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#1078020
British built "wall" to stop Arab terror in 1938


Copyright 2001 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)

March 19, 2001, Monday

SECTION: COMMENT; Pg. 4

LENGTH: 1063 words

HEADLINE: SOME UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS FOR THE ARABS, THE JEWS AND... THE BRITISH

BYLINE: Andreas Whittam Smith

BODY:

http://comment.independent.co.uk


I was surprised to find how many dubious Israeli practices grew from British models.


Nobody any longer remembers this because it took place in 1939. However, it concerns us, the British. We then governed Palestine under a mandate from the League of Nations. We were attempting to put down an Arab rebellion.

Those were the days! We were more sophisticated. We erected a security fence along the northern border. We built dozens of police fortresses and concrete guard posts. We imported Dobermann dogs from South Africa. And we trained interrogators in torture. The British police chief in Jerusalem, Douglas Duff, described such methods in his memoir published in 1953. He tells how to apply physical force without leaving marks. We destroyed homes - 2,000 houses between 1936 and 1940 according to one estimate. We engaged in assassination. What did we not do that the Israeli army does today? It is hard to say.

One can trace the inheritance through a single soldier, the brilliant Orde Wingate, posted to Palestine as an intelligence officer in 1936. He became a fervent believer in Zionism. He was once described as a kind of Lawrence of the Jews. He set up Special Night Squads comprising British troops and Jewish volunteers that pursued terrorists by night. Their methods were brutal. Among his men was a future prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, and the man who was to be Israel's most famous commander, Moshe Dayan. Churchill later described Wingate as "a man of genius and audacity". An official handbook of the Israeli Ministry of Defence states that the "teaching of Orde Charles Wingate, his character and leadership... and his influence can be seen in the Israel Defense Force's combat doctrine."

I am not saying that this ancient history should still all criticisms. Rather it should remove any notion of moral superiority, a very British fault.


Tegart's Wall was a Barbed wire Fence erected in the northern border of Palestine in the time of the British Mandate, in 1938, to prevent brigands from crossing the Syrian and Lebanese border to join the Great Uprising. The length of the fence was 75 Km. 5 fortresses and 20 pillboxes were built along the route of the fence. The fence was innitiated by sir Charles Tegart, a british expert in fighting Terror. The fence was dismanteled in 1942 in order to use the wire in the Western Desert Campaign in World War II. The fortresses and some of the Pillboxes remain to this day.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 09,00.html

From the Magazine | Foreign News
Tegart's Wall
SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHOR
Posted Monday, Jun 20, 1938


Britain's most ingenious solution for handling terrorism in Palestine was revealed in Geneva last week to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission by His Majesty's Government's Deputy Permanent Under-Secretary for Colonies, Sir John Shuckburgh. Following a suggestion of mail-fisted Sir Charles Tegart, now adviser to the Palestine Government on the suppression of terrorism, a barbed wire barrier to keep out terrorists is being strung along the entire Palestine frontier at a cost of $450,000. This includes a nine-foot barbed wire fence between Palestine and French-mandated Lebanon and Syria, which border Palestine on the north and northeast. A lot of Palestine's tougher Arabs come from those two mandates. The fence will be completed in August, announced Sir John. Almost as he spoke, a band of Arab terrorists swooped down on a section of the fence, dubbed Tegart's Wall, ripped it up and carted it across the frontier into Lebanon.

From the Jun. 20, 1938 issue of TIME magazine


http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2005_0 ... chive.html


Image
Image

Deja vu is the rule when you look at the history of the conflict. Except when the British built walls, executed Arab terrorists and demolished their houses, they were fully justified. Only when the Jews do it does it become a crime.



Tegart's Wall:
The First Security Fence
(Editor's Note: The following article, from the Palestine Post of May 31, 1938 , shows how bad ideas keep resurfacing. The Tegart's Wall scheme , designed to protect British forces in the aftermath of the Arab rebellion of 1936, was abandoned. Sharon's plan to destroy Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, build a fence around a designated area, and leave the remaining territory to the Palestinian Authority, merely turns over the abandoned areas to terrorist control, without in any way interfering with Arab demands or stemming international pressures. Yaakov Amidror, former chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, points out in Middle East Quarterly [Winter 2004] that without control of the territory from which terrorism emanates, a military force "cannot detroy the infrastructure of terrorism [such as laboratories, training centers and safe houses]. Without territorial control, counterterrorism operations become risky, both in terms of physical danger and political cost." In the absence of territorial control, writes Amidror, "Israel's real line of defense is its own cities and towns. And because the terrorists target civilians, their success is almost assured." )



The Fence Round Palestine
"Tegart's Wall"
A scheme for a barbed-wire "wall," suggested by Sir Charles Tegart, adviser to the Palestine Government on suppressing terrorism, is being undertaken at a cost of L90,000 to prevent the bands fleeing from justice, smuggling arms, or entering for terrorism and agitation across the frontiers between Palestine and Syria, Trans-Jordan, and the Lebanon, (wrote the Jerusalem correspondent in The Times yesterday). Terrorism in Palestine has been difficult to isolate and control because these frontiers, practically undefended and in un-inhabited and rough terrain, have proved easy bases for troublemakers. When pursued by police and military the bands, and especially their leaders, have been able to slip over the borders, often carrying away cattle and other booty, and have thus effectively escaped capture. Arms and other warlike equipment unprocurable in Palestine have been easily secured from among the people in Syria and Trans-Jordan and smuggled into Palestine, along with many cheaply hired gunmen. The stopping of these practices has become an essential to the restoration of order in the British Mandated territory.



French Indifference
Efforts made by the Palestine Government to obtain the cooperation of the French Mandatory authorities in Syria in preventing the use of that country as a base have been unsuccessful. The French have given over much of the detail of government to the Syrian and Lebanese States, whose sympathy with the Palestine Arab nationalists prevents them from doing anything. Furthermore, the French point out that when they were having troubles in Syria in 1925 and 1926, the British professed inability to prevent the flight of Syrian nationalists into Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Something might be done to bludgeon the Syrians into cooperation by stopping all trade with them, but it would not improve international relations nor solve the problem of the undefended frontiers. For this reason Sir Charles Tegart advised the erection of some physical barrier on the frontier which would make guarding it more practicable. Unfortunately the Northern Frontier road, built close to the international boundary in very rugged country at no small expense, has not been very helpful as it could not be patrolled at night without marauding bands knowing from the lights of the cars just where they were and timing their passage accordingly. A stout physical barrier difficult of penetration was, therefore the last resort. Contracts for Sir Charles Tegart's scheme have been let to Solel Boneh, Limited, of Haifa.



