Ancient Palestine is a region that occupied Southern Levant, located between the Mediterranean Sea and River Jordan. Israel and Syria Lebanon are part of the area covered by ancient Palestine. The Israel meant here is the real Israel, before the partition and which includes the area that is now called West Bank.
Who are the real Palestinians? Who are the original Palestinians? The answer to this question is found in the history of Palestine and in the history about Israel, the history that made it possible for the United Nations General Assembly to take informed decisions in drafting the Resolution 181which defined the present location of the state of Israel as the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people dispersed all over the earth. It had to be this location because every known history record showed that was the original Jewish homeland, and this is very clear in the history according to the scriptural records, which seems to be the most authoritative across cultures, across religions and across secular establishments. Israel was one of the nations in ancient Palestine. Palestine is therefore the original homeland of the Jews and had that status before the Arabs ever set foot on Palestine. Israeli Jews are therefore the original Palestinians. Why is “Palestine” used to name a state created for people who are not Palestinians by origin, and why have they been given the land well-known to be part of the original Israel?
This is why it will be impossible for “A Two-State Solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to succeed. Israel cannot give up the major part of her home for a West Bank state to be occupied exclusively by non-indigenes who are Arabs. West Bank is a core Jewish land, containing Bethlehem which is in Judea – the tribe of Judah – who were descendants of Judah, the fourth of the twelve sons of the man called Israel who was Jacob. Judah was a very important part of Israeli history and was the name assumed by the kingdom of the remnants of Israel – Judah and Benjamin – after the division, which was The Kingdom of Judah. Most part of this tribe of Judah, including Bethlehem, the home and birthplace of the foremost Jewish descendant, Jesus Christ (Matt. 2: 1), is in West Bank now given over to Arabs who are non-indigenes, following the Oslo Peace Accords. Confirm this from the most authentic historical account
So this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families: The border of Edom at the Wilderness of Zin southward was the extreme southern boundary. And their southern border began at the shore of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces southward. Then it went out to the southern side of the Ascent of Akrabbim, passed along to Zin, ascended on the south side of Kadesh Barnea, passed along to Hezron, went up to Adar, and went around to Karkaa. From there it passed toward Azmon and went out to the Brook of Egypt; and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your southern border. The east border was the Salt Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border on the northern quarter began at the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. The border went up to Beth Hoglah and passed north of Beth Arabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. Then the border went up toward Debir from the Valley of Achor, and it turned northward toward Gilgal, which is before the Ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the valley. The border continued toward the waters of En Shemesh and ended at En Rogel. And the border went up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom to the southern slope of the Jebusite city (which is Jerusalem). The border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the Valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the Valley of Rephaim northward. Then the border went around from the top of the hill to the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and extended to the cities of Mount Ephron. And the border went around to Baalah (which is Kirjath Jearim). Then the border turned westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, passed along to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (which is Chesalon), went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed on to Timnah. And the border went out to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border went around to Shicron, passed along to Mount Baalah, and extended to Jabneel; and the border ended at the sea. The west border was the coastline of the Great Sea. This is the boundary of the children of Judah all around according to their families. (Joshua 15: 1-12)
Other parts of West Bank are part of the real historical and geographical Israel. Is it therefore surprising that Benjamin Netanyahu, the present Israeli Prime Minister is furiously going ahead to build more Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and not listening to the hue and cry all over? He is claiming his right irrespective of political agreements. West Bank is, indeed, part of Israel. Is it not, also, not surprising that the Israeli Government readily gave up Gaza strip and forced the Jewish residents to leave. Gaza is a Philistine region.
Given that it is agreed by all, that West Bank belongs to Israel, what then would be the fate of those Arabs now called Palestinians? They are the descendants of people who have lived in the area for many centuries and have no other known homeland. How their ancestors came to occupy this land and how the Jews got displaced from this land and got dispersed does not directly concern them. They only saw some people they considered non-indigenes suddenly coming from elsewhere to occupy their land, the homeland of many generations of their ancestors. It is understandable why they felt oppressed and intimidated, and instantly started what they called “Resistance”.
Here lies the difficulty experienced by the international community in their attempts at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israelis own the land but the so-called Palestinians of this age have legitimate claims to the land, especially that given them by the United Nations, and have no other homeland. Who gives way to the other? A dilemma indeed, occasioning a tough stalemate seemingly impossible to solve, and is progressively deepening into a vicious cycle of violence: Palestinian violence, which they called “Resistance” and which is ingrained with excruciating hatred for the Jews, results in a protective or defensive response by Israel. Surprisingly, the world often sees the response, ignoring the provocation and the endangering of Israeli lives. They say Israeli response is disproportionate and high handed, as if they are there to play a “touch me – I touch you” game. Israelis say they give appropriate response. “Appropriate” is the right word for the observed Israeli response for those unnecessary deadly Palestinian actions. The world fuels the conflict by failing to appropriately condemn the unwarranted Palestinian provocations, and this gives them more misguided audacity.
The situation in the Israeli-Palestinian Middle East is similar to the situation that existed in the Apartheid South Africa. Apartheid means a type of political arrangement where people are separated according to their races. It implies “Separate Development”. This is the kind of arrangement that exists in the Israeli-Palestinian situation. In the South African situation the conflict was between citizens who were non-indigenes but had South Africa as their only homelan, and citizens who were indigenes and the original owners of the homeland. The South African situation led to a lot of violence, progressively deepening into a vicious cycle similar to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. It was impossible to resolve the situation in the South African situation under the apartheid system. It will be impossible to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under this “two separate states” situation.
The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very simple one. The solution lies in
- Readiness to admit the truth which is that both the Jews and those now known as Palestinians are entitled to living in The Levant and even in the enclave called Palestine as co-equal Palestinians
- Acceptance of Israeli sovereignty and correctly delineating the country of Israel according to the map of Israel in the time of Christ, West Bank citizens, Jew or Arab, not losing their citizenship.
- Integrating the Palestinians of the West Bank that will become part of the real Israel that will emerge, into an Israeli government that will take good care of them as law-abiding and responsible Israeli citizens living in freedom and dignity.
This one-state solution is almost similar to the propositions I heard F. W. DeKlerk proffer. DeKlerk is the former South African head of state who ended apartheid in South Africa and brought the elusive peace. The detailed discussion of this possible solution for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be expected.