English: Portrait of Lord Balfour, along with ...

English: Portrait of Lord Balfour, along with his famous declaration עברית: תמות פורטרט של בלפור, לצד הכרזתו המפורסמת (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Themarxistblog considers that this document “23 Reasons to oppose a Palestine State” is of considerable importance in training and educating a new Trotskyist leadership because there is within it much empirical evicence.


It can also be found as a link on this url http://www.onestateplan.com/links.html




The work of Norland took the form of 23 different chapters or arguments against a Palestinian Arab state. We have left out the summary of these chapters and go in on chapter 2 which starts with the granting of the Mandate to Britain. The Mandate was to build a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. If you read this evidence then you will see that it was “in” and not “inside”. There were no “Palestinians” in 1922!

{We are trying to make this empirical evidence as useable as we can and will probably develop other articles based on this evidence…FQ}




LoN mandate for Jewish National Home

 2.   With Britain accepting the mandate over Palestine, subject to the conditions of the League of Nations, Britain committed herself to establishing the Jewish National Home in Palestine by encouraging Jewish immigration and settlement.

To establish the validity of this statement, suffice it to quote the relevant passages from the text of the League of Nations’ mandate; the source, as previously, is the Yale Law School;  bold font inserted by me.

The text of the mandate stipulates:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people;

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; …

Article 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as
laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

Article 4. An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to

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assist and take part in the development of the country.

The Zionist organisation, so long as its organisation and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty’s Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.

Article 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power

Article 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency. referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

Clearly, the Jewish claim on Palestine is not only recognized, but specific measures are stipulated as to how to ensure that the right is transformed into a reality, especially with regard to immigration, settlement and soliciting help from world Jewry.  In contrast, there is no reference whatever to political rights of any other group, such as Arabs.  In fact, in the entire mandate text there is no reference to “Palestinians”, only to “non Jews”.

Of course, the “International community” was well aware of non-Jewish residents in Palestine, and, indeed, ensured that their “civil and religious rights” be enshrined in the text but no political rights, such as sovereigny, are mentioned.  It was not deemed unjust to expect the Arabs to accept a Jewish National Home in a tiny corner of the Middle East, when huge Arab lands had just been liberated by the Allies from the Ottoman yoke, and when three new Arab kingdoms (Iraq, Transjordan and Saudi Arabia) were in the process of being born.  This point of “injustice” was addressed many times by Churchill, Balfour and Col. Richard Meinertzhagen.

The bottom line regarding this point is that the “international community” and Britain in particular undertook the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, and hence there is no justification for creating a second Palestinian-Arab state on part of this land.

Jews have lost most of Palesine already

 3.  The mandatory power, Britain, betrayed her mandate by slicing off the majority of the territory allotted to the Jews by the League of Nations; the Jewish people should not now be required to relinquish sovereignty over more territory.

The entire story of Britain chipping away at the Jewish National Home is told by a map showing the 1920, 1921 and 1923 borders of Palestine.  This map has been reproduced in web sites and in history books numerous times.  For example, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, or PASSIA, runs a site with numerous maps relevant to Palestine politcs.  Using this site, one can find  an annotated map showing the boundaries of mandatory Palestine.  (PASSIA is “an Arab non-profit institution located in Jerusalem/Al-Quds with a financially and legally independent status. It is not affiliated with any government, political party or organization”.)

The same map is also reproduced in Martin Gilbert, p. 623 .

After WW I, the major powers at the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris agreed on granting the mandate

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over Palestine to Britain, along the lines of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 (Martin Gilbert, p. 42).  The details were fleshed out in the San Remo Conference, April 1920, where the boundaries of Palestine were outlined to include contemporary Israel, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jordan and the Golan Heights.

The political events in 1919-1920 that are relevant to this article include the crowning of the Emir Feisal of Hedjaz as King of Syria and his ouster by force at the hands of the French army that occupied Syria and Lebanon in July 1920 (shortly after the San Remo Conference).  As a result, Faisal’s younger brother, Abdullah, made his way to contemporary Jordan at the head of a small band of fighters to help Faisal.  Contemporaneously, the Palestinian Arabs had become vocal in their opposition to the Zionist project.  Thus, at the Cairo Conference of March 1921, Churchill took another step in a long series of attempts to appease the Arabs: the east bank of Palestine was delivered to Abdullah as his future kingdom, together with a hefty subsidy (i.e., bribe), and the area was excluded from the Jewish National Home.  In return, Abdullah gave up the attempt to reinstall his brother as king of Syria.  This exclusion of “Transjordania” from the Jewish National Home was enshrined in the mandate given by the League of Nations to Britain on July 24, 1922. (A future article will deal with the issue of Britain’s useless attempts to appease the Palestinian-Arabs and the consequent emboldening of the Palestinian-Arab terrorists which ultimately backfired on the British themselves.)

The exclusion of the east bank removed 78% of the total area allocated to the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations at San Remo.

In 1923, the Golan was ceded by Britain to France, the mandatory power over Syria and Lebanon. The circumstances under which this chunk of land was lopped off the Jewish National Home is explained in an article posted by   Camera, as follows:

Having discovered the Golan lacks oil but that the Mosul area in northern Syria is rich in oil, the British cede the Golan to France in return for Mosul. Traditionally Mosul was part of Syria while the Golan was part of the Galilee. In return for the Golan, France relinquishes any claim to Palestine.

It is unclear how this act was reconciled with the League of Nations mandate which stipulated quite explicitly in Article 5:

Article 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.

It should be noted, finally, that the famous “Resolution 242” refers clearly to “the principle” of “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.  There is no reference to withdrawing from all the territories, and as explained by the architects of the resolution, that was not the intention in the first place.  Since Israel returned most of the territory occupied in the course of the 1967 War, namely, Sinai, as part of the 1979 peace agreement with Egypt, Israel is quite right in placing the stamp of “Enough is Enough” on any further withdrawals.  The issue of Resolution 242 will be dealt with separately in greater detail in a forthcoming article.

To summarize, the Jewish National Home has already been reduced in size, and there is no justification for any further reduction, especially one designed to create a 23rd Arab state (which would also be the second Palestinian-Arab state).

Reference:  Some of the historical data were culled from of the tome written by the famous British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert:

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Gilbert, Martin.  Israel.   New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc, 1998.

Where Martin Gilbert is quoted, the relevant page is noted.

Jews developed desolate, empty land

4.  The Jews have established their right to the land, inter alia, by developing a desolate, barren, virtually abandoned territory into a flourishing country.

For July, 2001, the CIA fact book gives the following population figures (in millions):  Israel – 5.9; “West Bank” – 2.1.  Thus, the total population in the area of Palestine that corresponds to Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza is approximately 8 million.

But on the eve of the 1880’s Jewish immigration to Palestine, the country was both desolate and virtually empty.   While the population figures until the 1922 Census are estimates, they will suffice to support this thesis.

The following data are quoted from Palestinian sources, so that the argument of pro-Zionist bias cannot be raised.  Specifically, the 1860 and 1890 estimates may be found in Palestine Remembered, while the 1922 Census data are cited from the official Palestinian site.  The area concerned corresponds to contemporary Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza:

Total population in Palestine, in 1,000s: 1860 – 411; 1890 – 553; 1922 – 752.

Thus, forty years after the 1880’s Jewish migration to Palestine and the consequent Arab migration, the country still held less than 10% of its current population.

The fact that Palestine was desolate and empty even as late as the early 1920’s is further substantiated by the reports submitted by the British High Commissioner to the League of Nations.  The following quotations are taken from the UNISPAL site, UNISPAL being the propaganda vector which the UN created specifically to support the Palestinian-Arab propaganda machine.  (Surprisingly, I have not seen this material cited in any of the published books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.)

In his first report for the period July 1920 to June 1921, the British High Commissioner reported to the League of Nations as follows:

It is obvious to every passing traveller, and well-known to every European resident, that the country was before the War, and is now, undeveloped and under-populated. The methods of agriculture are, for the most part, primitive; the area of land now cultivated could yield a far greater product. There are in addition large cultivable areas that are left untilled. The summits and slopes of the hills are admirably suited to the growth of trees, but there are no forests. Miles of sand dunes that could be redeemed, are untouched, a danger, by their encroachment, to the neighbouring tillage. The Jordan and the Yarmuk offer an abundance of water-power; but it is unused. Some industries–fishing and the culture and manufacture of tobacco are examples–have been killed by Turkish laws; none have been encouraged; the markets of Palestine and of the neighbouring countries are supplied almost wholly from Europe. The seaborne commerce, such as it is, is loaded and discharged in the open roadsteads of Jaffa and Haifa: there are no harbours. The religious and historical associations that offer most powerful attractions to the whole of the Western, and to a large part of the Eastern world, have hitherto brought to Palestine but a fraction of the pilgrims and travellers, who, under better conditions, would flock to her sacred shrines and famous sites.

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The country is under-populated because of this lack of development. There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ.

As to the contribution of the Jewish population since the 1880’s migrations, the report notes:

After the persecutions in Russia forty years ago, the movement of the Jews to Palestine assumed larger proportions. Jewish agricultural colonies were founded. They developed the culture of oranges and gave importance to the Jaffa orange trade. They cultivated the vine, and manufactured and exported wine. They drained swamps. They planted eucalyptus trees. They practised, with modern methods, all the processes of agriculture. There are at the present time 64 of these settlements, large and small, with a population of some 15,000. Every traveller in Palestine who visits them is impressed by the contrast between these pleasant villages, with the beautiful stretches of prosperous cultivation about them and the primitive conditions of life and work by which they are surrounded.

The spectacular manner and pace with which the immigrating Jews developed the country may be judged, inter alia, from the following passage, cited from the 1924 report of British High Commissioner to the League of Nations:

Industrial development has been stimulated by the arrival, among the Jewish immigrants, of a considerable number of men with manufacturing experience, and with capital. The majority of them come from Poland. They have established a number of new industries, mostly at present on a small scale, the greater number in the Jewish town of Tel-Aviv, adjacent to Jaffa. In addition, several large Jewish enterprises have been founded, and have either reached, or are about to reach, the producing stage. The most important of these enterprises are a cement factory, with an invested capital of £E.300,000; a flour mill, a vegetable oil and soap factory, and a factory of silicate bricks (made of cement and lime), each involving an expenditure of £E.100,000 or more; and, on a smaller scale, works at Athlit, on the coast, for the production of salt by evaporation, a silk factory and a tannery. The electric power station, with fuel engines, erected at Tel-Aviv under the concession granted to Mr. Rutenberg, has been obliged, after only a year’s working, to instal new engines, more than doubling its original capacity. Similar stations are in course of erection at Haifa and at Tiberias, to supply urgent demands for power and lighting there. The construction of the first hydraulic power station on the Jordan has not yet begun, but the preliminary measures have made further progress.

Jewish agricultural colonisation continues steadily. The extensive swamps of Kabbara, in the Maritime Plain, are being drained and brought under cultivation, in accordance with a concession granted to the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association; the difficulties which had arisen in connection with the claims of about 170 Arab families resident on part of the land having been settled after prolonged negotiations.

The town of Tel-Aviv is expanding with remarkable rapidity. The population, which was about 2,500 in 1920, is now estimated at over 25,000, and for some time past new houses have been completed at an average rate of two a day. There is much building activity also in Haifa and Jerusalem and their suburbs.

The Bio-Chemical Faculty, and the Institute of Jewish Studies, of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem have been inaugurated.

Together with economic development came the entrenchment of democratic political institutions, as the Peel Commission underscored in its 1937 report:

The Jewish National Home is no longer an experiment. The growth of its population has been accompanied by political, social and economic developments along the lines laid down at the outset. The chief novelty is the urban and industrial development. The contrast between the modern

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democratic and primarily European character of the National Home and that of the Arab world around it is striking. The temper of the Home is strongly nationalist. There can be no question of fusion or assimilation between Jewish and Arab cultures.

As to the contribution of the Jewish development to the Palestinian-Arab population, the report states:

The Arab population shows a remarkable increase since 1920, and it has had some share in the increased prosperity of Palestine. Many Arab landowners have benefited from the sale of land and the profitable investment of the purchase money. The fellaheen are better off on the whole than they were in 1920. This Arab progress has been partly due to the import of Jewish capital into Palestine and other factors associated with the growth of the National Home. In particular, the Arabs have benefited from social services which could not have been provided on the existing scale without the revenue obtained from the Jews.

The Arab claims that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamps and uncultivated when it was bought.

The Jews contribute more per capita to the revenues of Palestine than the Arabs, and the Government has thereby been enabled to maintain public services for the Arabs at a higher level than would otherwise have been possible.

The fact that prior to the Jewish migration, Palestine was virtually empty and desolate is also supported by numerous accounts provided by travellers, archaeologists and diplomats of the 18th and 19th Centuries.  A list of these may be found, inter alia, on the pro-Israeli Web site of EretzYisroel as well as on pp 41-44 of:

Netnyahu, Benjamin.  Durable Peace.  New York: Warner Books, 2000.

Of all the travellers’ accounts, the best known is Mark Twain’s journalistic report of his 1867 tour of Palestine and other countries.  (Canadian readers have a particularly good reason to remember this voyage, since it took place in the year Canada was born.)  Unlike the other accounts mentioned, which are virtually inaccessible to the average reader, Mark Twain’s book is on the shelves of many a public library.  Following are a few quotations from:

From Mark Twin.  The Innocents Abroad.  Pleasantville (NY):  Readers Digest, 1990 (first published, 1869).432 pp.

There is not a solitary village throughout its [the valley at the foot of Mount Tabor] whole extent – not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Beduin tents, but not a single permanent habitation.  One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. (P. 311)

The further we went [on the way from Samaria to Jerusalem] the hotter the sun got and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became.  There could not have been more fragments of stone strewn broadcast over this part of the world if every ten square feet of the land had been occupied by a separate and distinct stonecutter’s establishment for an age.  There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere.  Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.  No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem… (P. 358)

Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee sleep in the midst of a

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vast stretch of hill and plain wherein the eye rests upon no pleasant tint, no striking object, no soft picture dreaming in a purple haze or mottled with the shadows of the clouds. Every outline is harsh, every feature is distinct, there is no perspective–distance works no enchantment here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.

Small shreds and patches of it must be very beautiful in the full flush of spring, however, and all the more beautiful by contrast with the far- reaching desolation that surrounds them on every side. I would like much to see the fringes of the Jordan in springtime, and Shechem, Esdraelon, Ajalon, and the borders of Galilee but even then these spots would seem mere toy gardens set at wide intervals in the waste of a limitless desolation.

Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists – over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead –  about whose borders nothing grows but seeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed lies a moldering ruin today, even as Joshua’s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Saviour’s presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang, “Peace on earth, good will to men,” is untenanted by any living creature and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye. Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur and is become a pauper village… Palestine is desolate and unlovely… (P. 394-5)

What has all this to do with the Jewish claim to Palestine and the question of a second Palestinian- Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza?

The connection is this:  the Palestinian-Arab population might have had a claim of equal validity to that of the Jews, had they populated and developed the land.  But in fact, during the occupation of Palestine by the Ottoman Empire, the Palestinian Arabs left the country unpopulated and desolate, relative to its potential.  The Jews, on the other hand, had a historical claims and international backing to their claim (as discussed in the articles posted on September 8 and 9, and proceeded to realize the potential of the land by settling and developing it.

It should be noted, finally, that the arguments being developed in this series concern several inter- related aspects that may be separated for the sake of discussion.  Arguments 1, 2, and 4 (as well as several arguments to be presented later) deal with the right of the Jewish people to Palestine. Argument 3 (as well as several arguments to be presented later) deal with the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty in the entire area of Mandatory Palestine, i.e., Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The Palestinian Nation

 5.  The notion of the Palestinian Arabs as a nation is a  recent invention.  Palestine’s Arabs are indistinguishable from the Arabs in neighbouring countries, especially the Arabs in Jordan, which is in effect a Palestinian-Arab state.  Creating a second Palestinian-Arab state, which would be the 22nd Arab state, is unjustified.

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The questions of the “Palestinians” as a nation and “Palestine” as a state are interwoven, but for discussion purposes it is useful to separate the two.  The current piece deals with the “Palestinians”, while the next article will deal with “Palestine”.

The most convincing substantiation of the statement asserting that the Palestinians are an integral part of the Arabs and not a distinct nation, is the PLO Charter itself, available from many web site, such as that of Yale Law School. The text of the PLO charter reads:

Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation. … Article 14.  The destiny of the Arab nation, and indeed Arab existence itself, depend upon the destiny of the Palestine cause. From this interdependence springs the Arab nation’s pursuit of, and striving for, the liberation of Palestine. The people of Palestine play the role of the vanguard in the realization of this sacred (qawmi) goal.

Another Palestinian-Arab terrorist organization, the PFLP, echoes this view:

The strategic vision of the PFLP is based on the following: 1. liberation from Israeli occupation 2. construction of a democratic society 3.  recognition that the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab Nation

A much-quoted passage from an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein underscores this point.  The following quotation is from an article entitled “Palestinian people do not exist”, by Joseph Farah, July 11, 2002:

Way back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here’s what he said: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

In an earlier article, Myths of the Middle East, October 11, 2000, Joseph Farah , states bluntly:

What makes a separate people? Religion, language, culture, garb, cuisine, etc., etc. The Arabs in Palestine speak the same language, practice the same religion, have the same culture, etc., etc., as all the other Arabs.

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass.

During the British Mandate, “Palestinian” was virtually synonymous with “Palestinian-Jewish”, as in “Palestine Zionist Executive”, “Palestine Symphony Orchestra”, “Palestine Post”, etc.  On the other hand, the Arabs of Palestine and “Transjordan” used “Arab”, as in “Arab Higher Committee”, “Arab Legion”, “Arab Liberation Army”, “Arab Rebellion of 1936-39”, “Arab National Guard” – almost

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never “Palestinian”.  In the rare case when “Palestine” was used, it was accompanied by “Arab”, as in “Palestine Arab Executive” and “Palestine Arab Party” – not “Palestinian Arab Executive”, etc.  The “Palestine National Congress” may be cited as a counter-example, however, this body advocated that Palestine come under Syrian sovereignty: it considered Palestine to be southern Syria.

After WW I, as Britain and France carved up the Middle East, they created the states and/or the boundaries of Iraq, Transjordan, Syria/Lebanon, Palestine and Arabia, and the Arabs in these areas found themselves in different states, even though they were essentially one people.

It is also instructive to note that neither the text of the Mandate nor the King-Crane report of 1919 (which apologists for the Palestinian Arabs quote routinely) make any reference to a “Palestinian people” or a “Palestinian nation”; rather, the terms used are such terms as “the non-Jewish population of Palestine”.

If the Palestinian-Arabs are indeed indistinguishable from other Arabs as this piece contends, then the argument of “self-determination” is invalid, as is the call for a sovereign state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

For the sake of discussion, assume, however, that the Palestinian-Arabs are a “nation”.  In that case, one can argue that Jordan is their country, as the Israeli representative to the UN, Joseph Tekoah, stated in the UN assembly way back on 13 November, 1974:

42.  Geographically and ethnically Jordan is Palestine. Historically both the West and East banks of the Jordan river are parts of the Land of Israel or Palestine. Both were parts of Palestine under the British Mandate until Jordan and then Israel became independent. The population of Jordan is composed of two elements — the sedentary population and nomads. Both are, of course, Palestinian. The nomad Bedouins constitute a minority of Jordan’s population. Moreover, the majority of the sedentary inhabitants, even on the East Bank, are of Palestinian West Bank origin. Without the Palestinians, Jordan is a State without a people.

43. That is why when, on 29 April 1950, King Abdullah inaugurated the commemorative session of the Jordanian Parliament he declared: “I open the session of the Parliament with both banks of the Jordan united by the will of one people, one homeland and one hope”.

44. On 23 August 1959, the Prime Minister of Jordan stated: “We are the Government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine”.

45. Indeed, the vast majority of Palestinian refugees never left Palestine, but moved, as a result of the 1948 and 1967 wars, from one part of the country to another. At the same time, an approximately equal number of Jewish refugees fled from Arab countries to Israel.

46. It is, therefore, false to allege that the Palestinian people has been deprived of a State of its own or that it has been uprooted from its national homeland. Most Palestinians continue to live in Palestine. Most Palestinians continue to live in a Palestinian State. The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs are citizens of that Palestinian State.

47. “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan”, declared on 9 December 1970 the late Dr. Kadri Toukan, a prominent West Bank leader and former Foreign Minister of Jordan.

48. Mr. Anwar Nuseibe, another Palestinian West Bank personality and a former Jordanian Defence Minister, stated on 23 October 1970:

“The Jordanians are also Palestinians. This is one State. This is one people. The name is not important. The families living in Salt, Irbid and Karak maintain not only family and matrimonial ties with the families in

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Nablus and Hebron. They are one people.” … 50. Even if the appellation “Palestinian” were confined to the West Bank, there is today, as already indicated, an overwhelming preponderance of Palestinians of West Bank descent in the population of the East Bank, as well as in the Jordanian Government. For instance, Queen Alia, Prime Minister Rifa’i, more than half of the Cabinet Ministers and of the members of Parliament, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Mayor of Amman, all hail from the West Bank.

What is Palestine

 6.  “Palestine” is a geographic term, assigned to a region, and historically, has never referred to an Arab state.  This underscores that a “Palestinian nation” does not exist except as an anti- Israel propaganda card.  Hence, creating another sovereign Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is unjustified for an invented nation.

In his article, “The year the Arabs discovered Palestine”, Daniel Pipes traces the beginnings of Palestinian-Arab nationalism as follows:

Palestine, then [prior to 1920] a secular way of saying Eretz Yisra’el or Terra Sancta, embodied a purely Jewish and Christian concept, one utterly foreign to Moslems, even repugnant to them.

This distaste was confirmed in April 1920, when the British occupying force carved out a “Palestine.” Moslems reacted very suspiciously, rightly seeing this designation as a victory for Zionism. Less accurately, they worried about it signaling a revival in the Crusader impulse. No prominent Moslem voices endorsed the delineation of Palestine in 1920; all protested it.

Instead, Moslems west of the Jordan directed their allegiance to Damascus, where the great-great-uncle of Jordan’s King Abdullah II was then ruling; they identified themselves as Southern Syrians.

Interestingly, no one advocated this affiliation more emphatically than a young man named Amin Husseini. In July 1920, however, the French overthrew this Hashemite king, in the process killing the notion of a Southern Syria.

Isolated by the events of April and July, the Moslems of Palestine made the best of a bad situation. One prominent Jerusalemite commented, just days following the fall of the Hashemite kingdom: “after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine.”

Following this advice, the leadership in December 1920 adopted the goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state. Within a few years, this effort was led by Husseini.

What, one may ask, was the history of Palestine before 1920? wasn’t it a Palestinian-Arab state since the 7th Century?  To substantiate the thesis that Palestine never was a state, suffice it to review the Palestinian-Arab version of history, from the Arab invasion until WW I.  This history, given in the Palestinian site, Palestine Remembered, is quoted below if full, so that the arguments of “selective quoting” and “quoting out of context” cannot be raised.

638 – Arabs under the Caliph ‘Umar capture Palestine from Byzantines. 661-750 – Umayyad caliphs rule Palestine from Damascus. Dynasty descended from Umayya of Meccan tribe of Quraysh. Construction of Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem by Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik (685-705). Construction of al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem by Caliph al-Walid I (705-715). 750-1258 – ‘Abbasid caliphs rule Palestine from Iraq. Dynasty, founded by

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Abu al-‘Abbas al-Saffah, who is descended from ‘Abbas, uncle of the Prophet. 969 – Fatimid dynasty, claiming descent from the Prophet’s daughter Fatima and her cousin ‘Ali, rule Palestine from Egypt. They proclaim themselves caliphs in rivalry to the ‘Abbasids. 1071 – Saljuqs, originally from Isfahan, capture Jerusalem and parts of Palestine, which remains officially within the ‘Abbasid Empire.

1099-1187 – Crusaders establish the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. 1187 – Kurdish general Saladin (Salah al-Din who was born in Takrit northern Iraq, the birth place of Saddam Hussein too), son of Ayyub, the sultan of Mosul, defeats Crusaders at Hittin in northern Palestine and recaptures Jerusalem. The Ayyubid dynasty rules Palestine from Cairo. 1260 – Mamluks succeed Ayyubids, ruling Palestine from Cairo; defeat Mongols at Battle of ‘Ayn Jalut near Nazareth. 1291 – Mamluks capture final Crusader strongholds of Acre and Caesarea. 1516-1917 – Palestine incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with its capital in Istanbul. 1832-1840 – Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha of Egypt occupies Palestine. Ottomans subsequently reassert their rule. 1876-1877 – Palestinian deputies from Jerusalem attend the first Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul, elected under a new Ottoman Constitution. 1878 – First modern Zionist agricultural settlement of Petach Tiqwa established (click here to learn more about Zionist [sic] and its impact on the Palestinian people). 1882-1903 – First wave of 25,000 Zionist immigrants enters Palestine, coming mainly from eastern Europe. 1882 – Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris starts financial backing for Jewish settlement in Palestine. 1887-1888 – Palestine divided by Ottomans into the districts (sanjaks) of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre. The first was attached directly to Istanbul, the others to the wilayet of Beirut. 1896 – Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist and writer, publishes Der Judenstaat, advocating establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine or elsewhere. 1896 – Jewish Colonization Association, founded in 1891 in London by German Baron Maurice de Hirsch, starts aiding Zionist settlements in Palestine. 1897 – First Zionist Congress in Switzerland issues the Basle Program calling for the establishment of a “home for the Jewish people in Palestine.” It also establishes the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to work to that end. 1901 – Jewish National Fund (JNF) set up by fifth Zionist Congress in Basle to acquire land for WZO; land acquired by JNF to be inalienably Jewish, and exclusively Jewish labor to be employed on it, click here to read to Zionist [sic] apartheid & racist quotes. 1904-1914 – Second wave of about 40,000 Zionist immigrants increases Jewish population in Palestine to about 6% of total. Since the inception of Zionism in [sic] claimed that Palestinian was an empty country, click here to read our rebuttal to this argument. 1909 – Establishment of the first kibbutz, based exclusively on Jewish labor. Tel Aviv founded north of Jaffa. 1914 – World War I starts.

(To learn more about the anti-Israeli site quoted above, check out the mission statement of “The Home Of All Ethnically Cleansed Palestinians”).

Even this Palestinian-Arab version of history has no hint whatever of a Palestinian state, and as a previous article indicated, history also shows no indication of a “Palestinian-Arab nation” either. Against the historical background of neither a “Palestinian-Arab state” nor a “Palestinian-Arab nation” stands the Jewish claim of historical nationhood in Palestine, recognized internationally by such solid documents as the League of Nations mandate and the US Congress endorsement of the Mandate document in June, 1922.  Is it not clear that the Jewish claim to sovereignty over Palestine is infinitely stronger than the Palestinian-Arab claim?

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Israel’s strong claim to Yesha

 7.  Israel is in possession of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) as a consequence of the 1967 defensive war that Israel was forced into.  The areas of Judea/Samaria and Gaza were occupied from 1948 to 1967 by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, but no calls for “Palestinian sovereignty” were heard during that period.  Since Jordan and Egypt have renounced their claims to these territories, Israel has the strongest claim to Yesha. 

The 1967 War is discussed and documented so extensively that only a brief summary is needed to establish the foregoing argument.

Israel’s war against Jordan as a defensive war may be established by recalling that on the day the Israeli war against Egypt started, Israel warned King Hussein explicitly not to intervene on the side of Israel’s enemies.  This statement is substantiated by an official Israeli document sent to King Hussein on June 5, 1967, via a UN official, General Odd Bull.  The document is available from the site of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MFA:

On the morning of 5 June 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol transmitted through the Chief of Staff of UNTSO a message to King Hussein asking Jordan to refrain from hostilities. Text:

We are engaged in defensive fighting on the Egyptian sector, and we shall not engage ourselves in any action against Jordan, unless Jordan attacks us. Should Jordan attack Israel, we shall go against her with all our might.

According to Gilbert, p. 385, This message was also conveyed by two other channels: the Israeli/Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.  The fact that Jordanian forces opened fire, shelling Jerusalem, and then began to advance, proves the defensive nature of Israel’s war on Jordan beyond any doubt.

The case against Egypt is based, first, on the casus belli created by Nasser when he closed the straights of Tiran to Israeli shipping on May 22, 1967.  This is confirmed by Nasser’s speech:

 On 23 May 1967, Egypt announced that the Straits of Tiran had been closed and warned Israeli shipping that it would be fired upon if it attempted to break the blockade. The next day, Egypt announced that the Straits had been mined. Text of speech by President Nasser announcing the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, 23 May 1967:

Yesterday the armed forces occupied Sharin ash-Shaykh. What does this mean? It is an affirmation of our rights, of our sovereignty over the Gulf of Aqaba, which constitutes Egyptian territorial waters. Under no circumstances can we permit the Israeli flag to pass through the Gulf of Aqaba.

On May 23, the closure of the straits of Tiran was condemned by President Johnson in these words:

The United States considers the gulf to be an international waterway and feels that a blockade of Israeli shipping is illegal and potentially disastrous to the cause of peace. The right of free and innocent passage of the international waterway is a vital interest of the entire international community.

Even had the closing of the Straits of Tiran been the only cause of Israel’s war on Egypt, it would have been enough to justify the war as one of self-defense.  In fact, this closure was accompanied by a

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long series of other belligerent steps.  On May 17, 1967, Nasser ordered the withdrawal of the UN buffer presence (UNEF, or United Nations Emergency Force) which was placed in the Sinai after the 1956 War.  This was preceded by deploying Egyptian troops in the Sinai starting May 13, 1967, and by threats of annihilation against Israel.  For Israel, the military pact among Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, with the explicit objective of annihilating Israel, amounted to a noose, especially when the pact members started moving troops towards Israel’s borders.  Finally, Nasser resumed the murderous infiltration of the terrorist Fidayin, an act that was among the prime causes of the 1956 War.  During the week of April 24, 1967, for example, Egyptian-controlled terrorists sabotaged a main road leading to Beersheba.

The following chronology is culled from Gilbert, Ch 21-22, and demonstrates the foregoing narrative.

May 13, 1967 – Nasser moves large numbers of troops into the Sinai. May 16, 1967 – Nasser demands the withdrawal of UNEF; UN’s Secretary General, U Thant agrees immediately.  Withdrawal completed by May 19, 1967. May 22, 1967 – Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran, generating an unambiguous casus belli.  (On March 1, 1957, Israel announced that closing the straits would be considered casus belli.) May 25, 1967 – Egyptian armoured units moved to Sinai. May 26, 1967 – Nasser declares, “our basic objective will be to destroy Israel”. May 30, 1967 – During his visit to Cairo, King Hussein joins the Syrian-Egyption pact against Israel. Israel was now surrounded on three sides. May 31, 1967 – Iraqi troops move to Egypt to support a possible war. (On June 4, Iraq joined the pact of Egypt/Syria/Jordan.)

Israel’s case against Syria is based on Syria serving as a launching pad for Palestinian-Arab terrorists and on Syria’s continual harassment of Israeli settlements in the valley below the Golan Heights.  So intense did the shelling become, that the civilian population had to pass many a night in underground shelters.  A favourite tactic of the Syrian-controlled terrorists was mining roads, as in the incident on May 8, when an Israeli car hit a mine on the road to Tiberias.  Gilbert, Ch 21, describes the situation as follows:

The first three months of 1967 were marked by repeated Syrian artillery bombardments and cross-border raids on the Israeli settlements in the north. Israeli air raids against Syrian positions on the Golan Heights would result in a few weeks’ quiet, but then the attacks would begin again. On 7 April 1967 Syrian mortars on the Golan Heights began a barrage of fire on kibbutz Gadot… More than 200 shells were fired before Israeli tanks moved into positions from which they could reach the Syrian mortars.