50 Miles of Barbed Wire
The specifications call for a barbed wire fence extending for about 50 miles from the coastal road at Ras en-Nakura eastwards to Nebi Yusha (Metullah) and curving down to the Huleh marshes. Jewish colonies at that point form a barrier, but the fence resumes at Rosh Pina and extends to Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, which in turn will be patrolled by motor-launches. South of the Sea of Galilee a two-and-a-half miles stretch as far as the mouth of the Yarmuk River will be fenced. Plans are being made for obstructing the passage of the Jordan River between Palestine and Trans-Jordan at its 70 fords.

The fence is to vary in thickness according to local conditions. The single bay type will consist of two parallel barbed wire fences some 6 ft. high and 5 ft. apart, each fence consisting of iron posts with 2 in. mesh rabbit wire at the bottom surmounted by barbed wire, and the space between the two fences not only crisscrossed with barbed wire but also filled with loose masses of tangled wire below. This in itself would form a barrier difficult to pass. But in some places there will be three parallel fences, the two outer bays being as elaborately wired as that mentioned above. The fence will be guarded from the seven police posts now placed along the frontier road, which will be made easier to defend than at present, and supplemented by pillboxes armed with Lewis guns at places where deep wadis or customary tracks cross the frontier. Searchlights on the police posts and pillboxes will be able to keep most of the defence line under observation at night. As the strength of the fence when tested by Sappers and specially equipped troops was such that they could not get through in less than 20 minutes even by daylight, the additional precaution of patrolling the fence at 10-minute intervals with police cars equipped with searchlights will doubtless be enough to protect those parts out of observation of the police posts.

The 70 fords of the Jordan River by which terrorists and contraband have crossed to and from Trans-Jordan as easily as the peasantry and Ghor Arabs for many generations present another type of problem. Thirty-five of the fords can be watched effectively from high ground near by. The remainder will be rendered impassable by fences on the banks, supplemented by submerged wiring which will serve the same purpose as the wooden stakes used by the ancient Britons and Romans. The erection of this formidable barrier, which is quickly becoming known as Tegart's Wall, is unquestionably a necessity in present conditions, just as Hadrian's Wall in the past, concludes the Times correspondent. But if the other experiments being made in Palestine are to be permanent, the necessity for such wartime precautions must be removed by so just a settlement of the problems of the country that her frontiers will be guarded by the mutual good will and confidence of herself and her neighbours. It would be a tragedy if the future State or States could only exist behind barbed wire entanglements.



Removed from the politics of Beirut and neglected by the central government, southern Lebanon had remained an economic extension of northern Palestine, despite the official border demarcation. But the absence of governmental control also created a power vacuum, quickly filled by Arab irregulars once the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 began in Palestine. Arab bands were recruited, based, armed, and trained in south Lebanon, from where they periodically crossed the border and struck southward against Jewish settlements.

The military consequences of the border's placement in the early 1920s thus became clear in the late 1930s. Debate about the establishment of the 1923 border had reflected hydrologic, economic, great power and religious interests. In terms of security, however, "northern Palestine was penetrable almost everywhere."(5) In an attempt to seal the border against incursions from the north, the British authorized the construction of double and triple barbed-wire fences running the length of the Palestine-Lebanon border in May and June 1938. "Tegart's Wall," named for Sir Charles Tegart, security advisor to the Palestine government, promptly incurred the wrath of local inhabitants on both sides of the border, since it bisected pastures and private property. A barrier to the legal and illegal trade upon which much of the border region's population depended, the wall suffered continuous attack from both sides. The British struggled to keep the fence more or less intact; but with the termination of the rebellion in 1939, the wall was rapidly dismantled. (6) The mandatory powers used their soldiers and gendarmes to control continued cross-border traffic, but smugglers, particularly of guns and illegal Jewish immigrants, still traversed the line at will.


Last update - 02:50 09/01/2004
The return of the fence
By Gideon Biger

The separation fence now under construction is not the first fence that was built in this country with the aim of preventing the passage of terrorists who seek to attack the civilian population. A similar fence was built by the British Mandate authorities in the 1930s, in an effort to prevent the infiltration of terrorist gangs and squads in the north of the country. A glance at the history of that fence seems to show that history is repeating itself.

In 1936, the Arab Revolt erupted in Palestine. Initially directed against the Yishuv - the pre-1948 Jewish community in the country - it subsequently targeted the British administration as well.

In the first stage, events were concentrated largely in the center of the country. The power base of the Arab gangs lay in the Triangle - the area between the cities of Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm. In the second stage, after the Arabs rejected the recommendation of the Peel Commission on the partition of the country between Arabs and Jews, the Arab struggle intensified and weapons began to flow into the country, mainly from Lebanon and Syria.

In an effort to counter the infiltration of these terrorists, the Mandate authorities decided, in the summer of 1937, to fortify the country's northern border by means of an integrated system: a road that was built along the border - "the Northern Road" - from Rosh Hanikra to the area of Kibbutz Manara, and from there to the Jordan Valley; a three-meter-high fence - "the Northern Fence" - that was built along the road and to its north; and the construction of police stations known as "Taggart forts" (after the British police officer who conceived the idea, Sir Charles Taggart), which were located on dominant points of the terrain, and pillboxes, which were placed along the border, on the routes used by the terrorists.

The Northern Road was not congruent with the official border, but went through the Arab villages that lay close to the border. Because of budget problems, the fence was neither electrified nor augmented with sensors that existed at the time. Because of budgetary and security considerations, the fence did not extend across the entire border line, and, in fact, the whole of the Galilee Panhandle, including the Jewish communities of Metulla, Kfar Giladi and others, remained "outside the fence."

Large areas of farmland belonging to Arab villages also remained north of the fence, and gates were built in the fence to enable the fields to be accessed. Army and police forces that were stationed in the central police stations patrolled the fences by day and by night - the pillboxes were manned during the daytime - and prevented terrorist infiltrations.

The fence did not put an end to the Arab Revolt. Only the massive deployment of British military forces against the gangs throughout Palestine brought an end to the revolt, which began to die out shortly before 1939. The fence was dismantled during the Second World War, and the pillboxes were not manned; but the police stations are still in use today.

The fence and the attached barrier now under construction are similar in many details to the Northern Fence. However, the main difference between them is the location of the fence. The Northern Fence was built entirely within the area of Mandatory Palestine, along the border or inside it, in an area where the Mandate government had full legitimate sovereignty; whereas the present-day separation fence is located east of the 1967 Green Line, which the international community accepts as Israel's legitimate border.

