The past is the present

“What is morally wrong cannot be politically right” [Prime Minister Gladstone]

An immediate response to Abbas’s UN speech deploring creation of the state of Israel was provided by Lloyd George, long before his presence blessed this earth. This, at a time when Jones was particularly incensed by allegations that he had not honored the pledges made to the Arab-speaking peoples. In his words:

“—-No race has done better out of the fidelity with which the Allies redeemed their promises to the oppressed races than the Arabs. Owing to the tremendous sacrifices of the Allied Nations, and more particularly of Britain and her Empire, the Arabs have already won independence in Iraq, Arabia, Syria and Trans-Jordan, although most of the Arab races fought throughout the War for the Turkish oppressors.”[ A Peace to End All Peace” by David Fromkin.]

Meir Abelson has provided a kaleidoscope of history of the Arab-Israel Conflict in his 18 page NATIV “Palestine: The Original Sin” 2003 essay, capturing what many historians required a whole book for. Regrettably, there is no way to do justice to this fine work where selectivity is engage in; and yet there is sufficient to rebut Abbas.

Today, the word Zionism is anathema to a large world populous of Muslim Arabs, but it was not always the case. “——-there is a list of over 50 eminent people from more than 20 countries who appear in the gallery of non-Jewish Zionists.” “Throughout Arabia, the chiefs were for the most part, distinctly pro-Zionist—-delighted at the benefits that Jewish immigration was bringing them.” The Emir Hussein of the Hejaz upon the Balfour Declaration being communicated to him, wrote on March 3, 1919, “We wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home—-with an expression of goodwill towards a kindred Semitic race—“.

Abelson questions how it was possible that in a mere 3 years – 1917 to 1920, Arab goodwill was transmuted into hatred and enmity [ the first pogrom]? In March, 1921, Winston Churchill visiting Palestine, met a formal body named the Executive Committee of the Haifa Congress of Palestinian Arabs who presented him with a memorandum protesting Zionist activity in Palestine on the grounds that “Jews were not a nationality, but a religion” and who desired Britain to “stop the effort for a Jewish National Home, to stop all Jewish immigration, annul all relevant British laws, and make Palestine part of Syria.” to which Churchill rejected. And so, the rot begins with the war against the Jews.

In this period, the British military leaders from General Allenby, General Bols, down to Colonel Waters Taylor were anti-Semitic, seeking to “destroy the Jewish national Home root and branch.” In 1920, Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, a great friend of the Jews, recorded that Taylor met with Haj Amin, a violent anti-Jewish agitator who told him that he had a great opportunity “——if disturbances of sufficient violence occurred at Easter, both General Bols and General Allenby would advocate the abandonment of the Jewish Home.” Indeed, the first British-inspired pogrom followed. Surprisingly, Abelson does not quantify the extent of Amin’s terrorism. Yosef Olmert does in his “Between Arab and Jew: Unraveling the Knot” as 520 Jews killed for the period covering April 1920, May 1921, 1928-1929 and 1936-1935.

The oft quoted “—the Government is with us” from the mouths of the Arabs was accompanied by slaughter, rape, torture and looting, all while the British mostly stood by. The British ultimately arrested Haj Amin, but he mysteriously escaped and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in his absence. A year later, some British Arabists persuaded Herbert Samuel to pardon him.

As a consequence of the second pogrom in May 1921, the British appointed the Haycraft Commission to investigate the cause of the violence. The words “—Zionist policy—–” was sufficient to result in a worldwide protest. The Military Administration in Palestine disbanded, but its powers foolishly transferred to yet another entity hostile to the Jews – the Colonial Office. Colonel Paterson was given to remark, “Bols went, but the system he planted remained” as did the anti-Semitic officials he brought with him.
The developments following the San Remo Conference and the appointment of the British as trustee to carry out the Mandate, resulted in territorial changes which enraged US President Wilson. So much so, that he arose from his sick bed to cable the British Cabinet, “——-I need not remind you that neither in this country, nor in Paris has there been any opposition to the Zionist program, and to its realization that the boundaries I have named are indispensable.”

Not generally appreciated, even before the granting of the Mandate, the second partition occurred in that three quarters of the subject territory was lopped off and designated as Trans-Jordan; later to become Jordan.

With the appointment of Samuel, once again we witnessed the phenomena of “the court Jew”, as one who suffered acutely from his consciousness of being a Jew. He even declared that it was “the fundamental intention of the Government” to deal with the Arabs ” as if there had never been a Balfour declaration.” His liberalism lowered his judgment to the extent of appointing Haj Amin Mufti of Jerusalem believing that it would moderate his anti-Jewish tendencies. Of course it did not, but instead resulted in the second British-inspired pogrom, the bloody massacre of Jews by Arabs in 1929.

