Origins of the Dispute
The Origin of the Dispute: Israel attacked
before there were Refugees & before any "Occupied Territories" in 1948
The original plan for a Jewish National home
included what is now the State of Israel and the State of Jordan.
League of Nations allocated this entire tract of land to be the intended
home of 12 million European Jews, as a solution to the violence and pogroms
suffered by the Jews over the previous century. It was a proposed
solution to the "Jewish Question".
After a series of compromises, partitions
and whittling away of the original plan -- and 1/2 of Europeans Jews had
been exterminated, due in part to Britain's ruthless refugee policies
-- on November 29, 1947 the United Nations Assembly decided to recommend
the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state.
At that time there were no Arab refugees.
The area allotted to the Jewish state was much smaller even than that established
by the Armistice lines of 1949 (which lasted until June 5, 1967), to which
Israel is now urged to withdraw. At that time, Israel had no "occupied
territories" from which to withdraw.
It was against that embryo state that the
Arabs declared and waged their war. Its total area, amounting to little
more than half of western Palestine, was roughly 15,000 square kilometres
(about 6,000 square miles), including the semiarid Negev (see Map No. 2).
The Arabs were thus assured of seven eighths of the totality of Palestine
on both sides of the Jordan as it was recognised at the end of the First
World War by all the nations of the world as the territory for the Jewish
National Home (see Map No. 3).
The seven Arab states in existence in 1947
-- Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Transjordan (see
Map No. 4) -- whose leaders decided to prevent the birth of Israel, contained
an area 230 times larger than the projected Jewish state and a population
60 times that of its Jewish inhabitants who numbered only a little more
than half a million.
The Arab appetite would be satisfied with
nothing less than the remainder. It was, moreover, characteristic that
the Secretary of this confederation of invader states, Azzam Pasha, in
forecasting the success of the invasion, invoked the memory of the massacres
by the Mongols and the Crusaders.
Such was the attitude of the Arabs in 1947,
when they had in their hands all, and more than, the territory they are
now demanding from Israel. At that time, they violently refused to share
'Palestine with the Jews in a territorial ratio of seven to one. They refused
to recognise the Jewish claim to the country or to the smallest part of
it; to acquiesce in the international recognition of that claim; or to
abate this one jot of their designs on the whole of the area that had once
been the Moslem Empire in Asia.
Less than thirty years earlier, the "historic
rights" Of the Arabs to Palestine, allegedly existing for a thousand years,
had not yet been discovered. In February 1919, the Emir Faisal, the one
recognised Arab leader at the time, then still striving for the creation
of Arab political independence in Syria (of which he was briefly king)
and Iraq (over which he and his house subsequently ruled for forty years),
signed a formal agreement with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing the Zionist
Organisation. This provided for co-operation between the projected Arab
state and the projected reconstituted Jewish state of Palestine. Borders
were still to be negotiated, but Faisal had already described the Zionist
proposals as "moderate and proper." The borders proposed by the Zionists
included what subsequently became Mandatory Palestine on both banks of
the Jordan as well as north-western Galilee up to the Litany River-later
included in southern Lebanon -- part of the Golan Heights -- later included
in Syria -- and part of Sinai -- left under British administration in Egypt
(see Map No. 5).
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend
Source: "Battleground: Fact & Fantasy
in Palestine" by Samuel Katz,
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