Just about everyone agrees that if the fence were built along the Green Line, leaving Jewish settlements outside the fence but under full Israeli sovereignty, things would look different - and the fence, as long as needed, would be strictly for security purposes.

The present fence, then, is one whose political significance is being contested by the two sides. By means of the debate over the fence, the Palestinians want to legitimize their contention that the Green Line constitutes the western boundary of the territory that is supposed to be under their control, whereas the Israeli government is effectively trying to undermine the Green Line by creating an almost completely new one.

The writer is a professor of geography at Tel Aviv University

Last edited by Downside on 04 Jan 2007 20:08, edited 8 times in total.
By Downside
#1078069
The Arabs' primary interest in "Palestine" at that time was in giving it what they considered its rightful place as "the Province of Southern Syria" in the land of "Greater Syria." At that time the Arabs of Palestine called themselves (Southern Syriaians). So they protested over the barrier who divided them from Syria.

And "Palestinian" is a recently-invented term. Prior thereto, the Arabs of Palestine referred to themselves as Southern Syrians. Arab spokesmen including some now identified as "(the) Palestinians," vigorously rejected that label as a Zionist device to delegitimize their pan-Arab or pan-Syrian aspirations.

They even refuse to use the term "Palestine" for the land since it was British creation for Zionist project, the Balfour declaration's the Jewish National Home. They call it "Southern Syrians" Suriya al Junubiya.


Jerusalem Post ( called Palestine post until 1951)

I HAVE quoted Arab leaders and spokesmen who over the century of the Arab-Israel War have denied the Palestinianism imputed to Eretz Yisrael and its Arab inhabitants, insisting that they are, and always have been, "Southern Syria(ns)."

A reader, Alan Karabus, professor of law at the University of Connecticut in Bridgeport, has brought to my attention another one. In 1925, Jamal Husseini, the Arab terrorist leader and collaborator, sued the Mandatory government to have the Hebrew letters Alef-Yod, the initial letters of the Jewish name of this country, Eretz Yisrael, removed from the overprint on the stamps the Mandatory Post Office had issued.

The English and Arabic overprints said "Palestine," and the Alef-Yod was a compromise the Jews had had to accept on their demand for the printing of the country's full historical Jewish name.

The High Court unanimously rejected Husseini's petition. In the reasoned judgment, Chief Justice Sir Thomas W. Haycraft noted that "it is claimed that 'Palestine' is not an Arab word and that the Arabs consider the true name of the country to be South Syria."




Friday, January 05, 2007
Palestinian Arabs killing each other - in 1938
The hundreds of murders of Palestinian Arabs by other Palestinian Arabs that I have been documenting for the past six months is nothing new. A very similar situation occurred from 1936-39.

The Arabs of Palestine tried on a few occasions in the 1920s and 1930s to rise up and destroy the Jews of Palestine, and things were very bad in 1936. Yet no matter what they did, the Jewish influence on the area kept increasing, Jews kept arriving and Jewish institutions thrived.
They then started killing each other in earnest. I'm not sure why - perhaps it was frustration at their impotence, perhaps because an entire generation had been raised to praise Arab murderers as heroes and therefore bloodshed itself became considered desirable, or maybe they simply started misplacing their hatred for Jews and the British onto any Arab that was too Western for their tastes. Nationalism and religion seems to have played a part but more as excuses rather than as root causes.

Either way, the amount of lawlessness that ensued looks very familiar to those of us who have been following "clan clashes" and the Fatah/Hamas civil war. Especially notice how many Arabs were killed for not wanting to join in with the terrorists, or for speaking out against the terrorists. Also note the left column, dealing only with the terror crimes of the previous day.


http://img458.imageshack.us/img458/5259/self1jh5.jpg

http://img359.imageshack.us/img359/1047/self2xv1.jpg

There are three more columns of dead Arab victims of Arab violence I didn't reproduce.

Whatever psychological reason one wants to hypothesize, one thing is the same then as now: the most extreme elements of Arab society are not dealt with adequately by more moderate Arabs (either out of fear or out of ideology.) This apathy is treated as carte blanche to accelerate the terror.

This could explain why so many Arab societies are either chaotic messes or autocratic dictatorships. There seems to be no real internal mechanism within Islam or Arab thinking to limit the influence of the terrorists, so either go the route of Egypt/Syria and repress everybody, or go the route of the PA and Somalia and let the foxes run the henhouse.

Friday, December 08, 2006
About "Palestinians"
Bradley Burston in Ha'aretz has been railing against those who say that there are no such people as "Palestinians" in his comment section. He does not attempt to address their arguments, but rather asserts:
I believe that it is a form of racism to tell an entire people, millions upon millions all over the world, that their culture is not a true culture, that their identity is not an identity, that they do not, in fact, exist.

I believe that the reason for denying their existence is to deny the legitimacy of their pain, their aspirations, their longing, the facts of their history, none of which make for a comfortable fit with the history that Zionism originally wrote for itself.

The very idea of the Palestinian Arab represents competition for limited resources of land, the moral high ground, and the self-esteem of long-oppressed peoples.

You can't just wish away the Palestinians.

A actually agree with the last sentence. There is, today, a clearly defined group of people who call themselves "Palestinian" and redefining them or renaming them does not solve their day to day problems.

But to call those who say that there were no historic, separate Palestinian Arab people "racists" is simply a form of censorship and intimidation by political correctness. (In fact, Burston briefly censored many of the commenters.)

It does not serve any purpose to deny history in the name of anti-racism. Facts should be easy enough to discover and verify for themselves and Burston is at least as guilty of trying to wish away history as he accuses his critics of wishing away today's reality.

It is indeed way too simplistic to say that since there has been no historic Palestinian people or culture that the problem is solved. But one cannot solve any problem without defining the problem properly, and like most people who think they know the solution, Burston shows no interest in defining it.

History is an integral part of the Israeli/Arab conflict. To deny that is to deny reality itself. Today's arguments depend to a large degree on historical facts, whether the history is from last year or from 200 or 2000 years ago.

When this blog refers to "Palestinian Arabs" it is not to deny peoplehood, but to be as accurate as possible. There are a not small number of Palestinian Jews who have lived in the area at least as long as most Palestinian Arabs, which from my research indicates a large influx from Syria and other Arab areas in the 1920s. Calling only the Arabs that lived in the area "Palestinian" does not serve the purpose of truth and as such does not go towards solving the problem.

On the other hand, I will not call them simply "Arabs" even though that would have been more accurate in the 1940s. For better or for worse, this group of people have become a separate group since 1948 and have been treated as such, mostly by the other Arabs themselves.

