Absurdity of stopping settlement activity

June 24th, 2009

June 21 2009

The US demand verges on the absurd. Consider the facts of the Palestinian situation if Israel continues construction. That will require the eventual peace agreement to factor in one of these options:

the settlements will become part of Israel proper;
or they will be evacuated and handed over, as is, to the Palestinians;
or they will be torn down and the land handed over to the Palestinians; or they will be handed over to the new Palestinian state where the Jews will become second class citzens.

So in what possible way does continued construction prejudice the Palestinians?

Obama not fair and balanced

In his major speech delivered from Cairo, June 4, President Obama attempted to be fair and balanced. Unfortunately he wasn’t. For while he demanded that Israel stop all settlement activity immediately, he made no similar demand on the Palestinians. Like, for example, immediately stopping all incitement. Surely that would not have been too much to ask?

True he did refer to the need for Palestinians to stop rocketing Israeli civilians. But this had already stopped and was therefore in no way equivalent to his demand that Israel stop all settlement activity. Fact is that Hizbollah already had their come-uppance and had presumably decided it was too stupid or dangerous to continue rocketing our civilians.

The same applies to Hamas in Gaza. They too have understood that it does not profit them to continue their mindless terrorist rocketing.
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“Jews have the same right to settle there as they have to settle in Haifa.”

June 12th, 2009

(All emphasis mine)

Israel’s victory in the Six Days War (June 1967) left her in charge of all the territory previously annexed by Jordan which they referred to as their West Bank, and the land of Sinai, previously held by Egypt.

Israel was prepared to return some of the conquered territories in the peace agreement she expected to sign. But while most wars end in a peace agreement, Egypt, Jordan and the other warring Arab nations had not the slightest intention of making peace though they had clearly been defeated by the infidel Jews they were so confident of conquering and annihilating.

So all Israel got were the Three Noes of Khartoum. No peace, no recognition, no negotiations. This was the unanimous decision of the Arab Summit Conference held that August.

The disposition of the territories which Israel had conquered in 1967 was framed by the United Nations. On 22 November 1967 the Security Council’s Resolution 242 was passed. Since then the Palestinians and their friends have tried to change the meaning the resolution to grant them what it had not offered.

Here are some of the responses of major political figures who were involved in the phrasing and clarifying of 242.

President George W. Bush

“In 1991, the Bush administration assured Prime Minister Shamir that the ´´United States does not intend to issue a call for a return to the 1967 borders or for only cosmetic changes in these borders.” (Wikipedia)

“Despite fervent denials by Obama administration officials, there were indeed agreements between Israel and the United States regarding the growth of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.”

“On April 14, 2004, Mr. Bush handed Mr. Sharon a letter saying that there would be no “right of return” for Palestinian refugees. Instead, the president said, “a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.”

“On the major settlement blocs, Mr. Bush said, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

“Several previous administrations had declared all Israeli settlements beyond the “1967 borders” to be illegal. Here Mr. Bush dropped such language, referring to the 1967 borders — correctly — as merely the lines where the fighting stopped in 1949, and saying that in any realistic peace agreement Israel would be able to negotiate keeping those major settlements.

” On Aug. 21, 2004 the New York Times reported that “the Bush administration . . . now supports construction of new apartments in areas already built up in some settlements, as long as the expansion does not extend outward.”
(Elliot Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor, Wall Street Journal Op-ed, 24 June 2009. This update inserted June 27.)

JUDGE ARTHUR GOLDBERG, FORMER US
AMBASSADOR . . . key author of 242.

“The notable omissions in regard to withdrawal… are the words ‘all’, ‘the’ and ‘the June 5, 1967 lines’…There is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to withdraw from all of the territories occupied by it on, and after, June 5, 1967.”

“… The efforts of the Arab States, strongly supported by the USSR, for a condemnation of Israel as the aggressor and for its withdrawal to the June 5, 1967 lines, failed to command the requisite support…”
(Columbia Journal of International Law, Vol 12 no 2, 1973).

“UN Security Council Resolution 242 calls on Israel to withdraw only from territories occupied in the course of the Six Day War – that is, not from ‘all’ the territories or even from ‘the’ territories… Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawal from ‘all’ the territory were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly one after another. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the ‘fragile and vulnerable’ [1949/1967] Armistice Demarcation Lines…” christianactionforisrael.org/un/242a.html

“Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted.”

“Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal.”

“If the resolution is ambiguous, and purposely so, on this crucial issue, how is the withdrawal issue to be settled? By direct negotiations between the concerned parties. Resolution 242 calls for agreement between them to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. Agreement and acceptance necessarily require negotiations”. (American Foreign Policy Interests, 1988)

MICHAEL STEWART, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

“As I have explained before . . . the omission of the word ‘all’ before the word ‘territories’ is deliberate.” Motions to require the withdrawal of Israel from ‘the’ territories or ‘all the territories’ . . . were put forward many times with great linguistic ingenuity.

“They were all defeated both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council.

“The phrasing of the Resolution was very carefully worked out, and it was a difficult and complicated exercise to get it accepted by the UN Security Council. I formulated the Security Council Resolution. Before we submitted it to the Council, we showed it to Arab leaders. The proposal said ‘Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied’, and not from ‘the’ territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories.” (In Parliament, 19 December 1969)

The United Nations could not have conceived that this resolution would not have been implemented 42 years later. However, this did not prevent innumerable attempts to alter its meaning in favor of the Palestinians who, at the time, never even whispered (let alone clamored) for the West Bank to become a Palestinian state. For they were not yet a nation in the making.

In response to the ongoing debate on “settlements” it is appropriate to recall some of the comments and clarifications offered by Presidents and other high ranking politicos. Here are a few of the citations of one of the more important of these, namely . . .

BRITISH AMBASSADOR, LORD CARADON (Hugh Foot) a key drafter of Resolution 242

“. . . withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. . . It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1948, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary . . .” (Interviewed on Kol Israel in February 1973)

FORMER UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE EUGENE W. ROSTOW, key author of 242.

“Israel has a stronger claim to the West Bank than any other nation or would-be nation because, under the League of Nations Mandate, Israel has the same legal right to settle the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem than it has to settle Haifa or West Jerusalem.”
(New York Times, March 19, 1991)

“The heated question of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank during the occupation period should be viewed in this perspective. The British Mandate recognized the right of the Jewish people to close settlement in the whole of the Mandated territory.

