Israel’s Land Rights: Truth In History

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Ezekiel 36:1-8
Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:” Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

Ezekiel 37:21-23
And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

You’ll see and hear a lot of propaganda out there about Israel. Don’t trust all that you hear. God gave Israel the land as an everlasting covenant and fulfilled that promise to return Israel to that land, which we read in Ezekiel 36. God has placed them there and Zechariah 12 explains what will happen to those who try to divide it and take it away from them. I think that means that according to the Creator, the land is Israel’s. There is also currently an attempt to wipe out archaeological evidence of Jewish history in Jerusalem. Jews alone have always laid claim to Jerusalem as their historic capital, dating back to the days of King David. This history predates the establishment of Christianity by 1,000 years - and Islam by 1,700 years - is rooted in the Hebrew Bible, where Jerusalem is referred to more than 650 times. That Bible is verified in the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to 100 BC and validating the current Bible that we have today.

From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters

This monumental and fascinating book, the product of seven years of original research, will forever change the terms of the debate about the conflicting claims of the Arabs and the Jews in the Middle East.

The weight of the comprehensive evidence found and brilliantly analyzed by historian and journalist Joan Peters answers many crucial questions, among them: Why are the Arab refugees from Israel seen in a different light from all the other, far more numerous peoples who were displaced after World War II? Why, indeed, are they seen differently from the Jewish refugees who were forced, in 1948 and after, to leave the Arab countries to find a haven in Israel? Who, in fact, are the Arabs who were living within the borders of present-day Israel, and where did they come from?

Joan Peters’s highly readable and moving development of the answers to these and related questions will appear startling, even to those on both sides of the argument who have considered themselves to be in command of the facts. On the basis of a definitive weight of hitherto unexamined population and other historical data, much of it buried in untouched archives, Peters demonstrates that Jews did not displace Arabs in Palestine-just the reverse: Arabs displaced Jews; that a hidden but major Arab migration and immigration took place into areas settled by Jews in pre-Israel Palestine; that a substantial number of the Arab refugees called Palestinians in reality had foreign roots; that for every Arab refugee who left Israel in 1948, there was a Jewish refugee who fled or was expelled from his Arab birthplace at the same time-today’s much discussed Sephardic majority in Israel is in fact composed mainly of these Arab-born Jewish refugees or their offspring; that Britain, the Mandatory power, winked at and even encouraged Arab immigration into Palestine between the two World Wars; that by disguising the Arab immigrants as “indigenous native Palestinian Arabs,” the British justified their restrictions on Jewish immigration and settlement, dooming masses of European Jews to destruction in the Nazi camps.

Joan Peters also unfolds a historical record to shatter the widely held belief that Arabs and Jews harmoniously coexisted for centuries in the Arab world-the fact is that the Jews, along with other non-Muslims, were second-class citizens, oppressed in the Muslim world for more than a millennium. And this continuing prejudicial tradition of hostility underlies, as well, every Arab action toward the state of Israel.

In addition to her pioneering archival researches, Joan Peters has frequently traveled in the Middle East, conducting numerous interviews and gathering the personal observations of the first-rate reporter she is. The result is a book that has already had a major impact on policy discussions of one of the most vital and intractable of the world’s problems, shrouded until now in a fog of misinformation and ignorance.

Dumped Temple Mount Rubble Yields Jewish Artifacts (April 14, 2005)

A historic excavation has been taking place in an eastern Jerusalem valley for the past six months: the first-ever archaeological examination of the Temple Mount. Arutz-7’s Ezra HaLevi has taken an exclusive inside look into one of the most important and unique archaeological explorations in history - currently in danger of going unfinished due to lack of funding.

In November 1999, the Islamic Wakf carried out an illegal construction project on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. The unsupervised digging caused irreparable damage to the important site, as well as to untold priceless artifacts contained in rubble removed during the construction and dumped clandestinely in the Kidron Valley. Though the archaeological remains were no longer in their original contexts, they held enormous potential to shed light on the undocumented human history of the Temple Mount, as systematic archaeological excavation or scientific study have never taken place there. The mounds of dirt in the Kidron Valley therefore contained the only available data from the Temple Mount to which modern archaeologists have ever had access.

