If Palestinian demands are a problem for Israel, it is only because we are trapped on a merry-go-round of Arab creation that defines the conflict in terms of singular Arab injustice without reference to our own past. There are those who view all history as no more than a point of view. The fascists will remind us that one persons history is another persons mythology. That is no more than cant, humbug and an ethically neutral convenience for fools. Nor is history the mistranslation of historical documents to suit a particular narrative preference. That is the stuff from which an Orwellian future controlled by bigots is made. A brief recap of history – from our side is therefore in order.
In 634 CE the conquest of Israel began with Mohammed’s successor Abu Bakr. What imperial Rome had begun, the Arab horde finished. Co-existence which was, until the 7th Century CE a relatively (usually) benign accommodation between native Jews and Christians was substituted for an Arab conquest that rapidly left the land desolate, lawless, a place of destruction and despair. But the Arab conquerors built some nice mosques (such as the Dome of the Rock). A conquering power stamps its domination on a nations psyche by creating an architecturally imposing physical presence. While the indigenous Israelites starved it was important to supplant the local ethnic cultural symbols with those of the replacement authority.
In spite of the Roman destruction, Christian dominance, the Muslim degradation of minorities under its control, successive invasions by (in order of conquest): Arab Caliphates, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans and finally, the British Mandate for Palestine, Jews never completely abandoned Israel. It has always been our spiritual home even when, as a minority in Israel, we were persecuted.
The return to Israel has been continuous, only hampered by natural disasters and human infamy. Starting with the Karaites in the Tenth Century CE, Jews returned in relatively large numbers all the way through to what is termed “The First Aliyah” in 1882. The ‘other’ immigration that as a consequence of Jewish immigration accelerated once Britain took control of the territory was the Arab immigration to Palestine. Up to half a million people slipped into Palestine while Britain tried it’s hardest to keep Jews out, even as the Shoah cast its deadly shadow over European Jewry.
Three important statements that we must never forget but equally important, that we must never allow anyone else to forget:
- The imprimatur of United Nations (UN) approval was important but not crucial to the creation of modern Israel.
- The State of Israel would have been born without international approval marking as it did the Jewish expression of self-determination in opposition to Arab oppression.
- With the Declaration of Independence by Israel on May 14, 1948 the Jewish intifada against Muslim colonial rule came to an end.
But in response to this successful revolution against Arab colonial oppression the UN created a time-bomb. In an unprecedented act of cynical inhumanity, one that has not been repeated since, the UN created a bogus Palestinian identity that with the slightest irony, included Jewish Israelis (but for a couple of years only).
UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) defines a Palestinian refugee as a person “whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”
Incredible but true. What this means is that an Egyptian, Iraqi or in truth, a British or American migrant worker who arrived in Israel at the age of 47 and resided there sometime between 1stJune 1946 and 15th May 1948 automatically became a Palestinian citizen by right. How they proved that residence is not apparent nor does it appear to have ever been a requirement. If 66 years later (in August 2014) a wealthy Palestinian family living for the last three generations in Qatar adopts a Polynesian infant, that same infant becomes a Palestinian refugee and is entitled to every benefit UNRWA’s refugee status bestows.
I am not going to say that this identity is not now legitimate or that their persecution by their Muslim brothers and sisters is not just unfair but cynical and immoral. A conspiracy by Israel’s enemies have made them a tragic people – and helped all Arabs turn into something they are not. They are not victims of Western colonialism, they are victims of Islamic indifference to fate; an instrument with which to attack the non-Arab peoples in their midst.
Some time ago Palestinian supporters in the West were accusing Israel (and her supporters) of the twin charges of 1) genocide and 2) suppressing the rights of ten million Palestinians. When coupled with the accusation of genocide a 1,300 percent increase in population, over 50 years, was at best problematic. It did not make for good propaganda. UNRWA’s current position is that after 66 years there are five million Palestinians under its care. It would be interesting to hear from the UN what the justification is for losing some five million “refugees.”
Palestinian identity is eternal, or at least until they destroy the Jewish state. But this also assumes that the Arab states, in the afterglow of their anticipated success, permit the Palestinians their own state. Eternal Palestinian victim-hood means ‘a free ride’, money from out of the pockets of the 19 Western nations that fund the UN and the right never to be master or mistress of their own fate. The Muslim world is happy because it is a distraction from their crimes. Palestinians receive ten dollars for every dollar that Africa’s refugees receive. The logical conclusion is that Arab lives are worth ten times that of black refugees. It is an unpleasant claim to appease but then how else to explain the global indifference to Arab crimes?
Nor is this a class – race distraction ‘fueled by western imperialism’ or any other cliché the politically correct ‘jury’ likes to throw around as an accusation against the West. And it is not a matter of white on non-white apathy. The UN is controlled by a coalition of what is bizarrely referred to as “developing nations,” bizarre because this bloc of nations includes the world’s wealthiest oil-drenched dictatorships. The UN is manipulated through the malevolent offices of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), the largest political bloc at the UN. When churches, temples or synagogues are destroyed, no UN agency utters a syllable in protest. When ancient treasures of beauty and antiquity are obliterated there is an uninterrupted but deafening silence which is only ever pierced by cries of indignation, mutilation and the death of many, many innocents, none of them Islamic, when the Muslim prophet is allegedly insulted. Such breathtakingly cynical behavior is the reason the UN is the precision propaganda weapon the Muslim world is able to so successfully employ against Israel and it is not only Israel’s problem but one for the rest of humanity. While the UN continues to exist, international political cooperation is no more than a market place for thugs. Cynical exploitation by rival power blocs resides in the abuse of people to the benefit of narrow sectarian agendas. But there is a simple solution to the dilemma created by the existence of the benighted UN.
If only nations that shared full diplomatic relations with their adversaries were able to put forward agenda items or resolutions that affected either of the parties in conflict the UN in its current form, as an instrument of propaganda, might cease to exist.
Israel must first tackle the institutional bias against it inside the UN, before it will be able to resolve the conflict between it and the Arab nation.