It is both entertaining and educational to watch Rudy Rochman and an Arab activist discuss the facts about the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He clearly knows his stuff, and he is also politically correct. So, he gives in to the term “Palestinian” even though it is a fictional term that has been adopted by Arabs in the region as a weapon to claim indigenous rights to the Land of Israel.
Truth and Falsehood about Arabs in the Land of Israel
Before the Jewish return to the Land of Israel began in the latter part of the 19th century, the Land of Israel was largely empty. It had very few Jews and very few Arabs. Most of the Jews lived in a few places – the Old City of Jerusalem , Tiberias, and Safed. They numbered in the tens of thousands. But not more than that. There were also a smattering of Arab villages that grew to the extent that the Jewish population grew. The Jewish population that began settling in the coastal area of the Land of Israel brought in investments from abroad. This brought the Land of Israel to be the preferred location for Arabs searching for a livelihood in the area of Syria or Egypt. So, thousands of Arabs came to live in the Land of Israel in order to improve their standard of living.
But as the number of Jewish immigrants swelled from thousands to tens of thousands in the early decades of the 20th century, the Arabs in the Land of Israel began to protest. By the end of World War I, the British Empire was in charge of the area, and they called the region, the British Mandate of Palestine. It was an area that was in limbo, where the Balfour Declaration made it clear that at some point in the future, there would be a Jewish home in the area. What that area was is a subject of debate till this day. But there was no distinct Arab nation that lived in the Land of Israel. There was only a Jewish nation that was returning to it’s indigenous land that it prayed to return to for thousands of years.
Any attempt to equate the yearning of Arabs to return to their ancient Land is based on a rewriting of history. There is ample evidence of an Egyptian nation, a Syrian nation. Many of the Arabs who live in Egypt and Syria are indeed indigenous to those areas. But in the Land of Israel, the only indigenous people are the Jewish people.