During the illegal excavations and dumping on and from the Temple Mount, the police and the government Antiquities Authority refused to interfere, citing concerns of violence by Muslims who deny that Temples ever stood on the Temple Mount. Tzachi Zweig, then an archaeology student, called a press conference to publicize the extent of the archaeological havoc being perpetrated. Zweig caused a stir in the media by displaying an assortment of artifacts that he had easily scooped out of the piles.

The story elicited outrage across the political spectrum in Israel, and this was followed by temporary restrictions on the free access of heavy construction equipment on the Temple Mount. The dirt itself into which the Waqf had mixed garbage was meanwhile ignored, and the Antiquities Authority refused to fund an examination of the tons of rubble.

Prominent archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkai decided to undertake the task of sifting through the 70 truckloads of Temple Mount dirt in order to rescue as much archaeological information from the destruction as possible.

“What they did was an archaeological disaster,” Barkai told Israel National Radio’s Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher. “That material is the only material available from the Temple Mount.”

Private donations were gathered, and Zweig and Barkai proceeded to bring truckloads of earth to the Tzurim Valley National Park, located on the western slope of Mount Scopus, just below Hebrew University and the Maaleh Adumim tunnel.

The work was done quietly. “Anything in Jerusalem is politically charged,” Barkai said. “Anything connected with the Temple Mount is even more sensitive. If our activity would have been known at the beginning, our work might have been jeopardized by unfriendly elements.”

Using a mechanical sifter, the rubble was first separated into heaps consisting of material of differing sizes. The piles were then sifted by hand.

The work at the site was at first conducted primarily by volunteers who heard of the project by word of mouth and through Jerusalem-based email lists. Soon, groups from schools or other programs began pitching in for a few hours at a time. Eventually, Zweig began paying some of the more dedicated volunteers to work full-time, and since then, progress has increased significantly. “The very act of spending time and making the effort to examine debris just because it originates from the Temple Mount transmits a very powerful message to the general public and to the world as a whole about the importance of the place,” Dr. Barkai said, likening the painstaking examination of the Temple Mount rubble to the respect given to a dead corpse by burying it. He said the project is of particular importance due to the Islamic Waqf efforts to perpetrate something that he says is worse than Holocaust denial. “There is a phenomenon of Temple denial,” Barkai said. “I just heard [Arab] MK Dahamshe this week in the Knesset denying that there were ever temples on the Temple Mount. It is a part of the cultural Intifada. I think it is just as serious as Holocaust denial. This intifada started in Joseph’s tomb and is trying to deny Jewish rights to the country.”

The sifting and examinations have already yielded important artifacts from various periods, starting from the First Temple period until today. Among the discoveries so far:

