The Palestine War, 1948-49 By ERSKINE B. CHILDERS

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The Palestine War, 1948-49 By ERSKINE B. CHILDERS

Son of a Dog

The closer Mahmoud Abbas gets to the end of his reign, the more extreme his language becomes.

Recently he spoke about Donald Trump and uttered the words “May your house be destroyed”. In Arabic this is a common curse, and sounds less extreme than in English. But even in Arabic this is not a usual phrase when speaking about a head of state.

This week Abbas spoke about the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and called him a “Son of a Dog”. This, too, sounds in Arabic slightly less offensive than in English, but is hardly diplomatic.

It is hard to say that Friedman does not deserve it, though I would have wished, as a dog-lover, that Abbas had chosen another animal.

Friedman is a kippah-wearing Jew, who identifies completely with the most extreme settlers in the occupied territories. He certainly would be more fitting as Israeli ambassador to the US than as US ambassador to Israel.

That would be problematic, too, because he has called liberal American Jews “worse than Capos” – “Capos” (short for “camp police”) were the prisoners who assisted the Nazis in the concentration camps.

To appoint such a Jewish fascist ambassador to Israel is – well – chutzpah. This could not happen in a normal country, which does not send an ambassador to a country in which he or she has a personal involvement. But Trump does not care. Not for Israel and not for Palestine.

So what does Trump really care about? He cares about votes in US elections.

Sending a religious Jew to serve as his ambassador in Jerusalem may gain him some votes in the US Jewish community. American Jews generally vote for the Democrats. Why? Out of habit. Generations of new immigrants to the US have voted for the Democratic Party – the Irish before the Jews, the Asians after the Jews.

But most American Jews will continue to vote for the Democrats, in spite of the kippah on the head of Friedman. There are voices in the Jewish community which accuse their leaders of neglecting their own concerns, such as rising anti-Semitism, and spending all their energies supporting Israel’s extreme right-wing government.

But Trump has far more important supporters: the millions of evangelists. These peculiar Christian fanatics have a special vision: they believe that Jesus Christ will return once all the Jews congregate in the Holy Land. They do not like to mention what they expect to happen next: the Jews will convert to Christianity, and those who do not will perish.

Sounds strange? It sure is strange. But Trump needs these millions of votes, without which he would not have been elected in the first place. He acts according to the beliefs of this sect.

As a result, the President of the US totally ignores the rights of the Palestinian people and their aspirations. According to him, the Palestinians must accept what is offered to them, as a dog must accept what his master throws to him and wag his tail. What exactly? Trump’s masterful Peace Plan is still wrapped in secrecy. But it is enough to know who is in charge of it: his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

So it is natural for Abbas to despair. He knows that during his remaining days in office, nothing good will happen to the Palestinians.

Never since the emergence of the modern Palestinian nation has its situation been as dire as it is now.

The inhabitants of Palestine began to feel like a nation at the end of World War I, when the Ottoman Empire broke down. Photos of demonstrations held at the time in Jerusalem show the new Palestinian flag – black, white, green and red. Until then, the Palestinians were generally considered “South Syrians”. But when Syria was turned over to the French and Palestine to the British, this tie was broken.

Since then, the Palestinians have experienced many events: the Zionist influx, the Great Arab Rebellion of 1936, the United Nations partition resolution of 1947, the end of British rule, the war of 1948, the Naqbah (catastrophe), the several wars, the rise and murder of Yasser Arafat, and more. But never was their situation as desperate as now.

True, the heart of all the Arab peoples, and indeed all the Muslim peoples, has remained true to the Palestinians. But there is no Arab – or Muslim – government which is not ready to sell the Palestinian cause for its own interests.

Throughout the world there is a lot of sympathy for the Palestinians, but no government would lift a finger for them. And the most powerful country in the world is now their open enemy.

As if all this was not enough, the Palestinians themselves are deeply divided between the PLO in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This is so much in the interest of the Israeli government that it is difficult not to suspect that it is involved.

Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River there live now about 13 million people, about half of them Jews and the other half Arabs. The Arabs may have a slight majority, which will grow continuously because of their higher birth rate. That does frighten the Zionist demographers. But they “cut off” the Gaza Strip from the rest of the country, pretending that its 2 million inhabitants do not belong to Palestine. That makes the problem seem a little less frightening.

