Hadrian’s Successors

                                                                                                     by Gerald A. Honigman

 

Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations...

                                                  Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus

 

 

President Bush and Secretary of State Rice are determined to cram yet another Arab state (#22, and second, not first, in “Palestine”…Jordan carved out of some 80% of the original 1920 Mandate) dedicated--either sooner or later--to Israel’s destruction down the latter’s throat. Leaving office in the foreseeable future, and with the Iraq mess not looking less messier in the long term, they’d like this legacy to call their own.

Notice I said nothing about peace as being part of that actual Middle East legacy. Devout Christians, I guess that’s like the concept of a Heavenly Jerusalem as opposed to political reality.

No matter what they say, on the record, about wanting a two-state solution, Dubya and Condi know full well that that’s not what their so-called “moderate” Arab buddies have in mind for the long term. And forget about the at least more honest Hamas & Co.

Both have access to all that Abbas and his fellow Fatah Arafatians have been saying to their own people in Arabic, preaching in their mosques, posting on their official maps and websites, teaching to their kids, etc. and so forth. “Peace” with the Jews is most certainly no where to be found.

As many of us have written for years now, the current push by Israel’s “best friends” simply falls right into the Arabs’ own post-’67 game plan.

Having pushed onto the back burner the blueprint for Israel’s destruction in one fell swoop after it backfired in the Six Day War, the new Arab strategy called for a destruction in stages. Israel was first “diplomatically” to be pressured into returning to its microscopic (in some places 9-mile wide), indefensible, ‘49 armistice line--not border--existence. Afterwards, the combination of massive Arab armaments and manpower in the surrounding states would be allied with the newest Arab state, set up in Israel’s backyard, to undo Israel’s 1948 rebirth on some 11% of the total area of the 1920 Mandate of Palestine.

Since the Oslo Peace (of the grave) process, the Arabs have watched this destruction in stages process unfold nicely. And now, an American president, who has seen his ratings nosedive, has agreed to the wishes of a State Department who fought President Truman over the very rebirth of Israel in the first place and has often been hostile ever since. Keep in mind that many of these folks--including America’s current two top players--have had impressive and lucrative Arab petrodollar connections…especially after they leave office.

Who doesn’t want peace? I guess it matters how that word is defined.

But a look at what Israel got from Gaza after a total withdrawal--thousands of mortar and rocket attacks, death, destruction, and so forth launched by Arabs now simply that much closer to Israel proper-- tells us what’s in store for Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and so forth after Abbas gets all of Judea and Samaria--aka the “West Bank.”

As every excuse under the sun was made for Abbas for not stopping Arab attacks on Israel when he was solely in charge of the show (as the great puppeteer, the Egyptian ghoul, Arafat’s, successor), expect likewise from “Palestine” after Bush and Condi twist Israel’s arms into not spoiling their full throttle “peace” initiative by refusing suicide.

Keep in mind, an America that repeatedly goes to war thousands of miles away from home in the name of its own national security (and why did we really topple Noriega in Panama?) is now demanding that Israel relinquish any minute semblance of this itself and place its faith totally in the hands of those who now see their destruction in stages plans coming into fruition.

Additionally, Dubya and Condi’s darling, Abbas, insists that after Israel’s withdrawal to the ‘49 armistice lines, it must then also agree to be flooded by jihadist alleged Arab refugees. The one half of Israel’s Jews who were refugees from “Arab” lands due to the same war Arabs launched to nip Israel in the bud in ‘48 are of no concern.

Now, please turn the clock back two millennia and look at the opening quote above from one of the Roman Empire’s key historians.

Notice, please, some things change and others never do.

After the 1st Revolt in 66-73 C.E. (see also the contemporary accounts of the Roman-sponsored Jewish historian, Josephus, in his extensive Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews), Rome issued thousands of Judaea Capta coins which can be seen today in museums all over the world. Notice, please, Judaea Capta...not "Palaestina Capta." Additionally, to celebrate this victory, the Arch of Titus was erected and stands tall in Rome to this very day.