As the Israeli tanks opened fire, the Syrian artillery did likewise. Firing quickly spread along the border to the north and south of Gadot. Then Israeli warplanes – Mirage fighter-bombers purchased from France – flew over the Syrian border and over the Golan Heights, strafing several Syrian strongholds and artillery batteries. Fifteen minutes later Syrian warplanes – Soviet MiG-21s – took on the Israeli planes in aerial combat. Within a few minutes, six MiGs had been shot down and the rest chased eastwards to Damascus… One Israeli plane was shot down.

Following the Gadot clash, Fatah renewed its campaign inside Israel, using the Syrian border as a conduit. On April 29 a water pipeline was blown up, and a few days later mines were laid on the main road leading north from Tiberias, damaging an Israeli army truck.

Israeli control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza are a direct consequence of the defensive war that Israel was forced into in 1967.  In the course of a meeting in Rabat, 28 October, 1974, the Arab Summit adopts a resolution recognizing the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This in fact meant that the former occupiers of Judea/Samaria and Gaza (Jordan and Egypt, respectively)  officially renounced their claims over these territories.  When Germany lost WW I to the Allies, she lost Alsace-Lorraine to France.  When Germany lost WW II, she lost East Prussia.

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There is a price to pay for aggression and for being defeated in a war in which the opponent is exercising self-defence.  The Arabs, and especially the Palestinian Arabs, should not be exempt from the realities of life.

The issue of Israeli claims over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, together with the associated issues of “occupied Arab land” and “illegal settlements”, will be dealt with in greater detail in a forthcoming article in this series.

Arabs rejected sovereign state

 8.  The Palestinian Arabs had at least three opportunities to establish their own sovereign state by peaceful means: the Peel commission plan of 1937 which the Arabs rejected; the UN partition plan of 1948, to which the Arabs reacted by engaging in war; and the Barak/Clinton offer of July 2000/January 2001, to which the Palestinian Arabs reacted by igniting Intifada II. (The Oslo Accords of 1993, stipulated self government, i.e., autonomy, and not sovereignty.)  By their actions, the Palestinian Arabs have forfeited any right they might have had to a sovereign state in Palestine.

It is common knowledge that the Palestinian Arabs had an opportunity to establish an independent state in Palestine both in 1937, when the Peel Commission recommended the partition solution, and in 1947, when the UN General Assembly reached the same conclusion by a 33-13 majority (with 10 abstentions, including Bevin’s UK); in both cases, the Palestinian Arabs rejected the proposals that would have given them a sovereign state.  Since these facts are common knowledge, they warrant only a brief discussion.

To substantiate that the Palestinian Arabs rejected the Peel Commission’s partition plan, suffice it to quote any of the relevant Palestinian-Arab web sites.  For example, the Islamic Association for Palestine informs us that:

At the height of the 1936-39 disturbances, a royal commission of inquiry came to Palestine from London to investigate the roots of the Arab-Jewish conflict and to propose solutions. The commission, headed by Lord Robert Peel, heard a great deal of testimony in Palestine, and in July 1937 issued its recommendations: to abolish the Mandate and partition the country between the two peoples. Only a zone between Jaffa and Jerusalem would remain under the British mandate and international supervision.

The Jewish state would include the coastal strip stretching from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee. The Arab state was to include the hill regions, Judea and Samaria, and the Negev. Until the establishment of the two states, the commission recommended, Jews should be prohibited from purchasing land in the area allocated to the Arab state. … [T]he Arabs rejected the proposal and refused to regard it as a solution. The plan was ultimately shelved.

Considering the tiny sliver of land that would have been assigned to the Jewish state under the Peel plan, one has to marvel at the malevolence and pettiness of the Palestinian Arabs; it would appear that they adopted the most bizarre version of a “dog in the manger” in order to frustrate the Jewish national aspiration even at the cost of depriving themselves of a sovereign state.

Turning to the Palestinian Arabs’ rejection of the UN partition plan of 29 November 1947, the following quotation is from  Encyclopedia.com:

The struggle by Jews for a Jewish state in Palestine had begun in the late

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19th cent[ury] and had become quite active by the 1930s and 40s. The militant opposition of the Arabs to such a state and the inability of the British to solve the problem eventually led to the establishment (1947) of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, which devised a plan to divide Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a small internationally administered zone including Jerusalem. The General Assembly adopted the recommendations on Nov. 29, 1947. The Jews accepted the plan; the Arabs rejected it.

The events surrounding the Barak/Clinton offer to the Palestinians at Camp David (July 2000) and in the negotiations that followed (to January 2001), were common knowledge during the first year after Arafat walked away from the negotiating table, but subsequently, the Palestinian-Arabs activated their disinformation machine to the point that some of Arafat’s apologists summoned the audacity to deny the details of the offer as they were known at the time.  For this reason, it may be useful to deal with this chapter in greater detail, in order to substantiate the statement that the PA did, indeed, walk away from a most generous offer, and opt instead for the violence that still continues.

An authoritative account comes from Clinton’s Middle East envoy, Dennis Ross, who participated in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks personally.  In an interview with Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and with Brit Hume of Fox news, dated April 23, 2002, Dennis Ross said:

ROSS: The ideas were presented on December 23 by the president, and they basically said the following: On borders, there would be about a 5 percent annexation in the West Bank for the Israelis and a 2 percent swap. So there would be a net 97 percent of the territory that would go to the Palestinians.

On Jerusalem, the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capitol of the Palestinian state.

On the issue of refugees, there would be a right of return for the refugees to their own state, not to Israel, but there would also be a fund of $30 billion internationally that would be put together for either compensation or to cover repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation costs.

And when it came to security, there would be a international presence, in place of the Israelis, in the Jordan Valley.

These were ideas that were comprehensive, unprecedented, stretched very far, represented a culmination of an effort in our best judgment as to what each side could accept after thousands of hours of debate, discussion with each side.

FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: Now, Palestinian officials say to this day that Arafat said yes.

ROSS: Arafat came to the White House on January 2. Met with the president, and I was there in the Oval Office. He said yes, and then he added reservations that basically meant he rejected every single one of the things he was supposed to give.

HUME: What was he supposed to give?

ROSS: He supposed to give, on Jerusalem, the idea that there would be for the Israelis sovereignty over the Western Wall, which would cover the areas that are of religious significance to Israel. He rejected that.

HUME: He rejected their being able to have that?

ROSS: He rejected that.

He rejected the idea on the refugees. He said we need a whole new formula, as if what we had presented was non-existent.

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He rejected the basic ideas on security. He wouldn’t even countenance the idea that the Israelis would be able to operate in Palestinian airspace.

You know when you fly into Israel today you go to Ben Gurion. You fly in over the West Bank because you can’t — there’s no space through otherwise. He rejected that.

So every single one of the ideas that was asked of him he rejected.

HUME: Now, let’s take a look at the map. Now, this is what — how the Israelis had created a map based on the president’s ideas. And…

ROSS: Right.

HUME: … what can we — that situation shows that the territory at least is contiguous. What about Gaza on that map?

ROSS: The Israelis would have gotten completely out of Gaza.

ROSS: And what you see also in this line, they show an area of temporary Israeli control along the border.

HUME: Right.

ROSS: Now, that was an Israeli desire. That was not what we presented. But we presented something that did point out that it would take six years before the Israelis would be totally out of the Jordan Valley.

So that map there that you see, which shows a very narrow green space along the border, would become part of the orange. So the Palestinians would have in the West Bank an area that was contiguous. Those who say there were cantons, completely untrue. It was contiguous.

HUME: Cantons being ghettos, in effect…

ROSS: Right.

HUME: … that would be cut off from other parts of the Palestinian state.

ROSS: Completely untrue.

And to connect Gaza with the West Bank, there would have been an elevated highway, an elevated railroad, to ensure that there would be not just safe passage for the Palestinians, but free passage.

HUME: What, in your view, was the reason that Arafat, in effect, said no?

ROSS: Because fundamentally I do not believe he can end the conflict. We had one critical clause in this agreement, and that clause was, this is the end of the conflict.

Arafat’s whole life has been governed by struggle and a cause. Everything he has done as leader of the Palestinians is to always leave his options open, never close a door. He was being asked here, you’ve got to close the door. For him to end the conflict is to end himself.

This account has been confirmed numerous times.  For example, in January, 2002, Clinton visited Israel.  According to a report in Ha’Aretz, dated January 21, 2002:

Former U.S president Bill Clinton said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat had missed a “golden opportunity” for peace and called on Israelis and Palestinians to be prepared to compromise in order to achieve the dream of peace. Clinton was speaking at a ceremony at the Tel Aviv University after receiving an honorary degree Sunday. …

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Referring to the failed Camp David peace talks held just before the outbreak of violence in October 2000, Clinton said “I think we have the outlines of a reasonable settlement, last year I believe Chairman Arafat missed a golden opportunity to make that agreement, I think the violence and terrorism which followed were not inevitable and have been a terrible mistake.”

Another relevant document is the so called EU description of the outcome of permanent status talks at Taba.  As a staunch supporter of the Arabs, the EU can hardly be accused of upholding the Israeli line; still, the “EU description” is consistent with that given by Dennis Ross.

Occasionally, it appears that the truth, as presented above, is even penetrating the minds of some of the Palestinian-Arab supporters.  For example, on Thursday November 15, 2001, Reuters reported:

Palestinian political analyst Ghassan al-Khatib said … Israel and the Palestinians would have reached a deal during U.S.-sponsored talks in July 2000 if the Palestinian Authority had agreed to compromise on the rights of refugees.

The peace summit at the Camp David presidential retreat collapsed due to disagreements on refugees and the final status of Jerusalem. The Palestinian uprising erupted two months later.

By and large, however, the Palestinian-Arab apologists prefer to indulge in misinformation rather than face the facts.  They have even found a junior pro-Arab US official, Robert Malley, to support their case (see, for example, Malley’s comments and response by Dennis Ross).

In my opinion, any fair-minded observer would have to conclude that the acts and behaviour of the Palestinian Arabs prove that they were not interested in a sovereign state; rather, their interest has concentrated on acts of spite against the Palestinian Jews, rejecting at least three opportunities to have a sovereign state.

Origin of the Arab pop in Palestine

 9.  The growth of the Arab population in Palestine was, in great measure, a consequence of Arab immigration, attracted to Palestine from the surrounding Arab lands because of the development initiated by the Jews.  The British authorities turned a blind eye to this migration, while placing severe restrictions on Jewish immigration into Palestine.

The evidence to corroborate the foregoing statement has been in the public domain for decades, as the information was made available to the League of Nations (LoN) Mandates Commission and recorded officially.  Still, even supporters of Israel advocacy have used this information only rarely.  The object of this article is (1) to review the evidence and (2) to explain the significance of the point in the context of opposing the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state.

In using source material for the purpose of this series, I prefer web-based, primary sources, so that readers can verify the information for themselves. In the case of this particular article, primary-source material would have meant the British Mandatory reports which the authorities submitted to the Mandates Commission of the LoN, as well as the complete texts of reports and testimony of the Peel Commission, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, etc.  Unfortunately, most of this material is either not posted at all, or posted by UNISPAL, the UN organ designed to disseminate Palestinian- Arab propaganda.  Consequently, the reports UNISPAL posted are truncated, and there is ample evidence that the truncation is tendencious and biassed.  For this reason, much of the information cited below comes from the research done by Joan Peters (see complete reference at article’s end).

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To begin, let us examine the web-based evidence posted by UNISPAL, restricting our examination to the years 1931-1935.

Throughout the mandate, there was a measure of legal immigration of Arabs which the mandatory authorities included under “non-Jews”.  For example, the 1931 submission to the LoN reported that close to a quarter of all immigrants for 1927-1930 were “non-Jews”:

Immigration into Palestine has on the whole remained relatively constant during the past five years. 5,533 immigrants, of whom 4,075 were Jews, received permission to settle in Palestine in 1931. The average for the previous four years is 4,920 (3,771 Jews).

For the period ending in 1947, Joan Peters, p. 255, cites the figure of 27,300 legal non-Jewish immigrants.

Additionally, there was a measure of illegal Arab immigration that even the British were unable to conceal.  The mandatory authorities had to provide data on deportations of illegal Arab immigrants, which proved ipso facto that illegal Arab immigration did occur and was known to the British administration.  For example, the 1934 British report to the LoN states,

The number of persons deported during the year for immigration offences was 2,407, of whom 772 were Jews.

To put these figures in context, one should recall that (according to Joan Peters), the British went out of their way to encourage illegal Arab immigration, and only used deportations in the most blatant and extreme cases.  Hence, the fact that the vast majority of deportees were illegal Arab immigrants tells us more about the extent of this illegal immigration and less about the British efforts to expel the “illegals”.

Third, in questioning the British representatives, the Mandates Commission members who examined the reports exposed the large-scale illegal immigration that took place from Trans-Jordan and Syria (especially, from the Hauran district).  For example, the minutes of the June 5, 1935 examination of the British representatives includes these passages:

M. ORTS [one of the Mandates Commission members who examined the British report] wondered whether the free admission of Trans-Jordanians into Palestine did not lead to abuses, since it was a fact that a certain number of Trans-Jordanians remained in the country. He wished to ask whether the Palestine Government could be certain that Arabs entering Palestine through Trans-Jordan (and these need not necessarily be Trans- Jordanian Arabs) did not avail themselves of the privilege accorded to the Trans-Jordanians in order to settle down in Palestine. … Lord LUGARD [another Commission member] said that La Syrie had published, on August 12th, 1934, an interview with Tewfik Bey El-Huriani, Governor of the Hauran, who said that in the last few months from 30,000 to 36,000 Hauranese had entered Palestine and settled there. The accredited representative would note the Governor’s statement that these Hauranese had actually “settled”.

M. ORTS said that the Governor had not said that these people had entered via Trans-Jordan; that allegation was made in Jewish circles. His declaration, however, had caused some excitement among the Jews, who saw in it a proof that the mandatory Power was closing its eyes to the entry of Hauranese, while it severely punished illicit Jewish immigration. … Count DE PENHA GARCIA [a third Commission member] observed that… In actual practice, two mandates were being applied, one to Palestine and the other to Trans-Jordan, the latter being comprised in the former; but while Trans-Jordanians might go freely into Palestine, Jews were not allowed to settle in Trans-Jordan. There could be no doubt that quite a large number of Trans-Jordanians did settle in Palestine — this fact was even admitted

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in paragraph 36, page 110, of the report for 1934. As Arabs entering Palestine from Trans-Jordan did not require passports, this element of immigration could not be properly gauged by the Mandates Commission…

In her monumental work,  Since Time Immemorial (1984), , Joan Peters has collected an impressive array of evidence to support the claim about the Arab immigration into “West Palestine” (Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza of today) and in particular, about the Arab migration into the areas of prime Jewish settlement.  We now turn to a review of this evidence, which is over and above the UNISPAL evidence we have just documented.

 1.  Evidence from “secret” correspondence of British mandatory officials.  As noted, the British authorities in Palestine applied their “best endeavour” in an attempt to conceal the existence and scope of the Arab illegal immigration into Palestine.  In secret correspondence, now declassified (and researched by Joan Peters), it appeared that the British officials made numerous references to illegal Arab immigration into Palestine; examples from this correspondence are cited by Peters, pp. 270 – 295.

 2.  Evidence from the Hope Simpson report.  (John Hope Simpson headed yet another British investigation of the Palestinian situation; the inquiry followed the Arab riots of 1929 and the report was released in 1930.)  Specifically, Joan Peters, pp. 296-299 cites passages which indicate that the Hope Simpson Commission knew about the illegal Arab immigration into Palestine and even acknowledged the injustice it inflicted on the Jewish population.

 3.  Evidence from the Peel Commission testimony.  (The Peel Commission, another group sent to investigate the Palestinian situation, started its hearing in the midst of the Arab 1936-39 riots; the Peel report was released in 1937.)  Pages 302-309 of Joan Peters’ work provide quotation from testimony before the commission, testimony which clearly addresses the issue of Arab illegal immigration.

 4.  Evidence from a report, entitled  Survey of Palestine,  by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry (AACI). (The AACI was constituted in 1945 and reported in 1946 – another British attempt to kill the Jewish National Home by committee.)  According to Joan Peters, pp. 377-379, this document confirms that while the British shut the gates of Palestine to Jewish refugees, thus condemning them to the fires of the Nazi death camps, legal and illegal Arab immigrants were pouring into Palestine. (However, the quotations given in Joan Peter’s book are from the complete report, not from the summary version which corresponds to the link I cited above.)

 5.  Evidence from reports by historians, travellers, diplomats and pilgrims about Palestine from the Arab conquest to the 1880’s.  These reports, cited on pp. 157-171, and 196-199 indicate that the country was devastated and depopulated during some periods, and re-populated by immigrants from numerous countries at other periods.  Throughout, a Jewish population was always present.  Villages of Circassians, who were brought to Palestine from the Caucasus by the Ottomans, exist in Israel to this day.

Example of the reports mentioned above are the writings of James Finn and his wife, Elizabeth Finn. (James was the British consul in Jerusalem, 1846-1863; Elizabeth Finn lived with him in Jerusalem throughout this period.  Each  authored many books.)  Joan Peters, pp. 197 quotes James Finn as having said in 1860, “From Haifa I learn the arrival of about 6,000 of the Beni Sukhr Arabs at Tiberias…”,  “I have omitted to mention the increase of Mahometan agriculturalists and pastoral Arabs from countries of Barbary…”, “The Plain of Esdraelon is full of Turkoman Bedouins…”.

 6.  Evidence from the 1931 Census of Palestine.  On p. 226-229, Joan Peters presents the list of birthplaces and “Languages of habitual use” for the 1931 population of Palestine by religion. Muslims show 27 birthplace caterories (in addition to Palestine), including Syria, Transjordan, Egypt, Hejaz (Arabia), Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, Albania and Persia (Iran).  The list of languages includes 22 categories (in addition to Arabic), including Albanian, Bosnian, Circassian,

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Hindustani, Kurdis, Persian and Turkish.

 7.  Studies by geographers and other academics concerning the birthplace of the population in selected Arab villages.  Joan Peters (pp. 263-267) quotes several academics who conducted such studies: Prof. Moshe Braver’s 1968 study of 200 villages in Israel is an example.  This and other studies quoted confirm the existence of a large population whose birthplace was Egypt and Syria.

 8.  Demographic evidence.  The foregoing evidence is qualitative in nature and may be dismissed by some as being anecdotal.  But Joan Peters also provides one attempt to quantified the impact of the Arab immigration.

The pertinent demographic calculation analyses the 1882-1895 population change in Palestine, i.e., the 13-year growth of the settled Moslem population in the area of today’s Israel plus “Yesha”.  The change is from 141,000 “settled Moslems” to 252,000, and the increase, 111,000.  The upper limit of possible natural increase in the late 19th Century could not exceed 1.5%, and if this rate is applied to the 1882 base population, then the expected number in 1895 would be 170,000 as an upper limit. This leaves the conclusion that some 82,000 persons out of the 111,000, or about 74% of the increase, are due to immigration, including the children borne to the immigrants.  The period 1882-1895 coincides with the beginning of the large-scale Jewish immigration to Palestine and the calculation presented is consistent with the assertion that the Palestinian Arabs are recent immigrants and not the indigenous population “since time immemorial”.

Why is all this so important?  Some readers have e-mailed me to say, “all your arguments [meaning the first eight presented in previous articles] have to do with the past; the fact is that the Arabs are now here, in Palestine, regardless of how they arrived”.  This line of argument, based on the current realities of the Mideast, will be dealt with in subsequent articles.  The object of the first ring of nine articles was to underscore that the Palestinian-Arab argument about their rights to the land, about the Jews being newcomers and usurpers, and about justice to the indigenous population, are ill founded arguments.


Peters, Joan.  From Time Immemorial.  New York: Harpers and Row, 1984.

Elimination of Israel

 10. Palestinian Arab spokesmen leave no doubt about their intention to destroy, annihilate and eliminate Israel; therefore, creation of a second Palestinian Arab state will not solve the Israeli/Arab conflict.

Of all the arguments presented in this series, the present argument is the easiest to substantiate, for it requires no more than  quoting the Palestinian Authority (PA) representatives themselves .  Citing recent results from  Palestinian-Arab opinion polls  adds to the wall of proof, but the  actions of the PA  speak louder than any words.  In this article we will discuss each of these three topics in turn.

Prior to reading the evidence, recall that before the 1993 Oslo Accords, the destruction of Israel was the official policy of the PLO, enshrined in its Charter.  In 1974, after the 1973 Arab defeat made it clear that Israel could even withstand a surprise attack, the PLO formulated the “Phased Plan”, which essentially called for the annihilation of Israel piecemeal.  With the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel took an enormous risk; in retrospect, taking this risk has proved a major error, as the statements of the PA representatives attest.

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The Oslo accords of September, 1993, and particularly the Rabin-Arafat letter exchange, were supposed to put an end to the PLO’s declared objective of annihilating Israel.  The Arafat-to-Rabin letter stated:

The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly,  the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence  and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.

But as early as May 10, 1994, Arafat made it clear in a public speech that he has changed nothing in his Phased Plan.  On that day, Arafat gave a speech in a Johannesburg mosque, a speech in which he referred to the Oslo Accords, saying (in what is Arafat’s personal version of the English language, grammar and syntax):

This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Mohammed and Koraish, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and [considered] it a despicable truce.

But Mohammed had accepted it and we are accepting now this peace offer. But to continue our way to Jerusalem, to the first shrine together and not alone.

[The foregoing document comes from the site of Information Regarding Israel’s Security (IRIS), “an independent organization dedicated to informing the public about the security needs of the State of Israel, especially vis-a-vis the current peace process”.]

In his thinly coded message, Arafat was referring to the Khudaibiya agreement made by Mohammed with the Arabian tribe of Koraish, which allowed Mohammed to pray in Mecca, then under Koraish control.  The pact, slated to last for ten years, was broken within two years, when the Islamic forces – having used the peace pact to become stronger – abrogated the agreement and conquered the Koreish tribe.  Mohammed then slaughtered the tribe of Koraish and conquered Mecca.  Thus, the reference to Koraish implies a tactical agreement of convenience, e.g., the Oslo Accords, which Arafat never intended to keep.

Arafat referred to the analogy with the phoney Koraish agreement in a later interview as well, this time in Arabic, on the Egyptian Orbit TV, on April 18, 1998.  As reported by IRIS, Arafat said:

Q: How do you explain that you occasionally ask the Palestinian street not to explode?

Arafat: When the prophet Muhammad made the Khudaibiya agreement, he agreed to remove his title “messenger of Allah” from the agreement. Then, Omar bin Khatib and the others referred to this agreement as the “inferior peace agreement.” Of course, I do not compare myself to the prophet, but I do say that we must learn from his steps and those of Salah a-Din. The peace agreement which we signed is an “inferior peace”.

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In this piece, Arafat also refers to Salah a-Din, the Muslim leader who, after a cease-fire, declared a jihad against the Crusaders and captured Jerusalem.  This reference can hardly be considered a hint – it is more like an overt declaration of intent to destroy Israel.

In a similar vein, the New Yorker magazine, 9 July 2001, published an article by Jeffrey Goldenberg about his interviews with Barghouti and other PA officials.  The web version of the article was posted on the AIJAC site from which we quote this excerpt:

During the interview, I asked Barghouti an obvious question: What would Israel have to do to bring an end to the uprising?

“We need one hundred per cent of Gaza, one hundred per cent of the West Bank, one hundred per cent of East Jerusalem, and the right of return for refugees,” he said. I pointed out that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak had, at the Camp David summit last year, offered the Palestinians a series of dramatic concessions: a free Gaza, around ninety per cent of the West Bank, a capital in East Jerusalem, and so on. “No!” Nothing less than a hundred per cent is acceptable, he said. And if you get a hundred per cent? Will that end the conflict? Barghouti smiled, and then said something impolitic for a Fatah man. “Then we could talk about bigger things,” he said. Such as? “I’ve always thought that a good idea would be one state for all the peoples,” he said. A secular democratic Palestine? “We don’t have to call it Palestine,” he replied. “We can call it something else.”

Feisal Husseini was another PA leader to whom the foregoing article refers:

[I]n his last months Husseini spoke at a conference in Teheran which brought together leaders of Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. And in a speech delivered in Beirut in April he said, “We may lose or win, but our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal; namely, Palestine from the river to the sea” – from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. “Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth.”

Yet another relevant quotation comes from MEMRI, in the Special Dispatch Series, No. 138, dated October 13, 2000.  The Dispatch provides a transcript of a PA TV broadcast of a Friday sermon in the Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan mosque in Gaza.  The sermon was broadcast live on the official Palestinian Authority television. The speaker is Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, Member of the PA appointed “Fatwa Council” and former acting Rector of the Islamic University in Gaza:

“Even if an agreement of Gaza is signed – we shall not forget Haifa, and Acre, and the Galilee, and Jaffa, and the Triangle and the Negev, and the rest of our cities and villages. It is only a matter of time. The weak will not remain forever weak, and the strong will not remain forever strong… If we are weak today … and we are not able to regain our rights, then at least we have to pass on the banner – waving high – to our children and grandchildren…”

IRIS has also posted the following selection of relevant quotes:

“The failed attempt to achieve peace made us realize that the only way to solve the Palestinian problem in a just and comprehensive manner is to implement the PLO’s covenant… meaning a return to the armed struggle, which is the only language the Israelis understand….

“The Fatah movement will not allow the continuation of a situation which is neither war nor peace, imposed on the region by the Israeli and American governments…. The Palestinian people are ready for war. As much as they are experienced in peace, the Palestinian people are experienced in war, where they have yet to fail.”

 Ruhi Fatuh, Secretary General of the Palestinian Legislative Council and member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, Yasser Arafat’s mainstream faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Fatuh said the return to

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armed struggle should take place if a Palestinian state is not established by 5 May 1999, when the Israel-PLO accords expire. (Al-Ayyam, 12 June 1998. Translation courtesy of Middle East Media and Research Institute – MEMRI)

“We will turn the territories of the [Palestinian] Autonomy into [the Israelis’] graveyard. This will be the beginning of the end and a regression to a state of overall explosion, for which Israel will be held responsible, as it is responsible for the failure of the peace process today.”

 Chief Palestinian negotiator Sa’eb Ariqat, saying that if the Israelis try to re-enter areas under the Palestinian Authority they would not get out alive. (Al-Manar, 8 June 1998. Translation courtesy of MEMRI.)

“Defining the situation with Israel today as peace is a mistake. There is no peace with Israel, which is an imperialistic state by nature…. Rather, it is a truce, mainly because Israel wants to dominate the region and shuns peace with its neighbors. Such was revealed when the idea of a Middle East [economic] market was raised [by Israel].”

 Senior advisor to the PLO Executive Committee Jamal Al-Sorani. (Al- Bayader Al-Siasi, 13 June 1998. Translation courtesy of MEMRI.)

On the Palestinian Covenant: “…The [Palestinian] National Council did not vote to annul the [Palestinian] Covenant, but rather announced its readiness to change the Covenant under certain terms. If the terms are met, it will be amended. Otherwise, the Covenant will remain as is. The Covenant has yet to be changed, and this is better understood by the enemy than by our own people….”

 Secretary General of the Arab Liberation Front Mahmoud ‘Abbas, otherwise known as Abu ‘Abbas. The Israel-PLO Accords of 1993 required the Palestinian National Council to amend the Covenant, which calls for Israel’s destruction, with no further conditions attached. (Al-Bilad, 11 June 1998. Translation courtesy of MEMRI.)

On October 13, 2002, F. David Radler, the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote about Feisal Husseini, one of Arafat’s ministers:

The late Faisal Husseini, as reported June 24, 2001, by Al-Arabi in Egypt, said: “Had the U.S. and Israel realized, before Oslo, that all that was left of the Palestinian National movement and the Pan-Arab movement was a wooden horse called Arafat or the PLO, they would never have opened their fortified gates and let it inside their walls.” He also stated: “The Oslo agreement, or any other agreement, is just a temporary procedure, or just a step towards something bigger… We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure… [Palestine] according to the higher strategy [is]: ‘from the river to the sea’.”

Another relevant, recent quotation comes from the Palestinian Authority Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City, broadcast live on April 12, 2002 by Palestinian Authority television:

We are convinced of the [future] victory of Allah; we believe that one of these days, we will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, enter Jaffa as conquerors, enter Haifa as conquerors, enter Ramle and Lod as conquerors, the [villages of] Hirbiya and Dir Jerjis and all of Palestine as conquerors, as Allah has decreed¼ ‘They will enter Al-Aqsa Mosque as they have entered it the first time¼’ …

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A reliable Hadith [tradition] says: ‘The Jews will fight you, but you will be set to rule over them.’ What could be more beautiful than this tradition? ‘The Jews will fight you’ – that is, the Jews have begun to fight us. ‘You will be set to rule over them’ – Who will set the Muslim to rule over the Jew? Allah¼ Until the Jew hides behind the rock and the tree.

But the rock and tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, a Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.’ Except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.

In considering these statements, one should recall that Arafat, the PA and the appointed clerics have to conceal their intentions as best they can; if this is what is said after attempted concealment, one can easily imagine what they really think.  Indeed, an idea of what “they really think” may be deduced from what their people think, as revealed in opinion polls.

As one can well surmise, opinion polls do not ask directly whether the Palestinian Arabs intend to eradicate Israel, but proxy questions serve as a good indication of such intent.  The following opinion- poll data are extracted from the site of the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC), which presents itself as an organization “established in 1988 by a group of Palestinian journalists and researchers to provide information on events in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.”  The data refer to the JMCC opinion-poll data  for September 21 – 25, 2002.

As the figures below indicate, a majority of Palestinian-Arabs who had an opinion on the topic (i.e., excluding “no answer”, “don’t know”, etc) oppose “peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israel” (Q2);  oppose the “Oslo agreement” (Q4); disagree with the statement “that at a certain point peace will be achieved between Palestinians and Israelis” (Q5); support “the continuation of the al- Aqsa Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” – by a majority of over 80%! (Q7); “support the resumption of the military operations against Israeli targets as a suitable response within the current political conditions” (Q13);  and support “suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians” (Q15). Does one need better proof than Q2 and Q4 to substantiate that the Palestinian-Arab “street” is hell bent on annihilating Israel?  How would creating a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha change this 120-year tradition of fighting Zionism?

[The numbers in the following tables indicate percentages.]

Q.2 In principle, do you strongly support , Somewhat support, Somewhat oppose, or Strongly oppose peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israel?

Strongly support  …7.4 Somewhat support  …39.1 Somewhat oppose   …23.4 Strongly oppose   …28.5 No answer         …1.6 … Q4. What do you think of the Oslo agreement? Would you say you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose it?

Strongly support  …3.4 Support           …25.1 Oppose            …35.5 Strongly oppose   …30.8 No answer         …5.2

Q5. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree that at a certain point peace will be achieved between Palestinians and Israelis?

Strongly agree    …6.0 Somewhat agree    …34.0 Somewhat disagree …30.1

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Strongly disagree …23.2 No answer         …6.7 … Q7. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the continuation of the al-Aqsa Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza Strip?

