(Ms. Edna Yaghi wrote the following article in response to a letter from Dr. Andrew E. Mathis to the Editor)
Dr. Mathis’s letter to the editor raised many points that I disagree with. First of all, I think that John-Paul Leonard’s article, “The Wholly Hoely and Holy” was very eloquent to say the least. It is Dr. Mathis who through his very lengthy letter has distorted the truth or twisted it to serve his own purposes. The UN partition of 1947 gave to Jews what it had no right to give in the first place. You cannot give the land of one people to another and call it international law. In 1922, the Jews in Palestine constituted only 11 % of the population but by 1947, they had increased their number to 31 %. This was a result of massive immigration. I would love to see how accommodating Dr. Mathis would be to some people who decided to occupy his home, take it away from him and evict him simply on the grounds that they felt they had the right to do so. That is, if they did not think that murdering him first would be a much better idea than to bother with just evicting him and his family to some desert place without food or shelter.
The Palestinians that fled their homes did so because of the atrocities committed by Jewish terrorist groups such as the Irgun and Stern gangs when they massacred whole villages of Palestinian civilians such as at Deir Yassin. Official Zionist history describes which methods of terrorism should be used to attack the Palestinians. The objective was to inflict physical harm or liquidate them. Plan Dalet was such a plan used by the Jewish Haganah. It was very effective and the result was nearly a million refugees in 1947.
The Jewish claim to Palestine has no historical basis. Zionists claim the extent of the Kingdom of David and Solomon which lasted for only about 73 years. Settled populations have inhabited Palestine for some 9000 years. Much of the land that the Zionists claim as exclusively theirs has been predominantly populated by Jews for less than 1% of its history. From AD 70, when the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Jewish Temple, the Jewish community in Palestine practically ceased to exist until Saladin, the Muslim conqueror, retook Jerusalem in 1187 and allowed the Jews to return.
Modern anthropologists believe that today’s Palestinians are descended from the Canaanites who are the earliest recorded inhabitants of the land and the Philistines. The Palestinian people, despite the infusion of other peoples, have remained the natural inhabitants of the land.
Jews are no longer a race of people but those who follow the religion of Judaism. To prove this point, there are European Jews, Russian Jews, Asian Jews, American Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and yes, even Arab Jews. It is ludicrous to think that all the Jews in the world should have a country of their own and that this country must be that of another people, the indigenous population of Palestine.
Abraham was the father of the Arabs through Ishmael and the Jews through Isaac. Ishmael was the first-born son of Prophet Abraham. Both Arabs and Jews were Semites. The Semitic speaking people are chiefly Arabs so the term Semite does not refer to Jews specifically as Dr. Mathis suggests. Thus, Arabs are not guilty of being anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites. What the Arabs are against is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the terrorist acts that have been constantly carried out against the Palestinian people even before the creation of this Jewish war state. So, Mr. Leonard need not consult your Oxford dictionary for the meaning of Semite Dr. Mathis but I would suggest that you consult the Encarta encyclopedia for a better interpretation.
That the Jews were persecuted throughout history is no fault of the Palestinians. The Jews that live in Palestine now and call themselves Israelis have persecuted the Palestinians as no people have ever been persecuted. I think it would be a grand idea if the Israelis did indeed go inhabit an empty island and leave the Palestinians alone and give them back their rightful homes.
Though Yasser Arafat may never have a democracy in the Occupied Territories, the Palestinians have no democracy under the Israeli occupation either. The West Bank and Gaza are like two huge concentration camps and whenever there is a hint of trouble in either area, the Israelis immediately cut them both off from the outside world as well as from one another.
As for Jihad, Dr. Mathis, I wonder where you do get your definitions from. The meaning of Jihad is a struggle for the cause of God. It is a revolution in the system of life to establish a new system in conformity with the ideology of Islam and to establish a just and equitable social order among human beings. One who goes for Jihad does so without thought of worldly benefits. Israel is the most oppressive of all societies. That children are shot at point blank range is proof of how low the Israelis have stooped in their hate of those who are non-Jews. The Palestinians do not put their children in front of Israeli guns in order to gain world sympathy. Those children are throwing stones in the name of freedom and Jihad. Truly no person who takes aim at a small child could ever even be considered the follower of any faith. It is reported that more than 10,000 Palestinians have been injured during the latest uprising and more than 320 have died. It is the Israelis who shoot these freedom fighters down with live ammunition, with helicopter gunfire, with tanks and with warships at sea. This is no democracy we are witnessing here; this is a holocaust and genocide against the Palestinian people.
Mrs. Edna Yaghi is a free-lance writer and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN)