‘Palestine is not home of Muslims’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Dear Editor, I would like the privilege to debate the statement that was made by the writer of the (letter) titled &uot;Palestinians, Jews alike in treatment.&uot;

The writer’s statement that the Palestinians are fighting for their ancestral home, I believe, is untrue.

Let me say here that I do not believe in any superior God, and this makes me an atheist, according to the three major religions.

I do, however, believe that all people are born with a desire for truth and right, while most people must be taught prejudice and hate &045; the two greatest weapons used by religious leaders.

The Jews have suffered at the hands of dictators and religious bigots for well over 2,000 years.

Their only sin was to fight for the freedom to worship their God in their home land. They never tried to force their religion on any nation or any people.

According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Palestine, first known as Jericho, may date back to 9000 B.C. In 1000 B.C., the Hebrews established Palestine as an independent kingdom, which after 950 B.C. broke into two states: Israel and Judah. Those states were destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.

Since that time, Palestine has been controlled by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

It fell to the Muslim Arabs by the year 640. The area was the focus of the Crusades and was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1516.

Since then, with both the Christians and the Muslims considering Palestine their Holy Land, Palestine has known little peace.

By the 19th century, the Jews, driven far from the land they had settled in, began to return to Palestine, by that time controlled by the British. The Muslims began warring with Jews over the land, and the British turned Palestine over to the League of Nations &045; today’s U.N.

Palestine has never been the ancestral home of the Muslims. It was, and is, the ancestral home of the Jews.

Since they have returned and built their own army to protect their people, much of the prejudice and hate for the Jewish people is fading, especially among the people who enjoy their own freedom.

Terrorism cannot be justified by condemning the state of Israel for protecting its people