“. . . the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan river, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors. And perhaps not even then. . .

“Some governments have taken the view that under the Geneva Convention of 1949 Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal, on the ground that the Convention prohibits an occupying power from flooding the occupied territory with its own citizens. President Carter supported this view, but President Reagan reversed him, specifically saying that the settlements are legal but that further settlements should be deferred since they pose a psychological obstacle to the peace process.”

“. . .the Jews have the same right to settle there as they have to settle in Haifa.”
(The New Republic, October 21, 1991)

FORMER PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON

“There are some who have urged, as a single, simple solution, an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4. As our distinguished and able Ambassador, Mr. Arthur Goldberg, has already said, this is not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.” (Address June 19, 1967)*

“It is clear however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders…” (Address, Sept. 10, 1968) “Israel should not have to withdraw its forces to the pre-June 5 armistice lines. This is not a prescription for peace, but for a renewal of hostilities.”(Address, June 19, 1967)

“We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace.” (Front Page Magazine, August 2, 2006.)

FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN:

“While the Carter administration did deem “settlements” illegal, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did not. Neither did President Reagan, who said: “As to the West Bank, I believe the settlements there — I disagreed when the previous Administration referred to them as illegal, they’re not illegal.”
(New York Times, Feb. 3, 1981)

“U.N. Resolution 242 remains wholly valid as the foundation-stone of America’s Middle East peace effort.” “Israel exists; it has a right to exist in peace behind secure and defensible borders, and it has a right to demand of its neighbors that they recognize those facts.”

“In the pre-1967 borders Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” (Address to the Nation, September 1, 1982).

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, GEORGE SCHULTZ, to President Reagan

“Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders.
(Address to the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, Sept. 16, 1988).

FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE McNAMARA

“. . . has said that if he were the Israel’s Minister of Defense, he would never agree to giving up the Golan Heights…UNSC 242 does not require the Israelis to transfer to the Arabs all, most, or indeed any of the occupied territories.”

“A few days before the UNSC vote on 242, President Johnson summoned UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg and Undersecretary Eugene Rostow to formulate the US position on the issue of ‘secure boundaries’ for Israel. They were presented with the Pentagon Map, which had been prepared by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Earle Wheeler. The map displayed the “minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes,” which included the entire Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. The participants . . . agreed that the Pentagon Map fulfilled the requirements of 242 for ‘secure borders.”

(Prof. Ezra Zohar, A Concubine in the Middle East, Geffen Publishing, p. 39)

JAMES BAKER, FORMER US SECRETARY OF STATE

“At the Middle East Insight Symposium in Washington on May 4, 1998. Hoda Tawfik, from the newspaper Al Ahram asked James Baker, former US Secretary of State, “What do you think is right? That these are occupied Arab territories and not disputed territories?” Baker replied, “They’re clearly disputed territories. That’s what Resolutions 242 and 338 are all about. They are clearly disputed territories.”
( Washington, May 4, 1998.)

JOSEPH SISCO, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

“That Resolution did not say ‘withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines’. The Resolution said that the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words, the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties.”
(Wikipedia: www.path.to/Sisco on242/)

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

“In 1991, the Bush administration assured Prime Minister Shamir that the ´´United States does not intend to issue a call for a return to the 1967 borders or for only cosmetic changes in these borders.” (Wikipedia)

GEORGE SHULTZ, SECRETARY OF STATE

“Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders. So the state of Israel cannot agree to anything other than its own secure, defensible, and internationally recognized borders.” (Address to the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, Sept. 16, 1988).

VASILY KUZNETSOV, USSR AMBASSADOR TO UN

“There is certainly much leeway for different interpretations which retain for Israel the right to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its troops only as far as the lines which it judges convenient.”
(S/PV. 1373, p. 112, of 9.11.67)

And now comes the sea change bringer of American politics who has not the slightest respect for the views and decisions of his predecessors, great presidents and administration leaders. He has the nerve to tell us that only he and Carter are right. That all previous clarifications from legal eagles who are certainly the more legally knowledgeable than he, are nitwits who do not compare with his regal wisdom.

“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” Thus Obama.

Hillary Clifton echoes her master’s voice: “The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to “settlements” — not some “settlements”, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.”

Thus he commands Israelis living in West Bank “settlements” that they have no right to build additions to their homes, or new ones to house their newly marrieds. Nor for the new generation born in Yesha!

Israel must not give up the rights of Yesha’s citizens because their right of settlement was and is unassailable. We must, if necessary, sit this Pharaoh out. The Palestinians have shown us the power of patience. Let us wait for a successor who will reverse Obama.

Meanwhile we must ratchet up our puerile public relations to win public opinion. For the Palestinians have beaten us hollow by the power of their public relations. Their narrative has beaten ours. Our governments have misjudged the power of public relations ever since the day Ben Gurion famously said “it matters not what the goyim say but what we do.” Then how come it does not matter what the Palestinians do – but what they say?

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Sanhedrin did not sentence Jesus to death

May 23rd, 2009

May 23, 2009

The Editor

The Jerusalem Post

Sir,

I take umbrage at Mathew Wagner’s mistake in his article “Leaps of faith” (May 14) where he pins responsibility on “. . . the Sanhedrin that sentenced Jesus to death . . .”

The Sanhedrin did nothing of the kind because Jesus’ arrest took place supper time, Thursday, the first night of Passover. The trial followed that evening or the next morning* – the first day of Passover, Good Friday – the day of the crucifixion. (*The Gospels are not unanimous.)

Passover was a religious holiday God decreed must be annually commemorated to recall the exodus from Egypt. (Exodus 13). This meant the priests, the Temple police, and the Sanhedrin of 72 judges (‘elders of the law’) would have been at home reading the Hagadah and having their evening meal Thursday. That’s why Jesus was not arrested by Temple police. Nor would the Priests or the Sanhedrin have tried Jesus that night, nor the next day (Luke). Nor would priests ever act as judges.

The Sanhedrin never held court at night or on national holidays. They never passed sentence until 24 hours after conclusion of a trial. Only Romans had power to crucify Jesus. Jewish law mandated death by stoning.

Jewish responsibility for the death of Jesus was a Christian episode fabricated decades after the event. Nevertheless, the Gospels still make clear that Jesus’ death was God ordained. Jesus was tried and sentenced to death not for blasphemy, but for being “King of the Jews” as Pilate stubbornly reiterated. (“What I have written, I have written.”)

