Tuesday 19 December 2017

Understanding the Jerusalem issue

Understanding the Territory of Israel

Another Q&A by Capt Dr Thirunavukkarasu Jr R Karasu

1) What is Zionism?

A) Zionism is the belief in the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and to reestablish their homeland in a geographical territory called Israel.

2) What is this territory of Israel?

A) It is the same area that corresponds to the Biblical Canaan in the region of Palestine.

3) What is "Zion"?

A) Zion is just the name of a hill in the city of Jerusalem.

4) Does the Biblical Israel have a capital?

A) Yes, it is Jerusalem, also known as the City of David (Daud in Islam), in reference to Israel’s second king.

5) What are the objectives of Zionism?

A) There are four. 1) To reestablish Jewish administrative sovereignty within Israel. 2) To restore Jewish culture, the Hebrew language and religion (Judaism), 3) To gather those exiled, and 4) To liberate Jews from anti-Semitic persecution.

6) Does Zionism oppose the Palestinians?

A) In principle No. But they oppose any attempt to subvert their nationhood, whether from Palestine or other countries.

7) Why does Zionism create conflict in the Middle East?

A) It doesn’t. The conflict is created by people who want to destroy Israel, and Israel needs to contain this threat.

8. Is “Zionist” referring to the Israeli military?

A) Nope. Zionism is Not: 1) Military operations, 2) Denying Palestinians’ the right to their own self-determination, or 3) Promoting religious conflict with the Arabs.

9) Why is Zionism such a bad word in Malaysia?

A) Because our government wants Malaysians to continue hating the Jews and Israel.

10) Are you saying Malaysia is an anti-Semitic country?

A) Yes. Of all 10 ASEAN countries, Malaysia is the most disgracefully anti-Semitic country, along with Brunei.

11) What proof you have that Malaysia is anti-Semitic?

A) In 1993, Malaysia banned Schindler’s List, an Oscar-winning movie that portrayed a historical account of the horrific Jewish Holocaust. The excuse was that the movie will “make Malaysians sympathetic to the Jews”.

12) Who said that?

A) None other than the chief anti-Semitic and PM-wannabe today, Mr Kerala kaaka Tun Mahathir.

13) Then why are the political parties also anti-Israel, not just UMNO but even MCA and MIC?

A) UMNO has to because they need to appear to be “defenders of the Arabs” to shore up popular support after their embarrassing corruption exposures. MCA and MIC are just faithful lap dogs pandering to their political masters for political survival.

14) But the Opposition also hates Israel. Why?

A) Because they are the same racists who want to program citizens into hating the Jews and everything associated with it - with the usual excuse that Zionism is against Islam.

15) Are Christians Zionists?

A) By definition, yes because our Bible exhorts us to bless and pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ Himself was Jew and all Jewish prophets worshipped God in Hebrew.

16) Why is the UN against Israel?

A) The UN itself is a grouping of anti-Semitic countries, which has traditionally sought to destroy Israel through a series of lopsided censures while promoting the Arab Agenda. Thankfully, the US vetoes most of these attempts.

17) Any proof? Or you just saying it because you are pro-Israel?

A) Let’s look at a case example. In 1975, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3379 that designated Zionism as a “form of racism”. And then it repealed it in 1991 by Resolution 46/86 which now criminalises opposition to Zionism. Why? Because the UN itself now admits that opposing Zionism effectively means opposing a people’s right to self-determination.

18) If the present Israel never existed before 1948, why is there a need to give them their own country?

A) The political goal of Zionism is based on one key premise (as laid by Theodor Herzl): 1. Antisemitism features in ALL societies where Jews live as minorities. So the only way to guarantee their safety is to segregate themselves into their own country.

19) Why are the Jews always rejected everywhere in the world before Israel?

A) Since the 1st century, most Jews lived outside Israel, even though the Biblical Canaan always maintained a small percentage of Jewish population (called the Remnant in the Bible). The first time Jews got expelled was from Babylon’s occupation of Israel in 586 BC (Babylon is the old name for Iraq). The Romans subsequently expelled the remaining Jews from Judea. And then changed the name Judea to ‘Syria Palaestina’ - which is where the name ‘Palestine’ comes from.

