Palestine – The Unending Conflict

March 20, 2013 by George Peters
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The Palestinians’ great misfortune is having been relocated some 30 miles within one vast Arab nation to reside with their co-religionists, speaking the same language, and practising the same customs, having been pressured to do so by their own leadership, of Arab National Committees, Arab Higher Committees, The Arab League and of course the Mufti…writes George Peters.

George Peters

George Peters

This is the unspoken and unpalatable truth of the current “refugee problem”, verifiable from any serious study of the history of the recently opened archives of the period of 1947-1949 (see Efraim Karsh: “Palestine Betrayed”), notwithstanding claims made by Tom Segev and other so-called revisionist historians, the left and far too many others.

Also unspoken is the fact that some 650,000+ Jews were expropriated, often murdered, and ultimately forcibly expelled – many hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles – from all North African and Middle Eastern Arab and/or Muslim States after 1948, after centuries of habitation in those regions, from times preceding both Islam and even Christianity. They were all successfully absorbed by the newly established rag-tag, post Holocaust nation-state of Israel, after the Civil War and subsequent War of Independence, while simultaneously fighting numerous invading Arab armies (one even supported by the British). How is it that these “forgotten refugees” are so infrequently the subject of discussion, and, God forbid, their “Right of Return” back to those nations? Some things are perhaps conveniently better left unspoken.

What is so interesting is that after the many enormous cataclysms of the 20thC, with all its significant population transfers: the Greek and Turkish population transfer after WW1, the millions of Germans fleeing Poland, Czechoslovakia, USSR etc. after WW2 (the greatest forced population transfer in history – what today would be called “ethnic cleansing”), Muslims and Hindus fleeing to Pakistan and India respectively (at exactly the same time, 1948) these refugees were all successfully absorbed by the surrounding nations within a few years. The Palestinians remain the only group that, after 65 years, for inexplicable reasons, have still not been absorbed by the surrounding (host) nations, many of them possessed of enormous oil wealth.  The entire process has been enabled by the specially established UNWRA, along with its own uniquely customized definition of refugee, to one “whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948” (i.e. only 2 years) and, even more extraordinarily, also to their descendants having this status in perpetuity, thus swelling the ranks of these refugees perhaps tenfold today.

Surely this a question that should be taken seriously by those obsessed with the Palestinian cause? Perhaps there is an untold story here? No, it is not untold. It’s been told many times, for those who have ears to listen, who are prepared to remove the ideological blinkers. It’s simple. As some have correctly noted, there is not, and never was any “Palestinian people”, since there was never any unique Palestinian ethnicity (as there are, say, Arabs, Persians, Kurds, Armenians, Turks, etc in the region) let alone a nation, let alone a nation-state.  At most , one can say there were Arabs living in British Mandatory Palestine – and not all that many either, a very different concept.  The creation of this concept was Arafat’s primary achievement, along with airplane hijacking often with destruction of same planes, fomenting enormous unrest in all places he lived (Jordan, Lebanon), and finally, homicidal suicide bombing. And for those who now bear this appellation of Palestinians, it’s quite clear that none of the then occupying nations want, or ever wanted to absorb them. Neither Jordan (illegal occupier of the “West Bank” from 1948-1967) nor Egypt (illegal occupier of Gaza from 1948-1967), ever wanted these people, nor did these people (“refugees”) ever seriously contemplate the notion of a unique Palestinian national identity, or homeland, let alone nation-state during that time, or before, rejecting the UN resolution recommending another Arab nation-state (the second such partition offer since the Peel Commission proposal of 1937, repeated and rejected time after time until 2008, a total of 6 such offers in all).  Surely the maxim that we must judge people by their deeds, and not their words still stands.

No, the bitter truth is that none of their co-religionists or pan-Arab “supporters” care, or ever cared for them, except as a perennial club with which to beat Israel over the head, a perpetual open wound, and to provide a unifying force within and across Araby and the Islamic world, the only “legitimate grievance” in a region where expression of grievances is generally not permitted. Why might this be? Well, that’s another conversation; let it simply be said that Muslim nations will simply not countenance the notion – let alone the reality- of a nation-state of former subjects (“dhimmis”) within what they see as the House of Islam, and after the long political and military decline of Islam, especially since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, not to mention the subsequent humiliation of numerous military defeats at the hands of these very same former second-rate citizens of Muslim lands (these descendants of “apes and swine” as the Koran would have it), the concept becomes ever more odious. The only good Jew, openly and publicly stated by its religious and political leadership, for a Muslim, and even more extraordinarily, its latter day supporters on the left, is one in a state of enduring humiliation and degradation (aka “dhimmitude”), if not a dead Jew.
Yes they have a solution, a one-state. “binational” solution, one that precludes the despised “Zionist entity” from continued existence, yet another Arab state without the presence of this Zionist entity. That the Jews should have their own nation-state, or Jewish Homeland, despite the League of Nations being entrusted with reconstitution of this Homeland at the post WW1 San Remo Conference of the Principal Allied Powers and its endorsement of the Balfour Declaration, the Treaty of Sevres with Turkey, and the later Anglo-American Treaty of 1924 (and so becoming the supreme law of that nation, ad infinitum), implemented via the League Mandate of Palestine as a Jewish Homeland (all of Palestine – yes, read that again, all of Mandatory Palestine), all carrying the full weight of International Law, and still binding today, is an abomination to them, something they really need to get over. It’s a bit like getting over the loss of Al Andalus (Spain) in 1492…which the Muslim Salafists and others still haven’t.

