Saturday, May 03, 2008

Israel's 60th Independence Day

will be celebrated on Thursday.

Here is a collection of issues pertaining to this event:

I. No right to exist

If I would choose one article in the Western media that I have read over many decades as the worst piece of anti-Israel propaganda of all, it would be Karin Laub's April 26, 2008 piece, "Palestinian plight is flip side of Israel's independence joy."

Why? Because many articles have slandered Israel on various points or told falsehoods ranging from the disgusting to the humorous or been based on assumptions that were at odds with the truth. But in this case, the article encapsulates the way in which much of the world has turned from admiration to loathing of Israel, and the way in which Israel's destruction--which in other contexts would be seen as genocidal--has been justified. (Read it all, here)

II. The Holocaust and the state of Israel

Whenever someone relates the foundation of Israel to the Holocaust, it invites a chorus of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic criticism, along with cries of "Why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes of the Europeans?" Inevitably, this was the predictable reaction of a part of the Guardian audience.

Israel indeed was founded in the ashes of the Holocaust. Our success is the best possible monument and memorial to all our beloved relatives who perished at the hands of the Nazis and of other persecutors in Europe and Asia over many centuries of exile. But the Holocaust is not the reason we are here, nor was it the reason that in 1922, the right of self-determination of the Jewish people was recognized in international law by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. My ancestors did not come here over a hundred years ago to found a Jewish commonwealth because of the Holocaust, and the state of Israel was not founded because of the Holocaust, but rather despite the Holocaust, as many have pointed out. (Read the rest, here)

III. About Palestinian Responsibility:

"Whenever someone relates the foundation of Israel to the Holocaust, it invites a chorus of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic criticism, along with cries of "Why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes of the Europeans?"

In the Peel Commission Report of July 1937, one sentence distinguishes itself:

”Considering what the possibility of finding a refuge in Palestine means to thousands of suffering Jews, is the loss occasioned by Partition, great as it would be, more than Arab generosity can bear?”

The statement was written in 1937, when the world was beginning to get wise to what was being planned for the Jews, but even so, the report can only imagine "thousands" of suffering Jews getting a lease on life if permitted to immigrate to Palestine.

The Arabs of Palestine, though addressed with the most explicit plea in the report for showing "generosity" to the persecuted Jews of Europe, existentially threatened, did not for a second consider this possibility and continued to mount their pressure on the British to seal the borders. When there was hardly a country in the world open to accept Jewish refugees fleeing from Hitler's ominous programmes, Mandate Palestine, which had been commissioned by The League of Nations to provide a safe haven for Jews, chose to close ranks with the Arabs and seal the borders, against the Jews.

The only place that would have welcomed these refugees and could have saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, joined the rest of the world's complicity in these crimes.

So the staple Palestinian argument is that they had no responsibility whatsoever for what happened to the Jews is invalid. They did. They bear at least the same responsibility as as every country that ever refused to accept Jews who were looking to get out of Europe ( In Canada it was the "none is too many" policy).

Never mind Arab sympathies for Hitler as Matthias Kuntzel chronicled in his work:

"In the 1930s, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, rigorously courted the Nazis. When, in 1936, he launched his terror war against the Jewish Yishuv in the British controlled Palestine Mandate, he repeatedly asked the Nazis for financial backing, which began arriving in 1937." "From 1936-39 Husseini's terror army murdered 415 Jews. In later years, Husseini noted that were it not for Nazi money, his onslaught would have been defeated in 1937. His movement was imbued with Nazism. His men saluted one another with Nazi salutes and members of his youth movement sported Hitler Youth uniforms."

IV: Historical Amnesia

Palestine’s Jewish refugees.

Pre 1948 Palestinian atrocities


V: The Mystery of Palestinian Refugees

Numerous organizations with the words "Justice" and "Humanitarian" in their titles bewail the plight of the Arab Palestinian refugees and the injustice that was supposedly done to them by Israel in 1948. They all demand "right of return." Nobody demands "right of eating" "right of education" or "right of decent housing" for the refugees. Only the dubious "right of return" is important to these "humanitarians." But what about the poor kid in the ubiquitous photos of Palestinian refugees that are supposed to tear at the heart-strings of humanity. Doesn't he or she have a right to eat, to grow, to learn, to have a future, to get on with their life? Aren't those rights more urgent and more cogent than the right to return to a non-existent village where their ancestors lived 60 years ago?

(Read it all, here)

VI: 1948, Israel, and the Palestinians—The True Story

Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King’s College, University of London, and the author most recently of Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale), writes in Commentary:

Sixty years after its establishment by an internationally recognized act of self-determination, Israel remains the only state in the world that is subjected to a constant outpouring of the most outlandish conspiracy theories and blood libels; whose policies and actions are obsessively condemned by the international community; and whose right to exist is constantly debated and challenged not only by its Arab enemies but by segments of advanced opinion in the West.

During the past decade or so, the actual elimination of the Jewish state has become a cause célèbre among many of these educated Westerners. The “one-state solution,” as it is called, is a euphemistic formula proposing the replacement of Israel by a state, theoretically comprising the whole of historic Palestine, in which Jews will be reduced to the status of a permanent minority. Only this, it is said, can expiate the “original sin” of Israel’s founding, an act built (in the words of one critic) “on the ruins of Arab Palestine” and achieved through the deliberate and aggressive dispossession of its native population.

Read it all, here.


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