by Gerald A. Honigman
Let me start by first issuing an apology to those readers who are versed in much of what comes next.
The problem is that the other side keeps on resurrecting the same old arguments, and newcomers to the issues--or even oldtimers who pretend otherwise--thus have to be handed my same responses. A lie left unanswered often does eventually become accepted as truth.
So, here we go…
The latest hot story coming out of the power struggle (largely for control of the millions of dollars in foreign aid at stake…Arafat became a millionaire many times over this way) between the good cop and bad cop halves of the sweet talking Arafatian and more honest Hamasnik same coin is that the West’s darling, Mahmoud Abbas, is pressuring the democratically-elected Hamas-led government of the Palestinian Arabs to accept a plan forged by jailed murderers of Jews and wannabes to create the Arabs’ 22nd state and second one in “Palestine“ (Jordan was created from almost 80% of the original 1920 territory) in the West Bank and Gaza. (And talk about a run-on sentence!)
Abbas says to an all-too-believing and gullible West that he wants this state to be set up "just" on every inch of territory in Judea and Samaria (known by those names far longer than the “West Bank” ), not allowing for any modification to Israel’s 1949, U.N.-imposed armistice lines…lines which made the sole, miniscule Jewish State a mere 9-miles wide in spots, and roughly only double that width in its strategic waist, where most of its population and industry are located. Of course the West doesn't get to hear what Abbas then tells his own folks in Arabic.
It’s useful to recall how those Auschwitz lines Abbas refers to came to be.
Having rejected the 1947 partition plan for the remaining 20% of the Mandate left after Arabs already received the bulk of “Palestine” in 1922 with the creation of Transjordan, a half dozen Arab states--armed to the teeth with weapons left over by the Allies in World War II and even led, in Transjordan, by British officers--then attacked a reborn Israel in 1948. This attack and rejection of the partition (at the same time that a predominantly Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan were being created for similar reasons) created a refugee problem that the whole world has become quite familiar with…that of Arab refugees.
As part of this new jail-created “peace (of the grave) plan,” Abbas also expects Israel to grant the right of return to said Arab refugees…whether it’s accepted by them or not. Keep in mind that these folks have been raised since birth on Jew-hatred and jihadist ideologies.
Also keep in mind that Abbas--the moderate--openly ran on a platform promising Israel’s total destruction as a Jewish state--but by "more acceptable" means. Babies and mothers getting blown apart in pizzerias hurt the Arab cause, as do students disemboweled on exploding buses.
So…force the Jews to be swamped by “returning” Arabs with one of the highest birth rates in the world. Abbas swears he will not back down from this demand...despite attempts by his supporters among the Foggy Folks and elsewhere to paint a more rosy picture about this.
Arafat loved to say that the Arab mother was his best weapon. His buddy, Abbas, agrees.
Now, about those Arab refugees…
When the United Nations Relief Works Agency--UNRWA--was set up to assist Arab refugees created as a result of the Arab attempt on Israel’s life which backfired, the very word refugee had to be redefined to assist those people.
So many Arabs were recent arrivals into the Palestine Mandate themselves that UNRWA had to adjust the very definition of "refugee" from its prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948...Please read that last line again.
Recall that there were hundreds of millions of people who became refugees all over the world during the last few violent centuries. And, even more to the point, for every Arab who was forced to flee the fighting that Arabs started (after all, how dare Jews want in one tiny, resurrected state what Arabs demand for themselves in some two dozen others), a Jewish refugee was forced to flee “Arab”/Muslim lands into Israel and elsewhere...but with no UNRWA set up to assist them.
As for those "native Palestinians" Abbas plans to inundate Israel with, Arafat himself was born in Cairo, Egypt.
Scores of thousands of other Arabs came from Egypt earlier in the latter 19th century with Muhammad Ali and son's Ibrahim Pasha's armies and, like Arafat a bit later, many settled in "Palestine." Please refer to this url in Pakistan Today
for the derivation of this name http://www.paktoday.com/honig16.htm
During the mandatory period after World War I, the Records of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission recorded additional scores of thousands of Egyptian, Syrian, and other Arabs entering into Palestine and settling there.
Want some more "native Palestinians?"
Hamas' patron saint, Sheikh Izzedin al-Qassam, for whom its militant wing (those who blow up the teen clubs, buses, and such) and rockets are named, was from Latakia, Syria. Like many if not most others, the Sheikh was an Arab settler in Palestine.
Mind you that this is the same Hamas that butchers Jewish "settler" babes and grandmas. And the same Hamas that says no Israel--regardless of size--has a right to exist. In this, however, as those with active neurons have already figured out, its vision is simply a more honest version of that of Abbas’ Arafatians themselves.
It is estimated that for each one of these incoming Arab settlers who were recorded, many others crossed the border under cover of darkness to enter into one of the few areas in the region where any economic development was going on because of the influx of Jewish capital. These folks later became known as "native Palestinians." Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from some of those same "Arab" countries--Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, and so forth--became labeled the settlers.
While this is not to say that there were not native Arabs also living in Palestine, it is to say that many, if not most, of the Arabs were also relative newcomers themselves. Given the Dar ul-Islam world outlook of Arabs, however, it was simply considered legitimate for them to conquer, colonize, and settle any and all of such lands.