Strongly support  …44.1 Somewhat support  …36.5 Somewhat oppose   …11.7 Strongly oppose   …4.7 No answer         …3.0 … Q.13 Do you support the resumption of the military operations against Israeli targets as a suitable response within the current political conditions, or do you reject it and find it harmful to Palestinian national interests?

A suitable response within the current political conditions  …69.5 I reject it and find it harmful to Palestinian national interests …23.2 Others          …0.9 I don’t know              …5.4 No answer          …1.0 …

Q.15 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?

Strongly support          …35.1 Somewhat support          …29.2 Strongly oppose           …18.3 Somewhat oppose           …9.4 I don’t know/No opinion   …5.9 No answer                 …2.1

In the final analysis, what counts is not so much what the leader say or what the people think but what the regime actually does.  And here the evidence is quite clear.  Suffice it to mention that the PA violated every part of the Oslo Accords, especially the articles that prohibit incitement and require termination of terrorism.  The arms ship Karine “A”, loaded with military equipment as she was, is proof enough of the PA’s true intentions. (With regard to the capture of Karine A in January, 2002, and proof of its connection to the PA, see, for example, Jerusalem Post or the IDF site.  A google search under “Karine A” yields over 8,600 hits.)

Once again the question must be asked, how will any solution emerge from a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha, when the PA pronouncements, public opinion and the PA actions all point to annihilation of Israel as their goal?

Stablizing the region

 11. Creation of a second Palestinian Arab state and will not pacify the region. Destabilizing internecine wars among the region’s countries, such as the Iran/Iraq or the Iraq/Kuwait wars, are unrelated to the Israeli/Arab conflict or to the absence of a second Palestinian-Arab state.

On February 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan welcomed King Hussein of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt to Washington.  Following Reagan’s comments, Mubarak said:

The Lebanese crisis is a stark reminder of the  centrality of the Palestinian problem. That question must be addressed frontally and without delay.

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Shortly after 9-11, The Guardian wrote:

[T]he Bush administration is reportedly preparing to pressure Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to accept a viable Palestinian state including a shared Jerusalem…

All this comes close to recognition, by the two leaders of the war against terror, of the  centrality of the Palestinian question.

Thess are but two examples to illustrate a spectacular achievement of the Arab propaganda machine: pulling the wool over our eyes, the Arabs have succeeded in convincing the West of the “centrality of the Palestinian problem”, with the concomitant conclusions that the West should extract from Israel concession after concession.

The British-Irish quagmire has festered for 700 years, but never attained the status of “centrality”; the Balkans have been simmering for even longer, but never attained the status of “centrality”.  The Palestinian Arabs alone have succeeded in pushing their way to the head of the historical queue and convince the world of their “centrality”.  Their success is a badge of dishonour for the West that has allowed itself to be had.

One of the corollaries of the “centrality” hoax implies that the way to solve the Middle East conflict is by granting the Palestinian Arabs a sovereign state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”).  The object of this article is to argue that the Israeli-Arab conflict is a minor, compared with other Middle-East problems, and that consequently, creating a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in “Yesha” will solve nothing, even had such a state been a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.  The argument is based on two elements: (i) the historical record proves that the Israeli-Arab conflict is indeed a minor conflict in relation to the conflicts among the Middle East and Arab nations overall; (ii) the Israeli-Arab conflict has nothing to do with the real problems of the Middle-East and Arab nations, such as oppressing minorities, oppressing their own masses and squelching development.

To demonstrate that the Israeli-Arab conflict is minor compared with the conflicts among the Middle East and Arab nations overall, we recall firstly the two major regional wars that took place during the last 25 years, namely, the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-89 that cost one million lives, and the Iraq-Kuwait war of 1990-1991.

The question arises: since these are the major regional conflicts in terms of casualties and/or international involvement, and since Israel had nothing at all to do with igniting these flames, how would have a second Palestinian state prevented these truly “central” events?

The foregoing discussion dealt with the two major conflicts in the area, but the region and the Arab countries generally have seen many more conflicts and wars.  An article posted by the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, provided the following relevant details about war casualties:

Arab-Israeli dispute (over 5 decades)… … … … … ..70,000

Algerian civil war (1954-62)… …1,000,000 Egypt’s invasion of Yemen (early 60s) … …. …. ….250,000 Lebanese civil war (1975-76)… …  150,000 Libya’s invasion of Chad (1977-87). 100,000 Iran-Iraq War (1980-88)… … …1,000,000+ Sudanese civil war (1988-present)  1,000,000+

Once again: how would have a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha prevented any of this inter- Moslem carnage?

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The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) ran an article listing recent international conflicts, both those that are ongoing and those that have ended.  The list includes, among others, the following conflicts that involve Arab or Moslem countries:

Afghanistan Civil War …..1989 –> Algeria FIS / GIA Struggle 1992 –> Ethiopia Eritrea War ……1998 –> India Kashmiri Uprising ..1970s –> Indonesia ………..Aceh 1986 —> Indonesia …..Kalimantan 1983 —> Philippines Moro Uprising 1970s—> Russia Chechen Uprising ..1992 —> Somalia Civil War ……….1991–> Sudan Second Civil War ….1983 –> Turkey Conflict with Kurds 1984 –>

Albania Civil War ……………..1997 Bosnia Civil War ………………1992-1995 Chad Civil Wars ……………….1960s-1990s Cyprus Civil and Turkish Invasion .1970s Eritrea War for Independence ……1958-1991 Ethiopia First War with Somalia …1977-1978 Ethiopia Second War with Somalia ..1998-1999 India War with Pakistan ………..1965 India Bangladeshi Independence War 1971 Indonesia East Timor …………..1974-1999 Iran Iran-Iraq War …………….1980-1989 Iraq Kurdish Rebellions ………1960s-1990s Iraq Gulf War …………………1990-1991 Jordan Civil War ………………1970 Lebanon Civil Conflict …………1958 Lebanon Civil War ……………..1975-1990 Libya War with Chad ……………1986-1987 Russia Chechen Uprising ………..1994-1996 Serbia-Kosovo Secessionist Movement 1990-1999 Somalia   ………………………1980-1984 Somalia   ………………………1984-1989

Sudan First Civil War ………….1955-1972 Tajikistan Civil War …………..1992-1997 West.Sahara Polisario-Moroccan War 1975-1991 Yemen Civil War ……………..1960s-1980s Yemen   ………………………..1990-1994 Yemen AR ……………………..1960-1964 Yemen PR ……………………..1984-1989

Another way to look at the “centrality” thesis is by reviewing the history of the Mid-East countries over the last generation or two.  Because of space constraints, the following text refers to Syria and Iraq only, using the brief review given in the Web version of Encarta;  reporting the entries for Algeria, Libya, Sudan, etc. had to be omitted. Syria:

As it became clear in 1975 that Egypt would pursue a bilateral agreement with Israel, Syria forged closer ties with Jordan. The following year, Syria intervened in the Lebanese civil war and subsequently became mired in the continuing conflict. In 1980 Syria signed a 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the USSR…

Domestically, Assad’s regime was shaken by growing civil disturbances. An extremist group called the Muslim Brotherhood was accused of several assassinations. In 1982 government troops suppressed a full-scale rebellion by the brotherhood in and around Hamah, reducing much of the city to rubble. In 1986 the United Kingdom broke diplomatic relations with Syria and the United States imposed sanctions, both accusing Syria of sponsoring international terrorism.

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Syria has been considered an occupying force within Lebanon since the mid- 1970s, when it sent thousands of troops there. In February 1987 Syria ordered a force of 7,000 into the Muslim sector of Beirut in an attempt to restore order between warring factions. In October 1990 a Syrian-led assault crushed resistance in East Beirut, reuniting the Lebanese capital. Although most of the fighting in Lebanon ended in 1990, and Syrian and Lebanese forces signed a friendship treaty in May 1991 calling for mutual cooperation, Syrian forces remained in the country. As of mid-1996 Syria still had an estimated 35,000 or more troops stationed in Lebanon and continued to exercise significant control over Lebanese politics…

Syria also has had a long and troubled history with neighboring Iraq. Syria was one of the few Arab nations to support Iran during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). … Although the United States removed Syria from its list of major drug- producing and drug-trafficking countries in 1997, it did not lift restrictions on economic aid and exports to Syria, because it still considered it a nation that encouraged terrorism.

How would a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha put an end to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, the support for international terrorism, the internal repression, and what Encarta calls Syria’s “long and troubled history”?

From the same encyclopaedia, here is Iraq’s history, 1975-2000, in a nutshell:

In early 1974 heavy fighting erupted in northern Iraq between government forces and Kurdish nationalists, who rejected as inadequate a new Kurdish autonomy law based on the 1970 agreement. The Kurds, led by Mustafa al- Barzani, received arms and other supplies from Iran. After Iraq agreed in early 1975 to make major concessions to Iran in settling their border disputes, Iran halted aid to the Kurds, and the revolt was dealt a severe blow. In July 1979 President Bakr was succeeded by General Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim and fellow member of the Arab Baath Socialist Party.

In 1979 Islamic revolutionaries in Iran succeeded in overthrowing the country’s secular government and established an Islamic republic there. Tension between the Iraqi government and Iran’s new Islamic regime increased during that year, when unrest among Iranian Kurds spilled over into Iraq. Sunni-Shia religious animosities exacerbated the conflict. In September 1980 Iraq declared its 1975 agreement with Iran, which drew the border between the countries down the middle of the Shatt al Arab, null and void and claimed authority over the entire river. The quarrel flared into a full-scale war, the Iran-Iraq War. Iraq quickly overran a large part of the Arab-populated province of Khuzistan in Iran and destroyed the Abadan refinery… In early 1982 Iran launched a counteroffensive, and by May it had reclaimed much of the territory conquered by Iraq in 1980. In the ensuing stalemate, each side inflicted heavy damage on the other and on Persian Gulf shipping. After a ceasefire with Iran came into effect in August 1988, the Iraqi government again moved to suppress the Kurdish insurgency. During the late 1980s the nation rebuilt its military machine, in part through bank credits and technology obtained from Western Europe and the United States. … In 1990 Iraq revived a long-standing territorial dispute with Kuwait, its ally during the war with Iran, claiming that overproduction of petroleum by Kuwait was injuring Iraq’s economy by depressing the price of crude oil. Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait on August 2 and rapidly took over the country. The UN Security Council issued a series of resolutions that condemned the occupation, imposed a broad trade embargo on Iraq, and demanded that Iraq withdraw unconditionally by January 15, 1991.

When Iraq failed to comply, a coalition led by the United States began intensive aerial bombardment of military and infrastructural targets in Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991. The ensuing Persian Gulf War proved disastrous for Iraq, which was forced out of Kuwait in about six weeks. Coalition forces invaded southern Iraq, and tens of thousands of Iraqis

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were killed. Many of the country’s armored vehicles and artillery pieces were destroyed, and its nuclear and chemical weapons facilities were severely damaged. In April, Iraq agreed to UN terms for a permanent ceasefire; coalition troops withdrew from southern Iraq as a UN peacekeeping force moved in to police the Iraq-Kuwait border. Meanwhile, Hussein used his remaining military forces to suppress rebellions by Shias in the south and Kurds in the north. Hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees fled to Turkey and Iran, and U.S., British, and French troops landed inside Iraq’s northern border to establish a Kurdish enclave with refugee camps to protect another 600,000 Kurds from Iraqi government reprisals. In addition, international forces set up “no-fly zones” in both northern and southern Iraq to ensure the safety of the Kurdish and Shia populations…

In June 1993 the United States launched a widely criticized cruise missile attack against Iraq in retaliation for a reported assassination plot against former U.S. president George Bush…

In 1994 Iraq continued its efforts to crush internal resistance with an economic embargo of the Kurdish-populated north and a military campaign against Shia rebels in the southern marshlands. The Shias were quickly crushed, but the crisis in the Kurdish region, which had long suffered from internal rivalries, was prolonged…

Hussein’s interference with UN weapons inspectors nearly brought Iraq into another military crisis in early 1998. However, UN secretary general Kofi Annan negotiated an agreement that secured Iraq’s compliance and averted military strikes by the United States and its allies. In December of that year, in response to reports that Iraq was continuing to block inspections, the United States and Britain launched a four-day series of air strikes on Iraqi military and industrial targets. In response, Iraq declared that it would no longer comply with UN inspection teams, called for an end to the sanctions, and threatened to fire on aircraft patrolling the “no-fly zones.” Through 2001, Iraq continued to challenge the patrols, and British and U.S. planes struck Iraqi missile launch sites and other targets.

How will the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state solve the problem of a predatory regime that has fought savage wars with its Arab neighbours?   How will the creation of a second Palestinian- Arab state stop the regime from oppressing its Kurdish and Shite minorities, including the use of gas?

The documentation cited has dealt with wars launched by Arab or Moslem countries and with internal repression of minorities and dissidents.  As to the issue of squelching development, suffice it to refer to the UN study on development in Arab countries (an article I posted on the topic on July 18, 2002, resides at the CitCUN site.)

The UN study reports that:

* Arab societies are being crippled by a lack of political freedom, the repression of women and an isolation from the world of ideas that stifles creativity.

* Governments in the Arab countries are not accountable to the people and unrepresentative of them.

* Out of the seven regions of the world, Arab countries had the lowest freedom score in the late 1990s: On international measurements of government accountability, civil liberties, political rights and media freedom, Arab countries score lower than any other region in the world..

* Per capita income growth has shrunk in the last 20 years to a level just above that of sub-Saharan Africa. Productivity is declining.

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* The real income of the average Arab citizen was just 13.9% that of the average citizen of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries.

* Research and development are weak or nonexistent. Science and technology are dormant.

* Intellectuals flee a political and social environment that is stultifying – if not repressive.

* Arab women are almost universally denied advancement. Half of them still cannot read or write. Only 3.5 percent of all parliamentary seats in Arab states were filled by women. Arab women also suffered from unequal citizenship and legal entitlements.

* Maternal mortality is double that of Latin America and four times that of East Asia.

* The Internet usage is low.

* Filmmaking appears to be declining. There is a severe shortage of new writing and a dearth of translations of works from outside. The whole Arab world translates about 330 books annually, one- fifth the number that Greece translates. In the 1,000 years since the reign of the Caliph the Arabs have translated as many books as Spain translates in just one year. [But, as the report forgot to underscore, they did translate the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, didn’t they?]

* Most Arab countries are providing both too little education and the wrong kind. Only South Asia has a lower adult literacy rate.

In the same vein, Prof. Ajami of John Hopkins University, a Lebanese-born Shia Moslem, wrote:

The gap between Egypt’s sense of itself and its performance is impossible to ignore…  A country of 69 million people, the weekly magazine al Mussawar recently revealed, now produces a mere 375 books a year. Contrast this with Israel’s 4,000 titles, as the magazine did, and it is easy to understand the laments heard all around.

[Quoted from p. 221 of: Ajami Fouad.  The Dream Palace of the Arabs.  NY: Phantom Books, 1998.]

How will a second Palestinian-Arab state correct these deficiencies which are truly “central”?

A final note about the “centrality” thesis and its corollaries.  The notion was absurd even during the 1970s and 1980s, when this propaganda trick was in its infancy, but today it cannot even pass the Straight Face Test.  Over the last weeks the world has been treated to Islamist attacks in Moscow, in the Phillippines, in Indonesia’s Bali, in Pakistan and in Yemen (the French ship Limburg).  And with this international record the Arabs try to convince us of the “centrality of the Palestinian problem!” What Chutzpah!

It gets worse.  The Arabs have an old tradition of blaming others for their failings (see my quotation from Bernard Lewis’ works).  Even in the UN report quoted above, where Arab scholars openly admitted the sorry state of their countries, one still encounters the blame routine:

Israel’s illegal occupation of Arab lands is one of the most pervasive obstacles to security and progress in the region geographically (since it affects the entire region), temporally (extending over decades) and developmentally (impacting nearly all aspects of human development and human security, directly for millions and indirectly for others). The human cost extends beyond the considerable loss of lives and livelihoods of direct victims. If human development is the process of enlarging choices, if it implies that people must influence the processes that shape their lives, and if it means the full enjoyment of human rights, then nothing stifles that noble vision of development more than subjecting a

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people to foreign occupation.

It is this very tendency that should be recognized as “centrality”.

Israel’s security

 12.  Creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state will obviate Israel’s ability to defend herself in time of war.  In fact, weakening Israel by creating the second Palestinian Arab state may precipitate another war against Israel.

If ever it was true that one picture is worth a thousand words, then surely the map of Israel speaks volumes.  Any map showing the distance between Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”) border, on the one hand, and major Israeli cities, on the other hand, is testimony to Israel’s special security problems. An exmaple may be seen in the map posted by IRIS.  (IRIS, or Information Regarding Israel’s Seurity is “an independent organization dedicated to informing the public about the security needs of the State of Israel, especially vis-a-vis the current peace process”.)  The map shows, for example, that Tel Aviv, Israel’s major urban center, is merely 18 km (11 Miles, for our US brethren) from the border of Yesha, while Netanya, the site of so many homicide bombings, is merely 15 km (9 miles).  Haifa, a major port is 35 km (21 miles) and Jerusalem, the capital, is on the border itself.

I am no military expert and I cannot provide an original, detail analysis of the implications of these non-distances, beyond what common sense would indicate, but people like General Wheeler, formerly of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Benjamin Netanyahu, who served as an IDF officer, are fully qualified to enlighten us.  This article, therefore, relies heavily on their testimony.

First, let us review what Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, U.S. Army, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1964-1970, advised the US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara concerning Israel’s security.  The document is dated 29 June, 1967, and was declassified in 1984; it is available on the JINSA site (JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs is a “non-profit, non-partisan educational organization committed to explaining the need for a prudent national security policy for the United States, addressing the security requirements of both the United States and the State of Israel, and strengthening the strategic cooperation relationship between these two great democracies”).

1. Reference is made to your memorandum, dated 19 June 1967, subject as above, which requested the reviews of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, without regard to political factors, on  the minimum territory, in addition to that held 4 June 1967, Israel might be justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective defense against possible conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids.

2. From a strictly military point of view,  Israel would require the retention of some captured territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders.  Determination of territory to be retained should be based on accepted tactical principles such as control of commanding terrain, use of natural obstacles, elimination of enemy-held salients, and provisions of defense in-depth for important facilities and installations. More detailed discussions of the key border areas mentioned in the reference are contained in the Appendix hereto. In summary, the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding these areas are as follows.

a. The Jordanian West Bank. Control of the prominent high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan generally east of the main north-south highway along the axis Jenin-Nablus-Bira-Jerusalem and the southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea at the Wadi el Daraja would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border. The envisioned defensive line would run just east of Jerusalem; however, provision could be made for internationalization of the city without significant detriment to Israel’s defensive posture.

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b. Syrian Territory Contiguous to Israel. Israel is particularly sensitive to the prevalence of terrorist raids and border incidents in this area. The presently occupied territory, the high ground running north-south on a line with Qnaitra about 15 miles inside the Syrian border, would give Israel control of the terrain which Syria has used effectively in harassing the border area.

c. The Jerusalem Latrun Area. See subparagraph 2a above.

d. The Gaza Strip. By occupying the Gaza Strip, Israel would trade approximately 45 miles of hostile border for eight.  Configured as it is, the strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage.

When these requirements are drawn on a map, they take up practically all of Yesha.

Behind these consideration stands one basic tenet of Israeli security, as elucidated in an article posted by the Canada-Israel Committee:

Israel cannot afford to lose [even] one war to surrounding Arab/Moslem states that vastly outnumber Israelis in population, territory and quantitative weaponry.  Even Israel’s traditional qualitative military advantage is shrinking as Arab states acquire advanced military systems, including long range ballistic missiles capable of delivering non- conventional weapons.

With this in mind, let us now examine Benjamin Netanyahu’s analysis, as given in his book,

Netanyahu, Benjamin.   Durable Peace.  New York: Warner Books, 2000.

In the following paragraphs, the page number will be noted, as in BN 200, meaning, Benjamin Netanyahu’s book, p. 200.

Netanyahu’s analysis begins with the thesis that (BN 283)

Israel’s ability to deter aggression depends on three central factors: its military strength, relative to that of the Arabs; the  warning time  it has to mobilize its forces; and the  minimum space  that its army requires to deploy in the face of potential threats.

With regard to  military strength, Israel simply cannot compete with the size of the Arab armies and their equipment.  Worse still, for economic reasons Israel can only keep a small army on standby, depending on mobilization of reserves if attacked.  Recall that the six million Israelis stand against 284 million Arabs (in 21 arab countries plus Yesha – 2000 data, according to the UN Arab Human Development Report, 2002).

Being dependent on reserves, Israel requires adequate  warning time  in order for Israel to survive; this is deemed to be a minimum of 48-72 hours.  Also, the flight time from Arab air bases to Israel is so short, that without adequate warning time, the Israeli air force could be wiped out before it takes to the air.

At present, Israel has surveillance stations high on the mountains of Yesha, but without these early warning stations, Israel’s security is compromised.  If Israel vacates these stations, she loses a key defence factor.  Worse still, if these heights fall into hostile hands, a foreign power could conduct surveillance on Israel’s coastal plain, where most of the Israeli population is concentrated.  Airborne surveillance is no substitute for ground-based early warning stations, because airborne surveillance is vulnerable to bad weather conditions and to enemy fire.

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The third component in Israel’s security system is adequate space in which to deploy hardware and troops, or  strategic depth.  If Israel loses the depth she enjoys in Yesha, the narrow strip left for deployment is sure to come under disruptive enemy fire, obviating the planned deployment.

Yesha’s mountain range also ensures that an enemy attacking from the East (Iraq, for example) will have to scale this mountain range and travel for some time before reaching the Israeli population centers.  Without this assurance, Israel is just too vulnerable.

In the age of missiles, Israeli control of Yesha is particularly significant, opines Netanyahu (BN 302). If Israel can be hit with missiles, short range or long range, then deployment in the narrow strip of the pre-1967 borders is all the more vulnerable to enemy fire, and the Israeli army’s ability to respond could be jeopardised even before Israel calls up her reserves.  If Yesha’s mountain range is controlled by the Palestinian Arabs, then a missile barrage could well be initiated from these heights.

The idea of a demilitarized Palestinian-Arab state, which ostensibly would obviate the last danger mentioned, is unworkable.  Who will prevent smuggling dismantled rockets into such a state, if Israel doesn’t control the borders?  And who will enforce a creeping militarization?  Prior to the 1967 War, the “international community” failed even to enforce Israel’s right to navigation in the international waters of the Straits of Tiran.  The current situation with regard to Iraq’s treatment of the UN inspectors is yet further proof of the impotence of the “international community”.   Should Israel retaliates for militarization by invading the new state, then one is assured of the UN invoking Chapter VII sanctions.  With the Arab and Palestinian-Arab record of breaching agreements (recall, for example, Iraq with regard to the inspectors and the Palestinian Arabs with regard to the arms ship, Karine A), relying on their commitments is worse than building on a sand dune.

Another consideration raised by Netanyahu (BN 307) concerns the economic burden resulting from the new borders to be patrolled by the IDF, should a second Palestinian-Arab state come to pass. Because of the convoluted shape of Yesha, the border lines would be more than “3.5 times the length of the present straight border along the Jordan River”.  It is doubtful that the fence could reduce this burden substantially.

In his book, Netanyahu also quotes from a 1988 petition by one hundred retired US generals and admirals to the US administration, in which they said (BN 298):

[Without the territories, a] dwarfed Israel would then be an irresistible target for Arab adventurism and terrorism, and ultimately for an all-out military assault which could end Israel’s existence ….

 If Israel were to relinquish the West Bank… it would have virtually no warning of attack…  Virtually all the population would be subject to artillery bombardment. The Sharon Plain north of Tel Aviv could be riven by an armored salient within hours. The quick mobilization of its civilian army… would be disrupted easily and perhaps irreversibly. #c Netanyahu proceeds to quote Lieutenant-General Thomas Kelly, who had served as the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War and who visited Israel in 1991:

 It is impossible to defend Jerusalem unless you hold that high ground… [I] look onto the West Bank and say to myself, “If I’m chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that terrain.”… I don’t know about politics, but if you want me to defend this country, and you want me to defend Jerusalem, I’ve got to hold that ground”.

This statement is in line with a Jerusalem Post  article by Bernard Smith, dated 7 April 1998, and entitled  The buried memo .   The author quotes Thomas Kelly as saying,

[T]he West Bank mountains, and especially their approaches, are the critical terrain. If an enemy secures these passes, Jerusalem and all of

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Israel becomes uncovered.  Without the West Bank, Israel is only eight miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible.

In his book, Netanyahu also refers to the water issue, yet another aspect pertaining to the question of a second Palestinian-Arab state; this principal issue will, however, be dealt with in a separate article.

When he was prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu presented his views in an unequivocal speech to the UN General Assembly (24 Sept 1998),  as the folowing excerpt indicates:

I envision a permanent settlement based on a clear principle:

For such a peace to succeed, the Palestinians should have all the powers to govern their lives and none of the powers to threaten our lives.

They will have control of all aspects of their society, such as law, religion and education; industry, commerce and agriculture; tourism, health and welfare.

They can prosper and flourish.

What they cannot do is endanger our existence.

We have the right to ensure that the Palestinian entity does not become the base for hostile forces.

The territories we cede must not become a terrorist haven nor a base for foreign forces.

Nor can we accept the mortal threat of weapons such as anti aircraft missiles on the hills above our cities and airfields.

This is the great challenge of the permanent status negotiations:

To achieve a durable peace that will strike a balance between Palestinian self-rule and Israel’s security. I repeat: This balance can only be achieved, not by unilateral declarations but by negotiations and negotiations alone.

Earlier this year, Netanyahu repeated his objection to a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha, citing security considerations.  An AP piece that ran in the Jerusalem Post,  January 17, 2002, and was entitled   Netanyahu: Palestinian state would be terrorist state,  informs as follows:

Netanyahu said if the Palestinians achieve independence, Israel will be unable to prevent them from bringing in arms, even if they sign an agreement prohibiting this.

He said the problem was highlighted by Israel’s recent seizure of a ship with contraband weapons which Israel says were destined for the Palestinians.

“With its own independent port, such a state would receive shiploads of arms, day and night, and we would find ourselves facing a terrorist state, armed to the teeth,” he told Israel Radio.

The only way to stop the current Palestinian attacks on Israelis is to bring down the PA and its leader, Netanyahu said. Expelling Arafat “would make clear to any future Palestinian leadership that if you resort to terrorism, your fate will be like that of the Taliban and Arafat,” he said.

To review more of Netanyahu’s pronouncements on the topic, see interview dated May 15, 1998 (when Netanyahu acted as prime minister) with Elizabeth Farnsworth of PBS.

Four years ago, while Sharon acted as Israeli foreign minister, he declared in Paris (15 January, 1999), according to a document posted at the official site of the Israeli Government:

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The concept I used to describe the future Palestinian entity is limited sovereignty. This entity, which will be more than what they have today but less than a full state, can only be reached through negotiations and an agreement with Israel, and never by a unilateral act or declaration.

This entity will be limited in terms of types and amounts of weapons it will be allowed to possess; Israel will maintain control of the borders and ports of entry and epartures;  military agreements and defense treaties that threaten Israel will not be allowed; free flying zones for Israeli aircraft over that entity will have to be maintained as well as other specific measures – all of which are intended to limit and curb the danger and threats such an entity may pose in the future for the State of Israel. Even if relations are normalized in the future Israel will have to monitor the development of such an entity and ensure that its security interests in the long-run are not hampered or compromised in any way.

In other words, Sharon too held the view that a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha would pose a security threat to Israel.

But why do we in the West have to worry about Israel’s defence needs?  The answer comes, inter alia, in a 1999 document entitled  Palestinian State: Implications for Security & American Policy . Endoresed by JINSA, and focussing on the intrinsic self-interest of the the West, the document sates:

The United States should oppose the establishment of an independent Palestinian State owing to:

• The ability of the PA to provide safe haven to terrorists, as has already been demonstrated; • The ability of the PA to import offensive weapons through an independent seaport and airport. Offensive weapons could make Israel’s international airport vulnerable to missile attack and could endanger the U.S. Sixth Fleet when it is anchored in Haifa; • The ability of the PA to join with countries such as Iraq and Iran in military alliances which could include the acceptance of Iraqi or Iranian troops west of the Jordan River. Such agreements – and such troop movements – would have major implications for US policy regarding Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia; • The fundamentally undemocratic, anti-Western thrust of Palestinian policies thus far and the likelihood that a newly independent state will continue those policies; and • The threat posed by such a state to America’s democratic ally, Israel, and to other friendly states in the region.

The ability of a sovereign Palestinian state to serve as an anti-Western terrorist haven has also been emphasized in a Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) News Release, dated May 3, 2002.  The ZOA document warns that a Palestinian-Arab state,

*  Undermine the fight against terrorism by giving the Palestinian Arab terrorists a reward for their violence.

*  Boost Bin Laden’s allies –Osama Bin Laden’s terrorists are closely allied with the terrorists of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Fatah, who are attacking Israel and who would control a future Palestinian Arab state.

In the cynical world in which we live, this is a pivotal point.  In September 1938, in Munich, Britain and France threw Czechoslovakia to the Nazi wolves and paid a hefty price for this madness.  Let no one think that by installing a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha to Israel detriment, the only victim will be Israel.  In fact, any of the Western democracies might be hit from Palestine-based terrorists, of the very same variety that has already claimed the WTC, the US Navy ship Cole, and the French tanker Limburg.   Further elaboration is deferred to a separate, forthcoming article in this

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The final word goes to Major General Dayan (Moshe Dayan’s nephew) who said in a 1999 interview with Ha’aretz correspondent:

[Question:] The necessity to be strong is very deeply ingrained in you.

[Gen. Dayan] Let me tell you a story. I have the sad honor of having two fathers, Zurik [Dayan] and [his brother, future IDF Chief of Staff] Moshe [Dayan]. Zurik was killed when I was exactly 100 days old, so I didn’t know him. He was killed at Ramat Yochanan at the start of the War of Independence, in a battle with the Druze. The deputy commander of the Druze forces in the battle was a guy named Ismail Kablan. A few days after my father fell, his brother Moshe made an alliance with the Druze, an alliance which eventually brought them into the Border Police. That very same Ismail Kablan was among the founders of the Border Police, and his son Jihad was one of our officers in Abraham’s tomb in Hebron when I was commander of Central Command. That gave me the feeling of victory. Not victory over someone else, but a feeling of joint victory, of victory over the reality of bloodshed. For me the lesson was that if you are sufficiently strong and you know what is essential, you can find a formula like Moshe Dayan found, one that preserves your interests but allows you to be generous at the same time.

The battle in which Zurik Dayan was slain was the only battle in which the Druze took up arms against Israel, and the battle ended with the defeat of the Druze forces.  This episode represents the Middle East reality that Israel faces:  if she is strong and if she prevails, alliances and peace are possible;  if she is weakend, the predators will circle for the kill, and if she loses even one war, she will be annihilated.  In view of the security considerations which were spelled out above, I fear that those who preach a “two state solution” may well be bringing upon Israel a Final Solution.

Palestinians’ connection to Iran, Iraq

 13. Given the record of the Palestinian Arabs (their leadership as well as the “street”) regarding Iraq and Iran, one should deem a second Palestinian Arab state as a potential threat to the entire world, and particularly to Western democracies, since such a state could forge alliances with the likes of Saddam Hussein and could station WMD on its soil.