  • During the first days of the project, a coin was recovered from the time of the Great Revolt against the Romans, preceding the destruction of the Second Temple. It bore the Hebrew phrase L’Herut Tzion, “For the Freedom of Zion.” The find was particularly meaningful, as the Temple Mount itself was one of the focal points of the Revolt.
  • A few days later, on the eve of Chanukah, workers discovered the “pinched style” spout of a Hasmonaean lamp.
  • Several weeks later, on the Tenth of Teveth - one of the fast days commemorating events that lead to the destruction of the First Temple - a crusader arrowhead was discovered. Though this was from a later period than the Temple’s destruction, arrowheads were subsequently recovered from earlier periods.
  • An unexpected find, due to the Waqf’s removal of almost all large artifacts, was a large segment of a marble pillar’s shaft - one meter tall and 60 cm in diameter, streaked with purple veins and white spots. There is another segment of a column shaft with a similar texture lying in a heap of various marble column shafts near the southern wall within the Temple Mount. Both fragments seem to be from the same pillar.
  • A large amount of pottery shards were discovered. Some 10-20 percent of it stems from the time of the First Temple period, and a small amount comes from the Second Temple period.
  • Animal bones - remnants of sacrifices.
  • A number of mosaic tiles and prehistoric flint implements.
  • An inscription chiseled on a jar fragment of the First Temple period, with the ancient Hebrew letters “Heh,” “Ayin” and “Kof.”
  • A seal impression from the Hellenistic period showing a five-pointed star with the ancient Hebrew letters spelling “Jerusalem” spaced between the points. About 30 such impressions have been found in Jerusalem on handles from the Hellenistic period (3rd century BCE). This was apparently a kind of official stamp from a period about which very little is known.
  • Numerous ceramic oil lamps were found. The most common among them are “Herodian lamps” from the time of the Second Temple. Another frequently found lamp is the “sandal” type, characteristic of the late Byzantine period (6-7th century CE). Many are decorated menorah patterns.
  • About 100 ancient coins, including several from the period of the Hasmonaean dynasty. One of the Hasmonean coins bears an inscription “Yehonatan High Priest, friend of the Jews.” On the other side is a cornucopia with a pomegranate in the center. Another coin is of Alexander Jannaeus. One side has the design of an anchor and the other side a star.
  • A fragment of a figurine from the First Temple period.
  • A Scytho-Iranian arrowhead, of the type used by the Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar that destroyed the First Temple in 586 BCE. Very few such arrowheads have been found in Jerusalem.
  • A bronze arrowhead from the Hellenistic period, possibly a remnant left by the Seleucid forces that were stationed in the Akra fortress, or by soldiers of Shimon the Maccabee, who liberated the Temple Mount.
  • An ivory comb, apparently from the Second Temple period. Similar combs have been found at Qumran, and it is probable that they were used as preparation for ritual purification in a mikveh (ritual bath), prior to entering the Temple courts.

“Our prime intent is to collect all man-made relics so that later we will be able to conduct a more intensive study based on quantitative analyses,” Barkai said. “By these studies we may learn more about the level of activity on the Temple Mount during the different periods, and the characteristics of each period. Another plan is to sort the bones, identify the various animal species, and date some of them by Carbon-14 analysis.”

Because such a sensitive excavation of material had never before taken place, and because the material had been purposely mixed with garbage and other matter, Zweig and Barkai had a difficult time estimating how much time the excavation would take. Despite six months of work, to date only 15% of the rubble has been examined.

“We had to develop the work methods ourselves as we progressed,” Zweig said. They now estimate that it will take four more months to finish sifting all of the material, but their initial grant of $65,000 has nearly run out. $61,000 more is needed to finish the project, something the two say could be accomplished by the end of the summer using the methods they now use.

1,400 Years of Christian/Islamic Struggle: An Analysis - By Richard C. Csaplar, Jr. This isn’t so much specifically about Israel/Muslim relations, but it shows the heritage of the Muslim faith. ‘I was very disappointed to see that U.S. News would publish a clearly false article, adopting the world’s clearly false, politically correct (PC) view of the place of the Crusades in history. What makes it even worse, the article hides its views under the additional headline falsehood, “The Truth About the Epic Clash Between Christianity and Islam.”’

Whose Land Really Is It?

Out-of-Zion Ministries - As the day of the Lord’s return draws closer we should expect to see an intensifying of the controversy over Israel, and more specifically Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This has indeed been the case since the outbreak of Palestinian initiated violence known as the Al Aksa Intifada. However, the root cause of the animosity goes much further back than the visit to the Temple Mount by the Israeli government minister, Ariel Sharon late September 2000.

The current situation was supposed to have been prevented by the Oslo Peace Treaty brokered between the Israelis and the Palestinians in 1993. For several years after the sides began to negotiate, the issue of Jerusalem was set aside, to be dealt with after the other issues had been resolved. For several years negotiations centered on the general conditions for a broad based Middle East peace treaty. For their part, the Israelis committed to, and carried out major withdrawals from much of the territory Israel had occupied since the Six Day War of 1967.

