My Newsvine friend, DScott Anthony, wrote an article asking, "Should Israel be forced to move?". Here is my rebuttal article:
The idea for the Jewish State of Israel in it's current form began at the end of the 19th century with Herzl. The trend of Jewish migration began around the turn of the century. European Jews purchased undeveloped land (yes, purchased) in what is now Israel, and developed the land into a habitable environment. Not a nation, but a developing territory. Then came Balfour in the 20's and Peel in the 30's. Israel was to be the ENTIRE territory that comprises Jordan, Israel, Gaza, all of the current PA territory, and parts of Lebanon and Egypt. Upon further review, and rioting by the Arabs, Israel's homeland was sliced to 23% of the original territory. Most people forget, but this is the first instance of Jews ceding "land for peace". From the time of the first pioneers, the threat from local populations was very real. Thousands of Jewish settlers were victims of Arab violence during this time. From Balfour to November, 1947, the territory shrank a bit more, but the U.N. finally paved the way for Israel's statehood. At the same time, the U.N. granted the rest of the land to the Palestinians. Let's read that back, shall we? The U.N. gave the Palestinians a state at the SAME TIME they gave it to Israel. So what happened? Why no Palestinian state in 1948? Because the Arab League rejected it, and declared war against the fledgling state. They wanted to eliminate Israel the day after they declared statehood. They had no interest in sharing the territory. This still is a fact.
Now, a word about "right of return". When the Arab nations declared this war, they told their Arab brothers to leave Israel. They explained that this liquidation of the Jewish state would be done in no time, and they could return within a couple of weeks. As history indicates, their endeavor failed. They lost the war, and some territory. At the same time, Jews were being expelled from the Arab countries of the Middle East. All told, nearly a million Jews were chased from their homes, uprooted from their businesses, and left destitute. The good news is that they had a place to go - Israel. To summarize, we have Arabs telling Arabs to leave Israel, and we have Jews being expelled from Arab countries, going to Israel. Seems like a fair trade, no? The Jews of Israel welcomed these new citizens with open arms. They gave them full citizenship, and to this day, they and their descendants make up a material percentage of Israel's population. The Arabs who fled were not as lucky. Did their Arab brothers welcome them with open arms? No. They herded them into refugee camps, limiting their mobility, their rights and their future. There are still camps in Lebanon and Gaza today. Why did they do this? Why do Arabs treat other Arabs like garbage? I can't answer that. What I do know is that this issue is what perpetuates the conflict between Israel and the surrounding nations. If Arabs didn't treat other Arabs like this, there would be no conflict. So I ask you:
Shouldn't the Arab nations welcome these people to their countries? There is so much room everywhere in the Arab world for them. They are clinging to a sliver of land that really has no meaning for them. They could get on with their lives, and have a better chance than by being ruled by Hamas or Fatah. If the U.N. gave each of the people of this area a sum of money, and relocated them to another Arab country, they could start a new, better life. Israel would have more territory for natural growth, and there would no longer be a feud over a tiny piece of land.