The ongoing alliance of the Palestinian leadership with Iraq and Iran, as well as the enthusiasm of the Palestinian “street” for Saddam Hussein are well established facts, but since the object of this series is to provide incontrovertible documentation, we will provide the relevant links nonetheless.

We begin with an entry in the online Columbia Encyclopaedia:

In 1991 the Lebanese army, with Syrian backing, forced the PLO out of its strongholds in S Lebanon, and PLO relations with the West deteriorated because of  PLO support of Iraq in the Persian Gulf War.

For many years, the US State Department has provided a publication entitled, “ Patterns of Global Terrorism”. The 1990 edition (released, April 1991) states:

A number of Palestinian groups, including the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP-GC),  pledged their support for Saddam Hussein, and most threatened terrorist attacks against the West, Israel, and moderate Arab targets in the event of war.

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A UPI article authored by Martin Sieff and posted by NewsMax, February 9, 2001, reports on the reciprocity in the Arafat-Saddam duo:

Well-placed Middle East intelligence sources have told Western reporters, including UPI, that the total value of the aid already amounts to $980 million in just over one third of a year…

Middle East intelligence sources told UPI that much of the aid that Saddam has already sent to the West Bank had gone to reactivate the Arab Liberation Front, the traditional Iraq-backed Palestinian guerrilla movement. According to some of the sources, Saddam had already succeeded in sending to the Palestinians on the West Bank a limited supply of rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missile launchers and even Russian-made anti-aircraft guns. These reports could not be independently verified. However, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has claimed in a report this year that the Palestinians have succeeded in amassing significant numbers of anti-tank weapons, and other equipment that could be used to inflict significant casualties on Israeli tanks and helicopters in heavy urban fighting.

The highly pragmatic, diplomatically skillful  Arafat supported Saddam’s conquest of Kuwait in 1990. This led a furious Saudi Arabia to cut off financial support to Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization. After Kuwait was liberated by a huge U.S.-led military coalition in 1991, it cut off support to the PLO too.

The PLO support for Iraq is also echoed in an article posted by Mitchell Bard, which states as follows:

The PLO, Libya, and Iraq were the only members who opposed an Arab League resolution calling for an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. Throughout the crisis, the Palestinians were Saddam’s most vocal supporters.  The intifada leadership, for example, sent a cable of congratulations to Saddam Hussein, describing the invasion of Kuwait as the first step toward the “liberation of Palestine.”  In Jenin on the West Bank, 1,000 Palestinians marched, shouting: “Saddam, the hero, attack Israel with chemical weapons.”

According to some sources, the PLO also played an active role in facilitating Iraq’s conquest of Kuwait. The logistical planning for the Iraqi invasion was at least partially based on intelligence supplied by PLO officials and supporters based in Kuwait.

Once the war began, Arafat sent a message to Saddam hailing Iraq’s struggle against “American dictatorship” and describing Iraq as “the defender of the Arab nation, of Muslims, and of free men everywhere.” … The Emir of Kuwait returned from exile and resumed his autocratic rule while fulfilling a pledge to reconvene a parliament. The Sheikh also expelled 400,000 Palestinians who worked and lived in Kuwait to punish them for supporting Iraq during the war.

Indeed, the expulsion of 300,000-400,000 Palestinians from Kuwait after Saddam’s defeat is the best proof of the support for Iraq on the part of both the PLO and the “Palestinian-Arab street”.

Another source relevant to the “Palestinian-Arab street” is a New York Times article by A. M. Rosenthal, dated March 3, 1998, and entitled,  The Iraq-Palestine Axis:

At the United Nations it is never mentioned, and around the world governments act as if it does not exist. But  the alliance between Saddam Hussein and the Palestinians is a reality in the Mideast, growing in importance politically, emotionally and militarily,  and not about to go away. … The passionate Palestinian demonstrations for Saddam, the screams for him to wipe out Israel with biological and chemical weapons, the outpouring of hatred against America were simply the latest manifestation of the

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alliance. They took place because the Palestinian Authority gave its approval in advance through its propaganda machinery in the press, schools and clergy. After a warning of American displeasure by Secretary of State Albright, this time around Yasir Arafat did not himself unbosom his passion for Saddam as publicly as he did in 1991. … And here in Ramallah, north of Jerusalem,  about 150 marchers burned U.S., Israeli and British flags and chanted, “With our blood and soul, we will redeem you, Saddam.”  Demonstrators eluded Palestinian police to throw stones at Israeli troops, who fired rubber-coated bullets to disperse them.

Focussing on the “Palestinian-Arab street”, a Washington Post story by Lee Hockstader reported on February 10, 1998, in an article entitled, PLO Leaders Mute Support for Saddam This Time:

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Feb. 9-In a driving hail storm, a small knot of rowdy Palestinian teenagers demonstrated their support for Iraq and President Saddam Hussein today in the time-honored way — by holding a lighter to an American flag. No go; the flag was soaked.

So, with television cameras rolling and everyone dripping wet, they resorted to tearing the flag to pieces.

It was a soggy reenactment of  the larger and more passionate pro-Iraqi demonstrations of 1991, when Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat openly sided with Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War and thousands of Palestinians cheered.

The fallout from Iraq’s defeat in that war took its toll on Palestinians economically and politically. Today, as another showdown in the Persian Gulf looms,  many Palestinians still support Saddam Hussein. But this time, their leaders mostly are keeping their heads down. … In recent days, as small street rallies in Gaza and the West Bank have captured air time on the evening news, Arafat and his lieutenants have been all but invisible. When they do make an appearance, it is generally to express blandly their support for the Iraqi people and their hopes for a diplomatic solution and to  complain that Washington is treating Baghdad unfairly.  #c

In an October 11, 2002, article in the Jerusalem Post entitled,  The Baghdad-Ramallah Axis , Caroline Glick wrote:

In the shifting sands of Arab alliances, it is hard to find instances of enduring relationships. But in a world where raw power struggles and dictatorial jealousies reign sovereign, one alliance stands out for its vitality, durability, and the mutual benefit it accrues to both sides. This rare relationship is Yasser Arafat’s partnership with Saddam Hussein. … When IDF forces entered Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield, among the documents seized from the compound was Shubaki’s passport. The passport was stamped with numerous Iraqi entry and exit stamps recording repeated visits by Arafat’s closest confidant to Iraq between 2000 and the spring of this year [2002].  According to intelligence sources, these visits were an indication of the strategic relationship between Arafat’s PA and Saddam Hussein’s regime.

This week, following the October 2 arrest of Arafat adviser and member of the PLO’s executive committee Rakad Salim in Ramallah, the Shin Bet announced that  Salim, as local General Secretary of the Iraqi-sponsored Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), admitted to dispersing some $15m. in direct aid from Saddam Hussein. … Shubaki’s travel log, Salim’s financial transactions, and Yahya’s smuggling operation are just the tip of the iceberg of what Israeli intelligence sources explain is a “longstanding strategic relationship between the Palestinian Authority and Saddam Hussein’s regime.”  This relationship was first brought to public attention when Arafat sided with

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Saddam after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Forces from Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Army, organized in Iraq as the Bader Brigade, participated in the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait just as they had fought as a regular unit of the Iraqi army in the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s. Some three thousand troops from the Bader Brigade entered the PA in 1994 as part of the PA police. … In 1998, during the buildup to Saddam’s standoff with UNSCOM inspectors, Palestinians staged mass demonstrations in support of Saddam and against the US throughout the territories.  So large and widespread were the demonstrations that Arafat, fearing a US backlash, ordered PA forces to enforce a ban of all such demonstrations and prohibited press coverage of any pro-Iraqi demonstrations in the PA.

A Public Opinion Survey Conducted by the PCPO and Prepared by President Dr. Nabil Kukali:

79.9% support to varying degrees the notion that Palestinians must support Iraq as they did in 1991, if the United States struck it again. … A poll conducted by the PCPO, and prepared by President Dr. Nabil Kukali, in the period March 10 – 13, 2002, including a random sample of Palestinian adults, 18 years  and older, from Gaza Strip, and West Bank including East Jerusalem. The results of the poll were not released at the time, and the margin of error was (3.09) percent points. The average age of  respondents reached (30.45) years, and the poll included the following question on Iraq:

“How far do you support the notion that says that Palestinians must support Iraq as they did in 1991, if the United States struck it again?” (51.6%) strongly agree, (28.3%) somewhat agree, (6.9%) somewhat not support, (3.6%) strongly not support, (9.6%) do not know.

The poll data just cited were also documented by AP on July 20, 2002:

Poll: 80% of Palestinians would back Iraq if U.S. atttack

Almost 80 percent of Palestinians believe they should support Iraq as they did during the 1991 Gulf War if the United States launches renewed military action against the country, according to a poll published Friday.

The survey was conducted in March by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. It was not published at the time because IDF soldiers and Palestinians were fighting in West Bank cities, said the center’s director, Dr. Nabil Kukali.

“The Palestinians had such problems then that the time was not right,” he said.

A random sample of 1,000 Palestinians aged 18 and over were asked “How far do you support the notion that the Palestinians must support Iraq as they did in 1991, if the United States strikes again?”

The survey found 51.6 percent strongly agreed and 28.3 somewhat agreed, for a total of 79.9 percent in favor.

Only 3.6 percent were strongly opposed to the proposition and 6.9 percent were somewhat against it, which gives a total of 10.5 percent against. The survey said 9.6 percent of those asked didn’t know.

The margin of error was plus or minus 3.09 percentage points.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat sided with Iraq during the Gulf War. During the conflict, Palestinians stood on their roofs and cheered as Iraqi Scud missiles struck Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. A

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popular Palestinian chant called on Saddam Hussein to destroy Tel Aviv.

 The Iraqi ruler, for his part, has been supporting the Palestinians in their current conflict with Israel, notably by sending up to $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers.

The documentation cited establishes three points: (i) the PLO and the Palestinian Arabs supported Iraq during the Gulf War; (ii) the Palestinian-Arab street still supports Iraq, and were it not for the PLO suppression of demonstrations and the press, the support would have been much more vocal; (iii) the Iraqi-Palesinian alliance continues.  Referring to the Bush doctrine, according to which you’re either with us or against us in the war against terrorism, one just has to wonder why the US administration continues to fight so vigorously for the PLO and for a second Palestinian-Arab state.

As for Iran, suffice it to refer to the Karin A affair.  Again, even though the facts of this case are straightforward and universally known, we nonetheless provide documentation for the record.

From the British Telegraph, 05/01/2002, story entitled,  Israeli commandos capture arms ship bound for Palestinians:

ISRAELI commandos boarded a Palestinian ship in the Red Sea carrying 50 tonnes of mainly Iranian-supplied arms.

The arms seized included heavy weapons that could threaten Israeli forces.

The shipment appeared to be the most serious attempt so far to smuggle heavy weapons to the Palestinian territories. … The ship’s captain, Gen Mofaz added, was an officer in the Palestinian naval police. Gen Zinni, a retired US marine, was the first person outside the Israeli military to hear of the capture.

Eighteen months later, the Telegraph , 24/07/2002, reported in a story entitled,  Bush drops Iran reformists and backs dissidents:

When the Iranian ship the Karine A, loaded with 50 tons of weapons for the Palestinians, was seized by Israel in the Red Sea in January, the White House concluded that official sanction had been given.

Bush sources said the Karine A incident was one of two reasons that Iran was included in the “axis of evil”. The other, an American official said, was Iran’s “extremely active and complex nuclear programme” which could lead to a nuclear capability within years.

Further corroboration comes from Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute (“Founded in 1985, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a public educational foundation dedicated to scholarly research and informed debate on U.S. interests in the Middle East”).  In his article,  New Arenas for Iranian-Sponsored Terrorism: The Arab-Israeli Heartland , Matthew Levitt explains:

Iranian involvement in the Karine-A smuggling affair is now well documented. Speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg earlier this month, the European Union’s Javier Solana described the Karine-A as “the link between Iran and the PA” and said that “such a connection had not existed for many years.” Iran’s involvement, however, was not limited to providing the PA with fifty tons of advanced weaponry. The Washington Post quoted a “senior US official” as confirming Israeli defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s contention that Iran arranged for Hizballah external operations commander Imad Mughniyeh to purchase the ship. Mughniyeh’s deputy, Haj Bassem, personally commanded the ship that met the Karine-A at the island of Kish south of Iran and oversaw the transfer of the Iranian weapons from his ship to the Karine-A.

But was the PA involved?  Who should know better than the PA’s chief advocate, Colin Powell!  And

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even Powell announced in a PBS interview (January 25, 2002), as disseminated by the United States Embassy in Tokyo:

[I]t is clear from all the information available to us that the Palestinian Authority was involved. And leaders in the Palestinian Authority had to know about this, and there were Palestinian Authority personnel on the ship. So it is hard to say we know nothing about it and let’s form a commission to go investigate it. It’s a pretty big smoking gun.

The Arafat-Iran connection goes back a very long time.  In connection with the US hostage incident in 1979, a Washington Post article, 25 March 1984, by Daniel Pipes, records as follows:

[M]ost fascinating is the conversation between Arafat and Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet foreign minister, perhaps the first verbatim transcript of a Kremlin discussion ever seen in the West. On November 13, 1979, only days after the seizure of the American hostages in Tehran, Arafat dismissed U.S. efforts to involve him in their release, saying “We are not mediators. We are on the Iranian side, and agree to what Khomeini agrees to.” For his part, Gromyko noted the correctness of the U.S. position legally with regard to the hostages but added that the U.S.S.R. would not help the U.S. because “we do not wish to protect American interests.”

The conclusion I wish to draw is this: Both the Palestinian-Arab leadership and the Palestinian-Arab street have chosen the axis of evil as their allies and there is no reason to believe that this alliance will end with the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state.  In pushing for such a state, the West is placing itself in grave peril, in addition to sacrificing Israel’s security, for as soon as the Palestinian- Arab state is created, there will be no force to stop a thousand Karine A’s from unloading Iraqi WMD in “Palestine”; nor will any force be able to stop these weapons from being trained on Israel and on any other Western democracy.   Anyone who may invoke the argument of a “demilitarized Palestine” should be reminded of the “demilitarised Germany” following the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919. And anyone who may argue that “surely, the West is not as stupid as to jeopardise its own security”, should be reminded of the conduct of the West during the decade 1931-1939  (need I mention more than the treachery of the West regarding Ethiopia, the Spanish Republic, China and Munich’s Czechoslovakia)?  History shows that the Western politicians are not only profoundly stupid, but also appeasers, cowards and devoid of any scruples.  This is precisely why we the people should raise our voices in support of our sister-democracy, Israel.

I conclude with this observation.  No person other than Teflon Arafat, and no entity other than the PA, having been caught with their hands in the till (or, in this case, with their hands on Iranian guns), could have still commanded support from the US administration.  The result of this continued support is not merely that the Arab world is laughing its head off, but also that the Arabs have doubtlessly developed a particularly profound contempt for the West.  Indeed, how can anyone respect the Western democracies when they pretend that its raining even as the Arab terrorists spit in the West’s face?  Is it any wonder that the Arab states heaped obstacles in Washington’s path, as Bush sought to forge a coalition against Iraq?  Is it any wonder that Al Qaeda is so popular among the Arabs?  Is it any wonder that more terrorism against the West is just around the corner?

The terrorist connection

 14.  Recalling the PLO’s connections with international terrorism, one may well suspect that in the future, the West might be in danger of coming under attack by Bin Laden-like terrorists, trained in a sovereign Palestinian Arab state.

To begin with, the PLO is a terrorist organization and its transformation into the PA has not changed

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its character.  To this day, a host of terrorist organizations such as al Aqsa, Force 17 and Tanzim constitute an integral part of Arafat’s own organization, Fatah.

But the terrorist connection is much broader, and well known.  Consider, for example, the following excerpt from the official 1994 US report,   Patterns of Global Terrorism :

In the 1960s and the 1970s, Fatah offered training to a wide range of European, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African terrorist and insurgent groups.

And what happened after “the 1970”?  Did the PLO cease offering “training to a wide range” of terrorist groups?  To a great extend the PLO did cease, but only  because Israel ejected the PLO from Lebanon in 1982,  again, rendering the West an invaluable service and being cursed in return.  But the PLO connection with global terrorism did not cease, as shown in the following excerpt from the US Congressional Record, which in turn cites comments made in the US House of Representatives by Robert K. Dorman on July 27, 1990 (the comments, based on a research paper, refer specifically to the PLO terrorist links in connection with the narcotics trade):

European police first stumbled on this trade when Scotland Yard special units, in cooperation with the Dutch Narcotics Squad, unearthed a haul of 300,000,000 pounds’ worth of top-grade ‘Lebanese Gold’ transported from Lebanon in two freighters chartered by the PLO.  Earlier, a six-man PLO squad led by one of Arafat’s chief aides, Ali Mahmoud Buro, was arrested at Heathrow Airport after customs men found a 150-kilogram cache of Bekaa Valley cannabis in their luggage.

Following up on these leads as well as information from Western intelligence services operating in the Middle East, Scotland Yard detectives recently cracked down on a vast IRA-PLO money-laundering operation. The IRA was using British banks and other financial organizations to purchase arms with their drug profits for terrorist operations in Ireland, Britain, Germany, and France.

The connection with the IRA is also recorded by the State Department document,  Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1999  .  Referring to the IRA, the document states:

[R]eceived aid from a vareity of groups and countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and, at one time, the PLO.

It is most doubtful that the IRA-PLO connection ceased.  Feeding these doubts are findings from Israel’s operation in Jenin in early 2002.  On August 21, 2002, the NRO posted an  article by By Rachel Ehrenfeld  which reported:

Following the Israeli incursion into Jenin earlier this year, Paul Collinson, a British explosives expert working with the Red Cross, identified hundreds of explosive devices found there and noted that “the pipe bombs I found in Jenin are exact replicas of ones I found in Northern Ireland.” The Daily Telegraph quoted a U.S. government official as saying in response: “If there was clear and convincing evidence that the IRA has been training Palestinians in bomb-making techniques, then we are facing a grave and grievous situation for the IRA – it would surely lead to a reassessment of whether the IRA should be put on the designated list of terrorist organizations with a global reach.”

The incident came on the heels of a shooting spree of ten Israelis with a bolt-action rifle, perpetrated by a single sniper who left his rifle behind. This technique was also identified as a Irish Republican Army (IRA) trademark.

Another of the many organizations with connections to the PLO was the Italian Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse – BR).  An article exploring this collaboration was released by ICT (Institue for Counter-Terror; the “ICT is a research institute and think tank dedicated to developing innovative public policy

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solutions to international terrorism.”).  Authored by Ely Karmon, the article informs, inter alia:

Initial contacts between the BR and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were established immediately after the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, in May or June 1978. The initiative came from the Palestinians through a French organization based in Paris offering international assistance to guerrilla movements worldwide. The link was established through Italian revolutionaries in exile who belonged to this organization, comrades of Mario Moretti, leader of the BR at the time. Moretti himself established initial contact in France. … As the Palestinian representative explained in talks with Moretti, the initiative for contacts came from a faction within the PLO that opposed abandoning the armed struggle against Israel. This faction was interested in setting up a militant anti-Israel front, with the help of the BR and German Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion – RAF), which were supposed to carry[ing] out attacks against “Zionists” in their countries. The French organization, for its part, asked Moretti to step up support for the Palestinian national liberation struggle. A meeting was arranged between Moretti and “the Palestinian Minister of the Interior” (later identified as Salah Khalaf/Abu Iyyad), who introduced himself as leader of a Marxist faction within the PLO interested in extending its influence within the PLO through alliances with European guerrilla organizations. In a subsequent meeting between Moretti and Abu-Iyyad, the following cooperation agreement was drawn up with Arafat’s approval.

The PLO would deliver weapons to the BR. BR members would be allowed to train in Palestinian camps in the Middle East. The PLO would offer assistance to BR fugitives. The BR would store weapons in Italy for use by the PLO. The BR would participate in attacks against Israeli personalities in Italy.

As if more proof is needed concerning the PLO as an integral part of global terrorism, consider a letter sent by Nagi N. Najjar, Director of the Lebanon Foundation for Peace, to Human Rights Watch.  In this letter,  Mr Najjar writes:

Sabra and Chatilla were one of the largest training centers for international terrorism. Most of the terrorists of the world visited the Sabra and Chatilla Camps in Beirut, received extensive training in terrorism, ranging from the use of plastic explosives to booby trapping cars, and special, assassination techniques given by well experienced followers of Yasser Arafat.

For example, the terrorist Red Brigades from Italy trained there, the terrorist Basque ETA movement, Carlos, Islamist mercenaries from Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, all came to those camps to be taught how to hijack planes, prepare bombs for use in Europe and elsewhere against US and Israeli embassies and missions. Sabra and Chatilla became known as the terror center in Beirut, whose mission was to export terror and subversion to the world. Many Lebanese were kidnaped to these camps and never returned alive.

All this evidence corroborates the summary given by Benjamin Netanyahu in his recent book:

From the early 1970s until Israel ousted it from Lebanon in June 1982, the PLO’s de facto state in Lebanon was a veritable factory of terror, providing a safe haven and a launching ground for terrorist groups the world over. Who didn’t come to the PLO bases in Beirut and Sidon? The Italian Red Brigades, the German Baader-Meinhof gang, the IRA, the Japanese Red Army, the French Action Directe, the Turkish Liberation Army, the Armenian Asala group, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and terrorists from all over Latin America as well as neo-Nazis from Germany – all were there. They came to Lebanon, were trained there, then set off to murder their victims elsewhere. From this unpoliced PLO playground of horrors, the virus of terror was spread throughout the Western world, often with the aid of Arab governments and, until the exposure of its complicity in

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terror proved too embarrassing, with the aid of the Soviet bloc as well.

[Quoted from p. 222 of Netanyahu, Benjamin. Durable Peace. New York: Warner Books, 2000.]

The Gang of Four, aka “Quartet”, would do well to heed the Chinese warning, “Beware, lest your wishes come true”: their relentless pressure on a the tiny republic of Israel, stuggling to survive, may well result in the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state in western Palestine.

And then the international terrorists, trained in this state, will come for the Quartet itself.


15. The scarcity of water in the region renders it imperative that Israel retain control over the this resource in Western Palestine as a whole (Israel and Yesha).  Based on past experience, one has reason to suspect that should a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state control this resource, such a state would be a permanent threat to Israel.

Palestine (including contemporary Jordan, Israel and Yesha) and the neighbouring countries suffer from a serious shortage of water, a fact which makes this resource unique in its importance.  Conflicts over water have coloured the relations between Turkey and her neighbours (see, for example, the official Turkish site), as well as the relations between Israel and Syria (see, for example, TimeLine or brief article).   As will be shown at the end of this article, the conflict between Israel and Lebanon about water is still ongoing.

In connection with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, the water problem stems from the fact that for Israel,

fully 40 percent of the available fresh-water resources consists of ground water drawn from aquifer wholly or partially under Judea and Samaria. This is a supply without which Israel would be brought to the brink of catastrophe…

[Cited from p. 311 of Netanyahu, Benjamin. Durable Peace.  Warner Books, 2000.]

This “catastrophe” could come about by denying Israel water through diversions, by contaminating the aquifer,  whether deliberately or through mismanagement of sewer/waste disposal systems, by depleting the aquifer, by or by damaging it irreversibly in other ways.

Should Israel lose control over the source of its water through granting sovereignty to the Palestinian Arabs, Israel would have to live perpetually under the Sword of Damocles.

Israel has good reasons to be sceptical about the environmental awareness of her Arab neighbours and their willingness to share water.  Suffice it to recall the persistent sabotage in which Syria engaged during the period in which Israel was constructing her National Water Carrier.  In the same vein, the first act of sabotage in which the PLO was involved was an attempt to sabotage the National Water Carrier on January 3, 1965.  And the current conflict with Lebanon is yet another element to heighten Israel’s concern (see end of article).

According to a report published in Grist Magazine, Israel attempted to manage the water in Yesha by freezing the status quo, i.e., by:

capping Palestinian consumption, banning the digging of new wells, and putting quotas on how much water could be extracted from existing wells.

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Hostile as this magazine is towards Israel, it had to admit that Israel hooked Palestinian towns into the water network;  because of the Palestinian poor management, however, “as much as half of the water meant to supply some Palestinian towns may be lost to leaking pipes”.  Imagine the situation had Israel lost control entirely!

On January 31, 2001, several months after the PA organized the recent Intifada, Iaraeli and Palestinian Arabs met to flesh out an agreement that would put the water/sewage system beyond the conflict.  The way the Palestinian Arabs adhered to the agreement is described by Ha’Aretz :

The declaration stating that the water and sewage infrastructures must not be harmed despite the military conflict was signed at the Erez Junction on January 31. … Chlorine for purifying drinking water is manufactured in the Haifa Bay, and Mekorot workers make sure to deliver it to meeting points in the West Bank, often at personal risk to themselves. The Palestinian water officials are grateful to them for this. Recently, when the IDF trisected the Gaza Strip, Israeli water officials made sure that chlorine would be delivered to the southern part of the strip to purify drinking water there.

But despite this openness for the Palestinians’ water needs, Israel is quick to respond any time the Palestinian side purposely breaches the interim agreement on water. An example of this is the situation in the Jenin area. Palestinians privately drilled in 30 spots there for agricultural irrigation without permission or coordination with Israeli authorities. As a result, Israel is refusing to approve large-scale drilling for drinking water in that area.

Again, imagine the Palestinian Arabs gaining sovereignty over the water sources!

It will be recalled that the Oslo Accords of 1993, 1994, and 1995, deferred the issue of water, together with the issues of refugees, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements in Yesha, boundaries, and security, to the final negotiations.  The assumption was that during the interim period, the Palestinian Arabs would show their intentions for a peaceful solution.  But as reality indicates, and as this series has documented, peace is the last thing on the mind of the Palestinian Arabs, and under these realities, sovereignty for the Palestinian Arabs, which would deprive Israel of control over the regions water, is a recipe for Israel’s destruction.

Exacerbating the water issue is the phenomenal population increase of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha, a topic which will be discussed in a forthcoming article, in the context of the economic viability of a Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha.  Suffice it to note here that the annual rate of population increase has been recorded by the CIA Factbook (“West Bank” and “Gaza Strip”) at 3.39% for Judea and Samaria, and at 3.95% for Gaza (data for 2002).  Using the demographic “rule of 72″, these rates correspond to doubling the population within 21.2 and 18.3 years, respectively.

In response to peace overtures by her neighbours, Israel has shown incredible generosity in all areas, including water.  For example, as part of the 1994 peace pact with Jordan, Israel agreed to distribute water to Jordan, notwithstanding the chronic shortage from which Israel herself suffers.  But the belligerent Palestinian Arabs are clearly a different kettle of fish.

So are the Lebanese/Syrians.  Their recent conflict with Israel is a two-prong conflict, namely, water and sewage, demonstrating the seriousness of the analysis outlined above with regard to the Palestinian Arabs.

The water prong of the conflict came to the fore in September, 2002, when it became clear that the Lebanese intended to install and operate a pumping station to remove water from the Wazzani tributary of the Jordan river.  On September 15, the Jerusalem Post reported:

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Diversion of waters from the Wazzani River was a top concern raised by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in meetings with US officials on Friday.

Peres met with Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and other administration officials in Washington.

“The Americans said [they] see as very grave what the Lebanese are doing with the water in the North but [they] are looking for a solution, not an escalation,” one source in Peres’s delegation said.

Peres, in a meeting with Israeli reporters, called Lebanon’s moves a “senseless provocation.” … The Lebanese government has apparently taken heart from reports that the US has asked Israel to tone down rhetoric on the issue.

Israel Radio yesterday quoted senior sources in Jerusalem as saying that Hizbullah is behind Lebanese plans to divert the river. The sources said that despite the imminent attack on Iraq, the organization has not changed its strategic outlook and is trying to stir up the northern border with Syria’s full support.

One month later, on October 15, the Jerusalem Post reported about the provocative opening ceremony of the pumping station:

High-ranking Lebanese officials led by President Emile Lahoud and foreign diplomats joined with an estimated 10,000 people on Wednesday to participate in the inauguration of the controversial Wazzani River project.

Watched by IDF troops on the border with Lebanon, the cavalcades of the Lebanese hierarchy arrived one after the other to attend the ceremony, including Hizbullah’s leader in south Lebanon, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk.

It was party time for the Lebanese and especially Hizbullah’s Shi’ite rival, the Amal movement, which was the motivating force behind what the Lebanese view as the “liberation of the water.”

Despite Israel’s warnings and mediation efforts by the US, which did not send a representative to the ceremony, as well as the European Union and the United Nations, the official opening of the Wazzani project went ahead on a grand scale.

Israel has vehemently opposed Lebanon’s unilateral action on the grounds that it sets a dangerous precedent and breaks the status quo on water use in the region that has existed for decades.

With regard to sewage, IMRA reported on November 3, 2002, that

[T]he Ministry of the Environment confirms that the Lebanese are dumping sewage water in the Ayoun River on the border with Israel. The Director of the Northern District of the Ministry of the Environment, Shlomo Katz, asked senior officials to act to put an end to the polluting. He said that the four tanks of sewage that the Lebanese dumped flow down a route that ultimately reaches the Kinneret – a key source for drinking water in the nation. The Israel Radio correspondent noted that drinking water is also drawn from the river itself.

Israel Television Channel Two reported that the move by Lebanon is seen as another attempt to draw Israel into conflict after the recent water pumping operation failed to lead to an Israeli reaction on the ground.

A story by the Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2002, elaborates:

IDF troops are closely monitoring the dumping of sewage and other waste on

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the Lebanese side of the border, apparently into Nahal Ayoun, which flows into Israel.

Trucks have been seen dumping fluid waste there raising concern that the sewage will spill into Israel when winter rains flow into the stream, which runs past Metulla on its way to nearby Tanur waterfall.

Trucks and tankers are reportedly being used to drain cesspools of villages in south Lebanon. The sewage is then being poured into the Ayoun and possibly other river beds which are dry in the summer, but flow across the border in the winter and early spring.

The prime concern is that the sewage will ultimately seep into and pollute tributaries of the Jordan River which flows into Lake Kinneret, as well as damaging the water table.

The argument that a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state could be subject to a hypothetical “water agreement”  should be discounted in the same way that the argument of “demilitarizing” a Palestinian- Arab state in Yesha is refuted:  the stakes are too high, the means of verification and enforcement are too feeble, and the malevolent intentions of the Palestinian Arabs too manifest to permit Israel to relinquish control over water (or the borders, or the air space).  At the same time, such control is bound to be a primary demand of a sovereign Palestinian State.

Once again we point to the only viable solution that will grant Israel security and grant the Palestinian- Arabs the self-determination they supposedly seek:  an autonomous Palestinian-Arab entity within a sovereign Israel in the entire area of western Palestine.

Economy not viable

16.  The Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”) lack the elements that permit the development of an economically viable sovereign state.

Table of contents: (16.1) Introduction and definition (16.2) Review of selected elements of “economic viability” as they apply to the Palestinian Arabs (16.3) The historical record (16.4) Implications

(16.1) Introduction and definition

To discuss the question as to whether a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”) has the potential of economic viability, one has to bear heavily on economics and related fields such as demography.  Not only does such a discussion require a great deal of specialized expertise, but as a literature search on this question indicates, any thorough discussion would extend over many volumes.  Complicating the discussion further is the fact that one should consider several scenarios for a hypothetical Palestinian-Arab state, such as free-trade agreement with Israel, customs union with Israel, and various models of foreign investment.

