Israel’s Right to Exist – Part IV
Defensible borders depend on one's neighbors. As long as one's neighbors want to kill you, borders have to be fortified and well-kept. Both the French and Germans built their own versions of the Maginot Line in the late 1930's. The question of Alsace and Lorraine were always debatable as Kashmir, the Falklands, Gibraltar, and scores of other places. But the aggressor in the 1930's was not France, but Germany. In the same sense, in 1947, the new Israeli state accepted the partition! Remember! It was the Arab nations that declared war and invaded. They always had access to Jerusalem, which was never holy to Mohammed or his original followers. They had Mecca and never mentioned Jerusalem in the Koran. But their age old antipathy towards the Jews only allowed them to dominate Jews, not to live with or co-exist with them.
The borders of the United States and most other nations were established by treaty. I assume the Arabs will wise up one day when their oil starts to play out and accept reality. The Christians eventually abandoned their places in the Holy Lands and gave up on their Crusades. When they learn to get along, educate their people, retreat from religious bigotry, control their violence and turn from terrorism, peace will break out and blossom. Gaza is an armed brigand state, at war with its own people, the West Bank, and Israel, Were the ghetto inmates of the Kasbah of Algiers or even Rome at war with anyone?
Israel, a country founded by a people, who have lived in that region for 5000 years is an aggressor because they wish to survive. This is a tiny country, whose pioneers carved farmland out of barren waterless desert in the 1920's. Virtually all of this land, including the city of Tel Aviv, was unoccupied before WWI. It was unoccupied land owned and purchased from absentee owners living in both Turkey and Egypt. This land was ruled for 400 hundred years by the Ottoman Turks, who were Moslem, and had no problem selling land to Jews, whether they were secular or not, or whether they were born their or immigrants. As I recall, America is a country of immigrants! This country was offered statehood by a UN Declaration and from day one, after accepting the partition of the Mandate area of Palestine, it was under attack. The same people who now call for a “two-state” solution rejected that same solution in 1947 and for decades afterward. This small state has been boycotted, attacked, and pilloried by 100 million Arabs, Moslems all-over the world, and the late Soviet Empire, which armed Syria and Egypt to the teeth. Even with their modern weaponry, and Israel dealing with an arms embargo supported by the Eisenhower administration, it fought against the blockade of its waters and the shutdown of its access to the Suez Canal in 1956. Only the gutless reaction by Eisenhower to the Soviet threat forced the French, British and Israelis out of the Sinai and the Canal region. If the Eisenhower-Dulles Administration had stood up to the Soviets and the Arabs, the world would be different and more peaceful today. Over the years, Israeli know how, technological skill and western thinking, has served it well as an ally against the Soviets for our own American interests and a bulwark against terrorism. Israel is a long-standing democracy with Moslems, and Christian members of its parliament. Over 1 million non-Jews (mostly Arabs, Bahais and Bedouins and Christians) live in complete freedom and peace in Israel. Their religious rights are protected and insured. I was to the Bahai Shrine in Haifa and the Bahais, a Muslim sect, are hunted down in Arab lands. Israel has brought in refugee Jews from Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Morroco, and almost every Arab country where there were treated as virtual slaves for hundreds of years and in more modern times, second-class citizens with virtually no rights. Look at the history of the Casbah in Algiers. Read any of historian.
Note this news piece is from today's NY Times, not written by an IDF informant, and copied here without any intention for commercial use. Please note that at some time, right before the Israeli counter-attack on Hamas, over 10,000 rockets were launched against Israel since 2001. Even the most crass and hard-hearted critic of Israel would have to admit that this was more than a provocation. The bottom line is that the Palestinians are divided amongst themselves, and they have not understood how to turn towards the path to peace. Democratic nations do not go to war against each other. More suicide attacks will not bring peace, nor a two-state solution or weaken Israeli or Western resolve. To solve any problem one must confront reality, not dwell in a fantasy land. The women and children of Gaza and the West Bank only have their cynical leaders to blame for their poverty, hunger and isolation. Hatred begets hatred. Yasir Arafat was a leader they chose for decades and he was a common criminal who looted the PLO and the PA for decades. While his wife luxuriated in Paris with his millions, children starved in Jericho. While his brigands desecrated holy sites in East Jerusalem and the West bank, The Mosques of Israel remain protected. I have no argument with Arabs, Moslems, or any other people. I judge all individuals by their actions. We can all agree to disagree on a myriad of problems, but scape-goating Jews over a Congressional recess or blaming Israel for aggression when exercising self-defense is not toleration, but bigotry.
