INFORMATION FOR CONSIDERATION
Was Gandhi (Rehavam Zeevi) wrong?
“The Israeli-Arab conflict did not begin with the intifada and did not begin in the six-day war. It began in 1882, when the Jews began to return to the land of Israel. And since then it does not stop”.
Gandhi was wrong, of course. The Palestinian-Jewish conflict began hundreds of years before the beginning of modern Zionism. The ancestors of the Palestinians supplanted the Jews who lived on this land in spite of the continuous Palestinian massacres, robberies, seizure of land and persecution by authorities that not only suppressed Jews who had been in the Holy Land for a long time, but also prevented the arrival of new ones (Zionism). Palestinians, with the support of the Turkish Empire, almost succeeded in making Palestine “Judenfrei”, but then a wave of modern Zionism, which the Palestinians also opposed, arose. The Palestinians were supported by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire, including the Sultan himself.
The Turkish sultans opposed Zionism, with the purpose to create the impression of the Caliphs of all Muslims. Since the 17th century the sultans have tried to prevent the relocation of Jews to the Land of Israel. The most eloquent but far from being the only example is the story of Shabtai Zvi. After Nathan of Gaza proclaimed him Mashiah, the sultan (Mehmet IV) forced on him conversion to Islam, threatening with execution, then exiled to a remote province where Shabtai died in isolation. The migration of the followers of Shabtai Zvi to the Holy Land was stopped.
Simultaneously, beginning from the 17th century, the Turkish sultans deliberately inhabited Palestine by Muslim and Christian settlers from the neighboring provinces of the empire. The Sultans gave to the settlers, for free, the land, which was seized from the Jews “for non-payment of taxes”. As a result of the displacement of Jews and all Arab resettlement, the Arab residents of Jerusalem, Galilee and the coastal strip, including Gaza, are mostly the descendants of the settlers from the 17-20th centuries. Most of the settlers arrived from Syria and Lebanon (to Galilee), from Egypt (to the coastal strip) and from Hijaz in Arabia.
As a result of the policies of the Ottoman rulers, supported by local Muslims, the Jewish population of Palestine declined over the centuries, and by the beginning of the 19th century accounted for only 5% of the total population. And then began the Zionist revolution of the late 19th century. Sultan Abdulhamid issued new rules aimed at preventing the settlement of Jews in the country. The Turks closely traced the pogroms in Russia, reasonably believing that Jews fleeing from pogroms would want to settle in Palestine. The Sultan was able to “redirect” the Jewish emigration: instead of Palestine, the Jews went to the United States.
Noteworthy, the Turkish Fuhrer Erdogan is trying to restore the “greatness of the Ottoman Empire”, including revived Ottoman anti-Zionism. It seems that if the Iranian ayatollahs go into oblivion, Erdogan will assume the role of the main “patron” of Palestine. Let us note that Turkey is a member of NATO, and militarily is much stronger than Iran. So, Erdogan has enough power and influence to destroy Trump’s efforts to establish peace between Israel and the Arabs.
If Trump wants to advance his Middle Eastern peace plan, he will have to cope not only with the ayatollahs, but also with Erdogan. The mind of the Turkish Fuhrer twists from the military power of Turkey. Termination of US military assistance to Turkey would be a suitable means of influencing the unbalanced Turkish leader. The cooperation between Trump and Putin in this matter could set a framework for Turkish Islamic chauvinists.