The space available here, even for a long article, can only permit the highlighting of a few basic points, starting with a working definition of what we mean by “economically viable”.  Next, we’ll examine such elements as the geographic, demographic and infrastructure bases for the hypothetical state, and their implications vis a vis economic viability.  Finally, this article will review the record of the PA on matters economic, the point being that the past may be an indicator of what might transpire if indeed a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state is ever created.

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The discussion assumes that the nightmare scenario of the Quartet is realised, and a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state is created in Yesha, possibly with overland links between Gaza and Judea/Samaria through Israel.  Under these conditions, given the current economic state of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha, is an economically-viable sovereign state possible?

As a working definition of “economic viability” we borrow a statement from Leila Farsakh, who wrote as follows in an MIT article on the question we are examining:

It is generally understood that an economy is viable if it is able to use its human, financial and physical resources to grow, sustain itself and increase the welfare of the inhabitants living within its area.

[Cited from MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol 1, pp. 43-57.]

Some of the factors that should be considered include:  Work force/labour pool – quality and availability; industrial base; raw materials and natural resources, including energy resources; agriculture;  financial infrastructure; commerce and trade; education and literacy; bureaucratic professionalism (speed of decision making); science and technology; transportation and communications; political stability.

Since it is impossible to cover all these aspects in any depth, we will deal with only the few that seem to us the most pertinent.  Note that the vital issue of water was discussed separately in Part 15 of this series (Israpundit or Dawson Speaks).

(16.2) Review of selected elements of “economic viability” as they apply to the Palestinian Arabs

The emphasis in the definition of economic viability, as given above, should be on the words “sustain itself”, for with an endless infusion of financial support and capital, even a basket case may be rendered “economic viable”.  But experience shows that the Palestinian Arabs cannot rely on such fairytale support even if their Arab cousins are rolling in petro-dollars.  The Arab countries have done precious little to resolve the poverty of their own people, so much so that Egypt now depends on an annual US grant of US$2 bil.

Therefore, one has to judge whether under real-life conditions it is possible for capital to flow into the hypothetical Palestinian so as to create an economy that can “sustain itself”.

To assess the economic viability of a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha, let us begin with a very brief review of the area and its population.

Land-locked Judea and Samaria are the size of Delaware, while Gaza is twice the size of Washington DC with a 220 km coastline, but with no port to speak of in the west.  The highlands of Judea and Samaria “are main recharge area for Israel’s coastal aquifers”. The area has no mineral resources worthy of being mentioned and the industrial basis is virtually non-existent.

The Palestinian-Arab population of Judea and Samaria is 2.2 million, and that of Gaza, 1.2 million, for a total of 3.4 million.  The growth rates are, respectively, 3.4 and 4.0 – an international record. These figures imply that just to keep the population from falling behind, the economy of Judea, Samaria and Gaza must grow by at least 3.6% annually.  Making this goal virtually impossible is the child dependency ratio (population 0-14 / population 15-64 – a common socio-demographic indicator), which is 0.85 and 1.04, respectively.  The latter figure means that Gaza has more children 0-14 than adults 15-64.  By comparison, Israel’s child dependency ratio is 0.43.  This socio-demographic

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indicator alone should flash red alert lights in the hallowed offices of the Quartet.

We turn now to other factors that affect economic viability, as listed in Section 16.1 above. Describing some elements of the infrastructure of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha at the end of the 1990’s, Prof. Karen Pfeifer (a professor of economics at Smith College) notes:

For every 13 kilowatts of electricity used by Palestinians, Israelis use 82. Palestinians have 3.1 phones for every 100 people; Israelis have 37. Palestinians have 80 meters of paved roads per 100 people; Israelis have 266. All Israeli households have indoor plumbing, as compared to 25% of Palestinians. Israeli electric power systems fail just 4% of the time, while Palestinian systems fail 30% of the time.

I should emphasize here that Prof Pfeifer wrote one of the usual academic anti-Israeli rants, dripping with vile accusations against Israel, and the data she quoted are designed to highlight how “bad” the Israelis are; we can nonetheless use her statistics to make the point that the Palestinian Arabs have no infrastructure to support economic viability.

Another vital element in the context of economic development concerns banking and the legislation that goes with it.  Here is Pfeifer’s admission on this score:

After 1993, banks were again allowed to set up shop in WBG [West Bank and Gaza] and accept deposits. But few of these are locally owned, and, due to lack of deposit insurance and regulatory oversight, they have been unwilling to lend to finance new investment in productive activity in Palestine.

In an article published in 1996, way before Arafat’s Intifada destroyed the economy of the Palestinian Arabs entirely, Aaron Segal assessed the economic viability of a Palestinian-Arab state in an article published in the Middle East Forum.  Segal’s assessment does not differ in tenor from that of Prof. Pfeifer but his analysis is much more detailed  Here are selected passages:

An independent Palestine is not likely to enjoy economic growth greater than its very high rate of population increase (currently 3.7 percent yearly). Recent years have seen negative growth, negligible savings and investments, and massive deficits in balance of payments, trade, and the budget. Unemployment and underemployment rates are not just extremely high but are worsening as Israel replaces Palestinian day workers with labor from such countries as Romania and Thailand. The few potential growth sectors (tourism, domestic light industry, and agriculture for foodstuffs and exports) all suffer severe external and internal constraints owing to shortages of investment capital, human resources, and markets. Government institutions are a poor bet to operate the electric, postal, telephone, and other services.

As of late 1996, the future Palestine still lacks its own currency, central bank, and effective taxing authority; nor are these likely to emerge soon. The Palestinian Monetary Authority has no reserves and lacks the powers of a central bank. At present, for example, most tax income derives from transfers by the Israeli authorities. There is little likelihood for replacing tax transfers from Israel and declining remittances from Palestinian migrant workers with local tax sources.

Palestine would start out with minimal foreign-exchange reserves, revenue, or ability to borrow or to service debts. Most banks are branches of Israeli and Jordanian corporations, with limited lending capabilities, and are likely to remain that way. The independent state will depend for many years on grants and low-interest loans with extended grace periods.  High political and economic risks render foreign direct investment and diaspora capital flows unlikely. Instead, diaspora and migrant-worker remittances will flow directly to households, where they will be used mostly for consumption, not investment.  Changing the savings-investment ratio will be critical for the new state.

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 Inadequate physical infrastructure aggravates the acute lack of capital. Palestine will likely lack a fully operational international airport or commercial port, and have deficiencies in electricity, phones, potable water, and other services.  Although some of these services are in the planning stage, implementation is weak. The lack of administrative capabilities to provide these and other services is a most serious problem; state-owned corporations probably cannot productively absorb increased capital flows.

 Since September 1993, donors have pledged nearly $1.4 billion but the PA continues to be a major restraint on absorbing donor aid, for too much of it has gone to pay the salaries of a bloated and patronage-based civil service and police. In 1996, the Palestinian police numbers eighteen thousand and the civil service thirty thousand; moreover, with average monthly salaries of $475 and $530, respectively, these employees enjoy an income more than two times the Palestinian average.

Despite the use of aid for recurrent expenditures rather than investment, the PA itself is unable to expand most of the basic social services, such as health and education, for a growing population. The budget deficit combines with the constraints on borrowing to absorb most social-services expenditures in salaries and maintenance. Any expansion of educational and medical services has to compete with external aid for infrastructure. Donors are more and more inclined toward paying for projects rather than salaries. The United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) continues to provide health and education services for the nearly 10 percent of Palestinians who remain in refugee camps. The major educational bottleneck is the lack of secondary, technical, and vocational institutions, leaving primary-school graduates with nowhere to go. … A lack of appropriate institutions presents another obstacle to economic growth. Few multinational corporations are present; local businesses consist primarily of small-scale firms with limited capital and technical capacity. Research and development is minimal, even in the seven universities of the West Bank and Gaza. The diaspora too is characterized by small-scale trading firms.

The growing gap in income and opportunity between the richer West Bank and poorer Gaza also creates problems. For 1992, the World Bank reported $1,150 in per capita income for the Gaza Strip and $2,500 for the West Bank.  Unemployment and underemployment reaches 40 percent in Gaza versus a mere 20 percent in the West Bank.  Gaza is over-urbanized, lacking in arable land and water, and ridden with infrastructure deficiencies. Lacking almost all other exports, Gaza for a decade or more must depend disproportionately on the earnings of migrant workers in Israel — even as its workers are increasingly denied access to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and much of the Gulf. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded about Gaza that “the prospects for a marked improvement in employment, the fiscal balance, private sector investment and real per capita consumption are limited.” It and the World Bank recommend a strategy that “is outward-looking, led by the private sector, and a ble to promote sizable nondebt-creating private capital inflows for investment in productive, labor-intensive activities.”

In all, Palestine is likely to be a highly dependent, slow-growth state unable to respond to the expectations of its inhabitants. The West Bank is likely to grow modestly while Gaza lags. If donor support falters, economic stagnation or even negative growth may result. It is difficult to develop a scenario in which sustained economic growth stays significantly ahead of population increase.

And all this was said before the Palestinian Arabs destroyed the weak economic basis they had by starting the Intifada of mid-2000.  Bearing these facts in mind, one can appreciate the conclusion drawn by Neill Lochery (director of the Centre for Israeli Studies at University College in London) in his June, 2002 article:

Economically speaking, a Palestinian state is not viable either. There

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would be an over-reliance on international aid from Arab and European Union countries — dangerous given that much of what was promised in the past never arrived. The business sector has not developed as was hoped back in 1993. The majority of successful Palestinian entrepreneurs live outside the boundaries of the proposed state and have shown little inclination to invest in the Palestinian Authority, preferring markets where there is a stronger chance of financial return. Put simply, they continue to invest in global markets for business and not nationalist reasons, and there is little sign this would change with the creation of a state. Consequently, many Palestinian families would become increasingly reliant on one or more members of the family working in Israel or in Kuwait. In these circumstances, it is difficult to see how a state could raise enough taxes to pay for even the most basic services for i ts citizens.

What one should emphasize here is that this situation cannot be remedied by some magic wand; if at all possible, it might take decades to reverse the current situation and trends.  Until then, there is no point in talking about a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state, unless one is eager to see the immediate demise of Israel.  To reinforces this point, the following Section 16.3 reviews of what Arafat and his henchmen have wrought over the last decade.

(16.3) The historical record

This Section reviews what the PA has achieved in economic terms since the 1993 Oslo agreements.

The Paris Economic Protocols, which constituted part of the 1995 Interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, established the economic scope of the PA, allowing as follows (quoted from the foregoing MIT article by Leila Farsakh):

The Economic Protocol binds the WBGS [West Band and Gaza Strip] in a custom union with Israel,  which allows for the free movement of capital and goods except for a list of agricultural goods to be phased out by the year 1998. Free movements of labor flows between the two economies are not guaranteed, but  the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is allowed to trade directly with Arab and foreign countries  for a limited list of goods.  Moreover, the CU [customs union] gives the Palestinians the right to decide on their economic priorities, to determine the nature of their employment, industrial and agricultural policies, as well as to impose tax and to invest in areas under its control. It also gives the Palestinians limited leeway in monetary and trade policy… Israel, though, accepted to remit to the Palestinian economy VAT and custom taxes collected on goods specifically destined to the WBGS, something it never did before 1994…This mechanism consis ts basically of keeping the WBGS integrated with Israel through a custom union while at the same time giving the Palestinians the right to run their domestic affairs and time to improve their non-territorial economic base.  It also gives the Palestinians the right to trade in limited goods and quantities with third countries, thereby allowing them to reduce their dependence on Israel.  At the same time, by keeping the link to Israel, the CU enables the WBGS to benefit from trade with a neighboring strong economy.

Leila Frasakh is one of the many virulent anti-Israeli writers and quoting from her (and similar anti- Israeli writers) to corroborate our argument should at least obviate the accusation of quoting writers who are biassed in favour of Israel.

Clearly, the Economic Protocol enabled the PA to use the Oslo agreement to create a strong (if not viable) economy, but the reality shows that the PA preferred to use this framework for corrupted self- enrichment, for shackling  the population to the PA and, ultimately, for the total destruction of the economy.  Just as significant is the fact that the PA squandered the financial goodwill that the

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“international community” extended.  In addition to what we have already quoted, Leila Farsakh documents:

Between 1994-1999, the international community pledged a total of $3.4billion for a total of 2.8 million Palestinians.

But none of this was utilized to create anything akin to a strong economy.

In 1996, three years into the reign of Arafat and his PA, Gerald Steinberg observed in an aricle entitled,  The case against a Palestinian State:

After three years, we cannot find any evidence that the Palestinian leadership can create a viable economic foundation. The per capita GNP in Gaza is approximately $1000 and has declined under Palestinian control, while the very high jobless rate increased. The hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that have already been transferred have disappeared without accountability, and without any significant new investment in infrastructure or job producing industry. As a result, many foreign donors have stopped providing funds, as there is no evidence that the money is being used for the purposes for which it was intended – namely to provide a foundation for economic development and stability in the areas under Palestinian control.

In reviewing the economic mess created by the PA, the standard Palestinian and Arab line of blaming Israel for all the ills in the universe has even less credibility than the Palestinian/Arab average.  Here’s what transpired well before the Intifada, according to Leila Farsakh (remeber – this is the virulent anti- Israeli prof writing in an MIT publication):

[D]espite all expectations, the economic situation in the WBGS deteriorated. Just as alarming has been the fact that the two parts of the Palestinian economy, i.e. the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, have further disintegrated rather than integrated. To begin with, per capita income fell by 17% between 1994-1996, while the percentage of people living in poverty increased to 40% in the Gaza Strip and 11% in the West Bank in 1997.   Unemployment soured [sic], reaching levels as high as 39% in Gaza in 1996 and 24% in the West Bank . Although it fell to less than 11% in WBGS in 2000, it remains today a major problem, particularly for the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. While, on average 30,000 new domestic jobs were created per year between 1995-1999, this increase remains insufficient to absorb a rapidly growing population.  The Palestinian labor force is presently growing at an annual rate of over 40,000 new persons and has, on average, 70,000-120,000 workers employed annually in Israel since 1995… The Palestinian economy also failed to rely on trade as a vehicle for growth.  The actual size of exports fell by 30% between 1994-1996. At the same time, Israel has continued to absorb 96% of all the WBGS exports,

The one area where the Palestinian Arab economy showed growth is the public sector, reflecting Arafat’s attempts to have as many of his people as possible dependent on the PA for employment, thus securing their loyalty.  Quoting Leila Farsakh again:

Still in 2000, the Public sector today absorbs more than 24% of all employed in the domestic economy in the Gaza Strip and around 15% of the labor force in West Bank.  These jobs are not always productive, though, given that they are mainly concentrated in the police and security services…

[T]he large size of the public sector raises key questions around the economic survival of the public sector and the efficient use of resources. While the public sector eases unemployment in the short run, it also increases bureaucratic hassles and decreases service efficiency.

As to encouraging investment and fostering economic development, Leila Farsakh describes some of

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the steps taken by the PA – all of which, especially the PA’s “investment law”, amount to zero:

[T]he investment law has been criticized for being directed to foreign investors who will not come given the instability of the economic and political situation.  It is also ill suited to encourage domestic investment of small and medium firms.  Moreover, the PNA’s policy of controlling trade licensing is giving rise to monopolistic practices that are counter-productive. Today, a limited class of PA-affiliated companies and individuals are monopolizing rent and benefits from trade links to Israel. The Palestinian Commercial Service Company (PCSC), fully owned by the PA, holds majority shares in the 34 major Palestinian companies.  In 1999, the PCSC held assets totaling $345 million, the equivalent of eight percent of total GDP.

And then there is the corruption angle, to which even Prof Farsakh admits:

On the other hand, corruption scandals within the PNA reveal a loss of resources, whilst the failure of the judiciary to assert itself as a workable and independent system suggests that more needs to be done to improve performance in the Palestinian economy.  Without a transparent and legally protected economic environment, investments will not flow nor be effective.

On this very topic, Gerald Steinberg elaborates in the article quoted avove:

Corruption is a major problem. For decades, the PLO has built up foreign currency reserves and created a major corporate empire. In 1993, the British National Criminal Intelligence Service estimated that the PLO had worldwide assets of $10 billion, with an annual income of up to $2 billion. With millions of Palestinians living in poverty, one would expect these assets to be used for national development rather than personal gain.

The Palestinian economy is managed, as one analyst reported, “out of Arafat’s hip pocket,” without separation of personal funds, party or state accounts. The Washington Post revealed that Arafat maintains a former wife, Yassin, in an opulent villa in Tunis. PLO sources report that “she received from him great wealth. The jewels she has would be enough to build all Gaza anew”. Calls from the donor states and the IMF for a proper system of accountability have been ignored. Investment laws have not been enacted, and the bloated bureaucracy is maddening. As a result, foreign investment is close to zero. The surrounding Arab states, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are reluctant to contribute, and even under intense American pressure, account for less than 5 percent of total external aid and investment. Even Palestinian investors have stood on the sidelines. Plans for industrial parks and cooperative factories at the intersection of Israel and Gaza, that were expected to provided  thousands of jobs to Palestinians, were dropped when Palestinian officials blocked Israeli participation and insisted that the import of materials await the construction of a port in Gaza (an economic mega project which is motivated by personal and political factors). Other mega projects, such as Arafat’s reinforced command centre, built in the Saddam Hussein style, vast villas on the Gaza coast, an airport that may never open, and an airline that may never get off the ground, are attempts to buy prestige, not an improved standard of living.

Anyone who believes that the problems outlined above can be rectified one way or another, so as to render a Palestinian-Arab state economically viable, should note how entrenched and endemic the problem is.  To corroborate this point we only need to quote from Edward Said, yet another one of the most virulent anti-Israeli writers in the US.

He [Arafat] has an enormous and unproductive bureaucracy.  According to the World Bank, he employs in the bureaucracy about 80,000 people, which we don’t need at all.  I mean, it’s totally unproductive.  But if you add up the security forces and the bureaucracy and multiply them by seven or eight, which is the number of dependents of each person he employs, you’ll

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find that he, in effect, employs about 700,000 or 800,000 people.  And that’s where his support comes from.  People who are indebted to him…

(Quoted from p. 433 of: Said, Edward W. Power Politics and Culture.  New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.)

Or, from another opus magnum of Said’s:

A few weeks ago the Guardian’s senior correspondent, David Hirst, a lifelong sympathizer with the Palestinian tragedy and a first-rate reporter who has devoted his life to living in and writing about the Arab world, wrote a devastating report entitled “Shameless in Gaza” in the Guardian on “the open corruption of the Palestinian Authority.” He described the enormously ostentatious and expensive villas being built on the coast by Abu Mazen and Um Jihad, the company called “al-Bahr” which, true to its name (the sea), swallows up property and businesses for Mr. Arafat’s interests, the nightclubs, the luxurious limousines, the commercial abuses of various high officials, all of them going on at a time of huge unemployment in Gaza, the protracted misery of the thousands of camp dwellers, the total paralysis of the Palestinian economy and the complete breakdown in any sort of advance in Palestinian rights. … The really serious theft is the system of monopolies operated by Arafat and his cronies, including his ministers, their children, wives, uncles, and aunts. There are now monopolies on wheat, cement, petroleum, wood, gravel, cigarettes, cars, gasoline, cattle feed, and a few other commodities; all these compel the ordinary citizen to pay inflated prices several times greater than the price under direct Israeli occupation. Thus a ton of cattle feed used to be ~zo dinars; it is now 3oo dinars. No one knows exactly how much money is made in this way, nor who gets it, or how it is spent. There are no laws for companies or investments, and consequently no requirement to register companies nor to hold bidding competitions and offer tenders.

(Quoted from p. 178-180 of:  Edward W. Said. The end of the peace process. NY: Pantheon Books, 2000.

Arafat displayed one of the most amazing feats of economic mismanagement when he attended the Davos conference in January 2001.  The conference was supposed to have been a demonstration of co- operation between Arafat and Peres, so as to encourage investors to send their capital flows towards Arafat’s Yesha.  In an article entitled,  Sharon, Arafat and Mao , 8 February 2001,  Thomas Friedman describes what transpired:

Mr. Peres did extend the olive branch, as planned, but Mr. Arafat torched it. Reading in Arabic from a prepared text, Mr. Arafat denounced Israel for its “fascist military aggression” and “colonialist armed expansionism,” and its policies of “murder, persecution, assassination, destruction and devastation.”

That was the end of Davos-generated investment for the PA.  (The entire speech is available on the web at the Palestinian-Arab site, Palestine Affairs Council.  It is a masterpiece of self-destruction.)

Summarizing the economic situation created by the PA, Gerald Steinberg opined:

Since the PNA was established in Gaza and Jericho in 1994, its performance has shown all the characteristics of a failed state, including corruption, economic failure, nepotism, intimidation, systematic police violence and torture.

(16.4) Implications

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What are the implications of a non-viable sovereign Palestinian-Arab state?  I would suggest that such a state is a danger to the region, and particularly to Israel, for at least two reasons.  First, at any point such a state might fall prey to an extremist regime such as Iran’s, which will be only to happy to purchase the loyalty of the Palestinian-Arabs for an appropriate amount of petrodollars.

Second, such a state will harbour a substantial underclass of people liable to destabilize the Palestinian regime, which in turn will adopt irridentism for diverting the attention of the masses, and in this case, irridentist claims can only mean the destruction of Israel.

And this is what the Quartet in its infinite wisdom is attempting to achieve.

Neville Chamberlain’s heirs are about to bring about Holocaust II, this time with US approval.  Let us not sit idle while this happens!

Record of deception

 17.  The record of the PLO and the PA suggests that they continually deceive and breach agreements.  Even if a second Palestinian Arab state were created under restrictive terms, the record implies that the terms would not be adhered to.

Of all the arguments presented in this series of articles, the present argument is the easiest to substantiate.  Indeed, selecting examples to corroborate the assertion that both the PLO and the PA are not to be trusted, is analogues to selecting water droplets while swimming in the ocean or selecting sand grains while on a beach.

In January 2002,  AIPAC reviewed a series of pledges made by Arafat and his group, together with proof that these pledges were violated.  The list reads:

Pledge: Renounce Terror and Prevent Attacks “…the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to ensure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.” [Exchange of Letters, 9 September 1993]

“Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other…The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of violence and terror…” [Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“Both sides … undertake to create an environment for negotiations free from pressure, intimidation and threats of violence.” [Trilateral Statement, 25 July 2000]

Violation: Palestinian rioters, armed militia, and members of the Palestinian security forces have attacked Israeli civilians and soldiers, causing deaths, injury and extensive damage to property. Since the PA launched their violent campaign in Sept. 2000, they have killed 247 Israelis in more than 10,000 attacks. These attacks have averaged 10 to 20 per day.

 Pledge: Apprehend and Prosecute Terrorists “The Palestinian Police will arrest and prosecute individuals who are suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror.” [Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“The Palestinian side will apprehend the specific individuals suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror for the purpose of further

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investigation, and prosecution and punishment of all persons involved in acts of violence and terror.” [Wye River Memorandum, 23 October 1998]

Violation: Instead of dismantling U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Arafat has negotiated a deal with terrorist leaders. The deal has resulted in a temporary reduction of terrorist attacks inside the Green Line and a promise from the PA not to arrest senior members of these groups.  Arafat has arrested only low-level perpetrators of terror. Iman Halawa and Jassar Samaaru, responsible for the Dolphinarium disco attack that killed 23 Israeli teenagers, Kayes Aduan Abu-Jabal, responsible for the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem that killed 15 Israeli civilians and the murderers of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, remain at large and continue to plan attacks against Israelis.

Pledge: Ensure that the PA Police is the Only Armed Force The only armed Palestinians are supposed to be the PA police forces, and their total number is not to exceed 30,000, with 12,000 in the West Bank and 18,000 in Gaza. [Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“Except for the Palestinian Police and the Israeli military forces, no other armed forces shall be established or operate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip…” [Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

Violation: The Palestinian leadership maintains, supports and encourages groups of armed militias operating in Palestinian areas, which attack Israeli civilians and soldiers. As of last year, the Palestinian police force exceeded the agreed-upon permitted levels by at least 10,000. In March 2000, the Palestinians provided Israel with a list of 39,899 policemen. According to a State Department report “elements of the PA security forces and Chairman Arafat’s Fatah faction within the PLO were deeply involved in the violence. In particular, the Tanzim wing of Fatah and the Presidential Security force (Force 17) were responsible for a significant percentage of the violent attacks on Israelis.”

Pledge: Confiscate All Illegal Weapons “Any illegal arms will be confiscated by the Palestinian Police.” [Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“The Palestinian side will establish and vigorously and continuously implement a systematic program for the collection and appropriate handling of all such illegal items [firearms, ammunition or weapons]…” [Wye River Memorandum, 23 October 1998]

Violation: The Palestinian Authority has engaged in a prolonged effort to smuggle and manufacture illegal weapons to use against Israeli civilians and soldiers.7 Israelis have foiled attempts to smuggle arms nearly a dozen times. Counter-terrorism expert Boaz Ganor says that the recent Israeli seizure in the Red Sea of the Karine A, a ship carrying 50 tons of illegal, Iranian-made weapons, is “just the tip of the iceberg, and that the PA already has a stash of weapons.”

And if this year-old list is not enough, it now appears that the PA is actually manufacturing weapons in their territory.  The ominous news was posted by IMRA, quoting an IDF spokesperson.  The report begins with this paragraph:

Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) set up a weapon-manufacturing infrastructure

A network of weapon-manufacturing facilities in the Gaza strip run by the PPS was exposed by documents captured during operation “Fortress Guardians” as well as through the questioning of PPS officer Yusuf Muqdad, who was arrested by the Israel Security Agency. Additional documents found

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indicated that a “strategic project” was underway to create a Nitric Acid production plant (used for the creation of explosives) and also to create a factory that would produce 400-450 mortar bombs a month.

The IMRA article then proceeds to provide details of both the operation, the information sources and the captured documents.

Sometimes, a seemingly marginal detail can tell volumes.  This is the case of the PA renouncing those parts of the PLO Charter which expressly call for the destruction of Israel.  Recall that in 1998, Arafat put on a play worthy of the Theatre of the Absurd, in which the PLO Charter was supposedly purged as required by the PA pledges; this was done in the presence of Clinton, apparently to lend it a measure of gravitas.  In fact, here is what happened, as reported by the ZOA on October 9, 2002:

Yasir Arafat’s “foreign minister” has acknowledged that the PLO National Covenant, with its many clauses calling for violence and  the destruction of Israel, has never changed.

The 1993 Oslo accords required Arafat to remove from the Covenant all clauses calling for violence or the destruction of Israel.  Thirty of the 33 clauses would have to be deleted to meet that requirement.

In April 1996, Arafat’s Palestine National Council (PNC) – the only body legally empowered to change the Covenant – passed a resolution appointing a legal committee to consider the changes; but the committee never met. On December 14, 1998, Arafat and President Bill Clinton presided over a meeting in Gaza of Palestinian Arab notables – although it was not a meeting of the PNC– at which the audience raised their hands to signal approval of a statement by Arafat claiming that the Covenant had already been changed in 1996.

But Farouk Kaddoumi, the “foreign minister” of the PLO, said in an interview with the Abu Dubai newspaper Al Bayan that, in fact, the Covenant still contains the clauses calling for Israel’s destruction.  In its edition of October 7, 2002 (http://www.albayan.co.ae), the newspaper reported [that] Kaddoumi “stated that the PLO adheres to its national charter, which includes clauses that call for Israel’s destruction.  It also reported that Kaddoumi “praised all types of military operations carried out by the Palestinian resistance fighters against Israelis.”

Earlier this year, a senior official of the PNC publicly acknowledged that the no new version of the Covenant was ever issued.  Zuhair Sanduka, the PNC’s Director of International Parliamentary Affairs, told the Israeli news agency IMRA on January 23, 2002:  “No other Charter [Covenant] has indeed been written since [1998]…There are publications that refer to the decision to make the amendments.  But there are no other texts–no other paragraphs or articles in place of those articles that had to be canceled or amended.  But there is the reference that there are articles that should be either canceled, modified, or amended.”

Thus, the PA pulled a fast one on the entire world, and particularly on Clinton (indeed, why should the PA be less successful than the North Koreans?)

Arafat’s ways of deceit were quite evident even while signing the Oslo agreements with Israel.  Here is a typical Arafatism, quoted from p. 97 of Bodanski work,

Bodanski, Yossef.  The High Cost of Peace.   New York: Random House (Prima Publishing), 2002.

On February 9 [1994], in the middle of the signing ceremony, Arafat tried to cheat his way out of the agreement by only pretending to sign the map of Jericho. Peres caught him, and Mubarak forced him to sign. Whether Mubarak only scolded Arafat, as the formal version goes, or actually cursed him, as eyewitnesses insist, Arafat was not amused. Despite this omen, Israel committed to handing Gaza and Jericho over to the PLO

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authorities in the spring.

The title of “mother of all deceits”, however, must go to Arafat’s success in convincing the world, including some Israelis and too many US policy makers, that he has renounced violence in favour of peaceful co-existence.  I find the acceptance of this myth by wily, experienced and erudite politicians mystifying because Arafat and his henchmen have made it clear time and again that in signing the Oslo Accords, the PLO was signing not a peace treaty but a truce to be broken at the first opportunity. The code word used is “Hudeibyia”, which refers to the truce signed by Mohammed with the Jewish tribe of Quraysh in 628 AD.  Under duress, Mohammed signed the 10-year peace treaty of Hudeibyia but he violated the agreement two years later when his armies were ready; the Qureysh people were slaughtered.

The best known “Hudeibyia” reference was made by Arafat personally at the Johannesburg mosque. Following is Bodansky’s description of this incident ( op. cit., p. 109, bold fond added):

In May 1994, on the eve of his planned return from Tunis to “Palestine,” Arafat took the opportunity of an invitation to speak at a mosque in Johannesburg, South Africa, to state his goals. In this address, Arafat maintained that he was forced into the peace process by the economic conditions in the territories following the Gulf War. But that was a temporary accommodation, he stressed, and in fact the Cairo agreement he had just signed with Israel was “the first step and nothing more than that” on the road to Jerusalem. “The jihad will continue,” Arafat declared. “Jerusalem is not only of the Palestinian people, but of the entire Islamic nation ….  After this [Cairo] agreement, our main battle is not to get the maximum out of them [Israel] here and there. The main battle is over Jerusalem, the third most sacred site of the Muslims.” He urged his audience to join the Palestinian struggle. “You must come to fight, to begin the jihad to liberate Jerusalem, your first s hrine.” As for the agreements signed with Israel,  “I regard this agreement as no more than the agreement signed between our prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca,”  Arafat stated, using the same comparison that he had used a year earlier, on the eve of the Khartoum summit. “As the Prophet Muhammad accepted it [the Treaty of Hudaibiya] …. we now accept the peace agreement [with Israel], but in order to continue on the way to Jerusalem.” Arafat told his listeners that the PLO needed them “as Muslims and as mujahideen,” and he concluded by chanting: “Until victory, until Jerusalem, until Jerusalem, until Jerusalem.”

The Johannesburg speech, along with other, similar pronouncements, left no doubt that as far as Arafat and his circle were concerned, no reconciliation with Israel – not even the acceptance of the very existence of Israel – was possible.

