Israel was imposed on the Palestinians as a result of European guilt over the Holocaust..... the country has no legitimacy outside of that......”

  • To say “Israel was imposed on the Palestinians” implies it was created out of thin air and planted somewhere it does not belong.  “On the Palestinians” implies that the Palestinians are the ‘indigenous’ people of what is now Israel.
  • The use of “European guilt over the Holocaust” further reinforces the idea that Israel was created by European powers, as a way of compensating for the tragedy of the Holocaust.   To say that “the country has no legitimacy outside of” restitution for the Holocaust is to deny the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.
  • The State of Israel came about through an entirely lawful process, backed by the international community. This was manifested in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and the 1922 League of Nations, which backed the Mandate in Palestine.
  • The British Government’s Peel Commission, following the outbreak of the Arab Revolt in 1936, recommended in July 1937 that Palestine be partitioned into separate Arab and Jewish states. This was rejected by the Palestinian Arab leadership.
  • In 1947 the UN proposed a similar partition plan. This was also rejected by various Arab states acting on behalf of the Palestinians. It is therefore impossible to argue that the Jewish state was ‘imposed’ on the Arabs of Palestine.
  • The Jews themselves are the indigenous people of Israel. Since the destruction of second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Romans, most Jews dispersed across the world. Driven by a desire to both rebuild the Jewish state and to escape anti-Semitism, many Jews poured back into Palestine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Between 1880 and 1939, Palestine’s Jewish population rose from approximately 24,000 to 450,000. The presence of a sizeable Jewish population in Palestine from the late nineteenth century onwards was a vital prerequisite for the founding of the State of Israel.
  • When Jews arrived in Palestine they purchased land, often from absentee landlords.  Ottoman Palestine was a deserted land, but to the Jews it had religious, historical, and familial significance.
  • Detractors of Israel refer to Palestinian Arabs as the “indigenous inhabitants” of Palestine and to Jews as colonialists. But many of the so-called Palestinians were Arabs who had moved to Israel from surrounding countries such as Syria, Egypt and Jordan, to find work as labourers for Jewish enterprises in Palestine, and attracted by the economic growth in that area.
  • The Holocaust had some impact on Israel’s creation, as it meant thousands more Jewish refugees were desperate to settle in the Palestine. However, the fact that the Jewish people were the indigenous inhabitants, the rise of Zionism,  the waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and the  International consensus that the Jewish people should have self determination in their own land all preceded the Holocaust and were far more important factors in the creation of Israel.  
  • Ever since the creation of the UN in October 1945, the international community has emphasised “equal rights and self-determination of peoples”. The Jewish people had every right to claim self-determination in their ancient homeland.
  • For all these reasons, the State of Israel has a solidly legitimate and legal foundation.

Teenagers at Auschwitz Concentration Camp

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