Israel, Gaza and Proportional Response
January 10, 2009
The partition of 1947 was not accepted by the Palestinians, it was never their land, and no Arab government existed in that Mandate region for hundreds of years. The last two governments were the British from 1918 through1948, and the Ottomans from 1516 to 1918. In 1922 the total population of the Mandate Area (present Israel, Gaza and the West Bank) was 6% of the current population that lives in that total area under dispute. Even today the density of that whole area is equivalent to that of New Jersey, approximately 1100 people per square mile. The Palestine Mandate was virtually empty in the 1890's when Jews started in earnest to buy desert, malaria infested swamp land from absentee Ottoman and Egyptian land owners, who were happy to sell the land at exorbitant prices. As Jewish settlers moved in and cultivated the land Arabs from neighboring areas flocked to the Mandate for jobs, plain and simple. As soon as the demographics started to change in the 1920's and the hegemony of pan-Arabism was challenged, the riots started, the raids by the Fedeyeen, the murders, and the violence. What else is new?
After the beginning of the 1948 war, Arab leaders, including the notorious Nazi ally, the grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj al-Husseini, called for Arabs to vacate their homes and run for cover into the Arab controlled part of the Mandate, while their six armies slaughtered the Jews.
Those 800,000 became their refugee problem, which they never resolved. They are still the only unsettled refugees in the whole world since the end of WWII. They were never assimilated, because of the cynicism of the Arab world. They could have easily been resettled in the West Bank when it was controlled by Jordan from 1948 through 1967. At that time Jordan had the ability to create a Palestinian State. They choose not to do it because that would be considered a de facto and possibly a de jure recognition of the State of Israel. On the other hand Israel absorbed over 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands, where they had endured persecution, non-citizenship and pogroms for hundreds of years.
As to proportionate response, the US wasn't happy with Sadaam Hussein's regime and we invaded Iraq. So you should waste your rants on us. When Pancho Villa robbed banks in Texas, we sent General Pershing into Mexico with an army. Israel has the right of self-defense and when the brigand government of terrorists wise up, peace will break out. But they won't become realists until the people of Gaza realize that their future has been turned over to terrorists and their only path to peace is with rational leadership.