Even in light of the fact that Israel had abided by the Oslo Agreement, the radical Palestinian militia groups continued to attack innocent Israeli citizens. In 1995 and 1996, a series of terrorist bus bombings claimed the lives of dozens of innocent Israeli men, women and children. A period of relative quiet followed the bus bombings, however many here in Israel were pessimistic of the real motives of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Early in 2000 the Oslo negotiations began to focus on the one point that threatened to derail all that had been achieved thus far – Jerusalem. The relations between the two sides began to deteriorate as no compromise could be arrived at. Then in late September Ariel Sharon made his now infamous visit to the Temple Mount. Even though Sharon had asked for, and received, permission from the PA security chief, Arafat used this visit as a pretext to ignite the Al Aksa Intifada. Sharon received condemnation from around the world, but several in the PA leadership acknowledged that the uprising had been planned for some time before Sharon’s visit.

Months earlier, when Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon, the terror organizations Hizballah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad saw it as a victory. The suggestion was made by Hizballah that the Palestinians should try the same approach of continual violence, to gain a similar victory over the Israelis. Could this have been what inspired Arafat to call for and support the Al Aksa Intifada?

At the time of the completion of this book (May 2002) the Al Aksa Intifada is now in its 20th month. More than 2500 Palestinians have died, the majority of them in the course of attacking Israeli citizens and soldiers. During the same period, more than 450 Israelis have been killed, by far the majority being innocent men, woman and children who were murdered by misguided Palestinians who were under the impression that these despicable acts of terror will secure them a state with Jerusalem as its capital. These dreadful acts of terror climaxed in March 2002 with one of the lowest acts of terror ever perpetrated against the Jewish people. On the eve of the Passover festival, a demonically inspired Palestinian terrorist exploded himself in a restaurant in Netanya, taking the lives of 27 Jewish people who were guilty of nothing more than celebrating the liberation of their forefathers from the same demon inspired Pharaoh in Egypt 3500 years ago. The fact that they were celebrating the Passover in the very country that God promised to their ancestors, cost them their lives.

The Netanya Passover massacre, as it has come to be known, was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. The Israeli people and the government of PM Ariel Sharon had been pushed too far. The patience of the Israelis ran out. As we say in the Pesach Seder, “Dayenu!” (Enough!) During April and May 2002, the Israel Defense Forces were involved in a large scale military offensive code-named “Operation Defensive Shield” against the terrorist network of the world’s No 1 arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat. The Middle East and the whole world is on the verge of what could be the regional war that will reveal the man who will sign a seven year peace treaty and start the count-down to the second coming of the Messiah.

As New Covenant members of the household of the God of Israel, and having been called to be His fellow workers we must be sure that we know the truth concerning the situation in the Middle East. The secular media, radio, TV and newspapers lie under the control of the Devil. Satan is currently (and temporarily) the God of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the whole world lies under his influence. (1 John 5:19). He is the one who deceives the whole world. (Revelation 12:9)

The Biblical Perspective

Christians have no business turning to secular sources for the answer to the question Whose Land Is It? The Bible is the only legitimate authority on this matter. Follow me through the following verses and we will know for sure the answer to that question.

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Psalm 115:16
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Acts 17:26
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Psalm 105:6-11
O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:

If you look at an older Bible map and then at a newer map, you will see that the land once called Canaan, is exactly the same land now known as Israel. And you will also see that the above verses that constitute this eternal land deed there is no mention of Ishmael. The Arab / Jewish conflict which has continually been the cause of untold death and destruction, and now threatens to engulf the entire world, can never be resolved until the Arabs and the rest of the world come to the realization that the Creator of the universe has decreed that all of Israel and beyond (Genesis 15:18) legitimately belongs to the Jewish descendants of Abraham.

“Yes”, some may say, “but Israel broke the covenant.” No she didn’t. If we look at the story as it unfolds in Genesis 15:17 the Lord put Abraham to sleep. The procedure in cutting a covenant was that the two parties would walk backwards and forwards in the body parts and the blood, speaking out their covenant promises. When God made the Abrahamic covenant, Abraham was asleep, God promised Abraham the land, but Abraham promised nothing. The Jews have no covenant promise to break!

Israel or Palestine - 20 Interesting Facts

Here is a list of some conveniently overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation.