Pilate, who had Jesus arrested and unceremoniously crucified, should have gone down in history as the real Christ killer despite the Gospel writers’ attempts to frame the Jews for Jesus’ death.

Sincerely,

Jock L. Falkson

Why all the angst about recognizing the Jewish State?

May 7th, 2009

Israel’s need to be recognized as a Jewish State seems to be superfluous since this fact is repeated, very clearly, no less than 5 times in Ben Gurion’s state-founding declaration.

The specific quote is unambiguous, namely:

“Accordingly we, members of the people’s council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations general assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.”

Thus there can be no doubt that all the States voting to pass the UN’s resolution on November 30, 1947 knew they were voting for or against acceptance of a Jewish State. As did President Truman, who announced the USA’s recognition of the State of Israel 11 minutes after it came into being, May 14, 1948. Here is the specific wording:

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition thereof has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the de facto authority of the State of Israel.” Could any of the states which subsequently established relations with Israel have been ignorant of the fact that Israel was a Jewish State?

The founding document is in fact Israel’s constitution. We were surely remiss not to incorporate ‘The Jewish State’ appellation on the official letterhead which features the Menorah as Israel’s logo. ‘The Jewish State’ should have been used to sub-title the artwork. However, there’s no reason why this addition should not immediately become a permanent part of the state’s logo.

Here are the 5 paragraphs in which the Jewish State is mentioned. I did not attach this information to my letter to the Jerusalem Post knowing this would not be welcome.

1.
In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the first Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

2.
The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people – the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe – was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.

3.
On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

4.
Accordingly we, members of the people’s council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations general assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.

5.
WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People’s Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called “Israel.

Moreover, President Truman’s recogition statement which came a scant 11 minutes later makes it very clear the Israel is a Jewish state. Here are his words:

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition thereof has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the de facto authority of the State of Israel.”

So why are we fussing about explicitly demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state? This seems to be quite unnecessary.

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Delusions of Disproportionate Force

April 3rd, 2009

Israel’s vociferous critics (other than our Muslim enemies) who demonize Israel for its alleged use of “disproportionate force” in the War on Hamas are mostly dyed in the wool anti-Semites. I refer to those whose eyes are so focused on Israel that they accuse us of crimes Muslims and non-Jews have committed and continue to commit, in spades.

Can anyone recall these critics ever reacting to the disproportionate force of Muslims which in some instances bordered on being genocidal? Like the horrendous war crimes and enormous fatalities committed by Muslims in Afghanistan, Algeria, Chechnya, Darfur, Eretria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan etc.

The so called crime of ****“disproportionate force”**** is incomprehensible in light of the fact that all successful wars in the past 100 years were won by overwhelming force. Should the U.S. and Britain not have carpet bombed the civilian population of Dresden and Berlin? Should the U.S. not have atom bombed the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Absent defeating the enemy by greater force, wars would have carried on till they petered out. Germany would likely then have remained with its conquests in Europe and the Japanese with their’s!

On March 26, after 2 months intensive investigation, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) announced that of the 1,166 killed in the battle against Hamas, 709 were terror operatives, 295 were non-combatants, and another 162 had not yet been classified. However, a simple comparison of numbers killed does not define “disproportionate force”.

Hamas responsible for its dead

As difficult as it may be for Israel’s critics to accept, the fact is that Hamas was responsible for its own dead, as I shall detail. Hamas got the hiding it deserved for having acted stupidly and mistakenly when it continued to fire Katyusha missiles and mortars against Israel southern area. But when they introduced long range Grad missiles capable of hitting its big port cities – and other areas home to a million or more civilians – Israel had no other option but to rise up in defense of its people.

It was asinine of Hamas to challenge Israel to invade, threatening death to Israel’s soldiers and destruction to its military machine. For in the war that followed (in which Israel forfeited the element of surprise) Hamas failed miserably to leave its mark on Israel’s army. It paid the price of its empty threats and boasting. Only a UN imposed cease fire urgently pushed by Islamic nations saved Hamas from a richly deserved knockout not many days away.

Hamas was entirely responsible for its casualties because in every war each side is responsible for its own consequences. Moreover Hamas did just about everything wrong, beginning with totally underestimating its enemy. Its terrorist followers and civilian accomplices paid a high price for their mistakes and poor defense. Israel had expected far stiffer opposition. But the only thing Hamas leaders were good at was to hide deep down in fortified bunkers. They had no compunction in exposing their civilian accomplices to the injuries and fatalities of a modern war.

Hamas’ unprotected civilians

Israel suffered fewer civilian casualties from Hamas’ missiles, rockets and mortar bombs because these weapons could not be aimed with accuracy. Nevertheless Israel had taken responsible measures to reduce its casualties. The Red alarm siren gave people in the vicinity some 15 – 20 seconds to take cover before the missiles exploded. Safe shelters in public areas had been provided for civilians in earshot. Some public buildings – schools, hospitals etc., had been fortified. And mobile concrete shelters were quickly brought in and placed in dangerous areas.

As a result Israeli civilians were far safer compared to Hamas’ complete neglect of its civilians. For this Hamas bears the entire blame. Hundreds, even thousands more Hamas casualties were avoided because of Israel’s unique life saving measures comprising close to 170,000* telephone calls plus a million warning leaflets scattered from the sky. (*Updated from 30,000 based on latest report issued by the IDF into its conduct during “Operation Cast Lead”. Published in Jerusalem Post April 24.)

Telephone calls no less! Did ever an army in modern warfare provide safety warnings to its enemy? Did the anti-Semitic world give Israel one iota of credit for doing so? Did the media? Did the BBC – The Guardian?

While Israel’s security efforts were far from total, Hamas did virtually nothing to protect its civilians. On the contrary there had been massive misuse of donor money received. Uncounted amounts were funneled into the deep pockets of its leaders; next to nothing on institutions and infrastructure to provide security or employment for Gaza’s population. Hamas’ disregard for the safety of its inhabitants is one more reason it cannot hide from the responsibility of protecting its civilians.

Hamas used their civilians as human shields

Contrary to Israel’s warnings to prevent civilian casualties Hamas adopted a cold-blooded attitude to its population. It irresponsibly endangered their civilians by firing missiles, rockets and mortar bombs from civilian occupied homes, hospitals, schools, even mosques. Knowing full well that Israel would retaliate by firing back at the areas in question. Israel had no other option else it would have invited continued barrages from apparently safe areas.

