Barry Cohen means well, but I’m not in the business of pitting hope against hope. The Arabs have no need for “Palestine”, they know very well that Â no “Palestinians”exist. The Arab rabble that Â benefits from this ‘refugee’ scam are Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians and Arabs from all over the ME.. These people have no ties to the land and neither have their ancestors.
Their business is about destroying Israel, to “wipe Israel off the map”, nothing else. If (G-d forbid) that should ever happen, the place will be soon be abandoned and desolate as it was before the Jews came back to claim it.
Western leaders should be telling the “Palestinians” Â they will become a state when they recognise Israel’s right to exist.
IT was good of Foreign Minister Bob Carr to inform us that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a very complex issue. It’s nothing of the sort.
The cause is the refusal of the Arabs to accept the resolution of the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947, that the mandated territory of Palestine be divided into two countries, one Arab, one Jewish. It passed with a vote of 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions and one absent.
While Jews celebrated, the Arabs announced they would fight to prevent it happening. They understood that they could lose 100 wars, while Israel couldn’t afford to lose one. If you have doubts, read what Arab leaders have said. Jews have learnt over centuries that when anyone says that they intend to slaughter them they had better believe them.
(I would rephrase that to mean “some Jews have learnt, most have not”–otherwise they wouldn’t be voting for Obama.)
Those with doubts should glance over the figures of those who have died during the “Arab Spring” that commenced two years ago to bring freedom and democracy to those who have no experience of it.
The following estimates were provided by the Parliamentary Library: Tunisia 338; Bahrain 114; Egypt 846; Libya 25,000-30,000; Yemen 2000; Syria 60,000-plus; and nine other countries 116. That’s at least 88,414 Arabs killed by other Arabs. If you think that’s a lot, ponder how many have perished in the Middle East since Israel was established in 1948. As I’ve written previously on this page, the “minor” conflagrations in Algeria, Sudan, Darfur, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, Jordan, Chad, Syria, Turkey and Yemen resulted in 8.5 million dead. And the number killed in the Israel-Arab conflict: 85,000! A ratio of 100 to 1.
Imagine the toll if the Arabs didn’t like each other or what they would do to the Israelis if they ever got the chance.
While tens of thousands of Arabs were dying at the hands of their fellow Arabs, did anyone notice “progressives” marching through the streets protesting the slaughter? They might have if they hadn’t been so involved in the loss of 161 Palestinians who died when Israel decided to stop the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza, courtesy of Hamas.
For decades Israel is rumoured to have had 200 nuclear bombs. There has never been any shortage of excuses to use them. That they have not done so is why the Arab-Israeli conflict, while ugly, has not led to a major conflagration.
As a boy I never feared a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the US, for we were all aware that both sides knew the death and destruction that would result. We knew that a religious America and a secular Soviet Union did not want to die in a nuclear holocaust. “Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)” prevented that from happening.
Unfortunately the mad mullahs who now prevail over large parts of the Muslim world openly proclaim that they yearn to become martyrs.
So where to now? There are those who parrot the mantra that both sides should sit down and negotiate a solution as if it were a new idea. They argue that the succession of wars since 1948 will then cease. They make one serious mistake: it’s not a series of wars but the same war interrupted by ceasefires, truces, armistices and “victories”.
If the latest clash was a “victory”, why did they stop? Because they have not achieved their objective: the total destruction of Israel. Over and over again they have been offered a settlement that would have gained them almost everything they demanded.
One offer that stunned the Arab world was made by a former Israeli PM, Ehud Barak. With president Clinton’s support he offered 95 per cent of the West Bank, all of Gaza, a state with East Jerusalem as its capital and complete control of East Jerusalem, the Arab quarter and the Temple Mount.
To this they added $30 billion compensation for Palestinian refugees. Arafat rejected the package on the grounds that it did not include four million returning refugee families who had left in 1948, mainly at the urging of the Arab leadership who had attacked Israel confident that they could destroy her.
Could Israel have been more generous? They weren’t given the opportunity. Many Arabs were appalled at Arafat’s rejection of this generous offer. Clinton and Bush had no doubt as to who was to blame, with Clinton repeatedly calling Arafat “a liar”.
The most scathing criticism, however, came from the Saudi Arabian diplomat to the UN, Prince Bandar, who described Arafat’s rejection of the offer as “a crime against the Palestinians, in fact against the entire region”.
Which brings us to the decision by the Labor caucus to abstain on the vote to upgrade Palestine from “observer status” by referring to it as a state. As Michael Danby points out: “It is wrong to refer to Palestine as a state when it hasn’t attained that status under international law.” It’s another “victory” for the Palestinians, encouraging them to refuse to negotiate with Israel for a genuine peace.
Those who believe Israel doesn’t want peace are living in a fantasy world. Israel will negotiate with the Arab world, and Palestine in particular, when they show they are genuine. They don’t want another “war” but permanent peace.
Unfortunately, only a handful of caucus members have any real knowledge of this centuries-old conflict. They could not see that abstaining will only encourage the Palestinians to be more intransigent. The democracies should be telling the Palestinians they will become a state when they recognise Israel’s right to exist.
Barry Cohen was a minister in the Hawke government.