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Self-induced pernicious amnesia

Reader comment on item: Interview: ‘I watch with frustration as the Israelis don't get the point'

Submitted by Yyzoleowl (United States), Jun 12, 2006 at 15:58

What a pleasure to see the mavens in Israel give the award to the right guy. How many of them are objective enough to digest and act on Daniel's comments - the rare voice of reason who prefers reality and logic to illusion? We may learn in time (or may never - ever).

The standard reaction to all crises – and particularly to the Middle East events flooding the news media - is often based on the most recent newspaper headlines and the latest TV broadcasts. Among Israeli's critics are prestigious occupants of lofty halls of academe and fair, objective, compassionate ecclesiastic committees hellbent for divestiture. All yearn for the magic wand that will end suicide bombing, take down the wall (which coincidentally keeps suicide bombers out), the cessation of Israel's ending the careers of organizers of assassination expeditions, with the underlying preserved theme, the unceasingly repeated virtual mantra, "Occupiers, give the stolen territories back to their original denizens and get out." It borders on the belief that as soon as Israel bows to the pressures of the PA and Hamas, the Arab populace worldwide will end its hatred and hostility to the United States, make peace with Israel and instantly stop their violence.

Forgotten is the condition of the land of Palestine in the 1850's when Jewish immigrants began their migration to build the land and their lives, after fleeing the murderous pogroms in Russia and the centuries of wretched living conditions in Europe the Pale. Biblical prophesy fulfillment was not so much on their minds. They were intent on getting money from the JNF pushkas shaken for pennies all over the world to pay the outrageous prices the effendis were charging who continued to benefit from employing the cheap labor of the oppressed fellahin that inhabited this forgotten distant outpost of the decaying Ottoman Empire.

Israel's detractors - descendants of our country's pioneers or of generations of immigrants forget that the land we all live on was never paid for by anyone, unless you refer to Manhattan. The resisting indigenous population who lived here for twenty-five thousand years was violently hunted and killed off, while the survivors were exiled to the poorest distant marginal lands where many died off or barely survived. We - today's proud Americans - are the occupiers. If you buy property in the United States, Hawaii, Bermuda, Nassau – your deed names you as the legal owner. The ruling class in Palestine gladly pocketed the money they pocketed by selling land to their Jewish buyers, the immigrant newcomers. They became legal owners of the property they paid-for. Today the Arab world blithely brands Israel as an occupier, joined by unabashedly bigoted Americans while they blithely continue living on land stolen only a few centuries ago from the native Indians inhabitants whom they .

Ottoman army soldiers on duty in Palestine patrolling the dirt roads of Jerusalem in their ragged uniforms, who stopped seeing paydays in a land replete with orchards, swamp land and desert, wept as they pleaded with the local folk for a bit of food.

The economy of the postage-size country began to hum as the victorious British marched into Jerusalem with the realization that they must now live up to Lord Balfour's declaration - "His majesty looks with favor on the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people". Eucalyptus trees from Australia drained the swamps, the desert was beginning to bloom, immigrant Zionist doctors were ending blindness from trachoma and glaucoma and arresting tuberculosis decimation of the local populace. The Hadassah Hospital was caring equally for Jewish and Arab patients. No Arab countries contributed to this economic and social phenomenon.

Arab workers were paid decent wages helping the Jews build a modern infrastructure with roads, sewage plants, electric lines, water systems and housing for the benefit of the Jewish and Arab populace and to provide for the flood of Zionist immigrants. The newcomers joined the pioneers building homes and establishing farms, while raising the standard of life for their Arab neighbors.

News of the new life and exploding growth in the new land also beckoned many incredulous Arab immigrants trying to escape their hopeless miserable lives in their home countries. They learned from their Palestinian brethren of the vastly improved life the latter were experiencing and how they were benefiting from the tremendous advances made by the accursed infidel Dhimmi Yahuds.