The worst barbarisms took place at Hebron, Safed, Jaffa and Motza. The victims – men, women and children – were beaten, stabbed, their limbs amputated, stomachs were ripped open, and women were raped; “while the police and British officials—-heard the screaming and the shots – and did nothing.” Unbelievably, the government appointed Commission not only produced pro-Arab reports, but “Practically everyone accused of having a hand in the riots was promoted.” Not so the Permanent Mandates Commission who virtually accused the British Government of sabotaging the Jewish National Home.

The 1930 Shaw Commission represented more of the same and was condemned by Lloyd George as “mischievous nonsense,” The Hope-Simpson report published in November of the same year was nothing less than an anti-Semitic screed. Of the 1930 White Paper, which recommended limiting Jewish immigration and Jewish ownership of land, David Lloyd George observed, “They dare not try to kill Zionism directly, but they try to put it in a refrigerator.”

Next in the saga was the appointment of Lieutenant-General Arthur Wauchope as High Commissioner, a copy cat of all his predecessors on July, 1931.During his time the baleful French Report was issued, followed by the disastrous Arab rebellion of 1936-38 .As a sampling, it featured the “displaced” Arab as a “son of the soil——” elaborated on the “landless Arab” problem and the special protection against the Jews for the “hill Arabs.”

In 1936, armed revolt broke out again all over Palestine – for the sixth time since British occupation. “If one thing stands out from the record of the Mandatory administration, it is the leniency with which Arab political agitation, even when carried out to the point of violence and murder has been treated.”, conceded the Peel Report.

Shootings, bombings and violence of the worst kind prevailed thought this period. One example was the brutal attack on the home of a Safed rabbi. His 3 young children were butchered in their sleep. The mother flung herself on her brood only to have the Arabs shoot her. The intruders completed their assignment by hurling a bomb at the rabbi, decapitating him. As in previous riots, the Jews were “rendered impotent by being forcibly disarmed.” Possession of weapons by Jews was punished by imprisonment.

As a result of Lord Robert Peel’s July 1937 severe criticism of the leniency with Arab political agitation, the Military received the necessary backing to repress the revolt. All the Higher Arab Committee were arrested following the assassination of the District Commissioner of Galilee. Haj Amin, head of the Supreme Muslim Council, was removed from his post. Dressed as a Bedouin, he escaped to Lebanon, where the French gave him asylum.

Determined to characterize events as “Arab-Jewish clashes”, the Government ordered mass arrests of Jewish workmen and students.Shlomo Ben-Yosef, a youth was sentenced to hang for allegedly possessing arms. Despite widespread demonstrations, he was put to death – on a Jewish holiday. Shocking acts of violence perpetrated by Arabs, as when 21 Jews were butchered in cold blood on October 22 in Tiberius, “including 10 little children occured.

The infamous 1939 White Paper proposed no partition, no Jewish state; an independent Arab state within 10 years; Jewish immigration, after 5 years, would not be allowed “unless the Arabs of Palestine were prepared to acquiesce to it.” The inhumanity of restrictions on immigration was maintained even as Hitler’s Final Solution became known.

Abelson questions how many Holocaust victims would have found their way to the Jewish National Home had the gates of Palestine been open for them. He notes that even at present [2003], the signs are gloomy, hearing the old mantra of “the cycle of violence” in the ME, echoing the words, “Arab-Jewish clashes” used to express moral equivalence between perpetrators and victims. He witnesed the proposals of a third partition of Palestine state, “occupied by a people invented – on their own admission” in comparatively recent times while never ceasing to proclaim their aim to destroy Israel.

As the prophet Zephaniah wrote, “The unjust knows no shame.” Apparently, when the Arabs naively warned Samuel’s successor that if there was a planned procession of Jewish veterans held, they “would not be responsible for the peace of Jerusalem. He Field Marshal Lord Plumer replied, “No one asked you to be responsible. I am the High Commissioner, and I will be responsible.” Never again did the Arabs attempt rioting under Plumer’s watch, nor were there any pogroms under his rule

One is given to believe that the Koran permits lying.Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, in a few words expressed disgust with Abbas’ speech.

In the words of Christopher Hitchins, “Ever since the assault on civil society that was launched on 11, September 2001, much of the western world has been on a frenzied quest for interlocutors with the Islamic one. How are we to “understand” Muslim demands and emotions? What have we done to merit such hatred?”

Why should Abbas be trusted? Writing in American Thinker on May 26, 2017, Dan Calic poses the question, “Arafat duped Clinton. Will Abbas dupe Trump?”; and provides the answer, “Arafat fell from favor as far as Clinton was concerned. He learned a painful and embarrassing lesson: Arafat could not be trusted.”

Jared Kushner has stated publicly that they [presumably he and Jason Greenblatt] have read many books to equip them for the mission of Israel-Palestinian peace making. However, it is doubtful that they have read from the most knowledgeable and reliable sources. Another unrealistic Trump promise and failure?

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.