I am not going to go over all the arguments as to the fiction of a historic Palestinian people. I have written many articles on this blog about that topic. But I do not write these articles to be bigoted against a people. I have on numerous occasions written that the PalArabs have been screwed continuously by their so-called "leaders," and only relatively recently have I started blaming Palestinian Arabs themselves for their problems (mostly in the wake of their electing Hamas and the constant polls showing a clear support of terror among them.)

It is not racism to point out that the UN's self-perpetuating definition of "refugee" to include descendants of only a single set of refugees is a tragedy for the Palestinian Arabs themselves. It is not racism to point out that the neighboring Arab countries, by not assimilating them as every single other refugee group in history has been absorbed, have contributed more to the suffering of this people than Israel has. It is not racism to ask that a people that want to have their own country begin to act like responsible members of the world community. All of these are "history" and they are relevant today.

Saying that there is a "Palestinian" people implies accepting the Arab narrative of history in which Israel is a usurping colonialist imperialist apartheid state. Accepting at face value the claims of these people without looking at real facts is not only irresponsible but it can itself end up being a bigoted viewpoint against the Jews of the Middle East.

How can the status of Jerusalem be decided without looking at history? Saying that today's Palestinian Arabs hopes and dreams for Jerusalem has the same weight as the Jews' historic yearning for its holy city is a perversion of both history and of today's reality. One does not have to go back that many years to see how well the PalArabs treated Jerusalem when they did have control. To judge the merits of their arguments without taking a clear-eyed view of history is not helpful towards defining, and therefore solving, the problem.

Scientology was borm roughly the same time that the "Palestinian" people were born. Scientologists are clearly a real group of people with real beliefs. Does this mean that Scientology now has an equal claim of being a religion, should get tax-exempt status, should be taught in history classes in the same manner as Christianity or Buddhism? Of course not. One must look at the context, one must look at history, one must look at the facts. To uncritically accept a people's narrative without history does a disservice to everyone as well as to the truth. And it goes nowhere towards solving the problem.

There is another set of victims that come from uncritically accepting the Palestinian Arab narrative. These are the other peoples who indeed do have long historic or religious histories and aspirations of nationhood. The Kurds and Armenians and others suffer, partly, because the world is giving priority to the problems of a people who do not have nearly the same claims of peoplehood. There are finite resources on this planet and it only makes sense that people with a true history of suffering and discrimination should be taken care of before those who believe, no matter how passionately, in a fiction.

I do not claim that saying that there is no historic Palestinian Arab people magically solves their or our problems. But denying reality has a cost as well. And buying into the ahistorical narrative does a disservice to everyone.


Monday, November 27, 2006
Hamas' hilarious "history"
A British website named Palestine-info is associated with Hamas, so it is a good English resource to see exactly how they think when the wishful thinkers are saying otherwise.

On that site they have a handy-dandy almanac of important dates in Palestinian history. Since I am always willing to learn new things, I re-ordered the imporant dates to go by year rather than by month, so we can see all the important dates in Palestinian history, according to Hamas.

I was always wondering about that rich Palestinian Arab history that we hear has been there since time immemorial, so I expected that many gaps of Western knowledge of the history of the land would be filled by a news organization.

Once the almanac is sorted, here are the first entries:
8/12/636 The Romans were defeated by the Muslims in Al Yarmouk Battle, so Palestine has been a part of the Islamic State since then.
7/15/1099 The Crusaders occupied Jerusalem and killed more than 70,000 Muslims around Al Aqsa.
10/2/1187 Saladin restored Jerusalem from the Crusaders.
9/6/1260 The Mamlouks defeated Tattar in Ein Jalout Battle in north Palestine.
4/20/1779 Napoleon called for the Jews all over the world to join his forces so they could enter Palestine easily.
2/7/1799 The French expedition led by Napoleon was initiated in order to invade and occupy Palestine.
5/2/1799 The end of the French expedition after Napoleon had failed to conquer Akka.
8/29/1897 The first Zionist conference was held in Basl, Switzerland, presided by Haim Hertzl, who had chosen Palestine as a homeland for the Jews.
4/27/1909 Sultan Abdel Hameed was dethroned by the Turkish Society members, which marked the end of the Islamic Caliphate because he prevented the Jews from entering Palestine in 1900.
5/16/1916 Sicous-Picot agreement was signed by Britain and France to divide Palestine.
11/2/1917 Britain issued the Balfour Promise to establish the Jewish State in Palestine.
12/9/1917 The British General Allenby occupied Jerusalem.
1/7/1919 The first Palestinian conference was held and Palestine was considered a part of Syria.




It seems a little sparse, perhaps, in the years before 636 and there are some pretty huge gaps between 636 and the Crusades, and from 1260 to Napoleon.

I also don't see any mention of famous Palestinian Arab poets, writers, artists or even warriors. Seems strange.

I'm also surprised - in 1919, Palestine was considered by Arabs to be a part of Syria? For a land with such supposed significance in Arab history? (See here for another example of Palestine being considered a part of Syria - in the 10th century.)

Anyway, the entire fictionalized history of the area is just too good not to share, so forgive me for this long post but if you want to see how thoroughly distanced the Palestinian Arabs are from the truth, this gives a very good indication. I highlighted some items of interest, like massacres disguised as "rebellions" but everyone will certainly find some gems here. I am sure that some other bloggers will have their own comments on this twisted look at history, both by what is highlighted as well as what is missing.


Wishing the Palestinians out of existence

By Bradley Burston



A number of readers have written to suggest that the guidelines for talkback responses listed below - in particular the prohibition on use of the phrase "There are no Palestinians" - are fascistic, capricious, anti-democratic, a blatant curb on free speech.

That is not true. The guidelines are not capricious.

The fact is, that you are free to say almost anywhere else that there are no Palestinians, that the whole idea is a fabrication, a myth, that they don't exist because the name is Roman is origin, that they don't exist because Palestine was never a country, that they don't exist because they share language, culture and diet with other Arabs, that they don't exist because it was they themselves who decided, on their own, that they do.

You can even say, as one radical religious thinker did, that not only is there no such thing as a Palestinian, there are no Israelis, either.

You can say this in talkbacks on every other article in this entire newspaper Website. As many ways as you like. As many times as you can stand.

But the prohibition applying to this column is not going anywhere. The reason is this:

I believe that it is a form of racism to tell an entire people, millions upon millions all over the world, that their culture is not a true culture, that their identity is not an identity, that they do not, in fact, exist.

I believe that the reason for denying their existence is to deny the legitimacy of their pain, their aspirations, their longing, the facts of their history, none of which make for a comfortable fit with the history that Zionism originally wrote for itself.