Hamas was thus wantonly responsible for its civilian casualties by showing more interest in creating successful propaganda. This they did very well – and not for the first time. Their cameras were always ready to film; and their women to sob over bleeding and dead victims. All designed to prove Israel’s criminal use of “disproportionate force” to a world which inherently cannot stomach an Israeli victory.

One wonders when Gaza’s civilians will realize that Hamas is far more interested in photographing their deaths and injuries than their safety.

Hamas’ poor intelligence contributed to the casualty count

Those who regard simple arithmetic as evidence of overwhelming force mistake the significant part played by factors other than fire power. Military intelligence is one of the most important. Better intelligence invariably increases the enemy’s casualties and reduces one’s own.

Clearly Hamas did not appreciate this; consequently it lost the ground war. Did Israel’s fulminating critics expect Israel to share its intelligence so that Hamas would not be outmaneuvered, outgunned and out proportioned? Why blame Israel for what is plainly Hamas’ guilt?

Hamas lost to better strategy,
better battle plans

Did Israel have better battle plans and strategies when it made war on Hamas? Yes, it’s very reasonable to assume so. After all the IDF has a hierarchy of military personnel who have been through several wars and who have had the benefit of the highest levels of military education. The IDF is headed by a High Command of outstanding military talent, knowledge and experience. It’s extremely doubtful that Hamas appreciated the importance of this aspect when it challenged Israel to invade and promised disproportionate slaughter and mayhem in return.

Did Hamas not know they were heading for a war they could not win? Whose fault is that? Israel’s or Hamas’?

Hamas Losses from
Chaos, Mistakes and Friendly Fire

There is chaos in every war said Richard Kemp, former British Army Colonel now a senior advisor on army issues to the British government. Kemp commanded British troops in Afghanistan in 2003 and was being interviewed by the BBC on Israel’s war on Hamas.

Of course Hamas would never admit to chaos and losses by friendly fire on its side, though Israel has. Not only did we lose soldiers by friendly fire in our war on Hezbollah, we also lost 4 soldiers the same way in our war against Hamas.

Casualties are affected by the severity of mistakes on both sides. Hamas doesn’t confess its mistakes as does Israel. (Refer to its Winograd Report after the second Lebanese war.) It suits Hamas to blame all losses on Israel’s “disproportionate force”. The truth is clearly not welcome – yet it stares them in the face.

Hamas lacked will and determination

Factors of will and determination play a significant role in winning wars. A stronger will to win invariably brings about the faster collapse of the enemy and causes greater casualties. Naturally Hamas does not admit that its fighters were outdone by Israeli soldiers. Hamas never admits weakness in any area – not when it’s more self-serving to blame it on Israel’s “disproportionate force”. Nevertheless it’s undeniable that Hamas incurred greater casualties because Israel had the stronger will and determination to win.

Hamas’ chronic medical shortages

Hamas complained they did not have the medical capacity to deal with their large number of casualties. How did this become Israel’s fault?

Hamas’ inability to take care of its casualties is the fault of Hamas and no one else. They govern Gaza. But instead of building hospitals and medical facilities and graduating doctors and surgeons, they, and the Palestinians before them, frittered away much of the billions of dollars donated by charitable nations year after year.

Was it not stupid for Hamas to goad Israel into a war when they knew in advance they would be unable to deal with any large number of casualties?

Hamas’ neglect of medical facilities is its own responsibility. Yet despite being at war, Israel did provide free medical services to badly wounded Hamas personnel. Hamas also turned down Israel’s offer to erect a field hospital outside Gaza.

Conclusion

It must be surely clear that “disproportionate force” is certainly not a matter of simple arithmetic. And that Hamas’ inherent incapability, callousness, negligence and irresponsibility had everything to do with their high casualties.

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OPEN LETTER TO BRITISH SCIENTISTS

March 23rd, 2009

By
Emeritus Professor Kenneth Preiss
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
March 19, 2009

When the German government of the 1930’s forbad the teaching of “Jewish science” such as relativity, they were operating rationally within their perverted frame of logic. In a rationality accepted by most of the public, including scientists, Jews had been deemed to be a pestilent menace. For the sake of humanity they needed to be eliminated from every aspect of society, and the urgency of this mission took precedence over the search for scientific truth.

This policy was based on a lie, and we know now that in its treatment of the Jews, Germany lobotomized itself. Germany has to this day not returned to the standing it had then in the scientific world. It does not escape attention that a country that in the 1920’s was at the pinnacle of scientific achievement, by the 1940’s had plunged to the lowest depths of vile, cruel and immoral wickedness. If this happened in Germany, it can happen elsewhere.

This is what comes to mind when I hear of the proposal to boycott the presentation of Israeli scientists at the venerable Science Museum near my fondly remembered alma mater of Imperial College. Israelis are tired of justifying themselves to the world. Israelis, both as individuals and as a society, do much for the less fortunate of the world and they do so because this is their character, not for approval of others.

Despite the ongoing quest by the Arabs to destroy Israel, this includes infrastructural, medical, trade, scientific and cultural assistance to many, including the Palestinians – a group that has brought upon themselves much suffering but manages to convince a willing world that its problems are due to others. This is not the place to amplify upon this matter that has been written about abundantly elsewhere. In today’s world many people prefer to remain ignorant of that reality. It is enough to wander around any Israeli hospital, enquire where the staff and patients come from, and see the equality of treatment each gets, irrespective of whether they are Jews or Arabs.

I am willing in a free and honest debate to show that Israel treats the Palestinians better than any other nation would, including the British. The Palestinians have much to thank Israel for, even though mendacity about this subject seems to fill the airwaves, the Internet and newspapers. As for the mini-war in Gaza one cannot recall a conflict in which the party attacked and defending itself adhered assiduously to the laws of war while the aggressor blatantly disregarded those laws. In the Orwellian reports of that war the roles have been reversed.

The text below shows the process we observed in the 1930’s and where it led, and the parallel process observed today.

In 1929 a very serious global financial crisis started.

In 2008 a very serious global financial crisis started.

Over the next decade a medium sized power (Germany) armed in contravention of international agreements, threatened its neighbors, and used latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

A medium sized power (Iran) is arming in contravention of international agreements, threatens its neighbors, and uses latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

The world powers, led by England, tried to convince Germany to cease its threats. Appeasement did not work.

The world powers try to convince Iran to cease its arming and its threats. Appeasement is not working.