There is an old saying, “in numbers there is strength.” There are a small amount of Jews in the world. They, as a religious group, do not believe in proselytizing, forced conversion or large families. They support birth control, family planning and women's right of choice. Of course not all Jews are in “lock-step” regarding these social and philosophical values, but most are. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel said, and I paraphrase, “that if the Arabs loved their children as much as they hate ours, there would be peace.” But again, Jews believe in small families, want to be able to care for their progeny and they have traded off the political expediency of large families and thence power, for the ability to love and care for their own. Therefore, the Jews have been able to love, educate and provide for their own. As Hillel said, in the years before the Common Era, “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?” He also said, “What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor that is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary.” In a sense, Abraham Lincoln echoed those words in 1859, when he said, “…he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just G-d, cannot long retain it.” The Golden Rule is echoed in both statements, almost 2000 years apart.
But what Lincoln or Golda Meir or Hillel led the Palestinian Arabs? Their vicious spiritual and secular leader was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The Mufti, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini formed the Higher Arab Committee and used a revolt to settle scores with rival Palestinian clans, murdering hundreds of leaders in 11 different clans. It is reported that he met with Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in September or October of 1937, when Eichmann visited Palestine for a day. Eichmann was investigating the possibility of deporting Jews to Palestine. Reportedly, the Mufti persuaded him against this scheme. However, it is not at all clear that the Mufti was still in Palestine when Eichmann visited. In September or October of 1937, following the murder of the British commissioner for the Galilee, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini and the entire “Higher Arab Committee” fled first to Lebanon and then to Iraq, where he engineered a pro-Axis coup. On May 10, 1941, Husseini, the Mufti in exile, broadcast a Fatwa (religious ruling) calling for a holy war against the British. This speech was carried by Iraq and Axis radio stations. Typically, a major complaint in this Fatwa was that the British profaned the Al-Aqsa mosque and were out to destroy Islam:
So, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, while in Iraq, conducted a vicious propaganda campaign not only against the Allies, but especially against the Jews in Arabic broadcasts over German radio, calling upon Arabs and Muslims to slaughter the Jews wherever they might be.
In May 15 1943, a letter from Al-Husseini to the German Foreign Minister Joachin von Ribbentrop, requested German intervention in the Balkans especially in Bulgaria to prevent an agreement with Britain and the United States to allow Jews to leave for Palestine. The Mufti noted that the Arabs supported the Axis Power in the hope that they would provide a final solution to the problem of the Jews- the commun enemy of the people of Europe and of the Arab nation. In 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini fled to Germany and met with Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Von Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis’ anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.
The Mufti sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East. One called on the two countries to declare the illegality of the Jewish home in Palestine. Furthermore, “they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries.” In other words; out right annihilation.
In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy. The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti's requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his “thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Arab cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches….The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely….the Jews….” Hitler replied:
Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine….Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle….Germany's objective [is]…solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere….In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. The Mufti thanked Hitler profusely.
In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS, who participated in the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention in 1946, however, and continued his fight against the Jews from Cairo and later Beirut. He died in 1974.
This man was the leader of the Arabs in Palestine. This man is and was a hero to Yasir Arafat and his Fatah movement. This man associated himself with Hitler, the greatest mass murderer in history, and the man who ignited World War II, which resulted in the deaths of 60 million people. This man was the ultimate racist, who thought that people of color were untermenschen, or sub-humans.
But of course the world has a short memory and each new generation must learn history anew. But who teaches it? Is it the revisionists? As Napoleon once said, and I paraphrase, “victors write the history.” In the Arab lands they write their own history and text books, and all outsiders are infidels in many of their state edited books. Is this representative of pluralistic society?
Of course this is what anti-Semitism encourages. It fans the flames of hatred. When individuals side with Hamas, a band of murderous brigands, and say they are only “freedom fighters,” you had better watch out be aware of what they really mean.