FACTS ABOUT ISRAEL’S LEGITIMACY
- The state of Israel was legitimately and legally created. Jewish immigration to Palestine was legal under the Ottoman Empire and for most of the time that the British ruled the area.
- The 1917 Balfour Declaration that promised a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine was backed by the League of Nations ( an international body somewhat similar to the United nations created after World War I).
- In November 1947, the state of Israel was given legal status by a vote in the United Nations. (The same vote also created a Palestinian state rejected by the Palestinian leadership then).
- Furthermore, the same Arab states who claim to be more legitimate than Israel were created around the same time which is either between the First and Second World Wars or after World War II. Some of these Arab states were created not by international consensus or by national aspirations but as a result of settlements between Arab elites with powerful ambitions and colonial empires (the same ones which have been accused of alliance with Zionism.) Other Arab countries like Libya, Sudan and the Emirates of the Persian Gulf, were established years after the creation of the State of Israel. Prior to World War I, under the Ottoman Empire there were no independent states but rather provinces subject to the authority of Istanbul.
- There has never been a Jewish plan to expel the Arabs from Palestine. The problem of the refugees was created as a result of a war initiated by the Palestinian Arabs and by Arab countries after the UN called for the creation of the State of Israel.
- Notwithstanding the fact that on three separate occasions since the Oslo peace process was launched in 1993, Israel offered serious territorial concessions, including the creation of a Palestinian state, and even the division of Jerusalem. Those offers were made by Israel in the year 2000 in Camp David, in 2001 in Taba, and again, during secret talks in the year 2008. All these Israeli proposals were rejected or never followed up by the Palestinians.
As Alan Dershowitz pointed out at a Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County event in late 2010, “Israel has more (international) legal stamps than most countries in the world.”
We can all support Israel without necessarily agreeing with everything that the political leaders think or decide. The Campaign for Israel’s Legitimacy is not a battle to defend specific policies, but rather a fight to defend the legitimacy and the justice of the state of Israel against a very dangerous campaign of defamation.
YOU CAN HELP BY GETTING EDUCATED
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has embarked on a major grassroots Israel education campaign designed to create broad awareness of the growing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic movement on college campuses and elsewhere. This is the continuation of the project begun last year aimed at counteracting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and > Sanctions for Palestine) movement.
JCRC is distributing a special five video series produced by Jerusalem Online University called “Step Up for Israel” to synagogues, Jewish organizations and clubs. Each video presents a different topic, which is followed by a guided discussion. The first video and discussion is entitled “Crossing the Line” and focuses on the growing anti-Israel sentiments on college campuses. The second video presents Israel as a country that values freedom, education, family and responsibility and shows how Israel has contributed to the world through technology, media and other accomplishments. The third one presents Israel as a democratic nation that epitomizes Western values. Other videos examine the events that led to the establishment of the State of Israel in the War of Independence (1948) and teach effective tools for speaking on Israel’s behalf and countering adverse claims made against Israel.
The series will be shown at the following sites during the next three months. In some cases dates have not been set up yet. Feel free to contact these sites directly.
- Temple Emanu-El, 190 N County Rd. Palm Beach, FL 33480 Series will be shown on Sundays, February 5th, 12th and April 1st from 11-12.30 p.m. Contact the Temple at (561) 832-0804.
- Temple Israel, 1901 N Flagler Dr. West Palm Beach, FL, 33407. Series will be shown beginning on Tuesday, February 28th and March 7th at 7.00 p.m. and then at other dates yet to be determined. Contact Temple Israel at (561) 833-8421.
- The Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches- 4803 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens. Classes begin at the Palm Beach Gardens JCC on Mondays from 1. 00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. January 30th, February 13th, February 27th, March 12 and April 2nd. Contact Ronda Gordon at (561) 689-7700.
- Temple Torah of West Boynton Beach, 8600 Jog Road, Boynton Beach (in the corner with Gateway). Series will be shown at 7.00 p.m. on Thursdays February 16, 23, March 1st, 8th and 15th.
- Regional Hadassah. Series will be shown beginning in the spring. Contact Nancy Newman at (561) 369-8124.
- The Valencia Isles community in Boynton Beach. Series will also be shown beginning in the spring-contact Ira Seinfeld at (561) 742-4950
- Thursday, March 1st, 12- 200 p.m. The History of Israel video will be shown to non-Jewish leaders in our area. The event is organized by the JCRC.
- The Jewish Federation will also sponsor the series to the Jewish Teen Initiative, Hillel Students, as well as its Business & Professionals Division.
The program is at no cost to the synagogues or organizations. Contact 561 242-6671, email JCRC@JewishPalmBeach.org or visit www.jewishpalmbeach.org for additional information.
SAVE THE DATE March 15th evening time at place to be determined Alan Dershowitz; Executive Director of Hillel Wayne Firestone will address the issue of Israel de-legitimation at a community-wide program. Stay tuned.
Watch Alan Dershowitz speak here.