At the end of the decade a world war started that lasted 6 years and in which 56,000,000 people, 2.2% of a world population of 2,500,000,000, died.

Does history repeat itself? If so, 150,000,000 people, 2.2% of the world’s current population of 6,700,000,000 will die.

In the decade leading to World War 2 there were those who said that war was inevitable, but no one anticipated, nor could even imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity inherent in that catastrophe.

There are those who say that war is now inevitable, but even they do not anticipate, nor can they imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity that would be inherent in that catastrophe.

We understand in retrospect the process that led to the tragedy called World War 2. Had that prior process not existed, the trigger that included Austria, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain, Churchill and Poland would never have materialized. We do not know whether we are now in a process that could lead to over 100 million cruel deaths, and if we are we certainly do not know what will trigger that war.

In light of the proposed boycott of Israeli scientists it is worth remembering that it was difficult for German scientists to oppose the boycott of Jewish scientists in the face of German public opinion. Had they done so the chain of events that led to World War 2 may have been diverted. If indeed we are now in a process where eventually an unpredictable event will trigger the tragedy of World War, you the boycotting British scientists, probably unsuspectingly, will have been part of that process.

You have stepped onto the slippery slope.

Durban 2. Apartheid and Other Racist Lies

March 5th, 2009

It is necessary to examine the motivation and justification for the revival of the current anti-Semitic agitation in Britain and Europe. They protest they are against racism and apartheid – not against Jews. However, this is nothing more than an old Jew hating calumny that has never been allowed to die.

The immediate cause is Durban 11 which the Palestinians have decided to launched once again. Durban 1 was an outstanding anti-Semitic success and it was time to stick it to the Jews once more – to give the dagger another painful twist.

The anti-racist/apartheid campaigners maintain that they are not anti-Jew, nor anti-Israel, but anti-Zionist/racist. But that lie is simply intended to mask their real intentions. This is made plain by the fact that of all the genuine racist and apartheid cultures in this world, their fingers point mainly at Israel

While Israel’s not quite 6 million Jews stand accused of racism and apartheid, more than a billion Indians who ostracize some 160 million untouchables (Dalits) are not. Clearly the so called anti-Zionists are not agitating against Israeli “apartheid” but against Jews because they are Jews.

When the Arab nations numbering several hundred million are given a free pass even though they have firmly institutionalized Judenrein practices in their own countries, it’s clear that Durban 11 is not against apartheid but against Jews.

When the nations which enthusiastically supported Durban 1 are gearing up for round 2, and have no word of criticism for the institutionalized unequal treatment of women* in Islamic countries, then their anti-Semitic prejudice is as evident as a ripe boil on the nose.

>*(Denigrates women to the level of chattel; promotes polygamy; permits wife beating, honor killing and beheading; undertakes forced clitoral removal without surgery or anesthesia, etc.)

When Christian nations which don’t have a harsh word to say against the Palestinian Arabs who waged a relentless and highly successful campaign to rid themselves of the Christians in their midst, then we know their “anti-Zionist” agitation is nothing more than Jew-hating anti-Semitism. (Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians have increased in number, and where the Bahai religion is not only tolerated but profoundly respected.)

The Muslim world is not only the enemy of the Jews but equally the enemy of the Christians. Muslim faith requires non-Muslims within their sovereignty to convert or die. They may however, be tolerated provided they pay their annual Poll Tax, called Jizya.

The Christian nations planning to attend Durban 11 will be required to overlook the Muslims’ life threatening apartheid culture and take umbrage at Israel’s so called apartheid. Such support will encourage the short term Muslim plan to eradicate the “little Satan” first as they have named Israel. Their long term plan is overcome the “Big Satan”, the USA.

The best way right now for democratic Christian and other nations to demonstrate their genuine anti-racist/apartheid values – and their horror of government approved anti-Semitism, is to stay away from Durban 11.

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Did Israel Deliberately Target Palestinian Civilians?

January 25th, 2009

(Updated Feb. 1, 09)

No. In fact Israel does its best not to and has to a large extent succeeded.

Seeing things

Viewers have seen an enormous number of camera images showing the wounded being taken to hospitals. We have seen them hastily being bundled into cars and ambulances. Then hurriedly being removed from the ambulances and taken into the hospitals.

As one who watched news times on Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, Sky and Fox I wonder how come I did not see one wounded person in female garb being taken from the street into an ambulance? Did you? It certainly seems the Palestinians are still up to their filming tricks. Here is comment from a doctor who closely examined a video aired on CNN.

“I’m no military expert, but I am a doctor and this video is bullsh*t. The chest compressions that were being performed at the beginning of this video were absolutely, positively fake. The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child’s sternum a little bit with his fingers. You can’t make blood flow like that. Furthermore, there’s no point in doing chest compressions if you’re not also ventilating the patient somehow. ‘Note that they say the boy is dead, but still try reviving him…bad acting’.”

Chaos

This is not to suggest that Israel has not killed civilians. Even though they are certainly not on Israel’s target list, the death of civilians in a war zone is unfortunately inevitable. (As are deaths by friendly fire in every war.)

Col. Richard Kemp, a senior British advisor on military issues who was recently interviewed on BBC explained that there were chaotic episodes in every war. He clarified that mistakes were made in all armies (British and American too) and that chaos was part and parcel of war. Civilians who were used as human shields were particularly vulnerable. Apparently even the best trained soldiers make mistakes, there seldom being enough time for perfect decisions when the battle rages.

Kemp was obviously familiar with the military codes of behavior of the Israeli Defence Force. Answering the interviewer he said, “I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.” This was not what the interviewer had expected. She was clearly taken aback. I imagine the BBC will not invite Col. Kemp to opine again as an expert witness on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Targeting civilians

Hamas rocket and mortar fire have always been deliberately intended to kill Israeli civilians. Israel, on the contrary, has only intended to kill Hamas terrorists. Yet it is Israel which is under threat of being tried for war crimes. None of Israel’s indignant accusers have threatened Hamas with war crimes for firing on Israeli civilians these past 8 years. Talk about selective judgment!

The people of Israel are not bloody minded and its army genuinely sees no point in killing the enemy’s innocent civilians. Indeed, we believe this to be immoral and reprehensible. Nor is there any military benefit whatsoever – in fact it’s 100% counter productive. Israel is right to apologize for such killings. Have you ever heard a Hamas leader apologize?