Christians throughout the world were inspired by news of General Allenby at the head of the victorious British Army entering Palestine. They learned that on approaching the gate of Jerusalem, the commander of the Allied forces in the Middle East was so overwhelmed by the Army's liberation of the land of Christ's birth that he had his batman stop his open-top 6-passenger command car at the gate of Jerusalem and strode alone to the center of town. Christian supporters of the Holy Land sent

missions and money to support the fledgling community of Jews in Palestine, bought steamship tickets to witness at first hand the rebirth of Christ's homeland, relating these marvels to all on their return.

But this story of Yahud success, news of the harmony of Jews and Arabs in the now thriving land as the economic and social life of the residents was reaching new highs met with outrage and dastardly plans by Arabs in other lands. Also, picking this new rich plum was too inviting to pass up. Murderous squads of terrorist recruited from Arab countries joined disaffected members of the now minority Arab population and were turned loose to slaughter every Jewish man, woman and child they could lay their hands on, while adding maim, rape and looting to their depredations.

Arab Palestinians rushed to warn their Jewish neighbors when word reached them of the terrifying plans made for their friends and secretly hid them in their homes until the Arab pogrom was spent and had died down. Many paid the price for protecting the lives of their Jewish neighbors.

As more and more assassins were brought in to speed the destruction of the Jewish communities, the military minions of perfidious Albion, anxious to avoid alienating rulers of the surrounding Arab countries, responded by searching Jewish homes and confiscating found arms, leaving the Jewish residents no alternative but to found the Haganah – the clandestine defense forces and the more violent Irgun which took stronger offensive action against the one-sided British troops peace-keeping. Memories of commitment to the Balfour promise faded as the British found that making treaties with their former enemy – the Arab nations surrounding Israel - was more expeditious, – a step that eventually led them to pack up and leave with "a plague on both your houses" motivating their new strategy.

Also forgotten was the Arabs' sympathies with Britain's enemies in World War I and their

enthusiastic support of the Nazi regime in the thirties. Over centuries, Arab countries never gave a thought to invading and governing Palestine. Now, their marauders having failed to pick the ripe plum in the twenties would find it a snap when the Axis's defeat of the Allied powers was complete.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who had abetted the attackers of Jewish residents fled to Berlin for the duration, pledging his support to Hitler.

In contrast, the mass of volunteers in the Jewish Brigade whose ranks included Jews from Palestine and others who left their homeland, and who fought heroically at the side of the British in WWII battles were also quickly forgotten. However, the excellent military training the Jewish volunteers were given by their British commanders stood paid off handsomely at a later event in the history of the country.

Wit WWII ended, loyalty and gratitude were again forgotten by the British in 1945 as the Royal Navy raced through the Mediterranean, boarding refugee-laden leaky old freighters smuggling a human cargo of holocaust survivors, mercilessly beating resisting passengers and throwing the captured into open-air barbed-wire enclosed concentration camps in barren stretches of the island of Cyprus. The new fledgling country fighting for its survival was turning into a constant nuisance to its former ally.

When in 1948, six Arab nations attacked the new United Nations-accepted State of Israel, Palestinian leaders urged the Arab residents to flee, to avoid the big-gun shelling that would soon wipe out the Israelis but could make them casualties as well. Following the Arab victory, the Palestinians would return to take over the homes, wealth, and possessions of the defeated Israelis.

Many Arab Palestinian natives gambled, electing to remain at great personal sacrifice, having decided to throw in their lot with Israel. Their fate would be sealed if Israel lost. Today they and their descendants remain bona fide Israeli citizens. They are free to move to Gaza or West Bank but decline to do so. Israeli courts find in their favor, ruling against Jews who perform illegal acts against them. They select and vote for their own Arab candidates who represent them, serving in the Israeli parliament - the Knesseth - are employed in the professions, share ownership of businesses with Israeli partners. Their children have equal access with Israeli students in schools and universities.

When those who fled faced the new reality, they shrilly demanded to be readmitted, unwilling to accept and unfamiliar with the winner-loser concept,- the historical finale of all conflicts. The Allies saw no reason in 1945 to adopt this policy change in war's end settlement with the Axis. They did not rush to stand by the Jews when the mass of countries sided with the Arabs in protesting the "injustice of exile."

