That land must have been populated by SOME people, no? Or was it just empty with no one in it? And when you take something that another person lives with/on/in, you are stealing. Please do say the logic you used here.
If were going to talk, we have to start from the beginning, and the beginning is 1880-1947, when Jews began migrating to the Holy land.
Where did they move? They moved to North Eastern portion of what after 1920 became known as the "Palestinian Mandate". It was only this area they moved to, as they were barred by the British from moving into other areas of the Palestinian mandate.
In 1922, the eastern portion of the mandate was splintered from Palestine and became 'transjordan'.
See those blue areas? Those are areas PURCHASED by the Jewish agency for Jewish migration.
Now, keep in mind, the massive eastern portion of the mandate was seceded from the greater mandate and made into a state. But who were to be the citizens of this nascent state? A measly 300,000, mostly bedouin and eastern Palestinians. Years later, when Jordan wanted to add to it's slim population, did the thought of naturalizing Palestinian Arabs enter the equation? Nope. They went out of their way to take Arabs from other parts of the Arab world, from Iraq, Syria, and North Africa, rather than help solve the Jewish/Arab conflict in Israel, and bring an end to the miseries of Palestinians.
Also, since this shows the type of politics that were going on behind the scenes, the people who got control of Jordan - and who are still in power - were the Hedjaz Hashemite dynasty. One son (or prince), Faisal, was awarded by the British with Iraq, while another, Abdullah, became king of Jordan. Is that fair? Did a prince from northwestern Arabia have any legitimate claim to the 'transjordan'? If you say yes, then you acknowledge that being Arab is more essential than being from any particular corner of the Arab world.
In 1946, the kingdom of Jordan was established. In 1947, the UN partitioned what was left of the Palestinian mandate, evenly, for a Jewish state and a Arab Palestinian state. The Arabs rejected it.
On May 10th, 1948, David Ben Gurion declared Israel a state. The area declared a state was a very tiny portion compared to the present day size Israel.
This was the area claimed by Israel in 1948. Significantly smaller than the area under Arab control.
So before the war, the vast majority of what was left of the Palestinian mandate was in Arab hands. They could have let the Jews have the small corner that they had - and in fact - an area roughly equivalent to the land purchased by the Jewish agency, and leave at that. All would have been happy.
But the Arabs do not want the Jews to be happy. For them to be happy, would require them acknowledging a Jewish right to some portion of the holy land. They deny that right; they've even gone to incriminating lengths to
'revise' history, denying that a Jewish state in the area ever existed. If that doesn't work, they themselves claim to be the descendents of the Jews of Roman era Judea. In short, the Palestinians will go to whatever length to prevent the Jews from ever existing as a self determining nation-state in the middle east.
The Arabs started three different wars between 1947 and 1949. The final war was waged by Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, on Israel, a mere 5 years after Europe tried to exterminate the Jewish people. Was there even a modicum of sympathy for the plight of the Jews? Arabs will usually respond "why should we suffer for the sins of Germany"? This is a problematic response because, one, the Jews had been already migrating to the Holy land 60 years before the shoa (holcaust), and two, Arabs have yet to acknowledge the fact that there current views towards Jews have been conditioned by Nazi propaganda in the region during the war years, megaphoned by the agents of Haj Amin Al-Husseini. There are many interesting books on this subject: The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust, by Edwin Black; The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Husseini, by Chuck Morse; Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, by Mattias Kuntzel; Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine. Suffice to say, it is a well documented FACT that today's Arabs perpetuate Nazi-Era theories about Jews, and Zionism, and are the foremost proponents of holocaust denial.
This was the 1949 armistice lines after the fighting ended. The Arabs began a war, lost a war, and finally agreed to these lines.
Israel never stole the land, because they DIDN'T start the war. You can't accuse them of theft if they came into possession of these lands through fighting a DEFENSIVE war. Once the war was finished, Israel maintained the lands they won. It was their right to retain possession; if not, for what purpose did 6000 Jews die? You don't give land back to a belligerent enemy. You keep the land because you rightfully won it, and even more importantly, for your future defense it is crucial that you keep possession of lands that have strategic importance.
Same thing with 1967. The Jewish state was again provoked into a war when Egypt illegally blocked the strait or tiran - a strait which Israel used to transport oil from Iran. It was a vital waterway for Israels economic survival. The Egypts broke international law by blocking it; they also generated concern when they amassed 100,000 soldiers and hundreds of tanks at the Israeli border.
edit on 16-10-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)