Civilian shields

The number of Hamas civilian deaths would have been minimal were it not for their civilians in the war zones. Most such deaths were the result of firing at Hamas who were literally hiding behind their civilian shields in homes or buildings. Incredibly, dead civilians began to constitute a military advantage for Hamas: the more killed or wounded claimed, the more potent their TV propaganda. These images became a weapon far more effective than the Hamas military. A reminder that one should never underestimate the power of TV images to influence world opinion.

Odious comparisons

Remarkably, the horrendous number of civilian deaths in the US led coalition’s war on Iraq never created similar interest in world media. The TV reporting during the Iraqi war does not compare with the insatiable interest to depict Israel as a slavering aggressor – never as a brave defender. Compared to the approximately 1,300 dead in Israel’s short war on Hamas, a mere 98,521 civilian deaths were reported in the war on Iraq for the period 2003 to December 2008!

The millions of civilians killed in other troubled areas – Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Darfur, Sudan, Central African Republic, Somalia, Rwanda, Angola, Congo, Chechnya, Colombia, to name a few of the killing fields, is staggering. Nevertheless, the world’s journalists never descended en masse to any of these countries. Nothing to compare with their irrational preference for reporting Israel’s punitive mini wars against Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists.

What accounts for UN Secretary General, BanKi Moon, and UN Human Rights investigator, Richard Falk’s disproportionate interest in Israel’s mini wars? Neither has shown any similar interest in the numerous genuine civilian massacres, near genocidal bloodletting, and serious war crimes committed in the abovementioned countries?

Falk has become widely known for his anti-Israel stance, so we are not surprised. But Moon’s hounding of Israel is upsetting. He fulminates against Israel yet is disinterested in the indiscriminate slaughter and mayhem in Sri Lanka, Darfur et al. Such prejudiced criticism from the UN’s secretary is unwarranted and offensive. It is entirely unacceptable from someone who should be neutral. (Is he perhaps unnerved by the 57 Islamic countries who are members of the UN?)

Crusading journalists

Hamas proudly marched and arrogantly challenged Israel to come and get them. Their propaganda attempted to frighten Israeli soldiers with a menu of blood and guts that awaited them. They drooled at their vision of Israel’s soldiers being decimated by their ingenious, deadly booby traps and carefully planned ambushes.

When, after being showered by thousands of rockets and mortar fire for 8 years Israel finally cried “enough!” the world’s journalists fell over themselves in their scramble to get to Israel. Their media ratings stood to increase no matter what followed. If the Arabs gave Israel a bloody nose they would be praised for their courage. If Israel killed too many Hamas they could and did depict us as brutal Nazis deserving to be tried for war crimes. They just love to compare Jewish actions to that of Nazis even though this can never be true.

By and large the journalists did not bother to hide their preference for the so called “downtrodden” Palestinian refugees in Gaza. So called because over 80 percent have lived all their lives in Gaza! Yet for the past 60 years they have been forced by their co-religionists to remain downtrodden. They live by the charity of the United Nations and ironically, also depend on the generosity of their hated enemy Israel, for water, electricity, fuel, gas, medical supplies and much else. How they bite the hands of those who feed them.

Hamas’ victory

To no one’s surprise Hamas has claimed victory. Allow me to wish them similar success next time round.

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Jock’s note:

The grand total of civilian deaths from 6 years of violence in Iraq is documented at 98,521. Not all caused by the Coalition armies. Death from other violence (roadside bombings etc) is included. Here is the monthly table extracted from Wikipedia. The year on year total is 98,521.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Jan 3 576 1023 1430 2796 742
Feb 2 584 1189 1448 2494 977
Mar 3976 957 779 1767 2569 1538
Apr 3437 1256 1020 1589 2403 1260
May 545 619 1224 2097 2734 759
Jun 594 832 1215 2426 2086 669
Jul 649 762 1438 3150 2536 583
Aug 791 823 2165 2743 2325 591
Sep 551 943 1324 2406 1221 535
Oct 491 947 1199 2918 1185 526
Nov 479 1532 1201 2967 1043 467
Dec 529 906 989 2658 903 430
12,047 10,737 14,766 27,599 24,295 9,077

Israel’s Humanity in War on Hamas

January 4th, 2009

January 3, 2009

It is difficult to make proper sense of Arab and anti-Jewish journalists attacks on Israel for “the crime of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians” in its war on Hamas.

Were this Israel’s real intention Israel could easily have killed thousands of civilians. Not merely the 60 plus Palestinians claim to have lost (at this time of writing).

Palestinians claim 60-70 dead civilians.This, despite the fact that Israel has brought down hundreds of buildings in some 700 sorties during the first 7 days of the War on Hamas. To have killed one civilian for every 10 bombing sorties is absolute proof that Palestinian civilians were never targeted. Clearly Israel must have taken extraordinary precautions to have killed so few people.

In any case, Hamas’ figure of over 60 civilians killed is suspect. Has any TV viewer seen a woman in her long black dress or distinctive head covering being bundled into a car or ambulance? Or being wheeled into a hospital? Or being taken out for burial?

While it is true that Hamas has not killed anywhere near the number Israel has, this is not because Hamas has no such war aim. The sole reason they have not succeeded is plainly that they have not yet perfected the accuracy of their missiles. They would be overjoyed if even one rocket killed 10 or 20 of us. They would be over the moon if every rocket did so. For the Hamas objective is to kill, kill, kill as many Israeli civilians as possible.

Hamas has clarified its intention to target Israel’s civilians in the most remarkable way. For while Israeli tanks and soldiers were massed on Gaza’s borders, within easy range of Hamas rockets, not one missile was fired in their direction! Hamas missiles were only aimed at Israel’s civilian population.

By way of comparison, Israel’s concern for the welfare of Palestinian civilians is clear. History has known no other war in which one of the parties . . .

• *provides complete medical services and hospitalization for the enemy’s seriously wounded

• *supplies medicines and food to sustain the enemy’s sick and the hungry

• *permits aid consignments from donors to be transported through Israel to Hamas ruled Gaza

• *warns civilians to get out of the areas it intends to bomb

• *telephones civilians in neighborhoods where one or more targets are to be bombed, to urge them to leave quickly

• *supplies gasoline and electricity to its enemy

• *supplied huge sums of cash currency (coins and notes) when a dire shortage threatened their economy

• *saved the lives of weapons’ smugglers in a just exploded tunnel – and gave them first aid!