This is the situation now. There is a tacit agreement in Israel not to “count” the inhabitants of the Strip. They are not there. There is only the West Bank, which must be Judaized.

A desperate situation has one advantage: it encourages the search for new solutions.

That is happening now on the Palestinian side. Without waiting for the stepping down of Abbas and the appointment of a new leader, new ideas are popping up.

Yasser Arafat once explained to me why he entered the path to Oslo. We tried everything, he said. We tried the armed struggle. We tried diplomacy. We tried full-scale wars. Everything failed. So we entered a new road: peace with Israel. (The first sign was Arafat’s inviting me to a meeting in Beirut.)

It is clear now that Oslo has failed. Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. In Israel the extreme right is in power. It steals the land and puts settlers on it. Israel has a leader who hates the Palestinians, an annexationist from birth.

The path to peace is blocked. The generation of Mahmoud Abbas, the generation of Yasser Arafat, has reached the end of its road.

And here comes a new generation. In a few weeks, a new chapter in the Palestinian story may start.

There have always been voices in the Palestinian community who advocated non-violent struggle. They found no listeners, because in Arab tradition, struggles are generally violent. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were not Muslims.

Now the idea of the non-violent struggle is raising its head. Not because of its moral aspect, but because it promises results.

In a few weeks, the Palestinians will start a non-violent campaign. Its declared aim is the return of the refugees. Thousands of Palestinians are about to march to the borders with Israel, first in the Gaza Strip and then in other places. They will not confront the Israeli army, and not break through the fences. Instead they will put up tent camps on the Palestinian side of the fences and stay there for a long time.

This is a well-tried method. The sleepy Palestinian cause will suddenly return to life. From all over the world, journalists will come and see. The camps will become centers of world attention. Throughout Europe and the world, solidarity camps will spring up. In the Arab countries, the princes and Emirs will find it hard to suppress demonstrations of sympathy.

And what then? Allah is great.

In my eyes, this plan has one great defect: the official aim.

If the protest movement concentrated on the aim of Palestinian independence, the world would give its blessing. There is now a world-wide consensus in favor of Palestinian statehood and the end of the Israeli occupation. In Israel, too, this aim has a lot of supporters. “Two States” or one colonial state, independence or occupation – the choice is clear.

The refugee problem is quite different. During the war of 1948, some 650 thousand Palestinians were displaced, either in the turmoil of the fighting or as a deliberate Israeli policy. By now, their families have grown to 6 million.

Some live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, some in the countries around Israel and throughout the world. Some have taken root and started a new life, some are still refugees, supported by the international community. All are longing for their ancestral homes.

Bringing them back would mean the end of Israel, the displacement of millions of Israelis. This would be possible only through war. The very idea frightens every Israeli.

Is there no solution? I believe there is. Once, after a very emotional meeting with Palestinian refugees in America, I told my wife: “You know what my impression is? That these people are less interested in an actual return than in moral compensation. They want Israel to confess and apologize.”

When drawing up plans for peace, I proposed (a) to apologize officially, (b) to allow the return of a symbolic number of refugees, (c) to pay compensation to all others.

How many would be allowed to return? A number of 100 thousand has been mentioned. I believe that we can do much better. In a situation of peace and reconciliation, even the addition of half a million to Israel’s present 1.5 million Palestinian citizens would be acceptable.

I discussed this solution with Yasser Arafat. My impression was that he agreed more or less, though he kept the refugee issue as a bargaining chip. Anyhow, this is no longer the main problem on the way of peace.

So why go back 70 years? In a major Palestinian campaign, as planned now, why not concentrate on the main point: an end to the occupation, a State of Palestine next to the State of Israel?

The non-violent struggle is an excellent idea.

It reminds me of a saying of the late Abba Even: “People and states always do the right thing – after all other possibilities have been exhausted.”



