The name Palestine elicits conflicting emotions – on the one hand Zionists lay claim to the country as being their home¬land, whilst on the other hand Palestinians and Muslims the world over long for the day when Palestinians can live in their country like normal human beings, free from the strife, and oppression they have so long endured.This series intends to enlighten and educate Muslims about the history and significance of Palestine from an Islamic perspective. This part of the series deals mainly with the early history of Palestine. Part 2 examines the rise of Zionism and its effect on Palestine and indirect¬ly on the Muslim world. The nineteenth and early twentieth century’s were peri¬ods when intense cruelty and oppres¬sion against the Muslim inhabitants in Palestine became a regular occurrence. Armed bands of Zionists turned aggres¬sively on Palestinians in their endeav¬our to establish a Jewish state.
Rise of Zionism
Theodore Herzl, a man of Jewish descent, issued a pamphlet in 1896 titled "The Jewish State". This pamphlet advocated the establishment of an autonomous Jewish state. With the assistance of the German emperor William II he traveled to Palestine to investigate the feasibility of establishing such a state in Palestine. In 1897 Theodore Herzl officially launched Zionism in Switzerland (the World Zionist Organization) as a movement for the estab¬lishment of a Jewish state. Although Zionism was not part of the doctrine of Judaism, the Zionist founders (the other founder was Chaim Weizman) used Judaism as a religious cause to promote the movement. Theodore Herzl chose Palestine above Argentine, the other option for a Jewish state.
During the early nineteen-hundreds there was a revival of political activity in Palestine and many Palestinians sat in the Ottoman Parliament as deputies. Arab newspapers clearly indicated their opposition to Zionism and Arabs actively sought to curtail land purchases in Palestine by Zionists. At that stage there were about 47 Zionist colonies established in Palestine, most of which were funded by Baron Edmund de Rothschild (a wealthy German industrialist). The population of Palestine in 1914 was as follows: 535 000 Muslims, 70 000 Christians and 85 000 Jews.
The Balfour Declaration
The First World War brought fighting, famine and epidemics to Palestine and by 1918 Palestine was occupied by Britain, despite an agreement between the British High Commissioner to Egypt, Sir Henry MacMahon and Husayn ibn Ali (emir of Makka) in 1915 in terms of which Palestine would be granted independence. The Balfour Declaration was contained in a let-ter from the British Minister of foreign Affairs to Lord Rothschild (a Zionist leader) promising support for the establishment of a "home" for Jewish people within Palestine, provided that it did not prejudice the rights of non-Jews. However, the Arabs in Palestine rejected the Declaration.
Defeat of the Ottoman Turks, The Turks entered World War 1 on the side of Germany, while the Palestinians, having been promised independence by the British, assisted the latter against Turkey. In 1920 at the San Remo Conference, Britain was given a mandate over Palestine. Britain's first High Commissioner to Palestine was Sir Herbert Samuel, an avowed Zionist.
The League of Nations issued a mandate in terms of which it favoured the establishment of a homeland for Jews in Palestine. Shortly after this announcement there were anti-Zionist riots in Palestine, which left a number of Arabs and Jews dead and injured. During this period Mahatma Gandhi had the following to say about Palestine: "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France belongs to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct." (1938). Zionist violence against Arabs On December 13, 1947, a group of Zionist terrorists disguised themselves as members of a British Army patrol and entered the Palestinian village of Yehiday. This village was in close proximity to the first Zionist settle¬ment, Petah Tekva. Once in the village they sprayed the local coffee shop with gunfire. Grenades were also thrown at civilians. This attack resulted in the death of seven Palestinians. Earlier on that day six Palestinians were killed when homemade bombs were thrown at a crowd of Palestinians, whilst six Arabs were killed in Jaffa when a bomb was thrown at a group of civilians. Five days later two carloads of Zionist ter¬rorists drove through the village of Khisas firing machine guns and throwing hand grenades.
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In May 1948 the British forces withdrew from Palestine and the Zionists proclaimed the state of Israel without defining its bor¬ders. Arab armies from the surrounding areas moved in to defend the Palestinians and Jordan took control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There were a number of massacres of Palestinians by Zionist ter¬rorists and hereunder are a few of these tragic events that occurred during 1948:
April 13 - 14: Nasser al-Din
A group of Zionists dressed as Palestinian fighters entered the village of Nasser al-Din and when the villagers came out to meet them they massacred virtually the entire vil¬lage and burnt every house to the ground.
May 21: Beit Darras Israeli terrorists attacked the village of Beit Darras, and when the women and chil¬dren fled the village they were intercepted by a group of Zionist terrorists and killed.
July 11: Dahmash Mosque Moshe Dayan (later prime minister of Israel) led a group of Israeli soldiers to a mosque where about a 100 Palestinians were seeking refuge. They attacked the mosque and everyone inside the mosque was killed. Later Dayan said it was in retal¬iation for the death of Israeli soldiers who died in a grenade attack. The bodies of the dead Palestinians were left to rot for 10 days. October 29: Dowayma. Between 80 and 100 Israeli militia killed Palestinian men, women and children in this village. The children were killed by being beaten on their heads with sticks. The adults were herded into houses and then dynamite was used to destroy the house with the occupants. 1948 was the turning point in the histo¬ry of Palestine. It ended with the displace¬ment of 750,000 Palestinians who fled the terror and their homes to neighboring Arab states, mainly Jordan (thousands also fled to Lebanon and Syria). The Israelis took control of virtually the whole of Palestine and refused to allow the refugees to return. Not only did the Palestinians lose their homes, but also their orchards, busi¬nesses and personal belongings. They
found themselves in foreign countries with no possessions or means of support. These are the circumstances under which the illegitimate state of Israel was born.
Cease-fire between Palestinians and Zionists
Although the following year, in 1949, there was a cease-fire between the Palestinians and the Zionists, Palestine was an unrecognisable entity - over a million Palestinians were forced to leave the coun¬try; Zionists controlled over 70% of Palestine; the West Bank was put under the control of Jordan; and the Gaza strip fell under the control of Egypt. The United Nations passed Resolution 194, which guaranteed the "right of return" for these refugees, but the Zionists refused to imple¬ment it. Zionist violence during the cease-fire Despite the cease-fire, in 1951 Israeli soldiers entered the village of Sharafat and killed the councilor of the area, Mukhtar and his neighbours (10 people in all were killed).
In 1956, Israeli troops attacked the village of Kibya at night. Over 700 Israeli troops took part in the attack in which mor¬tars and other explosives were used. It resulted in the destruction of 42 houses, a school and a mosque, whilst almost all the villagers were killed. 400 Palestinian farm¬ers were ambushed by Israeli troops in Kafr Qasem and murdered. It was against this background Birth of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). In 1964 the PLO was founded by the adoption of the Palestine National Charter of 1964. The PLO or Munazzamat At-Tahrir Filastiniyah, was formed to centralize the leadership of the various Palestinian group¬ings that operated as resistance move¬ments, and is dedicated to the formation of a democratic Palestinian state. The major factions within the PLO include, Al-Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic front for the Liberation of Palestine.
After a number of years of relative peace and stability, Zionism reared its head as a supposed vanguard for the Jewish faith. The Zionist leadership chose Palestine above. Argentine for the establishment of a Jewish state. The state of Israel was born on the blood of Palestinians, of whom the overwhelming majority was Muslim. Zionist terrorists spared neither women nor children in their drive to wipe out any Palestinian opposition. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were massacred in the many rural villages, and it was left to the PLO to come to the defense of the people of Palestine.. Palestinians had the choice of either being killed or fleeing their land to one of the neighboring Arab states. VA