In August 1995, on the eve of signing Oslo II (later signed in September 1995), Arafat gave yet another “Hudaibiya” speech.  According to Bodansky ( op. cit,  p. 127), Arafat referred publicly to the Oslo agreement, saying

“If any one of you have any objection to the Oslo accord – well, I have a thousand objections. But my brothers, I would like to remind you of something. The Prophet when he signed the Hudaibiya accord … Umar ibn al Kattib called the agreement ‘the despised agreement’ and asked, ‘How can we accept such a humiliation of our religion?’ But, my brothers, it is all the same with the Palestinian people.”

In view of all the examples cited to prove that Arafat and his gang cannot be trusted, two questions arise.  First, why do so many Israelis, Europeans and US officials still continue to court this mendacious terrorist?  And second, why does Arafat throw caution to the wind and openly make statements that could so easily hoist him on his own petard?

The answer to the first question is rooted, to my mind, in the wishful thinking of those who court him; in the noxious tendencies of Western appeasement; in plain human stupidity; in the enthusiastic

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willingness of the world to sacrifice Israel for a few months of illusory peace; and in the skill the PLO/PA has shown in the art of deception.

The answer to the second question stems from the consequences of courting Arafat and the PA.  They have learnt that they are made of Teflon, and regardless of what Arafat and the PA do, Israel will be vilified and they will be sanctified.  The following description of Arafat’s  attempt on Powell’s life  is a good illustration of this conclusion.  It is once again quoted from Bodansky ( op. cit., p. 537):

On April 5 [2002], during his meeting with Zinni, Arafat had made a special request–a personal favor. A police officer from a very important family in Gaza, a pillar of Arafat’s power structure, had just been killed at Arafat’s compound. It was imperative to get the body to Gaza for proper burial, Arafat pleaded. Zinni requested Jerusalem to make an exception to the siege… Jerusalem consented on April 7-8, and Islam demands prompt burial of the dead. However, the PA was not ready to dispatch the body until the evening of April ll – at about the same time Powell was due to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport.

Unbeknownst to the Palestinians, Israeli security forces were following the ambulance bearing the officer’s body as it left the Ramallah area. Their suspicions deepened when the ambulance made a “wrong turn” and headed toward Highway 1 – connecting Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem – instead of taking the road to Gaza. As the ambulance was about to enter Highway 1, it was ambushed and stopped by an Israeli anti-terrorist unit. A quick search netted a huge bomb installed under the policeman’s body and a martyr’s bomb-web under the seat next to the driver.  The two supposed Red Crescent medics told their interrogators that their plan was to park the ambulance near a bend in the road where Powell’s convoy was bound to slow down. They would open the vehicle’s hood as if they had an engine problem. Once the limousine got close to the ambulance, the driver was to blow it up, in the expectation that the convoy would stop and the security personnel would rush to investigate the explosion. Exploiting the confusion, the other “medic” was to run to the limousine, try to get in, and blow himself up either inside the limousine or pressed against its exterior. The Palestinians were convinced that even if he was outside the limousine, his bomb was sufficiently strong to at the very least injure Powell, Peres, and the other dignitaries inside. Although Arafat was certainly involved in the plot, given his insistence on transporting the dead policeman to Gaza, the Bush administration decided to proceed with Powell’s mission as if nothing had happened. To save the United States embarrassment, Israel agreed to suppress reporting of the incident.

 L’audace, toujours l’audace!  Fact is:  Even this incident failed to dampen Powell’s loyalty to the PA!

Note:  If the foregoing account sounds too fantastic to be believed, note that Bodansky is “the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional warfare”, as well as “a former senior consultant for the US Deparments of Defence and State”.  Also, a similar account was posted on April 12, 2002 at WorldNetDaily, on the basis of a Debka report.

Per se, the fact that the PLO/PA are untrustworthy is not a reason to oppose the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state.  Rather, the PLO/PA untrustiness constitutes a response to those who contend that a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state will pose no danger to Israel and to the region provided that such a state is demilitarized and/or is limited as to the pacts it may sign with other nations.  Surely, the incessant assurances by the PLO/PA that their ultimate aim is the destruction of Israel, compounded by their record of mendacity and perfidy, should be enough to convince any fair-mined observer to oppose Palestinian-Arab sovereignty!

Arab, Islam hatred for West

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 18.  Islamist hatred towards the West will not diminish with the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state, since this hatred has far deeper roots;  nor will the terrorism that this hatred nurtures cease.

Table of contents

18.1 Introduction 18.2 Summary of arguments against the conventional “root cause” 18.3 Elaboration on the “root cause” arguments advanced 18.4 Final comments

18.1 Introduction

Those who support the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza), argue, inter alia, that such a state: (i) will terminate the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs; (ii) will create stability in the region; and (iii) will obviate the intense Muslim hatred against the US and the west, together with the consequent terror.

The first part of this argument has been refuted in Part 10 of this series (see Dawson Speaks or IsraPundit), while the “regional” part of the argument has been dealt with in Part 11 (see   Dawson Speaks or IsraPundit). The present Part 18 deals with the third argument, viz., the issue of Islamist hatred for the US/West and the consequent terrorism. There is little doubt that (1) intense hatred against the US does indeed exist in the Moslem/Arab countries, and that (2) this hatred is commonly attributed to the US support for Israel.  Consider, for example, a passage from a recent article by Thomas Friedman, dated January 12, 2003, and entitled, Sealing the Well,  which presents both points:

Then why is George Bush so intensely disliked? … [T]he biggest factor remains the Bush team’s seeming indifference to making any serious effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when so much killing is going on. The administration’s refusal to apply any creative imagination to defusing this conflict, and even belittling it while calling Ariel Sharon “a man of peace,” has embittered the Arab public.

I accept that the hatred exists and that its roots are attributed to the US support (such as it is) for Israel.  But I reject the argument that this is indeed the “root cause” of the hatred of the US.  Above all, I reject the corollary that if the US support for Israel were to cease and if a second Palestinian-Arab state were created, then the hatred towards the US would cease too.  The object of this article is to support this thesis.

18.2 Summary of arguments against the conventional “root cause”

(1)  If the conventional “root cause” thesis were correct (US support for Israel generates Islamic rage against the US), then the Islamist terrorism that is directed towards other western powers, e.g., Britain and France, would not exist.  In fact, notwithstanding the efforts that Britain and France are making to provide the Palestinian-Arabs with a state, they are still loathed and attacked by Islamists.  The Islamist terrorism to which the UK and France (and indeed, Russia too), is of the same vintage as the anti-Israeli and the anri-American terrorism, with little local variation.

(2)  The Islamists do not restrict their hatred and terrorism to the US and other Western powers. Rather, they also direct their terrorism towards the leaders of their own countries as well as towards Christians in several Third World countries.  Clearly, this terrorism has nothing at all to do with the

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US and her support for Israel, and yet the pattern of hatred and terrorism is the same.

(3)  In lieu of the conventional “root cause”, one may suggest the much more convincing explanation offered (among others) by Netanyahu.  This interpretation contends that over the last 150 or 200 years, the Islamic world has had to confront the reality of lagging behind the West in terms of social and economic development, including the inability to democratise their regimes.  Additionally, Islamic countries have displayed glaring polarisation between the ruling rich and the ruled poor. Reaction to this reality has led to the creation of such movements as pan-Arabism and fundamental Islamism, seeking a return to “pure” Islam.  Both have harnessed two formidable weapons: (1) the need of the ruling classes to find a scapegoat in order to divert the people’s attention from the tyranny and poverty inflicted on them by their rulers; and (2) a religious-cultural system that may easily be construed to condone and support intolerance and terrorism.  Subsequently, this articl e will refer to this interpretation as the  “alternative explanation of the root cause” .

(4)  If the foregoing analysis is the correct one, then the creation of a second Palestinian Arab state will do absolutely nothing to obviate the Islamists’ hatred and terrorism towards the US, the West, other countries, or their very own rulers.

18.3 Elaboration on the “root cause” arguments advanced

The issues surrounding the “root cause” have been discussed in public fora at length.  For this reason, it would be unnecessary to provide comprehensive corroboration and documentation for each of the point made in Section 18.2.  Given the existing space constraints, such a task would also be impossible, as even an annotated bibliography could not be accommodated in an article of reasonable size.  Section 18.3, therefore, will concentrate on a few major points only.

(1) To demonstrate that Western powers other than the US are targeted by Islamist, even though their anti-Israeli stance is glaring, suffice it to recall that even as Britain called the Quartet conference for January 14, 2003, she was also busy with the terrorist ricin affair and saw a British policeman stabbed to death by Islamists in the course of conducting a ricin investigation in Manchaster.  On the same day, Paris police discovered explosives in the Paris Basilica. This incident, of course, is minor compared to the bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg, as reported by CNN  on October 6, 2002.  And having mentioned France, recall this 1996 incident, as quoted from an article entitled, Three Decades of Middle East Terrorism (posted on the site of FreeLebanon):

Paris Subway Explosion, Dec. 3, 1996: A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway train as it arrived at the Port Royal station, killing two French nationals, a Moroccan, and a Canadian and injuring 86 persons. Among those injured were one US citizen and a Canadian. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Algerian extremists are suspected.

As noted, we only have space here for illustrative examples.

I maintain that the Thomas Friedmans of the media should have to explain:  if the US support of Israel is behind the anti-American hatred among the Islamists, what propels the same people to engage in terrorism against their EU supporters?  Perhaps the root cause has nothing to do with a Palestinian- Arab state and everything to do with the “alternative explanation”.

(2) Just as the Islamists target “friendly” countries such as Britain and France, so too they target third world countries, Christians, and their own leaders.  To corroborate this statement, observe the following partial list of terrorist acts by Islamists, most of which do not involve Israel, the US or any western country specifically.  The data are quoted from the aforementioned site of FreeLebanon.

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Grand Mosque Seizure, Nov. 20, 1979: 200 Islamic terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retook the shrine after an intense battle in which some 250 people were killed and 600 wounded.

Assassination of Egyptian President, Oct. 6, 1981: Soldiers who were secretly members of the Takfir Wal-Hajira sect attacked and killed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a troop review.

Assassination of Lebanese President, Sept. 14, 1982: Premier Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by a car bomb parked outside his party’s Beirut headquarters.

Soviet Diplomats Kidnapped, Sept. 30, 1985: In Beirut, Lebanon, Sunni terrorists kidnapped four Soviet diplomats. One was killed, and three were later released.

Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, Nov. 23, 1985: An EgyptAir airplane bound from Athens to Malta and carrying several US citizens was hijacked by the Abu Nidal group.

Egyptian Embassy Attack, Nov. 19, 1995: A suicide bomber drove a vehicle into the Egyptian Embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 16 and injuring 60 persons. Three militant Islamic groups claimed responsibility.

Bombing of Archbishop of Oran, Aug. 1, 1996: A bomb exploded at the home of the French archbishop of Oran, killing him and his chauffeur. The attack occurred after the archbishop’s meeting with the French foreign minister. The Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is suspected.

Egyptian Letter Bombs, Jan. 2 – 13, 1997: A series of letter bombs with Alexandria, Egypt, postmarks were discovered at Al-Hayat newspaper bureaus in Washington, D.C., New York City, London, and Riyadh. Three similar devices, also postmarked in Egypt, were found at a prison facility in Leavenworth, Kan. Bomb disposal experts defused all the devices, but one detonated at the Al-Hayat office in London, injuring two security guards and causing minor damage.

Tourist Killings in Egypt, Nov. 17, 1997: Al-Gama’ at al-Islamiyya (IG) gunmen shot and killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians and wounded 26 others at the Hatshepsut Temple in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor.

In fact, the list above is quite incomplete.  Omitted, for example, are the Islamist terrorist attack on OPEC, 21 December 1975,  and the attempt on Mubarak’s life in Addis Ababa on June 26, 1995.  A more complete list (albeit one that includes terrorism other than Islamist terrorism) may be found in such sites as Supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran,  Terrorism Research Center, or the Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

On January 6, 2003 I posted an article on IsraPundit and on Dawson Speaks, documenting the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamists in one single week, centered on Christmas, 2002.  The final paragraph reads:

[I]n one single week, we had news about terrorism from (in alphabetical order) Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Russia.  And again the question arises: what has all this terrorism to do with Jews, a Palestinian state or the “occupation”? Is it not time that the West identify the “root cause” of Islamist terror for what it really is?

With this evidence, Friedman’s case about the link between Islamic rage and the US support for Israel seems utterly absurd.

Next, we examine the “alternative explanation of the root cause”, which is more consistent with the

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facts as recorded above.

(3) In complete opposition to Friedman, the “alternative explanation” has been summarized by Netanyahu as follows (cited from p. 87 of:

Netanyahu, Benjamin.  Fighting Terrorism.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001, Second Edition; italics in the original).

[T]he soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West – because they see it is an island of Western democratic values in a Moslem-Arab sea of despotism.

How did Netanyahu and others who subscribe to the “alternative explanation” arrived at this conclusion?  Quoting from Netanyahu (pp. 82 et seq), the following picture emerges.

To fully appreciate the enduring hatred of the West by today’s Islamic militants, it is necessary to understand the historic roots of this enmity… [I]n the year 630 the Arab prophet Muhammad united the Arab peoples, forging them into a nation with a fighting religion whose destiny was to bring the word of Allah and the rule of Islam to all mankind. Within a century, Muhammad and his followers had made the Muslim Arabs the rulers of a vast empire, conquering the Middle East, Persia, India and the Asian interior, North Africa, Asia Minor, and Spain, and lunging deep into France… [F]or 950 years after that defeat, much of Islamic history focussed on the struggle to prevent the reconquest of Muslim lands by the Christians, particularly the Holy Land, Spain, and southern Italy, and the longing for a great leader, the caliph, who would set right the historic wrong, resurrecting the glory of Islam by finally achieving the defeat of European power. This was a dream powerful enoug h to bring the armies of the Ottoman sultan to the gates of Vienna, where the Muslim thrust into Europe was broken in 1683.

The subsequent decline of Ottoman power relative to the Christian powers, particularly Britain and France, was long and painful. By 1798, Napoleon was in command of a modern citizen-army which was able to seize Egypt without difficulty. By the 1830s, Algeria had become a permanent French base and the British had seized control of ports along the Arabian coast. Within fifty years, all of North Africa and much of the Persian Gulf had become British, French, and Italian possessions. And in 1914, with the beginning of World War I, the final dismantling of what was left of the realm of Islam began. In the aftermath of World War I, Turkey was established as a Western-style secular state, and the Arab world was put under European control: Morocco, Algeria, and Syria under France; Egypt, Arabia, and Iraq under Britain. Iran, too, was placed under the control of a pro-Western royal family in the 1930s…

There can be no exaggerating the confusion and humiliation which descended on the Arab and Muslim world as a result of these developments. The European powers divided up the map of the former Ottoman lands into several arbitrary entities, and ruled by making alliances with local clans who found the relationship profitable… Not surprisingly, the result was bitterness and consternation in Arab society…

To Netanyahu’s analysis I would add two comments.  First, though Netanyahu refers to “Arab society”, the explanation applies to other Islamic, non-Arab countries too.  Second, to fully appreciate how the regimes in the Arab states have deprived their citizens of progress in all areas of human development, suffice it to read the Arab Human Development Report, 2002,  released last year by the UN.  An article on this report, dated July 18, 2002,  may be found at CitCUN.  Typical findings include:

*  Per capita income growth has shrunk in the last 20 years to a level just above that of sub-Saharan Africa.  Productivity is declining.

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*  The real income of the average Arab citizen was just 13.9% that of the average citizen of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries.

*  Research and development are weak or nonexistent. Science and technology are dormant.

*  Intellectuals flee a political and social environment that is stultifying – if not repressive.

*  Arab women are almost universally denied advancement. Half of them still cannot read or write.

Written by a an exclusively Arab team, this document should be read in full, tables charts and all, to be believed.

What was the Islamic reaction to this state of affairs?  To “remedy” their sorry state, some among the Arabs turned to pan-Arabism, a la Nasser, others turned to Islamism, as the founders of the Moslem Brothers did in Egypt in 1928.  Since pan-Arabism brought no real change even where the monarchy was toppled (Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Libya), one regime after another turned to anti-Israeli incitement to divert the attention of the people from their enduring misery.  At the same time, some of these regimes began to sponsor anti-Western terrorism, Iran, Lybia and Syria being prime example.  A specific illustrative case was referred to in an article I posted on January 15, 2003, about Cleo Noel (see IsraPundit or Dawson Speaks), which documented the active participation of Libya, Sudan and the PLO in the murder of  US and Belgian diplomats in 1975.  What the Islamic world failed to produce is democracies, and this applies in particular to the Arab states. The “alternative explanation”, then, attributes the Islamic and Arab rage against the West to a 200-year old clash of civilizations during which the Islamic world failed to reform itself in the direction of democratisation. If this analysis of the root cause is as correct as I believe it to be, then the Friedman’s thesis is utterly bankrupt.

Having explained the Islamic/Arab rage, the question arises as to what produces Islamist terrorism? Clearly, not all “enraged Moslems” resort to terrorism.  To my mind, any honest discussion of the issues has to recognize the contribution of the teachings of Islam, “the religion of peace”, lauded by Bush and Powell, in creating Islamist terrorists. In her article,  A Sermon for the West,  Oriana Fallaci observed that this has become more than a “sensitive issue”:

People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.

Well, the present article will not shy away from calling a spade a spade.

In the Internet age, anyone with a computer mouse can verify what the Koran/Hadith actually say. For example, one Hadith gem is incorporated in the Hamas Charter and reads as follows:

The time [of resurrection] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

This incredibly racist, genocidal quotation comes from the site of The Palestine Center  which cannot be suspected of a pro-Israel bias…

Similarly, the Koran proper contains an abundance of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish passages.  Citing from the Koran, as posted on the Web by the University of Virginia, one finds:

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“9.5”:    So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them. “8.12”:    When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

Is Islam, as reflected by these quotations, a contributing factor to the translation of “Islamic rage” into terrorism?  One can argue that of the millions of Moslems who read the same Hadith that Hamas adopted in its Charter, only a few used it as a licence to engage in terrorism.  Indeed, I do not contend that Islamic teachings are a sufficient determinant of terrorism, but they sure are a contributing factor. To corroborate this statement further, examine Bin Laden’s famous Fatwa, as posted by FAS (Federation of American Scientists):

 Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders World Islamic Front Statement

23 February 1998

Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin … Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism,  and says in His Book: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)”; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-‘Abdallah, who said:  I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped,  Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders.

First, for over seven years the  United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighbouring Muslim peoples.

Second,  despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million… despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

Third, if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is  their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets  and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

 All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. … The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it,  in order to liberate the al- Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.”

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Notwithstanding Bush’s lauding of the “religion of peaced”, how is it possible to decouple Bin Laden’s terrorism from the Islamic nature of his Fatwa, moored in Koranic quatations?  Indeed, In a detailed article in the NYT Magazine (October 7, 2001), entitled  This Is a Religious War,  Andrew Sullivan expanded on the religious aspect as follows:

The religious dimension of this conflict is central to its meaning. The words of Osama bin Laden are saturated with religious argument and theological language. Whatever else the Taliban regime is in Afghanistan, it is fanatically religious. Although some Muslim leaders have criticized the terrorists, and even Saudi Arabia’s rulers have distanced themselves from the militants, other Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere have not denounced these acts, have been conspicuously silent or have indeed celebrated them. The terrorists’ strain of Islam is clearly not shared by most Muslims and is deeply unrepresentative of Islam’s glorious, civilized and peaceful past. But it surely represents a part of Islam — a radical, fundamentalist part — that simply cannot be ignored or denied.

In translating the “Moslem rage” into terrorism, I deem the religious teachings detailed above to be one of several major contributing factors.  Another such factor is the wealth and single-minded fanaticism of Wahhabism.  This aspect has been summarized succinctly in a National Review article as follows:

1. Fundamentalism was always a tendency in Islam, as in every other religion, but did not gain permanent influence until the 18th century and the rise of Wahhabism.

2. Wahhabism is not dominant in the soul of Islam today, but exercises immense power in the Islamic world community – including in the U.S., where it influences up to 80 percent of mosques, mainly through financial subsidies.

3. Wahhabism justifies terrorism, whether that of the Saudis in 1924, bin Laden, or Hamas. Hizbullah represents a Wahhabized Shiism. The Taliban are a non-Wahhabi sect that has been bought by Wahhabi petrodollars. If Forte wishes to find some moderate fundamentalists, he should start with the Taliban.

4. Wahhabism rejects any and all coexistence with Judaism and Christianity, and would treat the good Forte more or less as the aliens in Independence Day treated the dancing hippies calling for cosmic love – by killing him. Wahhabis would be much happier with Noam Chomsky, but they would kill him too, eventually.

5. Wahhabism, like every totalitarian ideology that has gained power, faces the terrible problem of its own historical inconsistency. Since it is based on power alone, once in power it must foster compromises for its own protection that end up undermining its legitimacy with its followers.

6. Wahhabism is at this very moment fomented by Saudi Arabia, even while Saudi Arabia benefits from the benign gaze of Secretary of State Colin Powell.

7. Wahhabism, like Nazism and Communism, will be a threat to the peace of the world as long as it is allowed to flourish under Saudi patronage. Its funding must be cut off. This is not a matter of the human rights of Wahhabis, but of the human rights of their victims. Its opponents must be supported. Once its Gulf patronage is ended, it will dwindle to a feeble remnant, as did the once-powerful Yugoslav Communists – but, let it be noted, probably not without shedding more blood, just like said Yugocoms.

The analyses spelled out above are in sharp contrast to the trite, self-serving argument, according to which Islamic terrorism stems from poverty and despair.  On this issue I give the last word to an article in the Jerusalem Post,  ‘Palestine’ touches bottom , January 17:

Despair? This isn’t even ennui. What it is, rather, is some combination of

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religious belief, social faddishness and cultural mystique, the absence of any countervailing cultural institutions, and a political leadership that not only does nothing to resist the trend, but paves the way toward it.

18.4 Final comments

This article has attempted to support the argument that contrary to the analysis presented by Thomas Friedman and his ilk, the “Arab rage” does not stem from the US support for Israel.  As Bin Laden’s Fatwa clearly indicates, Israel is an afterthought, while the US presence is a major consideration.  In fact, Bin Laden’s ranting cites two major US “offenses”, namely their presence in Arabia and war against Iraq.  If Israel were to disappear, these two “grievances’ would still remain.

Furthermore, the major American interventions abroad – Kuwait, Somalia and the Balkans – were all conducted in defence of Moslems, but this did not help the image of the US in the Islamic world. Similarly, Russia and the EU (especially the UK and France) have taken egregious anti-Israeli, pro- Arab positions, but they are still subject to Islamist terrorism.

Add to this the victimization of Christians in Third World countries and the terrorism against Arab leaders – all at the hand of Islamist terrorists, and it becomes quite clear that pinning anti-Western sentiment to support for Israel is a bankrupt, but bluntly self-serving argument for the anti-Israel propaganda machine.

No Palestinian-Arab state will solve the problems of “Islamic rage” and Islamist terrorism; democratisation and containment of state support for terrorism will achieve that.

Disputed territories

 19.  Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”) are disputed territories, not “occupied Arab lands”, and the settlements are not “illegal”.  Even if a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state were to be created, it is incomprehensible that Jews be allowed to live in any European or North American city, but not in Yesha.

One of the most spectacular triumphs of the Arab propaganda machine has been its ability to inject the Arab agenda and terminology into our life, to the point that such expressions as “occupied Arab lands” have become ubiquitous.  In fact, Yesha is no more than one of many  disputed territories  around the globe and it must be seen in this light.

Disputed territories come in several flavours.  Some fall within the sovereignty of one country but a segment of the population demands secession.  That was the situation, for example, in Bangladesh before it seceded from Pakistan; currently, segments of the population in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Basque territory, and Corsica,  to name but a few examples, demand the right to secede.  (Indeed, the EU would do well to handle these issues before it foments its mischief against Israel.)  The saddest examples of territories in this group are  Tibet and Kurdistan, the latter being divided among four countries.  Appendix A of this article provides  a list and links to this type of territorial dispute.

In other instances, a territory is occupied by one country, but another country (or countries) has (have) claims to it.  Examples include the Japanese islands which the USSR occupied after WW II and which Russia still occupies; the  Malvinas (Falkland Islands) which Britain holds but which are claimed by Argentina; and  Gibraltar which is an area disputed by Britain and Spain.  (Again, the Quartet would do well to resolved these issues before they meddle in Israel’s affairs.)  Another example, and one that may return to the headlines at any time, is  Taiwan, claimed by China as an integral part of its

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territory.  This type of territorial dispute is so common and involves so many countries that it is easier to list the countries that are NOT involved.  Appendix B provides a partial list and links concerning this type of dispute.

In a third group of cases, disputed territories have shifted from one country to another, but eventually, all parties have come to accept the status quo (at least for the moment).  Few people today still remember an entity called  East Prussia, German territory that ceased to exist as an entity after WW II, in the course of which its population was “transferred” to contemporary Germany; the territory was partitioned between the USSR and Poland.  Similarly,  Alsace-Lorraine  was German at one time, but is now an integral part of France.

The point is that a dispute over territories is nothing unique or new, even if the Palestinian-Arabs present their case as such.  One conclusion is that the fate of Yesha should be dealt with accordingly: negotiations and unequivocal rejection of terrorism.  As a first step, supporters of Israel should object at all times to the pejorative, inaccurate term, “occupied Arab lands”.  They are neither Arab nor occupied, though I will concede that they are “lands”.  Whenever the media wave the “occupied thing”,
let’s insist that at the very most, Yesha is a disputed territory, one of many around the globe.

Moreover, Israel’s claim to Yesha is extremely strong.  In particular, from 1948 to 1967 no recognized sovereignty covered Yesha, even though the areas were occupied (indeed,  really  occupied) by Jordan and Egypt.

Resolution 242, which doesn’t even name the Palestinian Arabs as an entity, is one of many documents that strengthens Israel’s claim to the territory or, at the very least, to part of it.  This point has been expanded upon by Eugene Rostow [at the time, of Yale Law School] whose 1978 article in the NYT may be found on the Web.  In this article, Rostow states, inter alia:

Resolutions 242 and 338 require the parties to make peace by direct negotiations. Their agreements of peace should rest on two basic principles: Israel need not withdraw from any territories it occupied in 1967 until peace is made; and the new “secure and recognized” boundaries of Israel need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949. … The most important reasons for the territorial provision of Resolution 242, which Sadat has just accepted in principle, is that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are not “Arab” lands, but unallocated parts of the Palestine Mandate, a “sacred trust” like Namibia, to be fulfilled in accordance with its terms. Professor Hoffmann refers to the West Bank as “Jordanian territory.” This is not the case. Jordan’s attempt to annex the territory in 1951 was ineffective because it was not widely recognized by the world community, and especially by the other Arab states.

Eugene Rostow’s pronouncements gain unique gravitas from the fact that he was the US undersecretary of state for political affairs during the period, 1966-1969, when the 1967 War took place and when 242 was passed.  Subsequently, we will quote Rostow’s pronouncement on the specific issue of the Jewish communities in Yesha.

 A second conclusion from the foregoing analysis concerns the Jewish communities that have been built in Yesha, and which the media refer to as “settlements”.

In a 1991 article in the New Republic, Eugene Rostow examined this specific question and stated as follows:

The British Mandate recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in the whole of the Mandated territory. It was provided that local conditions might require Great Britain to “postpone” or “withhold” Jewish settlement in what is now Jordan. This was done in 1992. But the

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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, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, “the Palestine article,” which provides that “nothing in the Charter shall be construed . . . to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments . . .”

Indeed, as John Derbyshire has pointed out, there is no legal basis for viewing the Jewish communities as “illegal”.  In particular, the Oslo accords say nothing about freezing or dismantling the communities, only that the issue is deferred to the next stage.

Even had Yesha been an “occupied territory”, the Jewish communities would still have had a right to exist there, just like Polish communities have a right to exist in the former East Prussia, which is as much an “occupied territory” as Yesha is.

Next, assume that as a consequence of negotiations Yesha reverts to another sovereignty in part or in whole.  What is the justification for the demand that the Jewish communities be dismantled?  Are Jews to be denied the right to live in Yesha (regardless of sovereignty) while they are allowed to live anywhere in North America?  Is this population transfer of tens of thousands of Jews justified on any reasonable grounds?

As one of its mantras, the Arab propaganda cites Article 49 of the Fourth, 1949 Geneva Convention as prohibiting the establishment of Jewish communities in Yesha.  The Convention is available on the web and nothing in it has any bearing on the issue.  Cited from the ICRC site, here is the relevant text:

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

No one was “transferred” to Yesha, and anyone is free to up and leave the Jewish communities;  hence this part of Article 49 is irrelevant.  The other parts of Article 49 are even less relevant.  The entire article is reproduced in Appendix C for the record.

The oft-repeated argument that the Jewish communities are an obstacle to peace, can be refuted easily. For if the communities were the problem, why did the Palestinian-Arabs and their sponsors in the Arab countries refuse peace negotiations between 1948 and 1967?  Furthermore, peace treaties with two Arab countries (Egypt and Jordan) were signed even though the communities did exist.  There were periods when Israel voluntarily agreed to freeze the development of the Yesha communities, but such a freeze has never advanced the cause of peace.  And finally, note that the Khartoum “Three No’s” (September 1, 1967 – no to peace, no to recognition, no to negotiations) were declared before any communities were established in Yesha.

It is also interesting to note that the area actually occupied by the Jewish communities under question, exclusive of Greater Jerusalem, amounts to less than 2% of Yesha’s territory (see David Dolan’s article in WorldNetDaily).  In these areas are locagted some 160 communities with 200,000 Jews who occupy that tiny fraction of the territory (as late as 1977, prior to Begin’s taking over as prime minister, there were less than 10,000 Jews in the disputed territories).  What justification could there possibly be for transferring them from their homes?

Irony of ironies: the real “illegal settlements” are the clumps of unlicensed structures put up by the Palestinians themselves.  In an October 10 article, IMRA reported as follows:

It should be noted that over the course of Oslo, the Palestinians have followed a consistent strategy of illegally erecting buildings on roads – including new bypass roads (infrastructure serving settlements) – that can be used as firing position from which to attack Israeli vehicles as they

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travel to and from settlements.

The impact of this illegal Palestinian construction on security is tangible.  But political considerations – including the active support of many elements of the Israeli Left for illegal Palestinian construction – lead Israel to decline to make a concerted effort to control this security threat.

No jurisdiction in the world should be expected to permit illegal structures to stand, let alone illegal structures that constitute a security risk.

  Further reading:

With the exception of the text concerning the global picture of disputed territories, virtually all the points covered in this article have been made in one form or another in various articles; some examples follow. 1.  An example of a comprehensive essay was posted  by Opinion Journal.  The article is entitled Why the Settlements Should Stay  and authored by Hillel Halkin.

2.  The official Israeli view, with which the present article is entirely compatible, may be found at the site of the Government of Israel.

3.  A noteworthy article was posted recently at the IMRA site, under the heading  Diplomatic and Legal Aspects of the Settlement Issue.

4.  On 17 December 2001, the Jerusalem Post ran an article on the topic by Samuel Kats, who has published numerous articles in support of Israel’s position.  The article is entitled,  Get the Word Out and may be found, among other places, at the site of the Christian Action for Israel.

5.  Recently, an IsraPundit contributor, “Eyes of the World”, posted an article on the legal aspects at IsraPundit. 6.  On January 16, 2003, JCPA posted a comprehensive article on the topic by Dore Gold – antother article that should not be missed.

