Words Have Meaning

“And as to unfairness, yes, I do think the British government – especially Palestine administration – has not dealt fairly with the Jewish people.” [Pierre Van Paassen – “The Forgotten Ally”.]

Words have meaning, even so, ill chosen words have consequences. President Donald Trump’s “peace ambassadors”, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman are given to repeatedly using the expression, “both sides will have to make compromises.” It is because Israel has consistently made compromises that the impasse exists today. Had the trio delved into history rather than holding discussion with previous ‘useful idiots’, they would not be uttering damaging foolish proclamations.

A study of Pierre Van Paassen’s works alone would suffice for the given objective.

Quoting from the Chicago Sun Times review, “Van Paassen writes with the power and fervor of a latter-day prophet, without forgetting the need for facts, figures and documentation.” His book, “Days of Our Years” is believed to be Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite volume. However, prior to delving into the subject book, we need to examine a great myth,that of Palestine as a “twice promised land”.Fora dedicated work on this, famed historian, Isaiah Friedman, has produced an established treatise.

From this, we learn that “the exclusion of Palestine , from promises made by McMahon to Hussein was covered both in the phrase “the regions——-in which Great Britain is [not] free to act without detriment to the interests of her ally France,” and in that “portion of Syria, lying to the west of the districts of Damascus. However, the deal was not a unilateral one.

Its permanence and strength depended upon on how the Arabs fulfilled their part; and, as our evidence suggests, it was they who remained in debt, not the British. Hussein contributed his share and for this he was he was amply rewarded in the Hedjaz. But when the general Arab uprising in the regions of the Fertile Crescent failed to materialize, the corresponding part of the understanding, pledging the recognition of Arab independence east of the Jordan and in the Syrian hinterland, lapsed,”

On September 9, 1918, British Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen together with French Political Officer M. LaForcade called on Feisal in Damascus. With regard to Zionism, Meinertzhagen gathered that “Feisal’s ultimate aim was an Arab Federation embracing Mesopotamia and a Jewish Palestine – all under a British mandate.

Friedman’s close look at the Hussein – McMahon correspondence revealed the land of Palestine was never promised to any Arab leader. Therefore, he concluded the whole sequence of diplomatic documents amounted not to English perfidy, but Arab disappointment .By summation, the author thoroughly destroys virtually all historical Arab claims to modern Israel, based on his body of literature.

On the justification for ignoring the principle of self-determination, Balfour wrote to Lloyd George: “—is that we regard Palestine as being absolutely exceptional; that we consider the question of the Jews outside Palestine as one of world importance and that we conceive the Jews to have an historic home in their ancient land, provided that home can be given them without either dispossessing or oppressing the present inhabitant.” Bottom line; Friedman’s archival discovery of the Arabic version actually read by Hussein indisputably shows that Palestine was not included in the British pledge.”

Returning to Pierre Van Paassen, and what Trump’s “trio” don’t appear to know. He substantiates the definite assertion that Israel owes the Arab world nothing and hence is not subject to any compromises. Van Paassen, a Christian Democratic Socialist concerned, as stated in his autobiographical “Days of Our Years, with the enduring struggle for justice for ordinary individuals.

He vehemently opposed fascism in Italy, Germany and France from the 1920’s, reinforced by the 10 days he spent as a prisoner in the Dachau Concentration Camp in late March, 1933.His activities, as a correspondent brought expulsion from France by Pierre Laval, from Germany by Joseph Goebbels and from Eritrea by Count Ciano.

Van Paassen [1895-1968], writer and journalist, amongst the most fervent non-Jewish Zionists was born in Gorinchem, Holland, to a Calvinist family. He was raised on the Bible with a love for the people of and the land of Israel. From 1914 [age 16], he lived in Canada. He served with Canadian Expeditionary Force in France in 1919. Noted for his travel articles and interviews with leading personalities, he became world famous.

Pierre Van Paassen commenced his career as a journalist at The Globe, a Canadian newspaper in Toronto, shortly after WW1. His attachment to the Jewish people and land of Israel emerged after his first visit to Palestine in 1925, and from then on his books and articles reflected his enthusiastic attitude toward Zionism.

In 1942 Van Paassen headed the U.S Committee for a Jewish Army. His book, “The Forgotten Ally [1943] represented a sharp indictment of British anti-Zionist policy. He states further that only the Jews of Palestine were on Britain’s side, and the Jewish Legion recruited in Western countries , fought in the British army. Not only did the Palestinian Arabs not rise in revolt, but they assisted the Turks to the extent of waylaying and murdering British patrols and individual soldiers who strayed off the main line of march.

The myth of the Arab Revolt did not come into existence until Lawrence in 1926 published “The Revolt in the Desert”. It then took shape in the minds of certain Arab nationalists and their well -wishers as a convenient ideological weapon against the settlement of Palestine by Jews.

In 1920, 1921 and 1929, Palestinian Arabs carried out organized attacks against Jewish communities in Palestine. The primary agitator behind these attacks was Haj Amin al Husseini, who marshaled Arab discontent over Jewish immigration into violent riots. The same Husseini who had be appointed Grand Mufti by the British High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, a Jew!

In consequence of Van Paassen’s refusal” to accept the explanations of a ‘spontaneous ‘ uprising against the Jews, with which the Mufti and his agents and spokesmen sought to impress foreign correspondents—-“, he arranged a meeting with his ‘Eminence.’ The latter was quick to brusquely announce that the disturbances “—would not terminate till both Jews and the English had evacuated Palestine.”