The very idea of the Palestinian Arab represents competition for limited resources of land, the moral high ground, and the self-esteem of long-oppressed peoples.

You can't just wish away the Palestinians. Any more than you can decide, as did one member of the radical religious, that there are no Israelis, either.

How very elegant the solution to the whole of the complexities that Zionism poses: Just decide that there are no Palestinians, and the problem magically disappears. Instant transfer.

The proponents of the idea that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, and therefore, there are, in fact, no Palestinians, often view their arguments as morally neutral fact, verifiable by a body of morally neutral evidence.

It seems simplicity itself. If only the world would open its eyes to the truth, they say.

Fine. They can say it somewhere else.



__________________


The foregoing was written because I believe the reader is owed, at least this once, an explanation for the exercise of the writer's discretion over talkbacks, that is to say, his personal brand of bolshevism.

But it was also written as an introduction to an experiment.

Readers have also complained of the writer's failure to respond to their rhetorical challenges, as expressed in talkbacks. The reader is therefore invited to ask the writer to respond to questions regarding any of the pieces listed below in blue. A response is assured.

One more thing:

MK Yisrael Hasson said this week that he was drafting a bill that would require the writers of talkbacks to identify themselves by their real names. Hasson said that he believed the requirement would cause the respondents to take greater responsibility for their comments, thus raising the level of the responses, and curtailing the "culture of intolerance" that he said typified many of them.

Your response is welcome.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/796616.html
Last edited by Downside on 04 Feb 2007 09:38, edited 11 times in total.
User avatar
By Prosthetic Conscience
#1078094
Do you feel like answering my question, Downside? Or should I assume the barrier was built inside Palestine? By the way, the earliest recorded usage of the noun "Palestinian" in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1583.

2nd Pt. Mirrour Knighthood II. 264, I am now constrayned to declare of the battaile that was begunne betweene the light of all knighthood and the furious Palestinian.
By Downside
#1078139
The Palestine Post an English language newspaper founded on December 1, 1932 by American journalist-turned-newspaper-editor, Gershon Agron in the British mandate of Palestine and subsequently, in Israel. In 1950 its name was changed to The Jerusalem Post.

Copyright 2000 The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post

September 13, 2000, Wednesday

SECTION: OPINION; Pg. 8

LENGTH: 779 words

HEADLINE: The year the Arabs discovered Palestine

BYLINE: Daniel Pipes

HIGHLIGHT:
Daniel Pipes is director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum. E -mail: [email protected].

BODY:
Today is the day when a Palestinian state was nearly declared - for the third time.

On October 1 1948, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el- Husseini, stood before the Palestine National Council in Gaza and declared the existence of an All-Palestine Government.

In theory, this state already ruled Gaza and would soon control all of Palestine. Accordingly, it was born with a full complement of ministers to lofty proclamations of Palestine's free, democratic, and sovereign nature. But the whole thing was a sham. Gaza was run by the Egyptian government, the ministers had nothing to oversee, and the All-Palestine Government never expanded anywhere. Instead, this facade quickly withered away.

Almost exactly forty years later, on November 15, 1988, a Palestinian state was again proclaimed, again at a meeting of the Palestine National Council.

This time, Yasser Arafat called it into being. In some ways, this state was even more futile than the first, being proclaimed in Algiers, almost 3,000 kilometers and four borders away from Palestine, and controlling not a centimeter of the territory it claimed. Although the Algiers declaration received enormous attention at the time (the Washington Post front page story read "PLO Proclaims Palestinian State"), a dozen years later it is nearly as forgotten as the Gazan declaration that preceded it.

In other words, today's declaration of a Palestinian state would have retreaded some well-worn ground.

We do not know what today's statement would have said, but like the 1988 document it probably would have claimed that "the Palestinian Arab people forged its national identity" in distant antiquity.

In fact, the Palestinian identity goes back, not to antiquity, but precisely to 1920. No "Palestinian Arab people" existed at the start of 1920 but by December it took shape in a form recognizably similar to today's.

Until the late nineteenth century, residents living in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean identified themselves primarily in terms of religion: Moslems felt far stronger bonds with remote co- religionists than with nearby Christians and Jews. Living in that area did not imply any sense of common political purpose.

THEN came the ideology of nationalism from Europe; its ideal of a government that embodies the spirit of its people was alien but appealing to Middle Easterners. How to apply this ideal, though? Who constitutes a nation and where must the boundaries be? These questions stimulated huge debates.

Some said the residents of the Levant are a nation; others said Eastern Arabic speakers; or all Arabic speakers; or all Moslems.

But no one suggested "Palestinians," and for good reason. Palestine, then 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 el-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 el- Husseini.

Other identities - Syrian, Arab, and Moslem - continued to compete for decades afterward with the Palestinian one, but the latter has by now mostly swept the others aside and reigns nearly supreme.

That said, the fact that this identity is of such recent and expedient origins suggests that the Palestinian primacy is superficially rooted and that it could eventually come to an end, perhaps as quickly as it got started.



Since the Balfour Declaration spoke of historic Land of Israel as "Palestine," in which a "national home for the Jewish people" was to be established, one of the Arab slogans immediately declared that there is no such thing as "Palestine" except as the southern province of Greater Syria.

"The concept 'Palestinian nationality' is a figment of the imagination of pen-pushers in Israel and the West. To this day not a single writer in Arabic has used the term when writing in Arabic." So wrote Prof. Yehoshua Porath of the Hebrew University, an expert on "Palestinian" Arab history (among other subjects) and identified with the Israeli left.
"The Palestinians are apparently the most consistent and most extreme in their adherence to this (pan-Arab) view of Arab nationality," Porath wrote. "That is why they have always sided with anyone who promised them that when the Arab world has been united, it will be possible to liberate Palestine, redeem it from the Zionists and restore its Arab character.The objective of their struggle is the preservation of the Arabness of Palestine and not an independent Palestine ... in 20 percent of the territory of Palestine (west of the Jordan River)."



From a Palestinian site:

http://www.newjerseysolidarity.org/reso ... ter04.html

Building Zion Under the British Gun

The Sultan of Turkey conquered Palestine for his Ottoman Empire in 1517. For the next four hundred years, the Turks ruled Palestine as part of an administrative area called Greater Syria - which was to become the countries of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon in the twentieth century. Although Palestine was not a precisely defined geographic area until that time, the people of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Gaza and Nablus and the peasants in the surrounding countryside used the term Filastin or Palestine to describe their land.