  Appendix A  – Examples of Disputed Lands with Active Separatist Movements

(1) Basque, Tamils, Kashmiris – see ADL site.

(2) Kurds – There are 22 million Kurds, making them the world’s largest ethnic group without a nation to call their own.  See Columbia site.

(3) Xinjiang – See article, China Links Xinjiang Separatist Movements with Al-Qa’eda.

(4) Western Sahara – Polisario war against Moroccan forces.

  Appendix B  – Some Examples of Territorial Disputes Around the Globe

B1 – Island disputes Tok-do/Takeshima Islands Dispute (S. Korea-Japan) Spratly Islands Dispute (China-Vietnam-Indenosia-Malysia-Phillipinnes-Brunei) Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan Dispute (Malaysia-Indonesia) Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute (Japan-China) Perejil/Leila Islets (Spain/Morocco) Paracel Islands Dispute (China-Vietnam) Kurile Islands/Northern Territories (Russia-Japan)

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Imia/Kardak Rocks Dispute (Greece-Turkey) Hawar Islands Judgement, ICJ (Qatar-Bahrain) Abu Musa and Tumb Islands Dispute (Iran-UAE)

B2 –  List of 23 selected  international conflicts involving territorial disputes, specifying the countries involved and notes on the disputed territories

1.  LIBYA claims about 19,400 sq km in northern NIGER and part of south-eastern ALGERIA, and also has a maritime boundary dispute with TUNISIA. 2.  BELIZE | GUATEMALA 3.  BOLIVIA | CHILE 4.  BRAZIL | URUGUYA 5.  COMOROS | FRANCE | MADAGASCAR 6.  CHINA considers TAIWAN as a renegade province. Chinese Nationalists retreated to the island in 1949 after losing to the Communists in a mainland civil war. CHINA also disputes two sections of the boundary with RUSSIA, a 33-km section of boundary with NORTH KOREA in the Paektu-san (mountain) area, and a maritime boundary with VIETNAM in the Gulf of Tonkin. Paracel Islands is occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. China claims the Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan 7.  NICARAGUA | COLOMBIA | VENEZUELA 8.  CYPRUS | GREECE | TURKEY 9.  INDONESIA | MALAYSIA | SINGAPORE 10. ECUADOR | PERU 11. ESTONIA | RUSSIA | LATVIA | LITHUANIA 12. ESTONIA claims over 2,000 sq km territory in the Narva and Pechory regions of RUSSIA, based on boundary established under the 1920 Peace Treaty of Tartu. Based on the 1920 Treaty of Riga, LATVIA had claimed the Abrene/Pytalovo section of border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944. There also are ongoing talks over a boundary dispute with LITHUANIA (primary concern is oil exploration rights). 13. ETHIOPIA | SOMALIA | ERITREA 14. FALKLAND ISLANDS: Claims on the UK-administered islands (Islas Malvinas) by Argentina led to a military conflict in 1982. The dispute started in 1833. Read more about it at this site. Argentina also claims the UK-administered South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. 15. GABON | EQUATORIAL GUINEA | NIGERIA 16. GIBRALTAR | UNITED KINGDOM | SPAIN GIBRALTAR is a source of friction between SPAIN and the UK… Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco – the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas. 17. INDIA | PAKISTAN KASHMIR: territorial dispute between INDIA and PAKISTAN. KASHMIR is made up of many regions but is called “Jammu & Kashmir” being the two most populous regions in the state, other regions being Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan and Skardu. PAKISTAN grabbed many of these regions in 1947 (some parts were taken by China). The largest portion of the original state of Jammu & Kashmir remains as a state within INDIA. INDIA and PAKISTAN also have water-sharing problems over the Indus River (Wular Barrage), and INDIA has a boundary dispute with China. Read the Story behind the Story of KASHMIR. 18. JAPAN | RUSSIA JAPAN claims the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by RUSSIA. 19. SOUTH KOREA | JAPAN | CHINA | TAIWAN | VIETNAM 20. KYRGYZSTAN | TAJIKISTAN | CHINA 21. MOLDAVIA | UKRAINE | ROMANIA 22. MALAYSIA | PHILIPPINES | TAIWAN | VIETNAM | BRUNEI | CHINA

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23. SUDAN | EGYPT SUDAN and EGYPT dispute an international boundary, creating the “Hala’ib Triangle,” a barren area of 20,580 sq km

B3 – Selected territorial disputes involving various coutntires, as presented by the Bartleby online encyclopaedia

 United Kingdom: Northern Ireland issue with Ireland (historic peace agreement signed 10 April 1998); Gibraltar issue with Spain; Argentina claims Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); Argentina claims South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Mauritius and the Seychelles claim Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory); Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM

 Western Sahara: claimed and administered by Morocco, but sovereignty is unresolved and the UN is attempting to hold a referendum on the issue; the UN-administered cease-fire has been in effect since September 1991

Turkey: complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Greece; dispute with downstream riparian states (Syria and Iraq) over water development plans for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; traditional demands regarding former Armenian lands in Turkey have subsided.

 Taiwan: involved in complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does China.

 Syria: Golan Heights is Israeli occupied; dispute with upstream riparian Turkey over Turkish water development plans for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; Syrian troops in northern, central, and eastern Lebanon since October 1976

 Spain: Gibraltar issue with UK; Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco – the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas

Russia: dispute over at least two small sections of the boundary with China remains to be settled, despite 1997 boundary agreement; islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan; Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996, which has not been signed or ratified by Russia as of February 2001; draft treaty delimiting the boundary with Latvia has not been signed; 1997 border agreement with Lithuania not yet ratified; has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation; Svalbard is the focus of a maritime boundary dispute between Norway and Russia.

 Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein’s royal family claims restitution for 1,600 sq km of land in the Czech Republic confiscated in 1918 France: Madagascar claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and French Guiana; territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); Matthew and Hunter

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 Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu

 China: most of boundary with India in dispute; dispute over at least two small sections of the boundary with Russia remains to be settled, despite 1997 boundary agreement; portions of the boundary with Tajikistan are indefinite; 33-km section of boundary with North Korea in the Paektu- san (mountain) area is indefinite; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary agreement with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin awaits ratification; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan.

  Appendix C   – Complete text of Article 49 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, as posted on the web by its custodian, the ICRC (the document is also available at numerous other sites).

Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.

The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.

The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.

The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.


 20.  An undivided Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel.  Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish state but of secondary importance to the Palestinian Arabs, except as a propaganda tool.

The literature on Jerusalem is vast, as any library or web search will prove.  For example, a Google search under “Jerusalem and history” or “Jerusalem and status” yields hundreds of thousands of links. Jerusalem-related topics also occupy a considerable portion of sources on Israel in general.  This is illustrated, for example, by Mitchell Bard’s  Myths and Facts – A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (also see other material on Jerusalem at the site of the Jewish Virtual Library.  In connection with Israel’s right to sovereignty over Jerusalem, there are, however, a few ways in which the essence of this vast literature may be captured in a relatively short document.  One such way is to refer to the US Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995,  as posted by the Mideast Web.  Section 2 of the Act states as follows:

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Sec. 2. FINDINGS. (1-17)

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.

(2) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.

(3) The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.

(4) The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.

(5) From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.

(6) In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.

(7) Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city.

(8) This year marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected.

(9) In 1990, the congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that the Congress “strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected”. …

(17) In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David s entry.

Paraphrased, these Findings affirm that Israel’s claim on Jerusalem is based on: (i) the Jewish historical connection with the city; (ii) the continuous presence of a Jewish population in Jerusalem, except for short periods when Jews were prohibited from living in the city; (iii) the fact that the city is the heart of the Jewish state; (iv) the lack of  justification for dividing a city united; (v) the exemplary administration of the city as a holy place accessible to adherents of all religions, as opposed to the administration of the city by the Jordanians, which deprived Jews as well as non-Jewish Israelis of any access to their holy places; (vi) the capture of a portion of the city in a defensive war.

Part 19 of this series attempted to establish that at the very least, Israel has as strong a claim to the disputed territories of Yesha as any other party. In the case of Jerusalem, this argument is even stronger.  For example, it may be argued that most areas within Yesha were not inhabited by Jews at the time of the 1948 War and for long periods before that date.  But in the case of Jerusalem, a Jewish plurality was evident in the first half of the 19th century, and a Jewish majority was evident since 1896; by 1948, Jerusalem’s Jews outnumbered Moslems and Christians combined by a ratio of almost 2:1 (a statistical table to that effect is given at the site Myths and Factswhich was cited previously).

One point warrants special emphasis.  The “International Community” has supported unification of divided cities (and, for that matter, of divided countries like Germany before the 1990s).  Divided cities (currently or within living memory) include Nicosia, Beirut, Berlin and Sarajevo, as well as many other cities and towns in the former Yugoslavia.

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For all these places, the literature laments the division and supports unification.  In the case of Jerusalem alone, efforts are made to re-divide a city that is functioning better than it ever did as a divided entity.  When Israel’s enemies contend, “we are not antisemitic, only anti-Israeli”, this evidence is sufficient to unmask the true feelings behind the hypocritical facade.

Here is a brief example of how divided cities are assessed.  A CBCpost under the heading,  Mitrovica – A City Divided , reads:

Jerusalem, Berlin, Beirut, Sarajevo. All of these cities were divided by war and its aftermath.  All became symbols of conflicts that tore them in two. It is a daunting list and now there is another city to add to it — Mitrovica.

Well, from the cities listed, Berlin and Jerusalem have been united, why must Jerusalem alone be singled out to be re-divided?

But what, one may ask, about the Moslem claim to Jerusalem?

To answer this question suffice it to refer to the pronouncements of Abdul Hadi Palazzi. (Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi holds a Ph.D in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He served as a lecturer in the Department of the History of Religion at the University of Velletri in Rome, Italy and he is also an Imam who serves as secretary general of the Italian Muslim Association in Rome.)  In an essay excerpted from Palazzi’s address to the Third International Seminar on The Sources of Contemporary Law,  Jerusalem, July, 1996 Palazzi stated:

As opposed to what “Islamic” fundamentalists continuously claim, the Book of Islam — as we have just now seen — recognizes Jerusalem as the Jewish direction of prayer. Some Moslem exegetes also quote the Book of Daniel as proof of this (Daniel 6:10).

After exhibiting the most relevant Koranic passages in this connection, one easily concludes that, as no one wishes to deny Moslems complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view there is no sound theological reason to deny the Jews the same right over Jerusalem.

(A longer quotation is given in the Appendix; I urge readers to review the complete article at the link given above.)

Comparing the claims of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, Daniel Pipes wrote in an article dated September 2001:

What about Muslims? Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray, is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammadìs life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import by Muslims was initiated there.

One comparison makes this point most clearly: Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times in all. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. In contrast, the columnist Moshe Kohn notes, Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qurìan “as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta”-which is to say, not once.

Other authors have noted that the holiness of Jerusalem to Moslems is confined to the Dome of the Rock (a point implied in the foregoing citation from Palazi’s essay), while for the Jewish people, the entire city of Jerusalem is holy.

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Just as Arafat invented the notions of “Palestine”, “Arab lands” and “Palestinian People”, so he has attempted to invent new Islamic claims to Jerusalem, accompanied by an attempt to dismiss the central role of Jerusalem to the Israel.  These issues are discussed in detail in the Daniel Pipes’ article cited above.

Finally, as the US Congress did, one should take into consideration the administration under Moslem rule (1948-1967), as compared with the Israeli administration.  The process of ethnic cleansing conducted by the Jordanians when they captured East Jerusalem is described at the site United Jerusalemas follows:

On May 28, the Arab Legion completed the capture of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, including the Western Wall (the major remnant of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans over 2000 years ago, and the holiest sites in the Jewish religion.) The Legion’s commander, Abdallah el-Tal, recalled that “The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion….Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become a graveyard” (Abdallah el-Tal, Disaster of Palestine, Cairo 1959). … After the Arab Legion captured the Jewish Quarter, the destruction, desecration, and systematic looting of Jewish sites continued. 57 ancient synagogues, libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an ‘open city’ and stop this destruction, but there was no response. … In addition, thousands of tombstones from the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used as paving stones for roads and as construction material in Jordanian army camps. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station, and an asphalt road was built to cut through it. The Intercontinental Hotel was built at the top of the cemetery…These acts of deliberate desecration and destruction, designed to obliterate the long history of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, were also blatant violations of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, signed on 3 April 1949. Article VIII of this agreement stipulated the establishment of a Special Committee, “composed of two representatives of each Party…for the purpose of formulating agreed plans” including “free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives”…This did not take place, and these clauses of the Armistice Agreement were never honored… The United Nations was of no assistance in this issue, and ignored the discrimination and violations of the Armistice Agreement. In presentations before UN bodies, Abba Eban pointed out that although the Christian and Moslem Holy Places were freely accessible to Moslem and Christian worshippers, “the Wailing Wall, the most hallowed sanctuary of Judaism and the most ancient shrine in the entire city is barred to all access by worshippers despite solemn agreements and undertakings.”

Israeli administration of East Jerusalem stands as a sharp contrast.  Israel did not re-establish control of the single holiest Jewish site.  To the contrary, in an act of generosity and tolerance, Israel handed over control of the site to the Wakf, the Moslem Religious Trust.  This fact is recorded, inter alia, on p. 307 of a recent book,

Oren, Michael B.  Six days of War. New York: Oxford U Press, 2002:

Palestinian community and religious leaders were, for the most part, retained in their prewar positions, including the Muslim wakf atop the Temple Mount.

Israel has more than earned the right to sovereignty over Jerusalem.

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Appendix – Excerpt from an essay by the Islamic cleric Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, concerning Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem

“The most common argument against Islamic acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is that, since al-Quds is a holy place for Moslems, they cannot accept its being ruled by non-Moslems, because such acceptance would be a betrayal of Islam.

Before expressing our point of view about this question, we must reflect upon the reason that Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque hold such a sacred position in Islam. As everyone knows, the definition of Jerusalem as an Islamic holy place depends on al-Mi’raj, the ascension of the prophet Muhammad to heaven, which began from the Holy Rock.

While remembering this, we must admit that there is no real link between al-Mi’raj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem, since when al-Mi’raj took place the city was not under Islamic, but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, the Koran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays the same role for Jews that Mecca has for Moslems.

We read:

…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qibla), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer… (Koran, Sura 2:145, “The Cow”)

All Koranic commentators explain that “thy qibla” is obviously the Kaba of Mecca, while “their qibla” refers to the Temple Area in Jerusalem…

As opposed to what “Islamic” fundamentalists continuously claim, the Book of Islam — as we have just now seen — recognizes Jerusalem as the Jewish direction of prayer. Some Moslem exegetes also quote the Book of Daniel as proof of this (Daniel 6:10).

After exhibiting the most relevant Koranic passages in this connection, one easily concludes that, as no one wishes to deny Moslems complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view there is no sound theological reason to deny the Jews the same right over Jerusalem.

If we consider ourselves as religious men, we must necessarily include justice among our qualities. As regards the argument, we have to admit that the same idea of justice requires that we treat Jews, Christians and Moslems equally. No community can demand for itself privileges that it is not ready to recognize to others.

We know that Roman Catholics consider Rome their own capital, and the fact that city has the largest mosque in Europe and an ancient Jewish community does not alter its role as the center of Catholicism.

Even more can be said of Mecca: It is the main religious center for Moslems the world over and is completely under Islamic administration.

Respecting this principle of fair-mindedness, we necessarily conclude that the Israelis as a nation and the Jews as a religion must have their own political and ethnic capital, under their sole administration, even though it contains certain places regarded as sacred by the other two Abrahamic faiths.

To my mind, this is the only realistic ground for any discussion of the future of the Holy City. The other parties must understand that Jews will never agree to have less rights than the other religions, and that Israelis will never agree to see David’s City divided into two parts.

If everyone was happy to see the Berlin Wall destroyed, it was because the very idea of forced

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separation within a single city is something offensive to human sensitivity. We cannot even think of creating another Berlin in the heart of the Middle East.”

Palazzi’s message has been the topic of several articles, noteworthy among which are the articles by Robert Fulford(National Post of Canada, May 4, 2002) and John Dougherty(WorldNetDaily, April 17, 2001).


 21. The problem of the Palestinian-Arab refugees was created by the Arabs themselves.  The Arabs have also prevented the refugee problem from being solved, and a second Palestinian- Arab state will not alter the situation.  A solution based on the right of return is patently impossible.  

 Table of contents 21.1 Introduction 21.2 Who is a refugee? 21.3 Refugees in the historical, global context 21.4 Origins of the Palestinian-Arab refugee problem 21.5 How many Palestinian-Arab refugees, really? 21.6 UNRWA: Why haven’t the Palestinian-Arab refugees been settled? 21.7 Additional legal and related aspects 21.8 References

21.1 – Introduction

The problem of the Palestinian-Arab refugees is associated with the issue of a second Palestinian Arab state in two ways.  First, according to the Oslo Accords, it is among the topics to be settled in the final peace agreement with the Palestinian Arabs (“final status”).  Second, Arafat has hitherto underscored his position that Israel, and not the impending Palestinian Arab state, will have to absorb the refugees. Thus, according to Arafat himself, creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state will not solve the refugee problem – another reason to object to the creation of such a state. (To corroborate this statement, the reader is referred to an IMRA  article, which quotes Arafat.  In the same vein, when Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian “Minister” in charge of Jerusalem, suggested that the “right of return” was unsustainable, he met with violent opposition, as reported by Reuters on November 15, 2002, under the hea ding,  Palestinians Slam Official for Refugee Compromise .  The relevant news story is available at the website of ACJ).

The material covered in the present article is culled from a large number of sources. Paramount among them are (i) the comprehensive work by Joan Peters’  From Time Immemorial (see complete reference in Section 21.8);  (ii) the ten-part essay (plus introduction) posted recently at the website of the Jerusalem Post. In the course of this piece, citations from these sources will be referred to, respectively, as “Peters, p. x” and “JPost, Pt. y”.

21.2 – Who is a refugee?

According to the US Committee for Refugees,

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Refugee, narrowly defined in international law, is a person with a well- founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, who is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or unwilling to return. The term is often popularly understood in far broader terms, however, encompassing persons fleeing war, civil strife, famine, and environmental disasters.

From the very definition, one may well doubt that the Palestinian Arabs qualify as refugees at all. They definitely do not fit the “narrowly defined in international law” part – had the Palestinian Arabs indeed feared persecution, why insist on returning “home” to more persecution?  And the Palestinian Arabs don’t fit the “popularly understood” interpretation either: as underscored subsequently (Section 21.4), they didn’t so much “flee” as follow their leaders example and advice.  And finally, as Section 21.5 shows, most refugees did not flee their homes “from time immemorial”, but rather left areas into which they migrated after the Jews began to inhabit and develop the land, i.e., a short time before the Palestinian-Arab “refugees” left.

21.3 – Refugees in the historical, global context

In the course of discussing the issues of  the disputed territories and  Jerusalem, (Parts 19 and 20 of this series, respectively), I noted that analogous problems exist in many parts of the world; territorial disputes and competing claims over certain cities are not unique to the Israel-Arab conflict, except in that the Arabs have convinced the world that the Palestinian-Arabs deserve preferential treatment. The same statement applies to the refugee problem.

According to UNHCR, there were 19,783,100 “persons of concern who fell under the mandate of UNHCR” as of January 1, 2002.  This number excludes

“an estimated 3.9 million Palestinians who are covered by a separate mandate of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)… However, Palestinians outside the UNWRA area of operations such as those in Iraq or Libya, are considered to be of concern to UNHCR. At year-end their number was 349,100.”

Thus, as of January 1, 2002, if all the Palestinian-Arab refugees are included in the calculation, there were 24 million “persons of concern” to UNHCR and UNRWA combined, of which 4.2 million (17.5%) were Palestinian Arabs.  Keep this percentage in mind: 17.5%, or a little over one in six.  Has anyone heard about the other five out of six?  It seems that all but the Palestinian-Arabs are invisible, especially to the “humanitarians” who keep bashing Israel with every breath they take.

Lest one think that the millions of Palestinian-Arab refugees are confined to camps and squalor, let us underscore from the outset that UNRWA figures for June 2000 indicated that only 1.2 million out of 3.7 million (about 32%) lived in camps.  In Jordan, the proportion in camps is only 18%.  Even the camps are not what the term might connote, many camps having permanent dwellings rather temporary forms of shelter as term “camp” might evoke.

Let us now look at the refugees who are not Palestinian Arabs.  About one group of the “five out of six” world refugees, the non-Moslems of Sudan, we learn from the site of the US Committee for Refugees as follows:

Sudan is producing more uprooted people than any other country in the world.  An estimate 4 million Sudanese are internally displaced within their country. An additional 400,000 Sudanese have fled as refugees to neighboring countries.

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Famine killed tens of thousands of Sudanese during 1998. Violence and a government blockage of international aid programs triggered a famine two years ago. Pockets of serious malnutrition persist and could worsen. The Sudanese government regularly blocks humanitarian relief and bombs civilian and humanitarian centers.  Sudanese officials continue to bar international aid programs from large areas of southern Sudan. Sudanese military planes bombed humanitarian relief and civilian centers three times in September, 20 times in August, 33 times in July, 63 times so far this year, at least 65 times in 1990, 40 times in 1998, and at least 22 times in 1997. Many additional bombings have gone unreported.

Most of southern Sudan’s 5 million people have absolutely no access to schools or reliable health care. Years of warfare, massive population displacement, and government neglect have devastated southern Sudan. It is one of the most impoverished places on earth.

But unlike the Palestinian Arabs, hardly anyone has heard of the plight of the non-Moslems in Sudan, nor has Sudan ever been condemned by “the international community” the way Israel is constantly condemned.

In historical perspective, however, even southern Sudan is not exceptional.

An article posted at the Eretz Yisroel site gives the global view:

[F]rom 1933 to 1945, a total of 79,200,000 souls were displaced; since the Second World War at least 100,000,000 additional persons have become refugees.

And according to Jpost, Pt. 1, “approximately 135 million refugees [were] created over the last century”.

Consider specific examples, such as the Germans of the Sudetenland.   As reported in Jpost, Pt. 2:

Liberated by the Allies in 1945, the Czechs regained the Sudetenland, expelling 2.5 million of its ethnic Germans to Germany as authorized at the Potsdam Conference…

A final agreement between the Germans and the Czechs was signed in December 1946, recognizing that the German Sudets were expelled on the understanding that they were pro-Nazi and, as such, enemies of the Czechs. Both sides agreed that the German Sudets would receive neither compensation nor apology.  During the ensuing Cold War, the descendants of these Germans demanded to return to their “ancestral homeland” – but in vain. … A “cooperation and good neighborhood” agreement was signed by the Republic of Poland and the Federal Government of Germany,  denying the right of return to the millions of German refugees who had fled with the retreating Nazi army. It was also agreed that no restitution would be paid for abandoned properties.

The latter paragraph refers to the German population that was driven out of the former East Prussia, a territory that few people today know existed.  Indeed, after World War II, Germany had to cope with 12 million German refugees, as the following citation from the web-based Migration News documents:

The three million Sudeten Germans, who wield considerable influence within the Christian Social Union… are the most powerful group of expellees (Vertriebene), the 12 million Germans expelled from the eastern lands at the end of the war who became strong supporters of the ruling Christian Democratic/Christian Socialist coalition.

And then there is that Scandinavian country, Hitler’s ally, Finland, which is trying desperately to have us forget her World War II history, even as she joins in a systematic condemnation of Israel.  The foregoing Jerusalem Post article reminds us:

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[A]t the Paris Conference in 1947, Finland was forced to relinquish Karelia (which comprised one-eighth of its total area) and to pay the Russians a considerable war indemnity.

Moreover, 400,000 refugees were reabsorbed into Finland, without any international financial aid.

The Germans, Fins and others had to deal with their refugee problem as a consequence of backing a war of aggression.  The problem of the Palestinian-Arab refugees is a result of the Arabs engaging in wars of aggression against Israel in 1948 and 1967 – why do their refugees merit  preferential treatment?

Note: The international context of the Palestinian-Arab refugees is covered in many articles and books.  One recent example is an article posted in the National Post, January 20, 2003, which may be found on the website of Likud-Holland. The article states, inter alia:

Sadly, the 20th century was an era of involuntary migration. Ottoman Turkey ejected two million Armenians during the First World War. Czech authorities expelled three million ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland after the Second World War. When the British partitioned India and Pakistan in 1948, a total of 10 million moved between the two countries, with fearful Hindus fleeing for their lives one way, Muslims the other.

And yet none of these refugee movements gave rise to the festering conflict caused by a smaller refugee migration — the flight of about 800,000 Palestinian Arabs from Israel. Why?

Indeed, why?

21.4 – Origins of the Palestinian-Arab refugee problem

Subsequent to the 1948 War, some 160,000 non-Jews remained in Israel, including Druses, Circassians and, of course, Moslem and Christian Arabs.  For example, the inhabitants of the Moslem- Arab village, Abu Gosh (on the outskirts of Jerusalem) remained in their homes and were unharmed during the war in any way.  The same can be said about those Arabs who lived in Haifa, Jaffa and Acre, and who chose to remain – they (or their descendants) still live in these cities.  All of which stands as a stark rebuttal to the Arab accusations that Israel engaged in ethnic cleansing and was instrumental in driving out the Palestinian Arabs.

There also exists, in fact, direct evidence to rebut the ethnic-cleansing accusation.  This evidence comes under two headings:

(i) evidence showing that Israel indeed urged the Palestinian Arabs to remain in their homes.  For example, an official British document, written by a British Police Superintendent and dated 26 April 1948, states:

An appeal has been made to the Arabs by the Jews to reopen their shops and businesses in order to relieve the difficulties of feeding the Arab population.  Evacuation was still going on yesterday and several trips were made by ‘Z’ craft to Acre.  Roads too, were crowded with people leaving Haifa with all their belongings.  At a meeting yesterday afternoon Arab leaders reiterated their determination to evacuate the entire Arab population and they have been given the loan of ten 3-ton military trucks as from this morning to assist the evacuation.

A photograph of the original document is available at the site Eretz Yisroel.  It is also reproduced in

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Peters, Appendix II.

This particular evidence is also corroborated by the following citation from Jpost, Pt. 5: #C “[The Arabs of Haifa] fled in spite of the fact that the Jewish authorities guaranteed their safety and rights as citizens of Israel.” – Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, New York Herald Tribune, June 30, 1949

(ii) evidence indicating that Arab leaders urged the Palestinian Arabs to leave so as to clear the field for the invading Arab armies, who would promptly subdue the Jewish population.   For example, Jpost, Pt. 5, quotes the following:

“The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by order of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city…. By withdrawing Arab workers, their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.” – Time Magazine, May 3, 1948, page 25

“Israelis argue that the Arab states encouraged the Palestinians to flee. And, in fact, Arabs still living in Israel recall being urged to evacuate Haifa by Arab military commanders who wanted to bomb the city.” – Newsweek, January 20, 1963

“As early as the first months of 1948, the Arab League issued orders exhorting the people to seek a temporary refuge in neighboring countries, later to return to their abodes … and obtain their share of abandoned Jewish property.” – Bulletin of The Research Group for European Migration Problems, 1957

“The Arab states succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity. They did not recognize them as a unified people until the states of the world did so, and this is regrettable.” – Abu Mazen from the official journal of the PLO, Falastin el-Thawra (What We Have Learned and What We Should Do), Beirut, March 1976

A long series of similar, relevant quotation is included in an article on refugees at the Eretz Yisroel site; some examples:

ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee (AHC), told the UN Security Council: “The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce … They preferred to abandon their homes, belongings and everything they possessed.”

ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary of the AHC, as saying: “The fact that there are those refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously…”

ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: “For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs … they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy.”

ANOTHER refugee told the Jordanian daily a-Difaa on September 6, 1954: “The Arab governments told us, ‘Get out so that we can get in.’ So we got out, but they did not get in.” … ON OCTOBER 2, 1948, the London Economist reported, in an eyewitness account of the flight of Haifa’s Arabs: “There is little doubt that the most potent of the factors [in the flight] were the announcements made

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over the air by the Arab Higher Executive urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit … And it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

Arab propaganda about forced eviction and atrocities is thus rebutted.  But the evidence does not silence these arguments.  To support their position, the Arabs point specifically to two pieces of evidence: the Ramleh-Lod region and Deir Yassin.  With regard to the first of these, there is indeed evidence that in the Ramlah-Lod region, the Arab population was “actively encouraged” to leave; this is a consequence of the fact that the area including Israel’s only international airport and the connecting roads between the coastal plain and Jerusalem, which the Arabs put under siege.  The Arabs in this area, as well as Arab supporters from outside of the area, engaged in ferocious attacks on convoys travelling to Jerusalem.  Removing the Arab population was a military necessaty.

As to Deir Yassin, this village too was located on the route to Jerusalem and served the Arabs in their siege of Jerusalem.   Because “the devil is in the details”, the Deir Yassin topic warrants a separate article.  Suffice it to note here that the number of Arab casualties in Deir Yassin, April 6, 1948, was 107; four days after the Deir Yassin battle, the Arabs ambushed a convoy of medical staff and patients en route to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus and (in plain view of the British army) murdered 77 of the persons travelling in the convoy, wounding 23 others (Jpost, Pt. 5).   A detailed rebuttal of the Arab version of the Deir Yassin battle is given at the ETZEL website and need not be repeated here.  In any case, Deir Yassin too is an isolated case; the Arabs themselves do not keep alluding to other “Deir Yassin massacres”.

In the end, the reasons why the Arabs fled the areas of Palestine which fall withing Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries boil down to these simple essentials:

(i)   given an opportunity, civilian populations tend to escape war zones;

(ii)  in many cases, the local Arab elites were first to leave, setting an example for the rest of the population;

(iii) the Arab leadership inside and outside of Palestine encouraged the Arabs to leave, citing military considerations and the impending victory over the Jews;

(iv)  for propaganda reasons, the Arab leadership spread rumours about Jews committing atrocities – this backfired and caused the Arab population to leave in panic, especially in those areas where the Arab population engaged in hostilities against the Jews.

The Palestinian Arabs seem to believe that one is fully entitled to murder his parents and then ask for mercy because one is now an orphan.

21.5 – How many Palestinian-Arab refugees, really?

It is customary to talk in terms of “the 650,000 Palestinian Arabs who left Israel before and during the War of Independence in 1948″, as does the Jpost, Introduction.  From this kernel, we now have the figure of 4.2 million Palestinian-Arab refugees.  Do these numbers bear any relationship to reality?

In the first place, the estimates of the initial core of Palestinian-Arab refugees vary between 430,000 and 650,000, with one particularly reliable study showing 539,000 (Peters, p. 16).  The fact that the higher figure, generated by the Arab League, is quoted as gospel (even by the Jerusalem Post), serves as another indication of the phenomenal success of the Arab propaganda machine.

Second, Peters, Chapter 8, reports on a detailed study which indicated quite conclusively that among

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the Palestinian-Arab refugees there were at the very least 173,000 who either migrated to the areas of Palestine which became Israel, or were descendants of such people.  Leaving these areas for other places in western Palestine or in the Arab world hardly qualifies these people to become refugees – rather, they are in-migrants who returned to the region of origin or continued to migrate elsewhere.