DISQUS COMMENTS


  •  

    Helen4Yemen “So why go back 70 years? In a major Palestinian campaign, as planned now, why not concentrate on the main point: an end to the occupation, a State of Palestine next to the State of Israel?”
    Why? Because those who arrived on Arab land without the consent of the native Palestinains are simply thieves, invaders! Except for the use of force, what entitles a German or Ukranian or Hungarian or Lithuanian Jew to squat on Arab land? You need to remember that the French were in Algeria for 132 years and 1 million French were pushed out in a matter of days in 1962 and in Aden Yemen, the British were there for 160 years until 1968 and they had to vacate from Arab land as well. Is the Ashkenazi not just as European and just as predatory as the rest of the Europeans who seized Arab land by force? Remember that it was the Arabs who spilled their blood to remove the Crusaders only for another Crusader force – the Ashkenazi – to arrive and take it by force. If America did not guarantee the existence of European Jewry that they would have been pushed out long time ago … and the Arab people reject these aliens and it has nothign to do with what they claim to be – Jews. They could have been Hindus or Zulus, it makes no difference, foreigners are roaming around the fields of Palestine and it is very offensive for the Arabs to let foreigners remain where the do not belong.

    TecumsehUnfaced

    “Bringing them back would mean the end of Israel, the displacement of millions of Israelis. This would be possible only through war. The very idea frightens every Israeli.”
    Why should that frighten them? They do it to other people regularly. So, it must be an okay thing for people to experience. Otherwise, Israel is a dreadful mistake that requires correction.

    Helen4Yemen  TecumsehUnfaced

    Just imagine the French lecturing the Algerians that what is best for them is to learn to live side by side with the French! The man who wrote this article is in my opinion an invader of Arab land because he just arrived and settled down without asking the permission of the natives. And he is now lecturing the natives what is best for them is to let foreign Jewry remain and also to keep the doors of Palestine wide open for more lily-white Jews to arrive.

    TecumsehUnfaced  Helen4Yemen

    That is why he is regarded as a peace-seeker among other Europeans.
    Helen4Yemen  TecumsehUnfaced Ashkenazi Jewry is on Arab land mainly due to the billions of of US dollars the US rains on their heads which makes their lives in Palestine super sweet. Let America rain an equal amount of money on Somalia and watch how fast that land can bloom! There is no Ashkenazi who cannot safely return back home to:
    AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCanadaCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryLatviaLithuaniaNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaU.K.UkraineUnited States

    TecumsehUnfaced  Helen4Yemen

    They really have much less to worry about than they think, since the Holocaust was mostly hoax. Here is another comment posted at this site in support of that.
    http://disq.US/p/13ypp56
    Helen4Yemen  TecumsehUnfaced

    As Middle Eastern, I am offended when the white man tells me that he is not white European but native to Palestine. I look at their European faces and I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry. Imagine if the Japanese or Nigerians had invaded Palestine and claimed to be indigenous to the land.
    Helen4Yemen (Jpost)
    Abbas: “The US administration has said that settlement building is legitimate. That’s what several American officials have said including, first and foremost, their ambassador in Tel Aviv, David Friedman. He said settlers are building on their land. son of a dog, they are building on their land? He is a settler and his family members are settlers.”
    Friedman responding with a question: “Antisemitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I will leave that up to you.”
    Me? Hehe! So funny! “son of a dog” in Arabic is “ibn al-kelb”, a common – if not the most common insult in Arabic similar to s.o.b in English. But for the Ashkenazi-settler Friedman to say that it was anti-semitic is hilarous because imagine that Abbas had said “ibn al-kelb” to Trump. Is it then anti-American? Lest we forget, Friemdan the Ashkenazi has 0% genetic ties to the region and is not a Semite but the anti-semitic weapon is pulled at every turn to intimidate people.
    Here is Malcolm X:
    Anybody that gives even a just criticism of the Jew is instantly labeled anti-Semite. The Jew cries louder than anybody else if anybody criticizes him. You can tell the truth about any minority in America, but make a true observation about the Jew, and if it doesn’t pat him on the back, then he uses his grip on the news media to label you anti-Semite. (May, 1963)
    Helen4Yemen People need to understand that during the Ottoman period, the number of Jews in Palestine (all European) did not exceed 15,000. But immediately after Britain was in charge of Palestine, then they began to stampede owards Palestine assured that it was only a matter of time before they would grab that Arab land and make it theirs. Here is a message from the Ottoman Sultan to Theodor Herzl:

