I believe that one cannot properly understand the Israel-Palestinian-&-Co conflict without understanding what happened before and after the fall of the Ottoman empire. This issue is not merely about history; it’s also about religion, ideology, politics and racial conflict between the Jews and the Islamic Arabs.

Here is ONE BASIC, UNDENIABLE fact that most Libertarians are so IGNORANT about: The entire Middle East and some other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa were under the control and imperialist rule of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which was the largest and first empire of the religion of Islam. It’s often called the “Empire of Faith”. The empire started to control many parts of the world in 1590.

One of the main differences between the influential and powerful Vatican City and imperial Islam is that the Vatican spread Catholicism throughout many parts of the world through conquest by independent European empires (e.g., Spain, Italy, Portugal, among others), while Islam was spread by a single Islamic empire- the Ottoman Empire. Literally, Islam was spread by the imperialist sword of the Ottoman turks.

Under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, Jews and non-Muslims living in what is now called Israel, including those living in other parts of the empire, were all subject to ‘dhimmitude’ (dhimmi status). This early form of apartheid was based on a few Qur’anic statements, from Sura 9:29: “Fight against those to whom the Scriptures were given and who believe not in God nor in the Last Day, who forbid not what God and His apostle have forbidden and follow not the true faith, until they pay the tribute out of hand and are humbled” and “There is no compulsion in religion.” These quranic verses became the basis of a legal foundation for the creation of dhimmis under the Ottoman rule.

‘Dhimmi status or contract’ is an early form of institutionalized apartheid that classified three groups of non-Muslim minorities: ahl al-kitab (People of the Book), ahl al-dhimma (protected minorities), and non-Muslims. Although dhimmis were not forced to follow Islamic law (the Jews had their own Halakha courts), they were subject to restrictions and special taxes.

As dhimmis or dhimma, Jews and Christians under the Ottoman rule were subject to:

A special tax (the jizya);
A prohibition against carrying arms;
A prohibition against riding horses;
A prohibition against building new houses of worship or repairing old ones;
Prohibitions against public processions and worship;
A prohibition against proselytism;
A requirement to wear distinctive clothing;
A prohibition against building homes higher than Muslim ones.

Yes, the Libertarians and liberals are perhaps right in saying that the Jews and Christians lived “peacefully” with the Muslim Arabs in the past, but what these people don’t know is that all non-Muslims under the Ottoman rule were oppressed and treated like sub-humans. Now, is that consistent with the principles of Libertarianism or even Liberalism?

This source shows how the Jews were treated by the Ottoman Muslims: “In 1656, Shah Abbas I expelled the Jews from Isfahan and compelled them to adopt Islam, although the order was subsequently withdrawn, possibly because of the loss of fiscal revenues.[23] In the early eighteenth century, Shia’ clergy attempted to force all dhimmis to embrace Islam, but without success. In 1830, all 2500 Jews of Shiraz were forcibly converted to Islam.[24] In 1839, Jews were massacred in Mashhad and survivors were forcibly converted.[25] The same fate awaited the Jews of Barforoush in 1866, even though they were allowed to revert to Judaism after an intervention from the British and French ambassadors.[24]“

Yes, we all know the Jews existed and lived in the Middle East. But most of them had to flee to avoid severe dhimmi taxes, coercion and oppression. They had to migrate to other societies. That’s why they’re called ‘wandering Jews’. Only a few hundred thousands stayed and they were all dhimmis. Most converted to Islam for self-preservation.

Now, will someone tell me why the Jews did not have a STATE or HOME of their own for the past 1000 years?

However, everything changed following the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1917. The ruthless Islamic empire lost to Great Britain and its allies because Europe became technologically advanced. Do not expect a mystic/theocratic society or empire to improve, economically and technologically. The Ottoman empire was killed by its mysticism and suppression of earthly knowledge (plus of course the oppression of Jews who were somehow genetically more INTELLECTUALLY superior to Arabs).

As a result of its defeat, the Ottoman empire then signed dissolution treaties that led to the eventual partition of its territories. Remember that the empire was one of World War 1 instigators. The partition led to the creation of more than two dozen independent states:

Algeria
Libya
Tunisia
Malta
Egypt
Palestine
Jordan
Lebanon
Syria
Cyprus
Iraq
Kuwait
Qatar
Bahrain
United Arab Emirates
Turkey
Greece
Bulgaria
Romania
Moldova
FYRO Macedonia
Albania
Kosovo
Serbia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Croatia
Slovenia
Hungary

No, history didn’t start in 1917, as what a misguided Libertarian told me. Technically, it started many billions of years ago. But we’re dealing with reality here. Conquest is part of human reality and history. Talking about the harsh realities of conquest doesn’t make one statist or pro-invasion or pro-intervention (as this Libertarian called me names like ‘John Puruntong’ and ‘Statist’ for being a pro-Israel), unless you’re pathologically ignorant or a dishonest person.

