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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chris Wallace gets it Wrong

"For what is meant by saying that a government ought to educate the people? Why should they be educated? What is the education for? Clearly, to fit the people for social life — to make them good citizens. And who is to say what are good citizens? The government: there is no other judge. And who is to say how these good citizens may be made? The government: there is no other judge. Hence the proposition is convertible into this — a government ought to mold children into good citizens, using its own discretion in settling what a good citizen is and how the child may be molded into one." — British author, economist and philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

During an Interview with Herman Cain, on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Cain what he would do about the “Right of Return” of the Palestinians to the “occupied territories.” You can watch the complete interview by clicking here. Wallace’s question regarding Israel comes at 08:42 into the video.

I think Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday is one of the better interviewers among the various news channel hosts. He is prepared, and pushes pretty hard with everybody, though not in an obnoxious fashion. He chooses to remain the interviewer, and not become the story. Unfortunately, Wallace injected himself into an interview Sunday, with the use of language that can be best described as inflammatory and historically inaccurate.

In an interview with newly announced GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain, Wallace asked a few questions about Cain's support of Israel.

He then asked him about the Palestinian right of return. When Cain seemed unaware of the issue, Wallace tried to clarify the issue for him that the right of return was for the Palestinians who were "kicked out" by Israel in the 48 war. Wallace’s question to Cain was:

“Do you think the Palestinian refugees, the people who were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able or should have any right to return to Israeli land?”

This statement is evidence that Wallace is unaware of the circumstances of the 1948 war or the history of the refugees since that war.

The 1948 war began with Arab attacks the day the U.N. passed the partitionUN_Partition_Plan_For_Palestine_1947 resolution in November 1947, which was accepted by the Zionists, and rejected by the Arabs in mandate Palestine and the Arab nations. The war escalated when 5 Arab armies invaded in May 1948 when the British withdrew, with a goal of wiping out the Jewish presence. About 600,000 Arabs abandoned homes in the war that went on for over a year. Very few of them were kicked out or driven out by the Zionists.

That did happen, but only in a few places. The great majority of the Arabs left due to other circumstances — fleeing a war zone where hand to hand close range fighting was going on, or because they were encouraged to do so by the invading Arab armies, telling them to come back to their homes after the Zionists were eliminated. All the contemporary news accounts of the day, and statements by Arab leaders support this conclusion.

While this war was going on, an equal number of Jews in Arab countries — Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and other Arab countries — were driven from their homes and their countries. Most of the Jewish refugees moved to Israel, and were accepted as full citizens. None of them lingered in refugee camps for decades. The treatment of the Arab refugees by Arab nations was different. Many were never resettled, and many never obtained citizenship in their new countries. Many were never allowed to work, but were forced to remain in stagnant camps, funded by the UNWRA, (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) where indoctrination of future generations consisted mainly of blaming Israel for their plight.

683px-MishmarHaemek2Israeli official sources, foreign press, officials present at the time and historians have claimed that the refugee flight was instigated by Arab leaders. For example, Yosef Weitz wrote in October 1948: "The migration of the Arabs from the Land of Israel was not caused by persecution, violence, expulsion — it was a tactic of war on the part of the Arabs.” Israeli historian Efraim Karsh wrote, "The logic behind this policy was apparently that 'the absence of women and children from Palestine would free the men for fighting', as the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Abd al-Rahman Azzam put it." In his book, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War 1948, Karsh cited the substantial, active role the Arab Higher Committee played in the exoduses from Haifa, Tiberias, and Jaffa as an important part of understanding what he called the "birth of the Palestinian refugee problem."

A May 3, 1948 Time Magazine article attributed the exodus from the city of Haifa to fear, Arab orders to leave and a Jewish assault. The Economist attributed the exodus from Haifa to orders to leave from the Higher Arab Executive as well as expulsion by Jewish troops.