On July 2, 1919, the General Syrian Congress, meeting in Damascus, unanimously condemned the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour Declaration, and the plans of the Zionists. They put a pointed question to the Great Powers:

How can the Zionists go back in history two thousand years to prove that by their short sojourn in Palestine they have now a right to claim it an return to it as a Jewish home, thus crushing the nationalism of a million Arabs?

The Congress denounced the mandate system. It demanded that Greater Syria become one united and independent nation. As the resolutions became known, people demonstrated throughout Syria, Palestine and Lebanon in support of the Congress.

In the meantime, the King-Crane Commission had arrived in Jaffa. It consisted of only the two American representatives; France, Britain and Italy had backed out. The Commission spent six weeks in Syria and Palestine, interviewing delegations and reading petitions. King and Crane recommended an American mandate with two important provisions. First:

The unity of Syria (Palestine, Syria and Lebanon) ought to be preserved in accordance with the earnest petition of the great majority of the people of Syria.

A 1920 editorial in a Palestinian newspaper predicted the bloody era of the British mandate. It said:

Palestine is Arab - its Muslims are Arab - its Christians are Arab - and its Jewish citizens are Arab too. Palestine will never by quiet if it is separated from Syria and made a national home for Zionism.

Arabs call 1920 Am Al Nakba, the Year of Catastrophe. Greater Syria was artificially divided into Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and placed under French or British occupation. The occupying troops met strong resistance. French troops mowed down Syrians defending Damascus and imposed a harsh military dictatorship on Syria. In Iraq, armed rebellion challenged the British mandate.

Copyright 1999 Mideast Mirror


Syria does not seem to be perturbed by the dialogue and rapprochement taking place between the Palestinian leadership and some Damascus-based Palestinian opposition groups about reviving the PLO in parallel with the PA, says Massarwa. True, some Damascus-based factions with the Palestinian opposition "Salvation Front" have denounced that dialogue, but they are clients of different Arab players other than Syria. It would be nonsensical for Syria to make progress in its talks with Israel and allow the front to continue denouncing "capitulation." Syria knows that the Front carries little or no weight as an opposition force, let alone a military one, now that the Palestinian focus has relocated to Palestine, South Lebanon is under the total control of Hizbollah, and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have reverted to the control of Fateh -- Yaser Arafat's Fateh.

Damascus has never approved of the PLO leadership since it launched its armed struggle in 1965. Although its interventions in Jordan in 1970 and Lebanon in 1976 were labelled as being in support of the Palestinian cause, they were clearly motivated by Syrian political calculations.

"That is not to belittle those calculations so long as Palestine and Jordan are 'southern Syria' and Lebanon is 'western Syria' and Damascus is the sole gauge in evaluating any political or armed action in this region. We may not agree with those convictions, but at the same time we must deal with their theses and complications, irrespective of the price which everyone ultimately pays," Massarwa writes.

Experience has shown that it is wrong to focus on putting pressure on the weakest of Arab parties in order to make them take a strong stand against the hostile power, he says.

The Palestinians need to take a strong stand against Israel at this juncture, but that is best achieved by strongly supporting them. Accusing the Palestinian leadership and singling it out will only drive it into the embrace of Israel and the Americans.

It is the weaker Arab parties who most need Arab support, instead of being isolated and left at the mercy of the hegemony of hostile forces, says Massarwa. The Palestinians now need everyone to stand by them unconditionally.

By Yirmeyahu
#1078273
You're suggesting some sort of double-standard where none exists.

Israel has every right to build a wall, if it so pleases, on it's side of the border. It has no right to build the wall in the West Bank, and it is a crime to do so.

Your "lesson" was that "The Arabs will not allow any part of the country to be owned by someone other then themselves, neither will they allow the country to be controlled, politically or administratively, by the Jews or anyone else."

Now it seems you have the double-standard, since the same attitude applies to the Jews. Hence the ethnic cleansing of Arab inhabitants.

In 1938, Arabs were the majority. They did not want a partition, but wanted the creation of a democratic government in a united Palestine. The Jews and British rejected this idea. You neglected to mention Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization which carried out terrorism against Arab civilians.

Today Israel illegally occupies Palestinian territories, the people of whom live under oppression and are denied basic rights, including the right to self-determination they've so long desired, but which has so long been denied to them by those more powerful.

You claim Arabs "declared there is no such thing as 'Palestine'". I've never heard that before. Please source that assertion. Prior to the declaration of the Jewish state, inhabitants of Palestine were known as Palestinians, both Arab and Jew. One of your own sources points out that fact.

You say Palestinian nationality is "a figment in the imagination". Yes, that's correct, since the right to self-determination is denied to the Palestians by the US and Israel.

And you mentioned the Balfour "Declaration", but neglected to note that it also explicitly stated that nothing within prejudiced the rights of the Arab inhabitants.

And you never answered Prosthetic Conscience's question, which has been posted to you twice now.
User avatar
By Prosthetic Conscience
#1078631
Yirmeyahu, there's a section at the end of the first post - perhaps I missed it the first time, perhaps it was added in an edit. It's unsourced, but seems to come from a piece in Haaretz. It says:

The fence and the attached barrier now under construction are similar in many details to the Northern Fence. However, the main difference between them is the location of the fence. The Northern Fence was built entirely within the area of Mandatory Palestine, along the border or inside it, in an area where the Mandate government had full legitimate sovereignty; whereas the present-day separation fence is located east of the 1967 Green Line, which the international community accepts as Israel's legitimate border.

Just about everyone agrees that if the fence were built along the Green Line, leaving Jewish settlements outside the fence but under full Israeli sovereignty, things would look different - and the fence, as long as needed, would be strictly for security purposes.

The present fence, then, is one whose political significance is being contested by the two sides. By means of the debate over the fence, the Palestinians want to legitimize their contention that the Green Line constitutes the western boundary of the territory that is supposed to be under their control, whereas the Israeli government is effectively trying to undermine the Green Line by creating an almost completely new one.


which does acknowledge the difference in the barriers, and that the current one is illegal, because it's built in occupied territory (occupiers are not allowed, under international conventions, to take land for permanent purposes), and that it is built for political, territorial and economic purposes, as opposed to just defensive ones.
By Downside
#1078807
There is no "international UN-drawn borders". The Armistice line - what you call the 1967 border - is merely the line demarking where fighting ended in the 1948 war. It has no other significance historically speaking and, moreover, it was not accepted as a border by any of the parties to that war. So, it is, from the point of view of Israel and International law, not a recognized boundary.

The British UN Ambassador at the time, Lord Caradon, who introduced the resolution to the Council, has stated that:

It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to
them.

