Why Israel Should Remain Jewish
Israel has been claimed by a lot of different people, and for a lot of different reasons. I am making the case that the rightful owner of Israel is the Jews, for reasons that are practical rather than religious.
First, Jews were in Israel before either the Muslims or the Crusaders, and they were there for longer than either party. If Biblical accounts and archaeological discoveries are to be believed, Jews ran the place for over a millenium and a half from 1490 BC to 136AD. Jerusalem was under Byzantine rule from 324AD to 636AD; under Muslim rule from 636AD to 1099AD; under Crusaders from 1099AD to 1239AD; and from 1239AD to the end of the First World War under rule of different Muslims, including the Mameluks and the Ottoman Turks.
Secondly, Jews have made a much better use of the land than did either Muslims or Christians. In ancient times, Solomon built a temple that was vastly bigger and more impressive than anything that has been built in Jerusalem before or since. A major Muslim mosque, the Dome of the Rock, built on the territory of that temple, takes up a tiny fraction of the space that that temple commanded. And in contemporary times, the Israelis have done vastly better in economic, technological and social terms than have the Muslims living in that area. Israel is economically comparable to Western Europe and has women's rights and social liberies; whereas Muslim Palestine is economically comparable to poorer countries in Africa and is socially totalitarian.
Leaving aside for now the issue of what lands are ordained to God and his chosen people, the more practical issue is simply this: Who will make the better use of the land? The Israelis have made an excellent use of the land, not only building a vibrant economy but also turning Negev desert into farmland and planting enough trees to more than offset the environmental cost of economic development and population growth. Israel is one of only two countries that have more trees now than it did in 1948, despite having multiplied in its population since then by a factor of 10. We do not see anything like this achieved by Muslim countries around Israel, which remain poor, corrupt and polluting.
What place is better: Israel as it is under the Jews or Israel as it was under Ottomans or Crusaders? I think that the answer here is very clear. And in contemporary comparison, Israel is a vastly better place than Syria, Jordan or Palestine. The Jews have been far better managers of that land than anyone before them or anyone who lays claim on that land now. From standpoints economic, social and environmental, Israel is a great accomplishment on the part of the people who live there today. And people who care about either economic, social or environmental matters need to take note of this and include it in their analysis.
Would the Palestinians have built a world-class economy, turned deserts into farmland, planted more trees than they cut down? Would the Palestinians have created a hotbed of technological innovation and scientific development? Would the Palestinians have allowed women's rights? I think not. Whether you are most interested in economic, environmental or social issues, Israel is a vast improvement over what is around it and what was there before.
Most important is this: Putting things into perspective. The land that is Israel has never done as well as it is doing now, and only in the ancient times, when it was also under the Jewish rule, was that land anything more than a backwater. The Jews have been the best managers of that land; which means that they belong as managers of that land.
As for the other parties that lay claim to that land, they cannot even adequately manage their own countries. Which means that they would make piss-poor managers of Israel.