If people in those formerly Ottoman-governed territories could form their own states, then why couldn’t the people in today’s Israel establish their own home as well?

There were Jews living in pre-Israel before 1947. Israel was first built by hundreds of thousand Jews who inhabited the ‘disputed’ territory. They were joined by the Arabs. The European Jews and other immigrants joined them after.

Here are the basic FACTS:

The Ottoman empire, which governed the area where today’s Israel is located, was partitioned into many independent states in 1917. This means the Israelis did not grab that land from anyone. When the empire was dissolved, authority or power to govern the defeated empire’s territory was automatically passed to the war victors (Britain and company).
Israel was first populated and represented by its NATIVE SETTLERS (both Jews and Arabs). I am speaking of the 20th century native inhabitants.
The day after Israel’s founding, Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq launched the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Saudi Arabia sent a military contingent to operate under Egyptian command; Yemen declared war but did not take military action. Was it OK for any of these Arab countries to occupy the disputed land?
The Arab countries that launched the war ( Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia) were equally formed from the ruins of the defunct Ottoman empire.
The European Jews and other nationalities and refugees migrated to- and were embraced by- Israel.

The Jews needed a home or state of their own. If Filipinos were indemnified by – or received their share of war reparations from- the Japanese, then the 20th century Jews also deserved reparations for slavery and oppression under the Ottoman Turks. The Jews, who were one of the most, if not the most, oppressed groups of people on earth, deserved to have their own state where they can defend their rights and culture.

More over, Israel needs my/our support because it is the only civilized and technologically progressive state in the Middle East.
Second Update:

The death of the Ottoman Empire in 1917 was a big blow to the Arab Muslims. The Imperial Caliphate was a symbolic system of government representative of Islamic influence, power and unity. To early Islamic hardliners, the collapse of the Ottoman empire ended the almost half a millennium one-kingdom rule of the Islamic religion. It meant a lot of things: no more Islamic invasion, no more aggressive proselytization, no more single authoritative entity to represent Islam in the global stage, no more expansive powers for the religious clerics, among others.

In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian Islamic leader, and his five brothers. The brothers pledged to live and die for Islam. However, the Brotherhood was suppressed by the semi-secular government of Egypt. In fact, Egyptian President Nasser, who tried to invade Israel in 1947 and in 1967 (both attempts failed), suppressed the Brotherhood and executed one of its influential leaders, Sayyid Qutb. Nasser clearly understood the threat of the theocratic movement. (Read related blog story)

Qutb, the acknowledged intellectual leader and philosopher of the Muslim Brotherhood, wanted to establish a new Ottoman Empire. His life’s vision was to establish a global Islamic Caliphate through global jihad. He strongly hated Western civilization and the United States. He wrote in his book titled ‘Islam and the Problem of Civilization’: “What should be our verdict on this synthetic [Western] civilization? What should be done about America and the West, given their overwhelming danger to humanity…? Should we not issue a sentence of death? Is it not the verdict most appropriate to the nature of the crime?”

He desired Islamic unity and revival of the Ottoman rule under a global caliphate: “The whole world today coalesces in large ideological formations predicated on doctrines and beliefs. Striving towards Islamic unity is, hence, much more in the spirit of the times we live in.”

But just how influential is Sayyid Qutb, who is regarded as “the father of Islamic fundamentalism,” among Islamic leaders and even terrorists?

Very, very influential, according to this researcher. Luke Loboda, in his article titled ‘The Thought of Sayyid Qutb’, wrote:

“Sayyid Qutb remains a significant and influential thinker in the Muslim world to this day. Professor Muhammad Qutb, Sayyid’s brother, was ateacher and mentor to the young Osama Bin Laden, who has grown to lead the radical Islamic terrorist movement. Today’s radical Islamic groups, such as al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad, have borrowed much from the thought of Qutb in justifying their vision for the world and the violence they promote. In his introductory chapter to Milestones, Qutb wrote with urgency and warned that “Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice…because humanity is devoid of those vital values for its healthy development and real progress”.”

Sayyid Qtub’s group, the Muslim Brotherhood, violently opposes Israel’s right to exist and calls for global jihad.

Another very influential Islamic intellectual who’s aggressively anti-Israel is Israel Shamir. He lamented the death of the Ottoman empire. He hated the British for partitioning the empire into different independent territories. He believed that the partition bred or triggered sense of nationalism among leaders of the new independent states in the Middle East.

He said that Nationalism is a European invention. He wanted a single Islamic Caliphate just like the Ottoman empire. And if there’s one state that represents nationalism or sense of country, IT IS ISRAEL!