    Herzl diaries – vol 1 page 378
    The Sultan tells Herzl Palestine is not for sale!
    If Mr. Herzl is as much your friend as you are mine, then advise him not to take another step in this matter. I cannot sell even a foot of land, for it does not belong to me, but to my people. My people have won this empire by fighting for it with their blood and have fertilized it with their blood. We will again cover it with our blood before we allow it to be wrested away from us. The men of two of my regiments from Syria and Palestine let themselves be killed one by one at Plevna. Not one of them yielded; they all gave their lives on that battlefield. The Turkish Empire belongs not to me, but to the Turkish people. I cannot give away any part of it. Let the Jews save their billions. When my Empire is partitioned, they may get Palestine for nothing. But only our corpse will be divided. I will not agree to vivisection.
    Helen4Yemen  Helen4Yemen Interesting that the Sultan was referring to the Palestinians as “men from Palestine” and those from Syria as “men from Syria” but the German colonial settler who wrote this article tried to eradicate the Palestinian identity and referred to them as “South Syrians” – eliminating the world “Palestine” altogether.
    Helen4Yemen People need to understand that the Palestinians are the descendants of the ancient Jews whereas the Ashkenazi are totally of European origin.
    “In 1920, the British Government’s Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine stated that there were hardly 700,000 people living in Palestine. The Jewish element of the population numbers 76,000. Almost all have entered Palestine during the last 40 years. Prior to 1850 there were in the country only a handful of Jews. In the following 30 years a few hundreds came to Palestine.”
    https://en.wikipedia.ORG/wiki/Demographic _history_of_Palestine_(region)
    Helen4Yemen  1) “Is there no solution? I believe there is. Once, after a very emotional meeting with Palestinian refugees in America, I told my wife: “You know what my impression is? That these people are less interested in an actual return than in moral compensation. They want Israel to confess and apologize.”
    Confession and apology? That’s it? And they are willing to be refugees while European Jewry are having a wonderful life on their land? Why would they do that? Would you?
    2)When drawing up plans for peace, I proposed (a) to apologize officially, (b) to allow the return of a symbolic number of refugees, (c) to pay compensation to all others.
    Amazing that a German colonial settler thinks he should be the one to make the decision about the Palestinians’ wishes. Can the German colonial settler tell us how many “symbolic number” of foreign Jews he is willing to allow to Arab Palestine? What I do not get is why the author who has a vested interest in seeing as few Palestinians as possible returning back to their homeland should be the one to make any suggestions? Who would buy his suggestions?
    3)How many would be allowed to return? A number of 100 thousand has been mentioned. I believe that we can do much better. In a situation of peace and reconciliation, even the addition of half a million to Israel’s present 1.5 million Palestinian citizens would be acceptable.
    Amazing! This man is on Arab land not because he has a right but because he has the force to overwhelm native resistance to his alien presence. And to try to appear to be the good cop who allows half a million while others would allow only 100 thousand is just funny! With 0% genetic ties to the region, this man claimed ancestry to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and that his ancestors lived there 2,000 years ago and he was able to “return”. But the Palestinians who had lived on that land until this man’s arrival and they were pushed out of their land can only be given an apology and compensation and told to stay away from their true ancestral land. Why does the logic seem to be walking on its head?
    Helen4Yemen  Helen4Yemen Btw: How much of that compensation would be paid by the American tax payer?
    Helen4Yemen “. Until then, the Palestinians were generally considered “South Syrians”. But when Syria was turned over to the French and Palestine to the British, this tie was broken.”
    Amazing this coming from a German Jew with a brand new name and identity as “Israel+i”, a word that was manufactured only the day before Khazars declared a state on confiscated Arab land.
    Parvin The European Jews who stole the Arab land and called it Israel need to return to Europe. Palestine is for the Palestinians. Long live Palestine. Uri Avnery is a German and he should go back to Germany. Why should the Palestinians pay for the crime of Germans. German have been paying the Jews ever since the end of WWII, but no body paid the Palestinians for grabbing their homes and livelihood.
    Helen4Yemen  Parvin Germany will gladly pay from here to eternity if the other alternative is to have its Jews like Avnery coming back to Germany.

Son of a Dog