20) So Palestine is a Roman creation after it expelled the Jews and redesignated the borders?

A) Yes

21) Do any of the other Holy Books assign Israel to the Jews?

A) Absolutely. It’s in all the Holy Books in Judaism, Christianity and Islam i.e. the Hebrew Bible, Greek Bible and the Quran respectively.

22) What does the Bible say about Islam?

A) Nothing. There is NO mention of Islam in the Bible nor is there any mandate given to wage war with Muslims. Zionism does not seek war with anyone. Israel is strictly a land issue and the belief that Jews have the right to self-determination after being exiles for millennia.

23) So Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not something new?

A) Correct! It is, in fact, one of the most overdue decisions since George Washington became the first President of the United States.

24) What is the Balfour Declaration that our politicians love to quote?

A) It is a Declaration by the British government in 1917 that endorsed the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Jewish side was headed by Chaim Weizmann, who later became the first President of Israel in 1948.

25) Did the Balfour Declaration have any multilateral backing?

A) Yes. In 1922, the predecessor to the UN, the League of Nations adopted the Declaration and gave Britain the mandate to establish a Jewish homeland and develop self-governing institutions, and safeguard the civil and religious rights of all who reside in Palestine, including Christians and Muslims.

26) So who ‘started’ it first?

A) This one is tricky. Arabs will say it was the Israelis who “started it first” and Israelis will say the Arabs “started it first”. So let’s look at the facts. In 1947, the UN recommended that Palestine be partitioned into 3 areas: 1) a Jewish state, 2) an Arab State and 3) a UN-controlled territory or “corpus separatum” around Jerusalem. This was adopted in Nov 1947 as UN General Assembly Resolution 181. But the Palestinian Arabs rejected the UN decision (despite a 65% voting majority) and demanded a Single Arab State in Palestine and expulsion of Every Single Jewish citizen. This was what led to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. (So You tell me who “started it first”!)

27) How did the 1948 Arab-Israeli War start?

A) On May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion declared “Merdeka” for Israel. 5 hours later, Seven Arab countries launched a cowardly joint attack (what else to call when seven guys gang up on one?). This led to 1 million Palestinian Arabs leaving Israel for security reasons. After Israel defeated all 7 countries, the Palestinians wanted to return. Unfortunately, Israel passed a series of laws that prevented those who left from coming back. These are the ones who remain refugees to this day.

28) Do all Muslims hate Zionists and the Zionist Agenda?

A) No. Many Muslim scholars publicly defend the Zionist Agenda, among them Dr Tawfik Hamid, the al Gama’a al-Islamiyya organization, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Sheikh Tasbih Sayyed and so on. Also, some Muslim communities like the Kurds (who were gassed by Saddam Hussein) and Berbers also openly express support for the Jewish right to self-determination. Even leading Palestinian Organisation scholars like Asad Shukri (father of PLO founder Ahmad Shukri) opposed the PLO’s anti-Zionist activities. He was also the first to condemn the strategy of using Islam to condemn Jews and their right to live - which was started by Mohd Aminal-Husayni, a close aide of Yasser Arafat.

29) What about Muslims in non-Muslim countries?

A) In August 2007, the President of the Organisation of Imams in India, Sheikh Maulana Jamil organised a delegation to Israel. They subsequently signed a joint declaration rejecting the lie that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a war between Islam and Christianity/Judaism, admitting that it is no more than a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully.

30) Can a Malaysian support Both Israel and Palestine?

A) Yes of course. Again, it is purely a territorial dispute and need not involve religion. Many of us still believe in the “Two-State Solution” and that Israel can peacefully coexist with Palestine. It is hard but not impossible. Dialogue is the key.

Written by Servant of Christ, Capt Dr Thirunavukkarasu Jr R Karasu
December 2017

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