In the case of the village of Ein Karem, William O. Douglas was told by the villagers that the cause of their flight was twofold: first, it was caused by fear that came out of the Deir Yassin massacre, and second because "the villagers were told by the Arab leaders to leave. It apparently was a strategy of mass evacuation, whether or not necessary as a military or public safety measure."

Khalid al-`Azm who was prime minister of Syria from December 17, 1949 to March 30, 1949 listed in his memoirs a number of reasons for the Arab defeat in an attack on the Arab leaders including his own predecessor Jamil Mardam Bey:

“Fifth: the Arab governments' invitation to the people of Palestine to flee from it and seek refuge in adjacent Arab countries, after terror had spread among their ranks in the wake of the Deir Yassin event. This mass flight has benefited the Jews and the situation stabilized in their favor without effort. Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homeland, while it is we who constrained them to leave it. Between the invitation extended to the refugees and the request to the United Nations to decide upon their return, there elapsed only a few months.”

After the war, a few Arab leaders tried to present the Palestinian exodus as a victory by claiming to have planned it. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Said was later quoted as saying: "We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down."

The Arab National Committee of Haifa, the Arab leadership in Haifa in 1948, wrote and delivered a report on the flight of roughly 60,000 Arabs from Haifa. The report said, "The removal of the Arab inhabitants from the town was voluntary and carried out at our request."

"Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring, brotherly states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down," wrote Habab Issa of Al-Hoda, the leading newspaper for Lebanese Maronites in the United States. A Muslim weekly newspaper in Beirut similarly reported, "Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders?” The Arab States and Lebanon amongst them, did it!"

Mahmoud Abbas, at the time Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, would later recall: "The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live."

In 2009, veteran opponent of Israel, Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, wrote about his vision for a One-state solution, saying that the Arabs fled "in fear of violence at the hands of Jews after 1948 — violence that did not occur, but rumors of which led to a mass exodus." He added that "it is important to note that the Jews did not forcibly expel Palestinians. (I suggest Chris Wallace take time to read the Causes of the 1948 Palestinian Exodus by clicking here.

After the 1948 War the population east of the Jordan River contained over 400,000 Palestinian refugees who made up one-third of the population; another third of the population was Palestinians on the West Bank. Only one third of the population consisted of the original inhabitants of Trans-Jordan, which meant that the Jordanians had become a ruling minority over a Palestinian majority. This proved to be a mercurial element in internal Jordanian politics and played a critical role in the political opposition. Since the 1950s, the West Bank had become the center of the national and territorial aspects of the Palestinian problem that was the key issue of Jordan's domestic and foreign policy. According to King Hussein, the Palestinian problem spelled "life or death" for Jordan and would remain the country's overriding national security issue.

King Hussein feared an independent West Bank under PLO administration would threaten the autonomy of his Hashemite kingdom. The Palestinian factions were supported variously by many Arab regimes, most notably Egypt's President Nasser, who gave political support; and Saudi Arabia, which gave financial support. The Palestinian nationalist organization Fatah started organizing attacks against Israel in January 1965, and Israel was also subject to repeated cross-border attacks by Palestinian Fedayeen; these often drew reprisals that killed and injured Jordanians. The Samu Incident was one such reprisal. Jordan had long maintained secret contacts with Israel concerning peace and security along their border. Due to internal splits within the Jordanian government and population however, many of King Hussein's orders to stop these raids were not obeyed, and some Jordanian commanders along the Israeli-Jordanian border began giving the Palestinian raids passive assistance.