The Ottoman Turks chose the losing side in WW1, and so be it. The victors divide up the spoils, it was never different. Indeed, the Arabs did surprisingly well out of this, with the establishment of the several new Arab nation-states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan (the last one a flagrant contravention of the Mandate). Sadly they have very long memories, and probably won’t get over it. So, I remain a pessimist, and see no near-term solution within the current default position of the prevailing two-state paradigm, especially when the PNA’s own Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said recently, “Netanyahu will have to wait 1,000 years for someone to agree to talk to him.” And I believe him. Remember, they did win the Crusades after almost 200 years. They do believe that they have time on their side.

Not so many decades ago, the Jew-Haters in Europe used to tell people “Jew, go to Palestine”. Today, it is “Jew, get out of Palestine”.

So, which is it? There’s an old, archaic, if not archetypical psychosis of persistent Jew-Hatred at play here. Or perhaps is it just simple political opportunism? Whatever it is, they can’t have it both ways.

George Peters is an independent amateur scholar of the Mid-East conflict, Holocaust Studies and contemporary Islam.
He is not affiliated with any political group or other body.
He lives in Melbourne, Australia

There are no simple lessons in history, it is human nature that repeats itself, not history


19 Responses to “Palestine – The Unending Conflict”
  1. I wrote in the article above:
    ” the PNA’s own Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said recently, “Netanyahu will have to wait 1,000 years for someone to agree to talk to him.”

    Interestingly, Saeb Erekat is himself today talking to representatives of Netanyahu’s Government.

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    Nothing has changed for at least 20 years, the same outrageous and intractable demands, demands made by a party that absolutely nothing to offer, and everything to gain from a “settlement”.
    Still we ask why the victor of so many wars must pay an entry price of 104 convicted prisoners to play this charade.

  2. George says:

    Actually, when I wrote in the article “It’s a bit like getting over the loss of Al Andalus (Spain) in 1492…which the Muslim Salafists and others still haven’t.”, it’s probably far more difficult, given that the “Zionist entity” was established in their own backyard.

  3. George says:

    I referred to the transfer of German post WW2…I thought that was self-explanatory. It was not a reference to Israel.
    Having said that, many historians (including this amateur) claim that the entire 20th C is a century of ethnic cleansing.

  4. George says:

    Paul – exactly, the whole PLO thing is, by and large, a Soviet Cold War fabrication. Perhaps I was overly generous in my comments on Arafat! We might also add that the Palestinians typically thought of themselves as Ottoman subjects, or, at most, residents of South Syria. Their leadership has also often openly denied any such concept (of Palestinian ethnicity). Still, the label has caught on, and we are stuck with it as their rallying cause. I like to say that the Palestinians are “the new Vietnamese” for all of Israel’s contemporary opponents….and that’s a powerful image for those old enough to have opposed that conflict. Indeed, those who do are now part of the political opinion forming elites.

    • Paul Winter says:

      George, you are right in saying that the term Palestian has caught on. But only because Jewish leaders desparate for peace decided not to reject the lies of their enemy. In 1977, Blum Israel’s ambassador to the UN pointed out that Zohair Mohsen had admitted that the Palestinian people were an anti-Israel invention. In 1956, Ahmed Shukhairy said that there was no such thing as a Palestinian people. That was repeated by Azmi Bishara in 2009 on Israeli television, something that can be viewed on the internet. A year ago Hamas’ Fathi Hamad spoke on TV saying that the “Palestinians” were all from Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

      The problem is that Jewish leadership will not tell the world that the Arabs are lying, because they don’t want to lose even the little hope that there is of peace. What those geniuses fail to realise is that no peace can be built on lies and there can be no peace with an enemy whose claims are based on lies.

      When cleverness, sophistication, urbaneness, civility, considerateness, appeasement and diplomacy fail, the time to tell the truth has surely arrived.