If this analysis is correct, then the number of genuine Palestinian-Arab refugees in 1948 was  at the very most 350,000.  Peters’ calculations have come under attack by many, but in fact, the calculation is backed by the imprimatur of the world-renowned demographer, Philip M Hauser (Peters, Appendix V).  Prof. Hauser’s credentials may be found at the site of the Population Association of America, PAA.

In addition to the 1948 refugees, another 250,000 Palestinian-Arab refugees are said to have joined their brethren after the 1967 War; in 1996, this group and its descendants was estimated by UNRWA as numbering 350,000.  But as pointed out by  ADL,

Israeli officials have long questioned these UNRWA figures. They claim that a number of the 350,000 UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugees presently living in Jordan actually became displaced as a result of the 1967 Six Day War or after their expulsion from the Persian Gulf following Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. There are also concerns that the UNRWA estimates are inflated due to the inclusion of Arab residents of Jerusalem. Moreover, some Israeli scholars have questioned the extent to which Palestinians living outside of refugee camps should be included in UNRWA’s refugee category, because such persons may no longer pose an immediate problem or need for rehabilitation.

Another element complicating the estimate of the number of refugees has to do with definitions and legal status.  Section 21.2 raised the question as to whether any of Palestinian-Arabs who fled in 1948 really qualifies as a “refugee”.  But even if the first generation does qualify, the question of descendants is still open.  JPost, Pt. 6 quotes Ruth Lapidoth (a Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and a former fellow at the US Institute of Peace in 1990-1991):

The 1951-1967 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees makes no mention of descendants – so the status is not inherited. Moreover, the convention ceases to apply to a person who, inter alia, has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality.

In sum, estimating the magnitude of the problem is a complex issue, but there is little doubt that the Arab estimates are inflated.  We will discuss this point further in the next Section 21.6.

21.6 UNRWA: Why haven’t the Palestinian-Arab refugees been settled?

As seen above, estimating the number of the initial refugees is problematic in and of itself, but determining the current number is even more complicated.  A host of reasons stems from one source: UNRWA.  UNRWA’s generosity makes it so unprofitable to record deaths, that the statistical data are completely unreliable and flawed.  The flip side is that registering as a refugee is so profitable that the incentive to do so is irresistible, whether one is a refugee or not;  also profitable is acquiring false papers of refugee status.  Similarly, there is a strong incentive to remain on the list, regardless of how wealthy and established one becomes.  In a word, UNRWA encourages fraud, sloth and exploitation. Jpost, Pt. 4, comments in this context that

In 1961, UNRWA director, Dr. John H. Davis, admitted that his statisticial report of the number of refugees was inaccurate, due to the many unreported deaths and the growing number of forged cards granting access

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to UNRWA benefits and services. UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen has recently acknowledged that deaths in the camps may not be reported as assiduously as births. In 1960, US Congressmen visiting Jordan cited official estimates of forged UNRWA cards at over 150,000. Furthermore, the more refugees, the more justification there is for the work of the 22,000 Palestinian UNRWA employees.

The significance of this point stems from the fact that when an organization deals with an undefined population of undetermined magnitude, it spawns an industry of vested interests that will not allow it to be evaluated or become accountable.  This is particularly so when vested interests mingle with political considerations and anti-Israel hostility.

Most instructive in the context of the refugee problem is a comment made by Col. Richard Meinertzhagen on p. 247 of his book,

Meinertzhagen, Col. Richard.  Middle East Diary, 1917-1956.  London: Crescent Press, 1959.

(Col. Meinertzhagen was a British intelligence officer of Danish origin who turned into a lifetime friend of Zionism and the Jewish people after meeting such Jewish leaders as Aaron Aaronsohn and Chaim Weizmann.  For more on this remarkable person, see CitCun  article dated 17 June 2002).  In 1951, Meinertzhagen was travelling in Kuwait and dined with Arab acquaintances, including a Lebanese contractor with whom he conversed.  Meinertzhagen writes:

I remarked ‘Why do not you Arabs, with all your resources from oil do something for those wretched refugees from Palestine.’ ‘Good God’ he said ‘do you really think we are going to destroy the finest propaganda we possess; it’s a gold mine .’ I suggested that such a view is both unkind and immoral. ‘Bah!’ he said. ‘They are just human rubbish but a political gold mine.’ In slightly different language I received identical views from other Arabs.

This short interchange explains the following summary given by  Jpost, Introduction: “For the past half- century, there has been a deliberate refusal to resettle Palestinian refugees within the Arab world.” Unfortunately, settling the Palestinian-Arab refugees in Arab countries is the only solution to this 55- year old problem.  One need not expend too much energy to make the point that the return of the refugees to Israel would destroy the country as the sole haven for the Jewish people.   Anyone who believes that the Jewish people are entitled to a country of their own in their ancestral land has to reject “the right of return” out of hand.  The discussion with those who do not accept the basic premise upon which Israel is founded has to start on an entirely different plain.

Many aspects of UNRWA warrant a separate article.  In particular, these aspects include UNRWA’s mismanagement of funds and supplies; UNRWA’s relentless political war against Israel; and UNRWA’s consistent support of and/or complicity in the war of terror waged by the Palestinian-Arabs against Israel.  For an example of such articles, see  Camps of terror posted by AIPAC. An article posted in CitCUN on July 10, 2002, may also be of interest.

21.7 – Additional legal and related aspects

Arab propaganda uses UN Resolutions 194 (General Assembly, 1948), 242 and 338 (Security Council, 1967 and 1973) as a hook on which to hang the fictional “right of return”.  Considering that the Arab-Israel conflict has its origin in the refusal of the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs to accept the partition resolution of 29 November 1949, discussing the subsequent UN resolutions on the Middle East is a waste of time.  In addition, the recent, ongoing UN debate on Iraq has exposed this organization for the n-th time as an irrelevant cesspool, casting doubt on the utility of discussing any of its resolutions.  With this in mind, I will nonetheless note the following:

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1.  The aforementioned UN resolution, which may be found at General Assembly 194,  Security Council 242 and Security Council 338 do not assert any “right of return”; the “right of return” is a fiction and myth produced by the Arab propaganda.

2.  The extent to which UN resolutions are binding is another point to consider.  Apart from the fact that the Arab countries have ignored resolutions they don’t approve of (such as the UN resolution concerning Syria’s occupation of Lebanon and the current Iraq conundrum), only Security Council resolutions under Chapter VII are binding, under penalty of sanctions and the use of military force. Security Council resolutions under Chapter VI (such as 242 and 338) as well as resolutions of the UN General Assembly (such as 194) have none of these attributes.  For an elaboration on these points, see articles posted by JCRC, Israel’s embassy in the UK, and Canada-Israel Committee.

3.  International law recognizes certain “rights” for individual refugees, not for groups, and especially there is no recognition of group rights that are associated with “self-definition”.  A refugee who acquires a new nationality, as is the case for many Palestinian-Arab refugees in Jordan, are no longer covered by certain conventions anyway.

4.  The nebulous “right of return” has never been fully explained by its proponents.  Surely, nobody can expect refugees to return to villages and neighbourhoods that are occupied by others or no longer exist.  If the idea is to return to a place “close by”, then how close is close?  Jordan, which is a de facto Palestinian state and located in eastern Palestine, is surely “close” enough!

5.  All these considerations are compounded by the legal issues of definition, with which we have dealt in Section 21.2, 21.5 and 21.6.

6.  Above all else, international law cannot be regarded as a suicide pact; therefore, the “right of return”, which will most assuredly destroy Israel, can never be implemented even had it had any legal basis, which it doesn’t anyway.

7.  When the Arabs are not busy with the “right of return”, they wave the compensation issue.  Suffice it to note (as we have in Section 21.3) that the Germans who were ejected from East Prussia and the Sudetenland received zero compensation, setting an appropriate and just precedent.  In the case of Israel, this is all the more appropriate and just, since Israel had to cope with approximately 600,000 out of the 820,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands (some sources cite 650,000 out of 900,000).  In many cases (as in Iraq), the Jews escaped with little more than their skin, their property having been confiscated by the state. For more on the legal issues, see ADL site.

8.  Proposing a solution to the refugee problem is beyond the scope of this article.  Suffice it to quote a short passage from an article printed in the National Post, January 20, 2003, and available from the site of Likud-Holland:

Throughout history, refugees have been settled by their allies and kinfolk in neighbouring lands. This was true for the Germans who fled what was then Czechoslovakia, the Hindus who fled to India and the Muslims who fled to Pakistan. Others driven from their places of birth during the 20th century — the Vietnamese boat people, the Russian czarists, the Armenians — relocated to strange lands that encouraged them to build new lives and assimilate…

At this point, it is worth talking about another refugee population that emerged around the same time as the Palestinians: the Jews who were forced out of Arab nations around the time of Israel’s birth.

In 1948, the year Israel declared its independence, about 900,000 of these Mizrahim lived throughout the Arab world. Today, fewer than 20,000 remain. Of those who left, two-thirds made their way to Israel, the rest to North America.

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21.8 – References

1.  A principal book on the refugee problem, one that also includes original research, is the following work by Joan Peters:

Peters, Joan.  From Time Immemorial. New York: Harpers and Row, 1984.

2.  A master web source which includes many articles on the refugee problem is:

History of Israel. The page cited includes a list of relevant articles as well as a search button.

3.  The recent mega opus posted by the Jerusalem Post in ten parts plus an introduction may be found at Jpost. 4.  Another useful source is the 6-part series of articles posted by ADL as part of the overall essay, “Towards Final Status”.

5.  The Jewish Virtual Library has an entire section of the refugee problem, plus an additional section about the treatment of Jews in Arab lands.

6.  The site of the Christian Action for Israel contains some 400 articles related to the refugee issue; the articles may be located by entering “refugee” in the site’s search engine.  In particular, the page, “Backgrounder” is chocked full of useful data on the topic.

7.  The CJC site includes a recommended collection of articles under the heading,  Jews from Arab Lands.

8.  Finally, this list of references, regardless of how brief, cannot ignore the pithy, straightforward articles written by Joseph Frarah. See, in particular, articles posted on WorldNetDaily on January 13, 2003, April 23, 2002, August 23, 2001, and January 10, 2001.

Rewarding terrorism

 22. Creating a second Palestinian Arab state will reward terrorism, and in this respect, is a blow to all Western democracies.  The very talk about a second Palestinian Arab state encourages terrorism, giving terrorists hope that if they persist, they will be vindicated ultimately.  The proposed state reeks of appeasement, reminiscent of Munich, 1938.

Human Behaviour is controlled, governed and determined by rewards and penalties.  From this observation follows the conclusion that to reward terrorism is to encourage terrorism.

Parts 1 to 9 of this series have argued that the Palestinian-Arabs have no right or justification to demand a sovereign state in western Palestine; additionally, Parts 10 to 18 contended that Middle East realities too should lead one to oppose such a state.  In fact, supporting the creation of a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state is equivalent to having supported the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938-1939:  Peace in Our Time.  Indeed, in the very vein of Peace in Our Time, some argue or imply that the “Arab street” will become quiescent if only the second Palestinian-Arab state were to become a reality.

Part 10 of this series has documented that the Palestinian Arabs, by their own admission, consider a sovereign territory in western Palestine as a stepping stone towards the utter destruction of Israel.  Far

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from spreading tranquillity, such a state would be a source of perpetual war, based on Arab irredentism.  Since one picture is worth a thousand words, suffice it to observe the maps used by the PA as representing their future state:  it comprises the entire area of western Palestine, including Israel.  Relevant examples include the emblems of the PA “Ministry Of Industry” and “Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs”.  Arafat’s own organization, Fatah, also displays in its emblem the entire territory of western Palestine.  A state in the entire area of western Palestine is similarly used by the PA “educational system” to transmit a clear message to its students via school books;  CMIP (The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace),  a monitoring body, has displayed examples on the Web.

The plan to destroy Israel is not confined to the PA leadership, it is indeed the view of the “Palestinian- Arab street”.  This was documented, for example, in a Daniel Pipes article, posted on the web on February 18, 2003 by Global Exchange, under the title,  What to do about Palestinian aspirations:

In a spring 2002 poll of residents in the West Bank and Gaza conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, a Palestinian organization, 43 percent of respondents called for a Palestinian state only in the West Bank and Gaza and 51 percent insisted on the state in “all of historic Palestine,” a code-word for the destruction of Israel.

Thus, Palestinian rejectionism flourishes. But the outside world averts its collective eyes from this fact.

Appeasement, rewarding aggression and caving in to terrorism have cost the world dearly.  “The mother of all appeasements”, Munich 1938, where Britain and France delivered the democratic republic of Czechoslovakia into Hitler’s hands, is only one of a series of such acts of Western cowardice.  Hitler did not start out with demanding the Sudetenland;  rather, in the face of Western inaction and appeasement, he proceeded from annexing the Saarland and enacting conscription (prohibited by the Versailles peace treaty) in March 1935, to marching into the Rhineland in March 1936, to annexing Austria in March 1938, to destroying Czechoslovakia in March 1939.  In the same vein, appeasing, rewarding and caving in to threats delivered  Abyssinia (Ethiopia) into Mussolini’s hands in 1935-1936, and Albania in April 1939;  China was delivered into Japan’s hands piecemeal in 1931-1939.  In the end, the Western democracies had to confront the three Axis powers in spite of sacrificing four n ations:  monsters are never sated.

As of 1968, when Palestinian terrorists hijacked the first plane, the western democracies have been faced with a wave of terrorist acts, eventually leading to 9-11.  In practically every case, the western democracies failed to act forcefully, and in most cases they preferred inaction and retreat.  A typical example is Hizbullah’s terrorism against the US Marines in Lebanon, October, 1983, after which Ronald Reagan withdrew the US troops.  In his recent book, Alan Dershowitz suggests:

Global terrorism is thus a phenomenon largely of our own making. The international community – primarily the European governments and the United Nations, but also, at times, our own government – made it all but inevitable that we would experience a horrendous day like September 11, 2001. We are reaping what we sowed… It is we who must change our failed approach to terrorism if the world is not to become swept up in a whirlwind of violence and destruction.

(Quoted from p. 2 of

Dershowitz, Alan, M.  Why Terrorism Works.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.)

To corroborate his statement, Dershowitz ( op. cit., p. 24) quotes as follows:

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Listen to the words of Zehdi Labib Terzi, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s chief observer at the United Nations: “The first several hijackings aroused the consciousness of the world and awakened the media and the world opinion much more–and more effectively than twenty years of pleading at the United Nations.” If this is true – and the Palestinians surely believe it is – then it should come as no surprise that hijackings and other forms of terrorism increased dramatically after the Palestinians were rewarded for their initial terrorism by increased world attention to its “root causes”…

Next, Dershowitz (op. cit., pp. 57-78) lists the terrorist acts committed against the West (including Israel), none of which precipitated any serious action on the part of the western democracies, with the exception of Israel.  These acts include (in addition to the aforementioned 1983 assault on the Marines), the 1973 murder of Cleo Noel (US ambassador to Sudan), the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut (63 dead, 120 wounded), the 1984 kidnapping and murder of CIA agent, William Buckley, in Beirut, the 1985 hijacking of  Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer,  and the 1997 shooting of tourists at the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

The Israeli government too has had more than one bitter experience with rewarding terrorists; suffice it to note here the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and the Oslo Accords, both of which increased terrorism.  Joseph Farah commented on the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon as follows:

When the Israelis unilaterally withdrew their military forces from a thin corridor of Lebanon along its northern border two years ago, the terrorist world took notice. Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Islamic terrorists backed by both Syria and Iran, quickly took credit for the retreat by Israel. Hezbollah had waged a war of attrition against Israeli military forces and civilians in southern Lebanon who looked to the Jewish state for protection. …. Arafat saw the Israeli withdrawal as a sign of weakness – a cave-in to one of the most militant and ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. It’s quite plausible that Osama bin Laden, too, was inspired by his ally’s victory over the Israelis in Lebanon. The lesson other terrorists learned from Israel’s Lebanon experience was that a campaign of relentless guerrilla actions will ultimately pay dividends – the more audacious the actions, the better.

Arafat quickly stepped up the violence in his budding Intifada campaign. Bin Laden attacked New York and the Pentagon in a coordinated suicide hijacking effort. Arafat’s forces adopted the suicide bombing strategy as their own. … The lesson is clear: You cannot win by appeasing terrorism. You can’t impress terrorists with kindness. You can’t win terrorists over with concessions. You can’t negotiate with terrorists and you can’t give them any quarter.

Israel made the mistake in 2000. Will the West learn the lesson?

About the case of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon I can add a personal note. A few months ago, I engaged in an e-discussion with one, Prof. Amr Sabry; the last part of the discussion was posted at Dawson Speaks and IsraPundit on December 15, 2003.  Prof. Sabry’s last words were these:

As you can see the discussion is going nowhere… In summary, Hizbullah figured it out a while back: discussions with such people are useless; armed resistance did kick them out.

Which is to say that your typical supporter of Palestinian-Arab terrorism expects that appeasing, rewarding and caving in to terrorism will come their way.

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The same fundamental assessment is also incorporated in the comprehensive article on the Arab- Israeli conflict, written by Salomon Benzimra:

Arabs and other groups seeking political advantage should be clearly shown the negative effects that any recourse to violence against civilians will have on their own cause. Rewarding Palestinian terrorism, especially in diplomatic negotiations, would be a scandalous precedent. Conscious of their achievements through terror, the “Palestinians” will not hesitate to start another campaign of violence, with the quasi certitude of gaining further concessions through a new round of “peace negotiations”. This western “Munich mentality” must end: it is politically disastrous and morally reprehensible.

Creating a second Palestinian-Arab state would be the biggest reward of all, and inevitably will constitute an introduction to the destruction of Israel.  It will also invite more terrorism directed against the West in general.  Reports indicate that most Israelis understand this fundamental truth. For example, a press release posted on the ZOA site, 22 October, 2002, states:

A June 2002 poll by Israel’s leading polling firm, the Hanoch Smith Institute, found 80% of Israeli Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state along the 1967 borders. A November 2001 poll by the Smith Institute found 68% of Israeli Jews believe that “regardless of the size or strength of a Palestinian state, if one is established it will constitute a threat to the State of Israel.” In May 2002, Israel’s Likud Party passed a resolution stating that “No Palestinian state will be established west of the Jordan River.”

Unfortunately, it seems that the Quartet steamroller is proceedings – over the bodies of the people of Israel.

As this is being written, the West faces the danger of WMD in North Korea.  There is little doubt in my mind that the Korean dictatorship has learnt from the current appeasement-laden policies and tendencies in the West, as exemplified by the issues of Iraq and the Quartet.  This point was underscored in an article by the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Karen Elliott House, on January 3, 2003:

What Pyongyang offers the world is a clear picture of the consequences of appeasement. Apologists for Saddam should see in North Korea the proof that, contrary to their wishful thinking, cajoling dictators doesn’t make the world safer, but rather more dangerous. Indeed, Pyongyang’s possession of plutonium with which to make bombs–and perhaps the bombs themselves– is the result of more than a decade of diplomatic duplicity between North Korea and the U.S.

Thus the dangers resulting from appeasing, rewarding and caving in to terrorism are not problems for the future, they are problems facing us today. And yet the West refuses to learn.

At this point it would be useful to recall the Quartet-related events since 9-11.

Soon after the 9-11 tragedy, on October 2, 2001, Bush made public the drastic shift in US policy, a shift that saw Bush explicitly and publicly endorse the creation of a Palestinian-Arab state.  The BBC site reported on October 2, 2001:

The idea of a Palestinian state has always been a part of a vision, so long as the right of Israel to exist is respected,” Mr Bush told reporters after a meeting with congressional leaders.

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(The transcript of the news conference in which this statement was made is available at the official White House site  The following day, October 3, 2001,  Joseph Farah commented in an article aptly entitled,  Bin Laden Has Won:

I didn’t think it was possible that U.S. Mideast policy could get any worse than it was under former President Clinton.

I was wrong.

It just got worse – a lot worse.

In fact, viewed through the eyes of the Islamic world, President Bush’s announcement that he favors the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a comprehensive Middle East peace initiative can only be seen as a huge strategic victory for terrorism.

I don’t know how it can be interpreted any other way.

The message is loud and clear: Keep up the violence, intensify it, keep raising the stakes, make the U.S. pay a price and your demands will be met – eventually.

I’m sick to my stomach over the U.S. sellout of Israel…

This is worse than negotiating with terrorists. This is unconditional surrender to them. ..

For 30 years of hijackings, Olympics murders, execution of U.S. diplomats, suicide bombings, torture of dissident Arabs, the cold-blooded killings of Israelis and more, the reward for Arafat is the presidency of his own state.

This is a war on terrorism?

But much worse was yet to come.  On June 24, 2002, this policy was made even more explicit, and not in a news conference but in a major Bush policy statement.  The official White House site archived the full text of the speech which included these lines:

And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors,  the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state  whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.

As so often happens, the conditions and qualifications were soon lost, and only words “the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state” have survived as an operational reality.  The fact is that on a weekly basis, the ZOA has documented the implementation of the Bush reform conditions, and on a weekly basis the ZOA has shown that nothing of consequence has been done (the most recent report for Week 34, 11-17 February 2003, may be found at the aforementioned ZOA site).  Summarizing the data, Morton A. Klein (of ZOA) wrote in an article published on November 22, 2002, in Our Jerusalem:

The PA has not disarmed or outlawed terrorist groups; it has not seized their tens of thousands of illegal weapons or shut down their bomb factories; it has not honored any of Israel’s 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists. It has not closed down the terrorist’s training camps. It has rewarded with terrorists with jobs in the PA police force. In short, the PA has actively collaborated with and sheltered the terrorists. It has also created an entire culture of anti-Jewish hatred in its official media, schools, summer camps, sermons by PA-appointed clergy, and speeches by PA representatives.

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A Palestinian Arab state would be a mini-Iraq, sharing a long border with Israel, flanking the areas that contain 70% of Israel’s population, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa – plenty of tempting targets for cross-border attacks. The attackers could then slip back into “Palestinian,” where they would find refuge behind the protective border of a sovereign state.

The last word goes to Gary Bauer and Morton A. Klein whose succinct statement concludes their article,  Rewarding terrorism.  Published in the Washington Times, December 29, 2002, the authors opine:

Terrorists, whether led by Osama bin Laden or Yasser Arafat, should be fought and defeated, not appeased with offers of their own state. To offer the Palestinian Arabs a state after two years in which they have murdered nearly 700 Jews, sends a message that terrorism pays. And that is the worst possible message to send at a time when terrorists are threatening America, Israel and the entire Free World.


 23.  An alternative to a sovereign Palestinian Arab state is autonomy within a sovereign Israel for the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.  This will answer Israel’s vital security requirements and safeguard the civil and religious rights of the Arabs.

When the arguments against the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state are presented, as in the foregoing 22 parts of this essay, the question is often  asked, well, what would  you do with the millions of Palestinian-Arabs in Yesha?  In response, I divide the problem to be solved into four elements: (i) the “root cause”; (ii) the Israeli requirements that must be met; (iii) the Palestinian-Arab rights that should be respected; (iv) specific solutions based on these tenets.

 (i) The root cause

It should be clear from the foregoing 22 parts that I deem it to be the rejection of Israel by the Arabs – leadership and street alike – which, in turn, results from deep seeded hatred for Jews, Zionism and Israel.  This hatred has causes of its own, such as the failure of the once mighty Arab/Islamic world to keep up with the advances of Western countries, but further exploration of this point is not essential at this point of the discussion because the implications are clear even from this brief review.  Inasmuch as this hatred is the prime motivator behind the conduct of both the Arabs in general and the Palestinian Arabs in particular, seeking an opportunity to annihilate Israel will be a paramount factor in their future policies.

On this issue of “root causes”,     Daniel Pipes has written as follows:

… Rather, the root cause of the conflict remains today what it has always been: the Arab rejection of any sovereign Jewish presence between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The conflict continues into its sixth decade because Arabs expect they can defeat and then destroy the state of Israel.

Israel cannot end this conflict unilaterally, by actions of its own. It can only take steps that will make it more rather than less likely that the Arabs will give up on those expectations.

 (ii) Israel’s Requirements

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From the foregoing analysis, substantiated in the pervious 22 parts of this essay, it follows that in any final arrangement with the Palestinian Arabs, nothing can supersede Israel’s security requirements.  In turn, this leads to the conclusion that Israel sovereignty over the entire area of Western Palestine cannot be bartered.  This obviates the solution envisaged by the “roadmap”, but leaves the door open for other arrangements.

 (iii) The Palestinian-Arabs’ rights

Referring to the Balfour Declaration and to the text of the League of Nations Mandate over Palestine, one can accept that the Palestinian Arabs do have  civil and religious rights that should be respected.

 (iv) Specific solutions


If sovereignty is ruled out, then autonomy could still be considered as being congruent with the foregoing requirements.  Autonomy would leave the control over security, borders, armed forces, foreign policy, air space, immigration and water firmly in Israeli hand.  At the same time it would allow the Palestinian-Arabs to elect their own parliament, one that would legislate within a prescribed domain and with appropriate qualifications that would obviate human rights abuses.  The Palestinian- Arabs would have no representation in the Israeli parliament.  Education should be delegated to the autonomous authority in a manner that would put an end to the constant incitement against Jews and Israel.  The autonomy arrangement must address and remedy the flaws of Oslo, flaws that permitted the PA to wage a continuous war against Israel.

A model of such autonomy can be Puerto Rico, the official site of which describes the system as follows:

 Puerto Rico has authority over its internal affairs. United States controls: interstate trade, foreign relations and commerce, customs administration, control of air, land and sea, immigration and emigration, nationality and citizenship, currency, maritime laws, military service, military bases, army, navy and air force, declaration of war, constitutionality of laws, jurisdictions and legal procedures, treaties, radio and television -communications, agriculture, mining and minerals, highways, postal system; social security, and other areas generally controlled by the federal government in the United States. Puerto Rican institutions control internal affairs unless U.S. law is involved, as in matters of public health and pollution. The major differences between Puerto Rico and the 50 states are its local taxation system and exemption from Internal Revenue Code,  its lack of voting representation in either house of the U.S. Congress, the ineligibility of Puerto Ricans to vo te in presidential elections, and its lack of assignation of some revenues reserved for the states.

Interestingly, autonomy is consistent with the Oslo Accords, which referred to self-government, not to independence.

History also provides examples of autonomy being a nest of hornets rather than a basis for peace; suffice it to mention Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo as examples.

Population transfer

Solutions other than autonomy, particularly, population transfer, have been proposed over the years. Population transfer implies forceful transfer of the Palestinian-Arab population of Yesha to some other country/countries.

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Population transfers have been applied numerous times, the best known examples being the Turkey- Greece, India-Pakistan and Cyprus population exchanges.  The following citation from the web-based 1-Up Encyclopaedia summarizes the transfer of Greeks from Turkey:

In 1995 fewer than 20,000 Greeks still lived in Turkey… They are the remnants of the estimated 200,000 Greeks who were permitted under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne to remain in Turkey following the 1924 population exchange, which involved the forcible resettlement of approximately 2 million Greeks from Anatolia… Beginning in the 1930s, the government encouraged the Greeks to emigrate, and thousands, in particular the educated youth, did so, reducing the Greek population to about 48,000 by 1965.

As to Cyprus, the same 1-Up Encyclopaedia informs:

The de facto partition of Cyprus resulting from the Turkish invasion, or intervention, as the Turks preferred to call their military action, caused much suffering in addition to the thousands of dead, many of whom were unaccounted for even years later. An estimated one-third of the population of each ethnic community had to flee their homes.

A more detailed examination constitutes part of a series of articles on the refugees, posted by the Jerusalem Post:

In an effort to end the Balkan Wars at the beginning of the 19th century, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey agreed to exchange their minority populations in the Treaties of San Stephano (1878), Constantinople (1913) and Neuilly (1919). However,  the major exchange of population (transfer) took place between Greece and Turkey in order that a permanent border could be set between the longtime enemies … Altogether 1.25 million Greeks from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace were transferred to Greece, and nearly 500,000 Turks, primarily from Macedonia and Epirus, were transferred to Turkey. This project was organized and supervised by the celebrated Norwegian Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen, winner of the 1922 Nobel Prize for his humanitarian activities. … The largest population transfer yet was effected when Pakistan split from India  on August 15, 1947. Eight million Hindus and six million Muslims were involved, and perhaps a million died in a painful but necessary operation that had broad international support. Despite the enormous number of refugees and the relative poverty of both nations, no international relief organizations were established to aid in the resettlement. (It was a grave historical error that the area of Kashmir, in dispute today, was overlooked, thus leaving a festering wound in the relations between the two countries.) … In 1945, Herbert Hoover proposed the recovery of some 3 million acres of land in Iraq for the resettlement of the Arabs of Mandatory Western Palestine. “Palestine itself,” he wrote, “could be turned over to Jewish immigrants in search of a homeland.”

In addition, as discussed in Part 21 of this essay, major population transfers, especially of Germans, occurred after WW II in Central and Eastern Europe.

In 1948, population transfer was actually practised against the Jews, when the Jordanians expelled the Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the Jews who survived the massacre of the Etzion Block.

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Having already been introduced by the Arabs, applying population transfer to the Palestinian-Arab population of Yesha would be far preferable to autonomy, but the political and logistical problems involved seem to preclude such a solution, given the contemporary realities.  For a different opinion, see, inter alia, Boris Shusteff, who writes:

There are three major reasons that make the transfer of the Arabs out of Eretz Yisrael an absolute necessity. First, physically putting some distance between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs will completely eradicate any capacity (and, in the long run, desire as well) they have for violence toward Jews. Secondly, it will eliminate the demographic threat to the Jewish state. And thirdly, it will allow Israel to further develop under conditions most appropriate for the Jewish nation – “the people that dwells alone.”

Interestingly, the solution of population transfer has been suggested and supported by many non-Jews, including the British intelligence officer, Col. Meinertzhagen (who was mentioned in Part 21.6). Closer to home and to the present, House Republican Majority Leader, Dick Armeysupports this solution, as demonstrated by the following MSNBC interview snippet with Chris Matthews (“Hardball”, May 1, 2002):

MATTHEWS: Well, just to repeat, you believe that the Palestinians who are now living on the West Bank should get out of there?


 Yesha in Federation with Jordan

A different solution, namely, Yesha federated with Jordan, was suggested in an article published in AIJAC:

Beyond a Palestinian state, what are the options for final status? Some have already been discussed by Mr Netanyahu and David Bar-Illon. These include a limited state. Alternatively, there is the possibility of a link to Jordan, perhaps in the form of a federation. In this way, external security and defense would be the responsibility of the Jordanian government, in coordination with Israel, while the Palestinians would enjoy full internal independence and self-determination.

From the perspectives of regional security and stability, a Palestinian- Jordanian federation may be preferable to a Palestinian state. With dreams of full independence, the Palestinians may be reluctant to accept this option, but if they are given the choice of a freeze in the process, with Israel still controlling at least 50% of the territory, or federation, they may be persuaded to accept the latter, or risk losing the gains they made in the Oslo process. It will also be more difficult for Arafat and the PLO to revert to terrorism.

I would deem this option far inferior to autonomy for several reasons.  First, it would deprive Israel of control over its own security and other vital areas such as water and immigration.  Second, with a strong Palestinian majority, what would prevent the Jordanian government from falling into the hands of Islamist extremists in a coalition with terrorist irredentist?  And finally, why would the Jordanian monarchy accept such a solution?

In summary, there are several alternatives to a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha, and none could possibly be as detrimental to Israel and the West as that which the Roadmap architects are brewing.






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