Why Are 21 Countries With 800 Times More Land So Obsessed With Israel?


muslim-islamRuth R. Wisse writes in The Wall Street Journal:

When she is surrounded by a swirl of conversation she cannot understand, my two-year-old granddaughter turns to me expectantly: “What they talking about, Bubbe?” Right now, I would have to confess to her that the hubbub over 1,600 new housing units in Jerusalem defies rational explanation.

Of the children of Abraham, the descendants of Ishmael currently occupy at least 800 times more land than descendants of Isaac. The 21 states of the Arab League routinely announce plans of building expansion. Saudi Arabia estimates that 555,000 housing units were built over the past several years. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced during a meeting in Baghdad last year that “Some 10,000 units will be built in each province [of Iraq] with 100 square meters per unit” to accommodate citizens whose housing needs have not been met for a long time. Egypt has established 10 new cities since 1996. They are Tenth of Ramadan, Sixth of October, Al Sadat, Al Shurouq, Al Obour, New Damietta, New Beni Sueif, New Assiut, New Luxor, and New Cairo.

In 2006 the Syrian Prime Minister, Mohammad Naji Atri, announced a new five-year development plan that aims to supply 687,000 housing units. Kuwait expects to have a demand for approximately 100,000 private housing units by 2010. Last year Jordan’s King Abdullah launched a National Housing Initiative, which aims to build 120,000 properties for low-income Jordanians.

Arab populations grow. And neighborhoods expand to house them. What’s more, Arab countries benefited disproportionately from the exchange of populations between Jews and Arabs that resulted from the Arab wars against Israel. Since 1948 upward of 800,000 Jews abandoned their homes and forfeited their goods in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen. In addition to assets valued at hundreds of billions of dollars, the property deeds of Jews from Arab lands is estimated at a total area of 100,000 square miles, which is five times the size of the state of Israel, and more than Israel would include even if it were to stretch over all the disputed territories of the West Bank.

These preposterous disparities are a result of contrasting political cultures. The Arab League was founded at the same time as Israel with the express aim of undoing the Jewish state’s existence. Although much has changed over the ensuing decades, opposition to the Jewish state remains the strongest unifying tool of inter-Arab and Arab-Muslim politics. Trying to eliminate the Jews rather than compete with them has never benefited nations.

It is unfortunate that Arabs obsess about building in Israel rather than aiming for the development of their own superabundant lands. But why should America encourage their hegemonic ambitions? In December the White House issued a statement opposing “new construction in East Jerusalem” without delineating where or what East Jerusalem is.

Ramat Shlomo, the neighborhood at the center of the present altercation, is actually in northern Jerusalem, west of the Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot, home to 40,000 Jewish residents. Why does the White House take issue with the construction of housing for Jewish citizens within the boundaries of their own country? The same White House raised no objection when Jordan recently began systematically stripping citizenship from thousands of its Palestinian citizens rather than providing new housing units for them in a land much larger than Israel.

Perhaps Israel has been at fault for not doggedly insisting on unconditional acceptance of its sovereign existence, and for not demanding that Arab rulers adhere to the U.N. Charter’s guarantee of “equal rights of . . . nations large and small.” Preposterous as they would have thought it, perhaps Israelis ought to have called for a freeze on Arab settlements to correspond to unreasonable Arab demands on them.

Any peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict will begin with a hard look at the map of the region in which 21 countries with 800 times more land are consumed with their Jewish neighbors’ natural increase.

Ms. Wisse, a professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, is the author of “Jews and Power” (Schocken, 2007).

{WSJ/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. It is a rather easy task to answer the big WHY? Overhere, we are in gulus, and as much as the fact may hurt us, regarding the audacity of the muslim demands pertaining to Israel on this (how the next American President after 9.11 ended up being muslim, with a muslim name and agenda of course, which he so proudly asked to be sworn in with, is this al pi derech hateva? Well it certainly doesnt seem so)! But we still have to look back in hindsight and admit, that the last 60 years of gulus have been the best we have had in the last 2000 years! Trying to make sense with the actions of our muslim president is really silly and in reality futile, even if he so cunningly aligned himself with over a minyan of jews its all a scam, to really cover up his long term plans. This president is the worst the jews ever had, and jimmy carter is a tsadik compared to him, and if anybody has any illusions into thinking that his gizeiris are over well think again, he has already invented a new theory why the yiden have to leave yerushalyim, and it basically has to do with the danger of the american troops in iraq, consider the chutzpa we the people who live in eretz yisroel have to concern ourselves over an occupying force in the middle east that might be in danger as he claims, but the irony is two fold, he’s pushing a peace for jews and arabs with his main concern being we the jews who are the official occupiers of east jerusalem, (for the time being its only yerushalyim, but dont worry eventually its going to come to tel aviv too) and so us jews have to move out of jerusalem and not build there, in order for his occupying force in iraq to remain safe, how cynical and dangerous this policy gets, and then theres the claim that we are in yerushalyim unlawfully under the U.N. Charter; well to sum it up this I compare to somebody being thrown out of his house and the law just decides that he may not return, sickening but true, dont worry the day will yet come when jews wont be allowed to own land at all just like it was in the dark ages; and so we are descending down a slippery slope which I trully believe that no hishtadlis will get us anywhere, we must return to our father in heaven and beg him to make moshiach come in a much easier way, we have suffered enough already in this deep dark gulus, and Hashems name will be sanctified if this apartheid treatment of jews doesnt escalate any further. But there are still many yiden out there saying, oh no, dont call the american president anti jewish because he’s surrounded by so many jews and he doesnt really hate us. well my view on these people is simple, they are in dreamland, and dont want to do tishuvu.

  2. It is easy: there are more of them than there are of us. What should be the greatest minds have forgotten that you have to sell ideas to make lazy folks understand and buy them.
    The other guys are doing a better selling job to the lazy folks.
    And then, to top it off, the building was announced when Veep Biden was visiting and they did not do him the courtesy of telling him what they were doing.
    Why embarrass Biden?