Echoes of Arab-Israel Conflict: A Forgotten Lesson

Dr. Maqsood ul Hasan Qasmi

The conflicts, riots, clashes, and wars between Arabs and Jews, or Arabs and Israel have been going for decades. ‘Nakaba’ (Catastrophe), ‘Naksa’ (Setback), and ‘Intifadha’ (Uprising) are well-known terms in Arabic literature, expressing the pain of Palestinians and other Arabs. The major wars or conflicts that caused massive human loss and destruction include the wars of 1929, 1948, 1956, 1967 (Six day War). The ‘First Intifada’ (1987-1993(, and the ‘Second Intifada’ (2000-2005).

  What is noticeable is that each time, the number of casualties and amount of destruction on the Palestinian side has been higher than on the Israeli side. As per statistics (Wikipedia), in the 1948 war, more than 6000 Israeli Jews, including 4000 soldiers and 2000 civilians, were killed, while the Israeli army killed more than 10,000 Arab soldiers including other civilians. In 1956 war, 3000 Arabs lost their lives, while the number of losses on the Israeli side was extremely low. In 1967, Israel lost 796 lives, while Arabs lost 19,000 people. In First Intifada, Israel lost 100 civilians and 60 soldiers, while Arabs lost 1097. In Second Intifada, the total number of casualties on the Israeli side was 1062, while the number of Palestinians killed was between 2739 and 3168.

   It was only during the week of riots from August 23 to 29 in 1929 when the number of casualties on the side of Jews was remarkably higher than Arabs. In this first-ever clash between Arabs and Jews, Arabs killed more than 133 Jews and injured 339. Later, ‘Hagana’ (the old name of the IDF), in a joint venture with the ‘British Mandate Police’, killed 116 Arabs and wounded 232 people. The situation was such that the Jews who had migrated from Europe to Jerusalem and settled in the city were compelled to move to other regions in Palestine.

 Defense experts are of the views that in 1929, Jews in Israel, although they had their army, the ‘Hagana’, were not equipped with the most advanced weapons and an unparalleled air defense system as they are today.

Imagine (Without delving into the right or wrong of the situation) if Israel did not possess air defense capabilities like the Iron Dome missile defense system, through which it has been able to flatten Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon, Israel would have faced greater challenges in dealing with groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Ansarullah and other Arab militias.

It is a historically proven fact that nations or peoples who are advanced in science and technology have been, and will continue to be, the ones who rule the world, dictating and shaping the global order.

  It is the bitter reality that the Arab and other Muslim worlds have failed to realize. They have not learnt any lesson from their plight. Despite being rich in resources and wealth, they are far behind in science and technology. They lack medical colleges and Universities dedicated to modern education. Their focus only remains on religious debates, while clerics and rulers are engaged in infighting and sectarian violence, labeling each other as ‘Kafir’ (no-believers) while still dreaming of global domination.

(Writer is a prominent Islamic scholar, he has PhD. on Palestinian issue)