Quoted below is a segment of the exchanges between the Grand Mufti and Pierre Van Paassen:

Mufti; Do you see the real aims of the Jews? They want to destroy this mosque.

Van Paassen: I do not think so.

Mufti: You see—it is the blood they want. The Jews are always thirsting for blood. Their whole history is soaked in blood.

Van Paassen: What his Eminence says here is not for publication then?

Mufti: Please tell me, what is the general impression in the world on the deplorable situation in Palestine? What is your personal view?—-The French people do understand, I trust!

Van Paassen: It is my personal opinion, that these riots were an attempt to strike terror in the hearts of the Zionists at a moment when they had secured the co-operation of an influential section of Jewry to speed up Palestine’s industrial and agricultural development. This bloodshed was intended to paralyze the process of building a Jewish National Home. Am I right?

Mufti: It is a horrible shame to put the responsibility of these riots at the feet of the Arabs.—-Why do you say Arabs are responsible for slaughter?

Van Paassen: Did those Jewish women and children and old men in Hebron and Lifta commit suicide?

Mufti: No, we were provoked.—The Jews are stealing our land.—My country is being ruined by the Jews..

The balance of the meeting took the form of jousting between the Muftis cousin and Van Paassen, who questioned the Mufti’s presence following the fateful Friday rioting in August when rioting broke out in Jerusalem. We are reminded of the sentencing of the Mufti to 7 years to hard labor in 1920 for a previous sedition sermon and his not being in prison because of a pardon by Sir Herbert Samuel.

The picture of the Jewish massacre in Hebron by Pierre Van Paassen is very graphic, as is the Jewish efforts of retaliation. This awful experience resulted in a meeting between him and H.C. Luke, Acting High Commissioner of Palestine.

Luke: You see, we British are really in a difficult position. We are trying to strike a balance – steer a neutral course, you might say – between the 2 sections of the population.

Van Paassen: A difficult task, no doubt. Britain is charged by the League of Nations to make it possible for the Jews to build their National Home. Some Arabs object and have recourse to violence. But what is harder to understand is that these Arabs believe the government the government to be on their side, for that was the general battle cry of the rioters in the recent attacks.—-why does it permit a constant agitation on the part of a few Arabs against the project? The Mufti of Jerusalem openly declares that he cannot guarantee peace in Palestine so long as Britain adheres to the Balfour Declaration.—-that he is determined to crush Jewish endeavor—-he advocates violence and sabotage—–.

Luke: Then, why should you take, eh, such interest in the Jewish side of the question?

Van Paassen: I see menaced by collapse a project which was considered by British statesmen one of the few valuable acquisitions of the Great War.

Following a lengthy interchange, arguments and promises, Van Paassen concludes, “It does not look to me sir—-that this is fundamentally a quarrel between Jews and Arabs.

Today, it is the Trump trio who behave like the British. The Arab League created the problem and should be held accountable. There would not be a single Palestinian refugee today if the Arab world had accepted the 1947 UN partition plan, which the Jewish leaders did – even President Mahmoud Abbas admits that the Arab refusal was a mistake. In 1952, the UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] director, Sir Alexander Galloway, put it bluntly when he said, “It is perfectly clear that the Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront against the UN and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”

At the time when Israel gained independence in 1948, those who referred to themselves as Palestinians were the Jews. Zuheir Moshan, PLO Commander from 1971 to 1979, said, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”

Unquestionably, Jews are the aboriginal people to the land of Israel. We are the ones who have been victims of imperialism. We suffered many massacres, including 2 sieges of Jerusalem by the Romans [63BC and 37BC],massacres by the Romans [4-6, 36 AD, 66AD, 115-117 AD and 132-1136 CE[, the siege of Jerusalem by the Persians [614CE], the massacres by Christians [605 DCV and 1099CE], the Hebron and Safed attacks by Kurds and Muslims [1517], the destructions of Tiberius and Safed by the Druz and Arabs [1660], the siege of Jaffa by the French army [1799], the Hebron massacre by the Egyptians [1834], the attack of Safed by the Druze and Arabs [1838], the Arab attacks on Petach Tikva [1886], the riots in Jerusalem instigated by the Grand Mufti [1920], the Jaffa Arab riots [1921], the Arab riots in Safed [1929], the Hebron massacre instigated by the Grand Mufti [1929], the Great Arab Revolt [1936-1939] and the Tiberius massacre by Arabs [1938]. As a result of these atrocities, many Jews were forced to flee.

The prospects of a Palestinian state on Israel’s border has raised concern by US policy makers. In a 1997 edition of Commentary, Douglas Feith, the American Undersecretary of Defense for Policy noted that the subject state would facilitate the Arab world ” a much greater capacity than previously for terrorist activities against Israel for anti-Israel diplomacy, assistance in joint enemy armed forces in the event of war, and to destabilize local states e.g. Egypt and Jordan with whom Israel enjoys peace agreements.

Immediately, after the Six-Day War, a study was released featuring the words of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Earl Wheeler stating that “—the minimum required for Israel’s defense includes most of the West Bank and the whole of Gaza and the Golan Heights.”

Lt.General [ret.]Tom Kelly, who served as Chief of Operations, during the 1991 Gulf War said , “I cannot defend this land [Israel] without that terrain [West Bank]—The West Bank Mountains, and especially their 5 approaches, are critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 9 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible.”

In comparatively recent times, Shalom Lipner, a Fellow at the Atlantic Council, who previously worked in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office for 26 years wrote a recent article for Politico Magazine that Kushner’s efforts reminded him of “Don Quixote dreaming the impossible dream in ‘The Man of La Mancha'”

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.
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