Not content to merely write a love-letter to terrorists or advocate for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish State in his “news” articles, AsAJew Ben Ehrenreich recently wrote a “Cliff’s Notes” to the Arab-Israel conflict that, unsurprisingly is wrong on almost every level. Rather than let him get away with yet more lies that place all the blame on Israel, I decided to examine his “10 Points” and took them apart one by one.
This is the first one.
1 Not An Ancient Conflict
The non-existent Arab-Israel conflict certainly is not an old conflict. However, the conflict between those who support Jewish Statehood in the Land of Israel and those who oppose it is a very long one indeed. This is why Ehrenreich decides to start the story in the late 19th century with the birth of the modern Zionist movement and not with the initial quest for Jewish Statehood that began roughly 3500 years ago. Yes, Jews were a minority at the time, but that does nothing to diminish our indigenous ties to the land any more than Native Americans being forced onto reservations far from their aboriginal homes robs them of their ties or rights to that land.
To characterize the discrimination and violence against Jews by Arabs as “tensions” caused by Balfour is beyond disingenuous. Before the Mandate, as Jewish Ottoman subjects, members of the Yishuv were considered dhimmis and were subjected to the often hateful whims of their neighbors. There were no tensions for the Arabs because, at the time, the Jews had no means to defend themselves or get a proper redress of grievances. So tensions might not have risen for the Arabs until 1917, but they had been rising for the Jews for a very long time. Also, it is interesting that the idea of living under the rule of foreign Turks did not cause tensions to rise, but the idea of possibly living under or next to indigenous Jews did. But then again, the Turks were Muslim so living under their rule was not shameful.
Next comes perhaps the most disgustingly offensive claim made by Ehrenreich is this:
“The first serious outbreak of violence there came in 1929.”
In 1929, the local Arabs were whipped up into a frenzy of Jew-hatred by Haj Amin al-Husseini. The Grand Mufti told his people the Jews were planning on destroying the al-Aqsa Mosque and that it was their religious duty to defend it by killing Jews (sound familiar?). Arabs massacred the ancient Jewish communities in Hebron, Safed and eastern Jerusalem, in addition to newer Jewish towns like Tel Aviv, Motza, Be’er Tuvia and Hulda. Over 133 Jews were slaughtered while 339 were injured. Calling this pogrom an “outbreak of violence” is about as accurate as calling a string of lynchings a neighborly scuffle. This massacre was the culmination of years of incitement and Jew-hatred by Haj Amin al-Husseini that had overwhelmed the Jewish attempts to persuade their Arab neighbors that they had no “intention of infringing the rights of Muslims to the places that are holy to them.”
It is true that a later parliamentary inquiry asserted “that the aggravating factor had been British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine,” but that was due to political pressure from anti-Zionists in the British government who were fed up with having to quell Arab violence and wanted the easiest way out. These British anti-Zionists ignored the plain words and actions that complained of “the Jewish takeover of the Western Wall.” Ehrenreich quotes the inquiry as saying “there had been no recorded attacks of Jews by Arabs” in the previous eight decades, something that is not even close to true. Just 9 years earlier, in April of 1920, after the Nebi Musa festival, Husseini led another pogrom against the Jews of Jerusalem, killing 5 and injuring 211. But since this was still at the beginning of the Mandate, the British were not looking for excuses and saw this for what it was: an organized, anti-Jewish pogrom and issued an arrest warrant for Husseini. This was also nothing new as pogroms related to the Damascus Affair blood libel were carried out in Jaffa in 1876 and in Jerusalem in 1847, 1870 and 1895.
It is possible, though unlikely, that British politicians in London were unaware of the violent history the Jews had endured for decades, indeed centuries, in the Land of Israel. It is not possible, however, that Ehrenreich does not know this history. He could attempt to call these pogroms aberrations but he can’t claim they never happened… and yet, that is exactly what he does.