When, some sixty years later, Emperor Hadrian decided to further desecrate the site of the destroyed Temple of the Jews by erecting a pagan structure there, it was the grandchildren's turn to take on their mighty conquerors.

The result of the struggle of this tiny nation for its freedom was, perhaps, as predictable as that which would have occurred had Lithuania taken on the Soviet Union during its heyday of power. Listen next to this quote from Dio Cassius:

580,000 men were slain, nearly the whole of Judaea made desolate. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war (the Bar Kochba Revolt). Therefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, ' I and the legions are in health.'

Hadrian was so enraged at the Jews' struggle for freedom in their own land that, in the words of the esteemed modern historian, Bernard Lewis, "Hadrian made a determined attempt to stamp out the embers not only of the revolt but also of Jewish nationhood and statehood... obliterating its Jewish identity."

Wishing to end, once and for all, Jewish hopes, Hadrian renamed the land itself from Judaea to "Syria Palaestina" -- Palestine -- after the Jews' historic enemies, the Philistines, a non-Semitic sea people from the eastern Mediterranean or Aegean area. Up until that time the name was used by Greeks and Romans simply to designate a region, not a kingdom, nation, or such.

All of this did not occur until after 135 C.E., with the defeat of Judaea's charismatic leader, Shimon Bar Kochba. And, as with the breathtaking discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls practically at the moment of Israel's rebirth almost six decades ago by an Arab shepherd boy, Bar Kochba's letters to his troops, his minted coins "For the Freedom of Israel," and other archaeological treasures were also soon unearthed

Dubya and Condi‘s projected Palestine--which, like Hadrian’s, intends to replace Israel--not live along side it--became largely "Arab" the same way that most of the twenty-one states that already call themselves "Arab" today did... by the conquest, occupation, settlement, and forced Arabization of other native, non-Arab peoples and their lands... Berbers, Copts, Black Africans, Jews, Kurds, and so forth.

Muhammad and his Arab successors' imperial caliphal armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and spread the Dar ul-Islam in all directions.

The Ottoman Turks were the latest in a long series of imperialist conquerors to rule the land since the Jews fought for their independence against Rome. No one ever had an independent kingdom or nation there since the fall of Judaea. The Ottomans ruled for some four centuries up until after World War I. From the 10th century onwards, the Arabs lost control of the land themselves. And when the Arabs' own imperial empires ruled, it was from Damascus or Baghdad. There was never an independent Arab entity of Palestine.

During the Mandatory period following the break up of empires after World War I, the League of Nations Permanent Mandates commission recorded scores of thousands of Arabs pouring into a largely depopulated Palestine from surrounding countries to take advantage of the economic development going on because of the Jews. Many more entered under cover of darkness and were never listed. All of these folks were preceded in the 19th century by many thousands of Egyptians who came with Muhammad Ali and son Ibrahim pasha’s invading armies and never left... more Arab settlers in Palestine. Arafat himself was one of them. So was Hamas' "patron saint," Izzadin al-Qassam... coming from Latakia, Syria.

Back to the current reality, I believe it was the late Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who perhaps said it best. I’ll try to paraphrase it…

It’s not what Gentiles think but what the Jews will do that in the end counts.

While this may sound quite naïve coming from a people whose population accounts for so small a portion of the world’s population, think about what the opposite has achieved throughout most of the past millennia.

As I wrote many months ago, the party Dubya and Condi have in store for Israel should be one Israel declines to attend until Israel gets itself leaders who will not simply be yes men for those who do not have their nation’s best interests in mind.

While the latter is not the job of an American president or secretary of state (as Lord Palmerston said, nations don't have permanent friends, just interests), it is the most important job of the leadership of Israel.

And, unlike a three-thousand mile-wide America, Israel doesn’t have two vast oceans separating it from those who wish it ill.


Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous university campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites around the world. His official website is: http://www.geraldahonigman.com/

Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article. A. G. S.