Israel does not receive the slightest credit from most world leaders for her humane activities, unheard of during a time of war. Not one of these countries so critical of Israel did anything decent for their enemies’ civilians when they made war. These leaders have the gall to unashamedly support the Hamas terrorist government. Not only in words but in deeds: they pour funds into Hamas’ educational programs which teach Jew-hatred and genocide.

They uphold the Hamas terrorist organization whose declared intention (rooted in religion and ideology) is to exterminate all Jews living in Israel and to destroy the Jewish State.

Israel’s declared intention is to live in peace. {} {} {}

Jock’s Note on

Effect of Hamas Rockets on Israeli Civilians:

I would like to draw attention to Evelyn Gordon’s description of what it’s like for Israel’s civilians to be under constant rocket fire. In her weekly ‘Civil Rights’ column in the Jerusalem Post Jan. 3, 2009), entitled “A PR campaign that is three years too late”, Gordon writes:

“It is very difficult for people who have not experienced life under constant missile fire – namely, most of the world – to understand just how debilitating it is. They look at the statistics, see that six years of rocket and mortar attacks have killed relatively few people and think “no big deal.”

“They cannot imagine what it is like to never have an unbroken night of sleep, since even on nights without rockets, the constant anticipation of an alert disrupts slumber; to never go to the supermarket or send your children out to play without fear; to see your ability to earn a living vanish as large corporations leave town and small businesses collapse for lack of customers, since fear of being caught outdoors by a rocket keeps people at home.

“Even if you brandish statistics that never make the foreign media – like the fact that in Sderot, 28 percent of adults and 30% of children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and more than 75% of children display some symptoms of post-traumatic stress – it makes little impression. Most people can imagine death, but they cannot imagine the slow erosion of life with a PTSD child who refuses to leave home for fear of rockets.”

Link to Gordon’s excellent article:
http://www.path.to./JPostEGordon/

60 Years, And Here We Are
by Sharon Bacher

May 13th, 2008

May, with its commemorations of Yom HaShoah, Yom Ha Zicharon and finally Yom Ha’atzmaut always put me into a contemplative state of mind. Like other Israelis, I share their sense of grief for our tragic past. I am reminded of the terrible afflictions perpetrated against our people by the Germans and others. I think about our 60 year struggle to survive and advance and puzzle over the fact that our lives continue to be dominated by the machinations of those obsessed with annihilating us.

I find the centrality of Jews in the world’s imagination and the readiness of Christians in the past, to hate us and want to be rid of us, impossible to understand. Once it was their need for a scapegoat to blame for their economic and even bodily ills – recall the dark days when we were blamed for the black plague.

Yesterday it was because we ‘killed’ their Lord, and today the Islamists have decided it’s because we’re infidels who must be obliterated together with the Jewish State.

Anti-Semitism has as many rationalizations as there are people with hatred in their hearts: we’re hated because we’re too powerful … too rich … too noisy … too arrogant … too successful … too family oriented. We’re hated because of our noses … because some of us dress and speak differently . . . because we aspire to better ourselves and our children. In a world where the ‘other’ has always been a reason for being despised, we provide the perfect projection for every base motive that resides within the human imagination.

What upsets me most is our tendency to look within ourselves in an effort to understand the distorted psyche of the anti-Semite. Absorbing the prejudices of those around us, we are harsh self critics, blaming ourselves for the qualities for which we think we are hated: we are too loud… we are bad mannered … arrogant and love money like rogues, we are more corrupt than others, and so on.

Listen to a group of Jews in the Diaspora, and you will hear shameful criticisms against us Israelis. There is something in the Diaspora psyche that makes for self consciousness, causes us always to walk on eggs, not wanting to draw attention; cringing when a Jew is found to commit a crime. We are constantly fearful of raising the ire of our fellow citizens. We seem to think that if only we were nicer, quieter, less successful, less preoccupied with moral issues etc… if only we would blend into the background and took care not to stand out – we would be acceptable, if not loved!

In Israel we delude ourselves that we have rid ourselves of the self consciousness of ‘what the goyim will say’, and that we are free to be ‘normal’ – but, I wonder. Here too, we are preoccupied with not upsetting the world by asserting our very right to protect ourselves and continue to live in this land that is ours if for no other reason than we have made it so; we have fought for it, brought it to fruition, raised our children here and allowed some 20,000 of them to be sacrificed for it.

We flinch when we are accused of practicing apartheid by building structures to keep ourselves safe from those who consider us fair game for killing – when in fact the only meaningful apartheid practiced in the region is by Arab nationalists and Islamic fundamentalists who are determined to keep their territories Judenrein. We restrain ourselves from imposing sanctions or taking the radical actions that would stop the terror being waged on our people, permitting our own children to be raised in an atmosphere of chronic and intolerable insecurity and in many cases, ravaging trauma.

On this Yom Ha’atzmaut and like all Israelis I am proud to be counted as pro-Jewish, pro-Israeli and pro-survival. I am not anti Arab – I am not anti anybody – but I do have a strong instinct to look after myself, my family and my community, when all we have worked for and won is threatened.

I look around and see the beautiful, vibrant, flourishing country we have built up over the 60 years while threats of genocide continue to hover over our heads in a mushroom shaped cloud. I am inspired by the vitality, initiative and resilience of our people. Unable to draw on a religious justification for my continued identification with Judaism, I proudly count myself as an Israeli – one of the noisy, argumentative, vibrant, purposeful people who make up our nation.

Like you, I choose to be actively engaged in a dialogue with our traditions and history. I have an ongoing argument with a creator who, if he exists, seems to have forsaken his special people when they were in greatest need. I strive to understand who we are and why we are here, yet am happy to be doing my humble share to live a life that is morally just in a land which is justly ours.

I am fired up by the song of the partizanim who in the forests of Poland, and against incredible odds, fought in the defense of the Jewish people and served as an example to the children of Israel in their new Jewish state. From the words of their song, I am proud to remind those who would remove us from this earth, that – “Mir zaynen doh” – we are still here.

Nothing to fear but fear itself

May 3rd, 2008

May 03, 2008

The Editor
The Jerusalem Post

Sir

Quoting ‘senior Israeli defense officials’ Post writers Katz, Keinon and Krieger write (Page 1, May 2) that: “… Israel did not support the immediate reopening of the Rafah Crossing, fearing it would be used by terrorists to enter and leave the Gaza Strip.” (My italics.)

