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Voice: Skewed version of history of Israel and the Jews presented in letter

September 20, 2001

I read with delight and interest the letter that appeared in the "Voice of the People," in your Sept. 14 edition. This letter was written by a gentleman from El Centro.

The gentleman claims Harry Truman "gave" Palestine to the Jews and the terrorist problems started then.

Per history books, the Bible and classes in higher education, I was under the impression Jewish history is the history of a people, living in its own land and enjoying independence; that it is also a history of a people living on its own land but subject to the sovereignty of powerful empires.

The Israelite tribes were at first independent and would form coalitions only in the time of common danger.

The attempts by the Philistines to subjugate Israelite territory caused a greater unity and Saul of the tribe of Benjamin was chosen king over all Israel. Under King Solomon, about 950 B.C., the area extended from between what is now Tripoli and Beirut, south to the Gulf of Aqaba, an arm of the Red Sea, or, from the 34th meridian east beyond the 37th meridian and from above the 34th parallel south below the 30th parallel.


The area was split about 930 B.C. between two kingdoms, one in the north and one in the south.

In 135 A.D. the Roman Emperor Hadrian defeated the Jews in the Bar Kokhba rebellion in Judaea. Since then there has been "The questions of the Jews" (remember Hitler?) Hadrian changed the name of the area to Syria Palestina. From then until the establishment of Israel in 1948 "Palestine" was the geographical designation of the area.

In November 1917 came the Balfour Declaration. Recognizing Jewish historic rights in Palestine, this called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" and pledged that Britain would use her "best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of that object." This was not approved until July 24, 1922, by the League of Nations. The British were given mandate of the area.

In August 1945, President Truman proposed to Prime Minister Clement Attlee that Britain give 100,000 Jewish refugees visas for Palestine.

On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations special committee on Palestine, after much debate, adopted the Morris Plan. This plan offered a federated state in which Jewish and Arab units would control their own immigration.

The Arab delegation, who had threatened war — back then — if the plan was adopted, walked out of the U.N. Assembly: at once the fighting started in the Holy Land.

The Arab state that was to have come into existence was in essence divided between Israel and Transjordan, which later changed its name to the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan.

The gentleman proposes a way in which to end the problems of terrorism from this area. Hopefully, he has solutions to the problems in the Balkans, Ireland, the 11 wars in progress in the African continent, the continuing problems in the Americans, the Philippine Islands, etc.

I enjoy history, I took a class in international relations, and I would very much like to read his sources.


El Centro

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