Lord Caradon told the 1967 International Press Seminar on "The Arab Image in Western Mass Media" that "a certain amount of fault lies with all . . . For instance, when we were making a resolution in 1967, no proposal had ever been made at that time, to my knowledge, of a Palestinian state, nor had it been suggested that the PLO should represent the Palestinian cause alone."



http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,,1726305,00.html

BBC online censured for anti-Israel bias

The BBC’s Board of Governors has censured the corporation’s BBC online service for a misleading article about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The article, published late last year, suggested the UN called for Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from territories seized during the six-day war when in fact it called for a negotiated "land for peace" settlement between Israel and "every state in the area".

The governors report, which specifically singled out the reporting of the UN resolution after the 1967 Israeli-Arab ’Six-day war’, stated that the piece on the BBC news website did not give a balanced view of events.

Absence of factual reporting

The UN Security Council 242 is very specific when it calls for a connection between a "withdrawal from territories" and all nations in the region’s "right to live in peace".

The wording of the resolution refers to "territories" and not "the territories" meaning that the resolution never calls on Israel to withdraw from all territory captured during the war.

At the time the British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon said: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.”

The BBC governors’ report concluded: "The committee considered that by selecting only references to Israel, the online article did not accurately reflect this balance and gave a biased impression. It therefore breached editorial standards on both accuracy and impartiality".




Under UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967 -- -- Israel is only expected to withdraw "from territories" to "secure and recognized boundaries" and not from "the territories" or "all the territories" captured in the Six-Day War. This deliberate language resulted from months of painstaking diplomacy. For example, the Soviet Union attempted to introduce the word "all" before the word "territories" in the British draft resolution that became Resolution 242. Lord Caradon, the British UN ambassador, resisted these efforts.10 Since the Soviets tried to add the language of full withdrawal but failed, there is no ambiguity about the meaning of the withdrawal clause contained in Resolution 242, which was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council.

Thus, the UN Security Council recognized that Israel was entitled to part of these territories for new defensible borders. Britain's foreign secretary in 1967, George Brown, stated three years later that the meaning of Resolution 242 was "that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories." Taken together with UN Security Council Resolution 338, it became clear that only negotiations would determine which portion of these territories would eventually become "Israeli territories" or territories to be retained by Israel's Arab counterpart.

What was United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and what does it say?

www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948to1967_un_242.php

http://www.aijac.org.au/resources/docum ... -1967.html



http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?f ... let__6.php


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
International Herald Tribune
Tuesday, August 20,1991


'Just Armistice Lines'

If Adnan Pachachi's letter ("The Conflict Was and Continues to Be About Territory," Aug. 7) is any indication of the logic of those involved in UN debates and discussions at the time of, and following, the 1967 Middle East war, then it is little wonder that such limited progress has been made since then.

Mr. Pachachi's lamentable rewriting of history regarding the outbreak of hostilities in 1967 is much to be regretted. and only serves to diminish his credibility (he was Iraq's foreign minister from 1965 to 1967 and ambassador to the United Nations from 1960 to 1965 and 1967 to 1969). He will not find much of an audience, even I suspect among many Arabists, that will swallow the notion that Israel "forced the Arabs to enter a war they were not ready to fight and tried to avoid."

Mr. Pachachi refers to Ambassador Zalman Shoval's comments on the intent of Resolution 242 ("Resolution 242 Means More Than Land for Peace," Opinion, July 20), but says he prefers the statement of the resolution's author, the late Lord Caradon. Unfortunately, he quotes not Lord Caradon, but the British foreign secretary at the time, the late George Brown.

If Mr. Pachachi was short of a quote from Lord Caradon, may I offer the following from the Beirut Daily Star on June 12, 1974? When asked why Resolution 242 did not specify exactly from what territories Israel should withdraw, Lord Caradon replied:


"It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to."

CHRISTOPHER DREYFUS.

London. - Lord Caradon, to whom Mr. Pachachi refers as authoritative, told the 1967 International Press Seminar on "The Arab Image in Western Mass Media" that "a certain amount of fault lies with all . . . For instance, when we were making a resolution in 1967, no proposal had ever been made at that time, to my knowledge, of a Palestinian state, nor had it been suggested that the PLO should represent the Palestinian cause alone." JOSEPH LERNER. Jerusalem.


So successful has this effort to transform the facts been that what began as propaganda has become received dogma. It is striking to see how popularity has widely come to be equated with veracity, as if the most commonly held position must by definition be the correct one.
Last edited by Downside on 19 Dec 2006 20:57, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By dannymu
#1078837
British built "wall" to stop Palestinian terrorism

Oh dear. Now I expect them to demand compensation from the British government for breaching their "human rights".

So it looks like nobody opposed the wall so why should ISrael's wall be opposed?
User avatar
By Prosthetic Conscience
#1078885
So it looks like nobody opposed the wall so why should ISrael's wall be opposed?


Because Israel built a wall in another country, not their own. Did you actually read the thread, and the piece from Haaretz?
By Downside
#1079109
Southern Syria vs. "Palestine"
The Romans had changed the name of the Land of Israel to "Palestine." But from A.D. 640 until the 1960s, Arabs referred to this same Land as "Southern Syria." Arabs only started calling the Land "Palestine" in the 1960s. Until about the eighteenth century, the Christian world called this same Land, "The Holy Land." Thereafter, they used two names: "The Holy Land" and "Palestine." When the League of Nations in 1922 gave Great Britain the mandate to prepare Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, the official name of the Land became "Palestine" and remained so until the rebirth of the Israeli State in 1948. During this very period, the leaders of the Arabs in the Land, however, called themselves Southern Syrians and clamored that the Land become a part of a "Greater Syria." This "Arab Nation" would include Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan as well as Palestine. An observation in TIME magazine well articulated how the Palestinian identity was born so belatedly in the 1960s:37

Golda Meir once argued that there was no such thing as a Palestinian; at the time, she wasn't entirely wrong. Before Arafat began his proselytizing, most of the Arabs from the territory of Palestine thought of themselves as members of an all-embracing Arab nation. It was Arafat who made the intellectual leap to a definition of the Palestinians as a distinct people; he articulated the cause, organized for it, fought for it and brought it to the world's attention. . . .who made the intellectual leap to a definition of the Palestinians as a distinct people; he articulated the cause, organized for it, fought for it and brought it to the world's attention. . . .