I doubt very much that the officials expressed their fear because that word means frightened – and that would be somewhat out of character. I have become increasingly annoyed recently with Post writers who keep writing about Israel’s ‘fears’ when ‘concern’, ‘suspect’, ‘worry’, or ‘believe’ etc. would be more to the point.

I hope your sub-editors will stop this frightening development.

Sincerely

The Arab Refugees and the Missing Israeli Narrative

March 13th, 2008

Updated February 13, 2009

Gerard Michaud’s op-ed on the Palestinian’s claim to the “right of return” is interesting and easy to read because the anecdotes he presented put a human face on the Arab side of the problem. (Jerusalem Post, “A matter of choice”, Front Lines, Feb. 8, 2008.)

Clearly however, the writer was already of the opinion that the refugees had been hard done by, and that the nasty Israelis were to blame. Thus his purpose was a journey to seek evidence to support this view.

So he completely overlooks the Israeli claim that the majority of today’s so called refugees exited the Jewish areas voluntarily. They were motivated by Arab leaders to get out and allow the Arab armies in – to annihilate the Jews. For extermination and obliteration of the state was the Arab war aim. Nothing less.

Here are 17 unimpeachable references from Arab sources which overwhelmingly support the Israeli narrative – that the Arab exodus was virtually entirely voluntary:

1

Research reported by the Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut. (Also given by Joan Peters, in her classic work “From Time Immemorial,” on page 13) that

“the majority of the Arab refugees in 1948 were not expelled . . . 68% left without seeing an Israeli soldier.”

2.

Report in Jaffa newspaper Ash Sha’ab, January 30, 1948.

“The first of our fifth column consists of those who abandon their houses and businesses and go to live elsewhere….At the first signs of trouble they take to their heels to escape sharing the burden of struggle.”

3.

Jamal Husseini, Acting Chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, speaking to the United Nations Security Council. Quoted in the UNSC Official Records (N. 62), April23,1948,p.14

“The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce they rather preferred to abandon their homes, their belongings and everything they possessed in the world and leave the town. This is in fact what they did.”

4.

From a memorandum by The Arab National Committee in Haifa to the Arab League Governments. 27 April 1948.

“… when the delegation entered the conference room it proudly refused to sign the truce and asked that the evacuation of the Arab population and their transfer to neighboring Arab countries be facilitated.”

5.

Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph, Sept. 6, 1948.

“The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem.”

6.

Jordanian daily newspaper Falistin, Feb 19, 1949.

“The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees.”

7.

Radio broadcast by the Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station, Cyprus. April 3 1949.

“It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem.”

8.

Musa Alami, a leading Palestinian nationalist of the time, revealed the attitude of the fleeing Arabs in his article “The Lesson of Palestine”, Middle East Journal, Vol. 3, No. 4, October 1949, pp. 373-405.

“The Arabs of Palestine left their homes, were scattered, and lost everything. But there remained one solid hope: The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea. On May 14, 1948, crowds of Arabs stood by the roads leading to the frontiers of Palestine, enthusiastically welcoming the advancing armies”.

“Days and weeks passed, sufficient to accomplish the sacred mission, but the Arab armies did not save the country. They did nothing but let slip from their hands Acre, Sarafand, Lydda, Ramleh, Nazareth, most of the south and the rest of the north. Then hope fled.”

9.

Statement by the Arab National Committee of Haifa in memorandum to the Arab States, April 27, 1950. Cited by Peter Dodd and Halim Barakat, “River Without Bridges. – A Study of the Exodus of the 1967 Arab Palestinian Refugees” Beirut 1969.

“The removal of the Arab inhabitants … was voluntary and was carried out at our request … The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries…. We are very glad to state that the Arabs guarded their honour and traditions with pride and greatness.”

10.

Report by Habib Issa in the New York Lebanese newspaper, Al Hoda, June 8 1951,

“The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade. He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean.” “Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”

11.

Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951.

“Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it.”

12.

Nimr el Hawari, the Commander of the Palestine Arab Youth Organization, in his book Sir Am Nakbah (The Secret Behind the Disaster, published in Nazareth in 1955), quoted the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said as saying:

“We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.”

13.

Egyptian daily Akhbar El Yom, Oct 12, 1963.

“The 15th May, 1948 arrived… on that day the Mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab countries were about to enter and fight in their stead.”

14.

Khaled al-`Azm, who served as Prime Minister of Syria in 1948 and 1949, wrote in his memoirs, Beirut 1973 (Part 1, pp. 386-387). that among the reasons for the Arab failure in 1948 was . . .

“the call by the Arab Governments to the inhabitants of Palestine to evacuate it and to leave for the bordering Arab countries, after having sown terror among them…Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave…We have brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees, by calling upon them and pleading with them to leave their land, their homes, their work and business…”

15.

Fuad Abu Higla, columnist, writing in PA daily Al Hayat Al Jadida, March 19, 2001. He quotes a prisoner from the 1948 generation. (Per Palestinian Media Watch)

“To the [Arab and Muslim] Kings and Presidents, “Poverty is killing us, the symptoms are exhausting us and the souls are leaving our body, yet you are still searching for the way to provide aid, like one who is looking for a needle in a haystack or like the armies of your predecessors in the year of 1948, who forced us to leave [Israel], on the pretext of clearing the battlefields of civilians… So what will your summit do now?”

16.

From Asmaa Jabir Balasimah Um Hasan, who fled Israel in 1948. Quoted from Al-Ayyam May 16, 2006 per Palestinian Media Watch.

“We heard sounds of explosions and of gunfire at the beginning of the summer in the year of the Nakbah [1948]. They told us: The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return, after the battle is over. And indeed there were among us [who fled Israel] those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flock [of sheep] and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours.”

17.

Journalist Mahmud Al-Habbash, in the official PA paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, in his column “The Pulse of Life”, December 13, 2006.

“The leaders and the elites promised us at the beginning of the “Catastrophe” [the establishment of Israel and the creation of refugee problem] in 1948, that the duration of the exile will not be long, and that it will not last more than a few days or months, and afterwards the refugees will return to their homes, which most of them did not leave only until they put their trust in those “Arkuvian” promises made by the leaders and the political elites. Afterwards, days passed, months, years and decades, and the promises were lost with the strain of the succession of events.”

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In addition to above quotes from Arab sources, I list a number of evidential quotes from non- Arab sources in my blog: http://www.path.to./return/