  1. Nationhood and Jerusalem Israel became a nation in 1312 BC, 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 BC the Jews have had dominion over the land for 1000 years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
  4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.
  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 the city of 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 the Jewish Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
  7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
  8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
  9. Arab and Jewish Refugees. In 1948 the Arab refugees were encourage 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. Of the 100 million 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. In August 2006, Shabak chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that 15 tons of TNT, four million bullets, 15,000 guns, 2,300 pistols, 65 RPG launchers, dozen of anti-tanks missiles, 400 RPGs, and 5-10 Katyushas had been brought into Gaza alone in the year following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
  16. 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.
  17. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs, of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
  18. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
  19. The UN was silent while 58 Jewish Synagogues where destroyed by the Jordanians.
  20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mt. of Olives
  21. 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. These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?

Israel and The Occupation Myth

Israel National News (Link) - MK Danny Ayalon, Dep. Foreign Min. (March 29, 2011)

The recent murder of a family of five in Itamar shocked Israelis to their core. A terrorist broke into the Fogels’ home before stabbing and garroting to death the two parents, Udi and Ruth, and their children Yoav, 11 years old, Elad, 4, and almost decapitating Hadas, who was only three months old.

There has since been very little outcry from the international community. Many nations who are so used to condemning the building of apartment units beyond the Green Line remained silent on this sadistic murder. Meanwhile, the few international correspondents to have covered the massacre have placed it in the context of ongoing settlement-building and Israel’s so-called “occupation.”

However, regardless of one’s views on which people have greater title to Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank, it is a historically inaccurate distortion to claim that the occupation that breeds this type of violence. If this mantra were true, then it must be the case that before the occupation there was no violence. This defies the historical record.

In 1929, the Jewish community of Hebron—which stretches back millennia, long before the creation of Islam and the Arab conquest and subsequent occupation of the area—was brutally attacked. The Jews who had been living peacefully with their Muslim neighbors were set upon in a bloody rampage, inspired by Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later became notorious as Hitler’s genocidal acolyte during the Holocaust. In two days, 67 Jews were hacked or bludgeoned to death. Jewish infants were beheaded and Jewish women were disemboweled. Limbs were hacked off the dead as well as those who managed to survive.

On visiting the scene shortly after the massacre, Britain’s High Commissioner for Palestine John Chancellor wrote to his son “I do not think that history records many worse horrors in the last few hundred years.”

This and other similar pogroms happened, not only before the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria, but even two decades before the state of Israel was reestablished. From 1948 to 1967, Judea and Samaria were illegally occupied by Jordan, which renamed the area the West Bank, in reference to the East Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan that fell beyond the Jordan River. Not one Israeli was allowed into this area, yet nor did Israel know one day of peace in that time, during which it saw brutal attacks launched from the West Bank against Israeli civilians.

Further evidence against the mantra that the occupation breeds violence can be culled from Palestinian sources. Take Hamas’s founding charter, for instance, which does not mention occupation or settlements. What is does contain are calls for the complete destruction of Israel, down to its last inch, such as: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The charter goes even further, aspiring to a point in time when there will be no Jews left anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organization, currently headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, notes in its founding charter that “this organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank,” while still calling for a “liberation of its homeland.” This was written in 1964, fully three years before Israel conquered the West Bank during the Six Day War.

It’s safe to say that the violence and terror visited upon Israelis has little connection to “occupation” or settlements. This myth has no historical foundation, but is easy to proclaim for those who have little understanding of the conflict.

Yet these fatuous canards only make our conflict harder to solve. The recent massacre in Itamar highlighted the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing incitement to violence through its media, mosques and educational system. At this point, the basic parameters of the peace process need an overhaul. If our aim is to reach a peaceful resolution, then merely ending the “occupation” would far from guarantee that, as history has shown.

Israel was assured in the past by the international community that if it just retreated from Gaza and Lebanon, peace would flourish and violence would come to an end. In both cases, this hope proved deadly wrong, and millions of Israelis have been subjected to incessant attacks from these territories since the retreat.

This is not about “occupation” or territory; it is about meaningful coexistence. Only when the root ideological causes of our conflict are solved can Israelis and Palestinians make the painful concessions necessary for peace. †