If there was an Arab Palestinian culture, a normal population increase over the centuries would have been expected. But with the exception of a relatively few families, the Arabs had no attachment to the Land. If Arabs from southern Syria drifted into Palestine for economic reasons, within a generation or so the cultural tug of Syria or other Arab lands would pull them back. This factor is why the Arab population average remained low until the influx of Jewish financial investments and Jewish people in the late 1800s made the Land economically attractive. Then sometime between 1850 and 1918, the Arab population shot up to 560,000. Not to absolve the Jews but to defend British policy, the not overfriendly British secretary of state for the colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, declared in the House of Commons (November 24, 1938), "The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of the country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe the Arab population of Palestine would still have been around 600,000. . ."38

Jewish contributions and Jewish immigration continued to flow into the Land. The Jews created industry, agriculture, hospitals—a complete socio-economic infrastructure. As job opportunities increased, so did Arab immigration. In fact, in 1939 President Roosevelt observed that "Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly exceeded the total Jewish immigration during this whole period."39 For one specific example, in 1934 between 30,000 and 36,000 Arabs from the Hauran Province in Syria left for "the better life" in Palestine.40

On the other hand, Great Britain's White Paper of 1939 closed the doors of Jewish immigration to their Land. Simultaneously, there was a large-scale Arab immigration to the new Land of opportunity during World War II.41 In 1946 Bartley C. Crum, a United States Government observer, noted that tens of thousands of Arabs had entered Palestine "because of this better life—and they were still coming."42

The Testimony of Arabs and Christians
Because Arabs until the 1960s spoke of Palestine as Southern Syria or part of Greater Syria, in 1919 the General Syrian Congress stated, "We ask that there should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine."43 In 1939 George Antonius noted the Arab view of Palestine in 1918:44

Faisal's views about the future of Palestine did not differ from those of his father and were identical with those held then by the great majority of politically-minded Arabs. The representative Arab view was substantially that which King Husain [Grand Sherif of Mecca, the great grandfather of the current King Hussein of Jordan] had expressed to the British Government. . . in January 1918. In the Arab view, Palestine was an Arab territory forming an integral part of Syria.

Referring to the same Arab view of Palestine in 1939, George Antonius spoke of "the whole of the country of that name [Syria] which is now split up into mandated territories…"45 His lament was that France's mandate over Syria did not include Palestine which was under Britain's mandate.As late as May 1947, Arab representatives reminded the United Nations in a formal statement, "Palestine is a…part of the Province of Syria….Politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity."46On May 31, 1956, Ahmed Shukairy had no hesitation, as current head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in announcing to the Security Council the observation, "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."47Syrian President Hafez Assad once told PLO leader Yassir Arafat:48

You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.

Assad stated on March 8, 1974, "Palestine is a principal part of Southern Syria, and we consider that it is our right and duty to insist that it be a liberated partner of our Arab homeland and of Syria."49In the words of the late military commander of the PLO as well as member of the PLO Executive Council, Zuhair Muhsin:50

There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity….yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel [emphasis ours].

The following are significant observations by Christians of the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s:51

The Arabs themselves, who are its inhabitants, cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it.

British gift

The area which is now Jordan comprises 76 per cent of mandatory Palestine. It was unilaterally partitioned off by the British in 1922 and given to the Hashemi family, who had lost power and influence in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

According to the terms of the mandate, Britain's primary role was to facilitate the re-establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. The political borders of that state were not specified. Modern-day Israel, the West Bank and Gaza comprise the residual 24 per cent not given by Britain to the Hashemites.

Bearing this perspective in mind explains the Palestinians' view that Oslo itself is the historic compromise - an agreement to concede 78% of mandatory Palestine to Israel".

It lived even after our leaders had been forced to accept the Churchill White Paper of 1922 severing the east bank of the Jordan River from the internationally recognized Palestine Mandate, an area constituting about 78% of the Mandate.


It lived even after we accepted the United Nations's partition proposal of November 29, 1947, offering a large chunk of the remaining 22% (Western Mandatory Palestine) to the Arabs to set up their "Arab Palestine."

Clear for all to see, it is not Yasser Arafat and the movement he heads who are "irredentist." They represent a people, the Palestinians, whose right to self-determination and statehood have not yet been fulfilled, and who now aspire to a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are altogether only 20% of Mandatory Palestine.

He speaks of "the Palestinian people" in a period when no such Arab people/nation existed; when the term embraced the Jews and others living in Mandatory Palestine; indeed, when the term was understood to apply primarily, if not exclusively, to the country's Jews.

The original Palestine Mandate the League of Nations assigned to Britain for implementation of the Balfour Declaration included the territory of what is today the Kingdom of Jordan, which was some 78% of the original Mandatory Palestine. So in 1948 Israel may have held 78% of what remained of the Mandate, Western Palestine, but only 17% of the original "total area."

More importantly, far from being the hapless victims of a Zionist assault, the Palestinians and the Arab states were the aggressors in the 1948 War, and it was they who attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to "cleanse" a neighbouring ethnic community. Does a failed act of aggression turn its perpetrator into a victim? Of course not. Imagine a defeated Nazi Germany demanding reparations from Britain and the United States, or Iraq demanding compensation from Kuwait for the losses it suffered during its expulsion from the emirate. Both politically and morally the idea is grotesque.
By Yirmeyahu
#1079362
There is an international concensus that the recognized borders of Israel are the pre-1967 war borders, that the territories occupied since then are illegally occupied, that the settlement activity within those occupied territories is illegal. UNSC resolution 242, just to name the most obvious example, implicitly recognizes those borders.

242 also explicitly states that it is inadmissable to acquire territory by means of war and hence calls on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the war.

Contrary to popular myth, it makes no exceptions. 242 does not state that Israel may annex or continue to occupy some of the territories. The principle is explicit and the actionable clause unambiguous.

Dannymu asked why Israel's wall should be opposed. Again, as Prosthetic Consience and I have both pointed out repeatedly, the wall is being built illegally. Israel has every right to build a wall on Israel's border. It has no right to build a wall within the West Bank and it is a violation of international law to do so.
By rhodescholar
#1087719
There is an international concensus that the recognized borders of Israel are the pre-1967 war borders, that the territories occupied since then are illegally occupied, that the settlement activity within those occupied territories is illegal. UNSC resolution 242, just to name the most obvious example, implicitly recognizes those borders.

242 also explicitly states that it is inadmissable to acquire territory by means of war and hence calls on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the war.

Contrary to popular myth, it makes no exceptions. 242 does not state that Israel may annex or continue to occupy some of the territories. The principle is explicit and the actionable clause unambiguous.


The only myths here are the ones you keep perpetuating. The AUTHORS of Res 242 explicitly stated in public that the resolution DOES NOT require Israel to vacate all or part of the West bank or gaza strip, period.

It is not clear why you keep refusing to accept this reality.

Further, since Israel captured these areas in a DEFENSIVE war, they cannot be compelled to relieve themselves of them.
User avatar
By danholo
#1087804
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