. 6, sect. 3, on April 3, 1954, and reactivated in law no. 7, sect. 2, on April 1, 1963. It states that any person may become a citizen of Jordan unless he is a Jew. King Hussein made peace with Israel in 1994, but the Judenrein legislation remains valid today.
4) The remaining area west of the Jordan River (comprising about 22 percent of the original Mandate) was then officially designated "Palestine" by Great Britain. As stated in the 1937 Royal Commission Report, "the primary purpose of the Mandate, as expressed in its preamble and its articles, is to promote the establishment of the Jewish National Home." This was now greatly restricted.
5) U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (November 29, 1947) authorized a Partition Plan in this area: for an Arab and a Jewish state — and for a corpus separatum for Jerusalem. The plan was rejected by both the Arab League and the Arab-Palestinian leadership. Aided and abetted by the neighboring Arab countries, local armed Arab Palestinian forces immediately began attacking Jews, who counterattacked. On May 15, 1948, the armies of five Arab League states joined these militias in the invasion of Israel, but their armies failed in their goal of eradicating the fledgling state.
6) The armistice boundaries (1949-1967) left Israel with roughly 16.5 percent, or 8,000 sq. miles, of the original 1922 Mandate area (about 48,000 sq. miles), while about five percent — less Gaza, which was occupied by the Egyptians — was conquered and occupied in 1948 by British General Glubb Pasha, the commander of Abdullah's Arab Legion. The historic regions of "Judea and Samaria" — their official names as indicated on all British mandate maps until 1948 — were annexed and became the "West Bank" of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950. All the Jews were expelled from the area and from the Old City of Jerusalem; their synagogues, and even tombstones on the Mount of Olives, were destroyed.
7) Until King Hussein attacked Israel on June 6, 1967, Jordan's recognized de facto boundaries covered 83 percent of Palestine (78 percent east of the Jordan river, and five percent to the west). Following its military defeat in the Six Day War, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan lost the "West Bank," which it had illegally annexed 19 years earlier, retaining the huge "Transjordan" portion (78 percent) of the original League of Nations territory.
8) Of Jordan's current population of five million, about two-thirds (over three million) consider themselves "Arab Palestinians." They are the descendants either of the original Arab Palestinian inhabitants of the Trans-Jordan region, or of roughly 550,000 Arab refugees from west Palestine who lost their homes after the Arab League armies failed to eradicate Israel first in 1948, and again in 1967. Nearly two million Jordanian Bedouin citizens and others do not identify themselves as Palestinians.
9) After the 1967 disaster, an Arab League Summit Conference held in Khartoum that November reacted negatively to U.N. Security Council Resolution 247: "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no concessions on the questions of Palestinian national rights." This was also the determined position of the PLO. Apart from Egypt's 1981 peace treaty with Israel, there was little change, for the next two decades, in this refusal to negotiate according to U.N. Resolution 242.
10) In those "West Bank and Gaza" areas, designated by the Oslo Accords of 1994 to be placed under the administration of the Palestinian Authority (covering about 5.5 percent of the "Greater Palestine" area on both sides of the Jordan), there is now a population of over 3,200,000, of whom about 35,000 are Christians, but none are Jews.
11) The population of the Jewish state — a state envisaged in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, and confirmed by the U.N.'s 1947 decision — is now roughly 6,500,000, of whom roughly 20 percent are Arabs (120,000 Christians), Druze, and Bedouin citizens of Israel. Of the more than five million Jewish citizens, about one-half are those Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and their descendants, who fled or left their ancient homeland when massacres, arrests, and ostracism made life impossible (a further 300,000 emigrated to Europe and the Americas, where they number over a million).
12) Today, a tiny, vulnerable Jewish remnant — scarcely 5,000 persons — remains in all the Arab world, less than half of one percent from the near million who were there in 1948 (this does not include the 50,000 in Turkey and Iran, left of about 200,000 in 1945). These are the forgotten Jewish refugees from Arab lands, from countries that will soon be totally judenrein just as Jordan has been since 1922.
13) The 22 Arab League countries cover a global surface of over six million square miles, over ten percent of the land surface on earth. Israel, by contrast, covers barely 8,000 sq. miles.
14) Security Council Resolution 242 has now become the panacea for Arab states, yet their interpretation of its key operative paragraph does not correspond to the English original, which version alone is binding. In March 2002, a Saudi "peace plan" was approved by the Arab League in Beirut, but behind it lurks the former 1981 "Fahd Plan" — with a facelift — that would leave Israel with impossible borders. After the Iraqi menace has been resolved one way or another, what is needed for the "Middle East peace process" is a concerted effort to support the Mitchell plan, which could one day lead to true peace and reconciliation for the whole region. But the Palestinian Authority will only become a genuine partner with Israel, alongside Jordan and Egypt, if there is a radical break with the past, and a new spirit of mutual acceptance prevails between the Arab world and Israel — with individual and collective security and dignity for all. This will only be feasible if democratic institutions and a respect for human rights and the rule of law become the norm, as they now are not. And it will only be feasible if the Arab world recognizes the inalienable legitimacy of Israel's existence in a part of its historical land.
— David G. Littman is a historian. Since 1986, he has been active on human-rights issues at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. His recent statements on this subject were made as a representative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, a nongovernmental organization.
"But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks--no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.James Madison - 4th U.S. President
|1.||America Is Good.|
|2.||I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.|
|God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.|
|3.||I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.|
|Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington|
|4.||The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.|
|Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is know. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson|
|5.||If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.|
|Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson|
|6.||I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.|
|Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson|
|7.||I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.|
|Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington|
|8.||It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.|
|On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington|
|9.||The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.|
|Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson |