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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When Jews Offered the Moon to Arabs and It Wasn't Enough

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                 

                                                  Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of Israel

Back around 1920, our harassed Zionist leaders made so many concessions in the hope of appeasing the Arabs that it caused an argument between the Zionist schools of Chaim Weizmann and Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Vladimir "Ze'ev" Jabotinsky (1880-August 4, 1940) was a Revisionist Zionist" who were in opposition to the official Zionism.  He along with Joseph Trumpeldor had founded the Jewish Legion of the British Army in WWI.  He established the Zion Mule Corps.   He favored political cooperation with the British.  One of his accomplishments was to organize the Irgun, Beitar and Hatzohar groups.  He must have changed his opinion of the British by 1923 when he resigned from the Zionist Executive board because they failed to oppose the British policy with enough vigor. That was probably due to his imprisonment by the British because he fought against the Arabs in their 1920 attack on Jewish communities.  It was then that he had organized the first Jewish self-defense group which he led.  He did his best to get Polish Jews out of Europe in the 1930's and could see what was happening to Jews and how important a Jewish state was. According to historian Benny Morris, however, documents show that all Zionist leaders of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, including Jabotinsky, favored the transfer of Arab populations if required for establishing a (still-proposed) Jewish state."

Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) was a Jewish scientist who assisted all the allies and especially Great Britain to win WWI with his scientific achievement of improving weapons use.  He brought about the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917 in which Britain made the commitment to establish a Jewish Home out of Palestine, the land The Brits held the mandate on.  He had successful meetings with Emir Feisal,  son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca who was the head leader of all the Arabs.  They had an agreement to create an Arab and a Jewish state.   

Weizmann's ideas had prevailed.   Chaim was chosen to be Israel's first president.  Feisal changed his mind about Israel  when he realized that Great Britain had given  more land than he had expected to the Jews.

Both of these Zionist leaders, Jabotinsky and Weizmann, were Russian Jews  who were tired of pogroms and restrictions on Jews and saw the perils their people were facing, but didn't imagine such a thing as the future Holocaust that would wipe out 6 million of their people.    Their future was bleak and about to become extinct as they saw it in the 20's.  .  

It was the Arab leaders' antagonism which was  inspired, organized  and financed by the British Authority  that did the undoing of cooperation between the Jews and the Arabs.  The Jewish leaders knew how contrived and unrealistic the pretensions of the Arab national movement was.  They knew that there wasn't any burning desire to have their own country when they met them back in the 1880's.  Arabs just wanted jobs.                                                                

                                                    Emir Feisal Ibn ul Hussein, King of Iraq

Concession after concession was proposed to the Arabs.  In the early 1930's the Zionists  offered the Arabs political recognition which would have jeopardized the very foundation of their own independence, but it wasn't accepted.  Parity was the offer made.  This is  constitutional equality regardless of majority and minority,  "the quality or state of being equal or equivalent."   If they disagreed, the vote was to be cast by the British government which the Jews still trusted in those days.  "No reasoned reply was ever made to this offer;  it died in the flames of the pan-Arab attack of 1936.

The next year in 1937, the Zionist leaders made the decision for the sake of peace to share the country with the Arabs by dividing what remained of the original mandated territory of Palestine  after eastern Palestine had been given to the Arabs by the British.  This was a partition scheme proposed by the British Royal Commission and the Jews accepted it even though the  proposed  miniature Jewish state would have been completely indefensible.  They must have been desperate to do that as they saw what was happening in Europe to the Jews.  Our  higher power must have been protecting the Jews from such a bad decision as the Arabs rejected the plan and the British government buried it!  The proposed Israel would have been extinguished faster than the blink of an eye since the Arabs were already meeting with Hitler and plotting the end of the Jews.
A 3rd proposal was made in 1947 after WWII when Hitler was dead.  The Jewish underground had finally forced the British to give up their hold on Palestine.  Their mandate was running out of time anyway as it was up in 1948.  The Zionist leaders announced that they were willing to accept a plan of partition as a way of putting an end to the conflict they were experiencing.  They accepted the UN partition proposal which still included a  ludicrously vulnerable Jewish state by telling themselves again that a heavy sacrifice would win the heart of the Arabs.

Of course it was just an illusion and this acceptance was met with bloodshed. and destruction.  The Arabs of Palestine were in an uproar and the Arab League invaded in 1948 when Israel was declared a state on May 14th.  Still, the Zionist leaders refrained from using their military advantage gained from all the past fighting they had been enduring.   Some feel they could have restored all of western Palestine, but instead they accepted a compromise which left Palestine partitioned and Israel with improved but still strategically weak frontiers.  Israel signed the Armistice agreements with the Arab government counting on peace with their neighbors who breached each clause, one by one.

There hadn't been any movement from the Arabs of Judea and Samaria to make peace with Israel in the cramped lines of the 1949 Armistice.  They continued to think of themselves as people wanting to eliminate Israel.  In May of 1967,  just before the Six Day War that started on June 5th, outbursts of joyful participation could be heard in their general pan-Arab plotting

The Palestinian Arabs have had a very short modern history as they were people who had emigrated to Israel from neighboring states seeking jobs and better living conditions in the 1880's.  Only a few could qualify as native-born Arabs.  Many landowners had long since left and had sold their land to the Jews as they were able to receive very high inflated prices for worn-out land no one wanted except the Jews.  The Arabs leaders who were now dickering for all the land were following the lead from outsiders.  There was no base to them needing or even thinking about having their own state.  "It is no accident nor the result of any overwhelming pressure that they did not establish a state of their own even when it was offered to them on a silver platter by the United Nations."  They said no to an agreement for their own state in 1949 when the war ended.  The Armistice had been signed by Israel, and the Arab army of Transjordan was occupying Judea and Samaria.  What more did they want?

Nineteen years later in 1967, the Arabs hadn't shown any desire for independence nor taken any action to get their own state.   King  Abdullah had created Transjordan in 1946 and made it an independent Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.  He had formally announced the annexation of Judea and Samaria to his kingdom during the 1948-1949 War and the Palestinian Arabs said nothing.  The king renamed the land "Jordan."  The Arabs living there suddenly became Jordanians or even called themselves "West Bankers" and no one complained. There are more "Palestinian Arabs" living there than the original Hashemites.  In reality, this is the Arab "Palestine."   They found out that this move angered other Arab states, but Great Britain and Pakistan recognized this move.

There never was a nation called Palestine.  It was the former Jewish land of Israel and Judah renamed by the Romans.  Arabs living in what was called Palestine were always a fragment of the large Arab world.  The inner desire, and spiritual feeling, the passion of creating a nation hasn't been there without the egging on of the Brits and their Arab brothers of the surrounding nations. They always had thought of themselves as Syrians.   They have really been treated as pawns in a game of chess with the goal of taking over all of Israel from the dhimmis of the past, the Jews.  Their national character has been turned into terrorists who have constantly attacked Jews.  Deep inside of each Arab is more of an attachment to their family, clan, village and city.  Most haven't changed from the people TE Lawrence found in 1918 except for one way;  they are now ready to sacrifice their children's lives to gain the upper hand.

It's been 65 years since Israel was re-established on May 14, 1948.  Israel's heart has been hardened by all wars they have had to fight to keep their tiny country which is only 8,000 square miles.They have lost their naivety.   There needs to be another Emir Feisal to come along and make a peace that both Israel and the Arabs can live with.  Third parties may have their heart in the right place but not their souls.  This must be between the people who must live together.  Israel has continued to offer them the olive branch. Either the Arabs are ready to live as others do, in peace, or not.  The choice is theirs.

Resource:  Battleground-fact and fantasy in Palestine by Samuel Katz p. 220-225.'ev_Jabotinsky

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