      • George says:

        Paul – I have a feeling that speaking the truth on this sensitive matter will only lead to greater provocation and division. This is like an infantile neurosis, a fiction which must be maintained for the very existence of the psyche. I don’t see them abandoning this “defense mechanism”, of having lived their entire lives and dreams upon a lie, a fiction. On the other hand, to continue the analogy, one can’t truly be free until one has worked through these inhibiting neuroses. Question is, can there ever be any useful dealings with the Palestinians under these circumstances? Arguably, there have not been any until now, with this fiction in place, and there will not be any (as I maintained in the Article, based upon a historical overview), and while it would appear things certainly couldn’t be any worse with it removed, I don’t see it happening.
        The entire self-identity of the Palestinians is based exclusively upon what has been done to them, as Palestinians, by Israel. They literally have no achievements of their own to celebrate, only what has been done to them, as victims (and as Palestinians) by Israel, most conspicuously, 14 May, 1948, the most important date in their Calendar. We see this beautifully in their Calendar. (I don’t know if URL’s are permitted here …let me try… The always very sober Ruth Wisse – a sort of hero of mine – comments on this in her great “Jews and Power”, pages 160-161. “..a people that fashioned its entire identity its myths and holidays, its symbols and slogans, its domestic and foreign policy, around opposition to the Jews…” …..similar to prior groups in Europe in the 1930’s.
        For what its worth, by way of a proposed “solution” to the conflict, I have recently been most influenced by Mordechai Nisan’s “Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State & the Palestinian Question”, 2011.

  5. Ann says:

    Dear Henry,

    Why may Mr Peters use the term “ethnic cleansing” when you explicitly forbid its use in your rules on posting comments. I assume that my use of the term is the reason why my comment was not published.

    • admin says:

      It was used in parenthisis and not as direct description of Israeli policy

      • Ann says:

        Nor was my use of it! I used it to describe situations in India/pakistan etc. The assumption that it applied to Israel is your interpretation. Mr Peters makes false claims about the “success” of “population exchanges” – or ” “what today might be called ethnic cleansing” (Mr Peter’s words -not mine) and the subsequent absorption into the various countries to which they were expelled. I merely pointed out that these “population exchanges” were not as successful as Mr Peters, by his own admission, an amateur “scholar”, would have us believe.

        I really did believe, Henry, that Jwire was a more open minded forum. I blamed others for what seems like a very clear bias. I thought that other voices simply did not try to make themselves heard. I see I was wrong. So sad.

        Ann Fink D.Phil (Oxon)

      • George says:

        Neither direct nor indirect attribution to Israel…used solely as a reference to expulsion of ethnic Germans after WW2.

        • George says:

          Ann – please see my brief notes above, on the term I used. Personally, while not wanting to bite the hand that feeds me, I believe that we should be able to use the terms that are prohibited. They are, sadly, used against Israel today, and we may well have to use them explicitly when seeking to refute such allegations.

  6. Ann says:

    Mr Peters, you are indeed an amateur scholar. FYI there are many millions of Muslims living in India today, despite The existence of Pakistan and Bangladesh, which were once part of the subcontinent of India. Partition was achieved at the cost of millions of lives. The figure of 6 million is often quoted. The subcontinent is not a happy place and NOT a good example of ethnic cleansing.

    Yes many would claim that the fall of the Otterman Empire, and the subsequent division of spoils between the British and the French, explain the chaos which is now the Middle East. This would lead one to suppose that the sectarian and ethnic violence which is now the order of the day might best be resolved, not by more politically imposed borders and walls, but by the adoption of a “European Community” model. After centuries of wars, Europe is now at peace. It is now so multi cultural that thousands of Jewish Israelis are choosing to live in Berlin, because of its cultural attractions! Less than 80 years after the Jews were driven out of Germany and the rest of Europe, and slaughtered in the death camps. Nothing is impossible. One only has to will it.

    • George says:

      Ann – Thanks for the complement, however, amateur enough to know how to spell Ottoman.

      Do they not have their Arab League? For even longer than the existence of the EU? Has not Pan Arabism been a popular movement for many decades? And a largely failed one? For pluralist liberal democracy to thrive, must there not be a certain cultural sub-stratum, a certain belief system, not characteristic of many of these Arab/Muslim countries? I’ll answer my own questions and say yes, there must, be, and absence of same partly explains most failed attempts at true democracy, including imposed ones such as by the US in Iraq.

  7. debbie says:

    well expressed and how true

  8. Paul Winter says:

    A good summary. Please also note that former Rumanian intelligence general Ion Pacepa revealed that the “Palestinian people” was invented by the KGB in 1964 and the PLO was also created by that agency as another of its “liberation” movements designed to undermine the West during the Cold War. As far as can be found, the idea of a “Palestinian people” entered the world stage in 1967.

    Interestingly, not only did the Rumanians place a price on Pacepa’s head, but so too did Arafat to the tune of $1m. Now were on earth did a struggling people’s movement get so much money to pay to an assassin?

  9. Naomi says:

    Mr George Peters wrote a brilliant article.

    He verified and all his statements .e.g” Having been pressured to flee by their own leadership.”
    This all can verified in the newspapers of the time (1948)

    All his statements are true and can be backed up with documentary evidence.

    Not so with the Hon. Shaoquette Moselmane speech.
    Nothing he said has documentary proof.

  10. Michelle says:

    Thank You Peter!! This is exactly what I have been saying for the last 60 years, when I lived in Poland they the antisemites where saying to as go to Palestine, and now they complain that the Jews are in Palestine/Israel,so much for they intelligence.I also reminded them about Silesia that was part of Germany and after the WWII it was annexed by Poland so i told them “when Poland will give back to Germany what they have stolen than they can make a comment, until now I never got a answer.

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