Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jews are natives, Muslims colonists

 There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine for 2,000 years.  When the state of Israel was declared in 1948,  Muslims in Palestine were colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled  there for less than 60 years. The narrative that Jews, Yazidis and Copts are settlers is false, Ezequiel Doiny argues in the Gatestone Institute:
Religious leader at the Yazidi temple at Lalish. Yazidis, Copts and Jews are not settlers in the Middle East

The Muslim rulers not only kept the number of Jews low through discriminatory taxes, they also increased the Muslim population by providing incentives for Muslim colonists to settle in the area. Incentives included free land, 12 years exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.
Bat Ye'or continues:
"By the early 1800s the Arab population in Palestine was very little (just 246,000) it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s that most Muslim Colonists settled in Palestine because of incentives by the Ottoman Government to resettle displaced Muslim populations because of events such as the Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War and World War 1. Those events created a great quantity of Muslim Refugees that were resettled somewhere else in the Ottoman Empire... In 1878 an Ottoman law granted lands in Palestine to Muslim colonists. Muslim colonists from Crimea and the Balkans settled in Anatolia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine."
Justin McCarthy, a professor of history at the University of Louisville, writing in his Annotated Map, "Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire," also notes that there were about five million Muslims displaced due to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War, Balkan wars, the Turkish war of independence and World War I.

Sergio DellaPergola, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his paper "Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications," provides estimates of the population of Palestine in different periods. As the demographic data below shows, most Muslims living in Palestine in 1948 when the State of Israel was created had been living there for fewer than 60 years:
1890: Arab Population 432,000
1947: Arab Population 1,181,000
Growth in Arab population from 1890 to 1947: 800,000
The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not "settlers" and "occupiers;" neither are the Jews in Israel. They are victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

Read article in full 

Jews have always been part of the landscape

No comments: