Several years ago, I was in Rome on a tour culminating with a visit to the Colosseum. Somewhere along the way, on a brilliantly sunny day, our guide told the story about what happened to Israel and the Jewish people and how Palestine got its name.
My mind was blown. “How had I been in the dark about that critical piece of history?” I wondered.
I haven't thought much about what I learned that day until the most recent conflict roared to life in Israel, but what I learned then matters right now in the war between Hamas (the Palestinians) and Israel (the Jews).
I'm sure you've heard the Palestinians or seen their protests. They are raising their voices from college campuses to cities. Just this week, Marjorie Taylor Greene's office was surrounded by a mix of protestors demanding a cease-fire in the Middle East.
Palestinian protestors often claim that Israel occupies their land, employing a catchy, though murderous, chant to make their point: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!” These chilling lyrics advocate for an Israel-free world.
The question is, were the Palestinians acting justly? Did Hamas merely paraglide into Israel and slaughter people living on land that actually belongs to them? Whose land is it anyway?
"The ancient Romans pinned the name on the Land of Israel,” Douglas J. Feith writes in “Mosaic Magazine. “In 135 BC, after stamping out the province of Judea's second insurrection, the Romans renamed the province Syria Palaestina—that is, ‘Palestinian Syria.’ They did so resentfully, as a punishment, to obliterate the link between the Jews … and the province.” He goes on to say, “‘Palaestina’ referred to the Philistines, whose home base had been on the Mediterranean coast.”
Sources suggest “that the term Palestine refers only to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Countless books and maps say that Israel, in conquering the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War, took control of ‘all of Palestine.’ But that is not correct,” Feith continues.
“The term ‘Palestine’ was used for millennia without a precise geographic definition. That's not uncommon—think of ‘Transcaucasus’ or ‘Midwest.’ No precise definition existed for Palestine because none was required. Since the Roman era, the name lacked political significance. No nation ever had that name."
Getting history right matters.
Borders, land, and boundaries matter.
It matters there. And it matters here.
So how do we deal with the intellectual dishonesty in which our government seems to engage? How do we help them get our issues right? What about our own border and baby issues?
For example, while we’re for Israel – and while we’re crystal clear that what happened to the Israeli citizens is unconscionable and heinous – why is our ally able to defend her borders, but we’re not? No one paraglided in or mutilated our women and children in the U.S., but there are bad actors and fighting-age men pouring over our borders and infiltrating our ranks like a fire hydrant, and our government does nothing about them. Nor do they do anything about the human trafficking or the MS13 gang members, one of whom was caught in Chelsea recently. Why are these attacks permissible here, but not over there?
The same could be asked about Ukraine, which we dropped like a bad habit when the Hamas war started. But didn't we send billions to that most corrupt country on the planet so she could defend herself? Weren't people everywhere, who are now curiously mum, entirely for Ukraine being able to defeat Russia?
The double standard is illogical.
So why won't our elected officials and members of the Biden administration allow us to take care of our borders? Are our leaders okay with military-aged men pouring over our borders?
Do they want chaos?
And by leaders, I do mean Alabama's people – our personal elected officials. What are they doing besides a lot of talking? And how are they proving to us that they're not for Israel and Ukraine more than they're for us and our borders?
Getting the border situation right matters. It matters there. And it matters here.
Another thing: Why the outrage for babies butchered by Hamas, but no outrage for those butchered here? What Hamas supposedly did is hideous, vile, and inhumane … but what about abortion mills and butchered babies in the U.S.? Do our leaders know about the tiny humans who've been aborted or killed after surviving an abortion attempt? Do they know about Kermit Gosnell and his penchant for snipping babies' necks and mutilating women? Or what about the late-term aborted babies found in a D.C. abortuary?
Maybe it’s just easier to be outraged by what's happening over there, but disregard evil over here. Or perhaps we just like problems when they're not on our own shores.
If that’s the case, why are we willing to offer our children's blood, sweat, and tears to defend someone else's borders but not ours?
Is this who we've become, or does the thought of our hypocrisy sicken us and compel us to change our ways, so that we get our critical issues right? Because now is the time when we decide whether we'll rise to our moment of truth, so that someday, someone will pen a history that reflects brave and honorable people.
Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].
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