On September 18, during the time of turmoil, Syria tried to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian guerrillas. President Hafez al-Assad told his biographer, Patrick Seale, that Syria's intervention was only to protect the Palestinians from a massacre. The Syrians sent in armored forces equivalent to a brigade, with tanks, some of them allegedly hastily rebranded from the regular Syrian army for the purpose. Other Syrian units were the 5th Infantry Division (with the 88th and 91st Tank Brigades and the 67th Mechanized Brigade with over 200 T-55 tanks) and Commandos. They were under the command of the Palestine Liberation Army's (PLA) Syrian branch, whose headquarters were located in Damascus, and which was controlled by the government. They were met by the 40th Armored Brigade of the Jordanian Army. The Syrian Air Force, under orders of Assad, never entered the battle. This has been variously attributed to power struggles within the Syrian Baathist government (pitting Assad against Salah Jadid), and to the threat of Israeli military intervention.

As King Hussein dealt with threats by both Palestinian refugees in his country and invading Syrian forces, the king asked "the United States and Great Britain to intervene in the war in Jordan, asking the United States, in fact, to attack Syria, and some transcripts of diplomatic communiqués show that Hussein requested Israeli intervention against Syria." Timothy Naftali said. "Syria had invaded Jordan and the Jordanian king, facing what he felt was a military rout, said please help us in any way possible."

A telegram indicates that Hussein himself called a U.S. official at 3 a.m. to ask for American or British help. "Situation deteriorating dangerously following Syrian massive invasion", the document said. "I request immediate physical intervention both land and air to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Jordan. Immediate air strikes on invading forces from any quarter plus air cover are imperative."

On 21 September the Syrian 5th Division broke through the defenses of the Jordanian 40th Armored Brigade, and pushed it back off the ar-Ramtha crossroads. King Hussein was thrown into a near panic. On 22 September the Royal Jordanian Air Force began attacking Syrian forces, which were badly battered as a result. The constant airstrikes broke the will of the Syrian force, and on the late afternoon of 22 September the 5th Division began to retreat.

Whatever the case, the swift Syrian withdrawal was a severe blow to Palestinian hopes. Jordanian armored forces steadily pounded their headquarters in Amman, and threatened to break them in other regions of the kingdom as well. The Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire. Hussein and Arafat attended the meeting of leaders of Arab countries in Cairo, where Arafat won a diplomatic victory. On September 27, Hussein was forced to sign an agreement which preserved the right of the Palestinian organizations to operate in Jordan. For Jordan, it was humiliating that the agreement treated both sides to the conflict as equals. This was the beginning of the “Black September” movement, a terrorist organization that would plague the world with airline hijackings, bombings and the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Of the 600,000 original Arab refugees, perhap 75,000 are alive today. Yet the Palestinians claim 5 million refugees. They do this because alone among the refugee populations of the world, the U.N considers descendants of the original refugees, whether 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation, as refugees, even though they never even set foot in Israel in their lives. The Palestinians and Arab nations blame Israel for the plight of the refugees, but it is their cynical use of the refugee issue, that has kept alive a refugee population 63 years after a war, and embittered Palestinians from ever accepting a Jewish majority state of Israel.

The Palestinians want to flood Israel with five million "non-refugee refugees" in order to become a majority in Israel and change the character of the state. All the so-called foreign policy experts who have looked at ways to resolve the conflict, and all the U.S. Presidents who have spoken about the issue, including Obama on several occasions, have argued that Palestinian refugees would need to be resettled in a new Palestinian state, or in Arab countries, or Western countries, with some compensation provided, assuming a two state solution that ended the conflict could be achieved.

Since the 1948 War of Independence there have been numerous peace conferences and accords. None of them have worked and they never will. Just as there will never be “peace” between India and Pakistan or the Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka so there will never be peace between Islamic nations and the Jews. Judaism is the sworn enemy of Islam. The best you can hope for is the absence of war and this can only be achieved by a strong Israel with secure and defensible borders. As George Washington said; “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” And for Israel to be prepared for war it needs defensible borders and a committed, unified population.

Calling for a right of return to Israel is part of a strategy to end the Zionist state, the same strategy that created the refugee situation in the beginning. There are consequences to starting wars and losing them. Click here to read more.

Wallace might want to read up a bit, and then tell his viewers next week that his statement was incorrect.

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