Things haven't changed since. Israeli treatment of their Arab neighbors has never been a model of altruism and ample guilt is easily found. But the pattern is the same, - uniformly, noble boy-scout behavior is demanded of Israel. Forgetting past attitudes and actions of their enemies is standard response by Israel's critics. Uniquely, Israelis have been long-accustomed to being asked to give up gains to their attackers, while condemnation of their attackers is seldom voiced.

When Sharon led a contingent of IDF troops several miles into Southern Lebanon to stop PLO depredation by the shelling of Israeli border villages and killing of civilian inhabitants, the swelling chorus with screams of condemnation at this "invasion" and "occupation" was deafening. Shelling incidents by both sides continued – the Israeli Army's mostly defensive response to the shelling initiated by the PLO artillery, never by the Israelis - was to let them now they were still there, so damage was curtailed but the life of residents of the border town of Kiryat Shmona returned to normal. Babies were no longer carried down into basement bomb-shelters by their parents every night.

The intensity of the outrageous treatment of the Lebanese populace by their uninvited PLO occupiers fleeing Israel troops increased unremittingly. Lebanese corner grocery-store owners told me their hero was Ariel Sharon. When Israel withdrew its troops, the departure of the "aggressors" was celebrated by Arab countries and not a few American sympathizers. Following the departure of the Israeli Army troops, when large Syrian troop contingents marched in to begin the occupation of Lebanon remaining for thirty years, no shrill condemnation was raised from any source. Syria, one of Israel's prime attackers in the 1948 conflict, still continues to plead for the return of the Golan Heights, the captured areas from which they launched the attack on Israel. No peace treaty is offered. "We lost, so now give us back our land."

Today, the Arab immigrants who enjoyed the benefits of life in Palestine until the Jewish state was attacked, who fled with the hope on their return as victors of reaping the spoils of war, now demand to --be returned to the pre-1948 status. Should they – as the determined enemy – get the same treatment as the Israeli Arabs who never left? Was this the USA's response to its vanquished enemies in 1918 and 1945 - letting the attacking losers call the shots? This is the consistent demand made of Israel.

"Yes!" say the vast army of Israel's detractors and ignorers of history. "Drop the traditional rules of engagement and the options of the victor at the end of conflicts. The Palestinians who fled took the side of the Arab nations that fought Israel for their personal gain at the final victory. Israel was their enemy. Israel survived and won. Now give us back the land you stole and let us and our families back in." Induced amnesia, contracted for the occasion – every occasion.

If you played your hand at the gambling tables in Monaco and lost your money, ask them to give it back to you. American pioneers never bought the land in the occupied continent, today's USA – we "evicted" the "residents" and "took" it. Israel paid for their land, labored intensively to enrich the land and the lives of its inhabitants with whom they lived somewhat peacefully. Now that it was no longer a backwater, fanatical murderous thugs made its acquisition their unceasing goal. It was never owned by the Palestinians, it was never taken from them. Arabs of every country have never stopped dreaming of acquiring the prize and have used every stratagem from force to eliciting the world's sympathy to hijack it, calling it "our" land. The world agrees and has never stopped condemning Israel. Attacked by six neighbors, Israel's response was hardly praised or approved. Cease fires

were only asked for when the attackers were losing.

In all the years under domination by the Ottoman Empire, few from the multitude of Arabs made significant efforts to make Palestine their home. But in the early 1900s, seeing the direction the land was taking as the Jews continued to develop it, those intent on crushing Israel initiated attacks on the resident population, and continue their depredations in repeated attempt by use of arms to kill Israel's legal residents, changing the tune to, "It's our land. Give it back to us and get off of it or we will kill you." Israel's enemies join the chorus, and in support of the violent attackers, ignore history, justifying terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, their victim, and defend their murderous actions, as they piously keep mouthing the same slander, never hesitating to justify the perpetrated outrages with the same old pernicious saw "You have to look at the root cause!" Read "The attacker is innocent. It's the victim's fault."

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