So, many of the villages set up in the "West Bank" and elsewhere were settlements established by Arab settlers. Read that last sentence again also…
There were Jews whose families never left Israel/Judaea/Palestine over the centuries, despite the tragedies of two, well-documented major wars for their freedom and independence with Rome, forced conversions of the Byzantines, the Diaspora, Crusades, and other nightmares.
So, why is it supposedly now acceptable for Arabs from surrounding lands to settle in Palestine, but not for Israel's Jews, half of whom were refugees themselves from Arab/Muslim lands…the other side of the refugee coin nobody talks about.
Jews owned land and lived in Judea (Judean=Jew) and Samaria until they were massacred by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. And that brings me back to the issue of the ‘49 Auschwitz/armistice lines…
After Colonial Secretary Churchill's creation of the Emirate of Transjordan in 1922 from the lion’s share of the original 1920 Palestine Mandate, experts such as former Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow have long pointed out that the “West Bank” was non-apportioned territory--much of which was State land--belonging to no individuals and open to settlement by all residents--Jews, Arabs, etc.--of the Mandate.
Despite Abbas' fantasies, Arabs certainly did not exclusively own this land, and when Transjordan grabbed it in the 1948 fighting, it was an illegal occupier (indeed, at the time, only two states recognized its land grab). Keep all of this in mind when you hear Abbas proclaim that Israel must withdraw from every inch of “Arab” land.
As a result of that 1948 land grab, “Trans“ (across ) was dropped from the name of the Arab state which thus came to exist on both banks of the Jordan River (80% of “Palestine”), and Jordan saw to it that Jews were ousted from these lands. At the same time, more Arabs poured in.
In 1967, despite the pleas of Israeli leaders given to him via diplomatic channels, King Hussein of Jordan listened to President Nasser of Egypt and joined what he thought would be the final destruction of Israel.
Nasser had already blockaded Israel at the Straits of Tiran (a casus belli big time), sent the U.N. peace-keeping force away, and amassed over 100,00 troops, planes, tanks, and such right up to Israel’s armistice line. By the way, since the days of the Pharaohs, Egypt had used Gaza--which Israel has already withdrawn from--as one of its main invasion routes to attack Jews in Israel. Some things change, some things don't...
Anyway, that’s how Jordan lost that which it gained illegally in the ‘48 fighting.
Which brings us, again, back to the ‘49 armistice lines…
After the fighting was over in those six days in ‘67, much debate took place over the fate of the non-apportioned territories of the Mandate.
Funny, in most other wars, when an aggressor attacked a neighbor repeatedly from territory, he frequently wound up losing said territory for good if he lost the war. And territory was often grabbed by others--including the United States--even if it wasn’t attacked. National security interests and such...
But, this is the Jew of the Nations we’re talking about…So I guess it was expected to teach Christians how to be better Christians by simply turning its Jewish cheek over and over and over again to its enemies.
While Arabs and their supporters tried hard to get the precise wording that they wanted, sanity won the day when the final draft of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 got passed ( Rostow was one of its architects) in the months after the Six Day War.
Israel was not expected to withdraw to the Auschwitz lines yet again, and the travesty of justice which occurred in 1949 was to be undone. Recall, as would become the pattern, the U N. did nothing to stop the Arabs’ aggression in 1948 and got involved only when the Jews turned the tide. When it finally acted, the U.N. sought to limit Arab losses, not to stop initial Arab aggression.
As has been written often over the years, the words the and all were deliberately left out of the wording referring to withdrawal from territories, and any such withdrawal was to be made to secure and recognized borders in the context of real peace treaties, not "let's fool the Jews" hudnas.
To those who want to discuss these issues but have never looked at a map of the world or the Middle East in this context, you must now do so or refrain from comment. I dare you, on the former, to find Israel without a magnifying glass…and you'll find it just a bit easier on the latter.
The point is that Israel--half of whose Jews were refugees from the “Arab” world--takes up less than one half of one per cent of the territory in its neck of the woods.
The issue has never been about Israel’s size, but that others--be they Kurds, Copts, Berbers, black African Sudanese, Assyrians, Jews, and so forth--are also deserving of their own slice of justice in what Arabs simply call purely Arab patrimony. This, indeed, sums up the Arab-Israel dilemma in a nutshell.
So, that brings us to the proper response to Abbas and his non-peace plan.
Abbas’ Arafatians have long held to a destruction in phases plan for Israel.
After the Arab defeat in ‘67, they shifted to a policy which would get Israel back to its indefensible ‘49 armistice lines, and then--after a period of their own arms build up and such--would do what the Prophet Muhammad did to the Quraysh after the hudna--ceasefire--he granted them…move in for the final kill.
Israel must insist--despite the feathers it will ruffle abroad--on justice for itself. It is entitled to thrive, not just barely survive.
If it does not insist on a rectification of the travesty imposed upon it in 1949, Israel will remain forever dependent on the good will of others (who may withhold that good will at will) to “save” it in times of crisis. Israel had such promises before which never materialized when they were needed.
Any 22nd state for Arabs must not come at the expense of the sole state Jews possess.
If there is to be a rump state in an area which really has no room for another state, it must be that additional one created for Arabs in Palestine (their 2nd, not first) that much of the rest of the world insists upon… not Israel.
Given all of this, there is therefore only one response that Israel must give to Abbas--whether or not Hamas plays along with the prisoners’ “peace” plan.
When it comes to the crucial issues of a return to the Auschwitz lines and Arab inundation of Israel by jihadist alleged refugees, Israel must state loudly and clearly…
Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive
doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and
conducted counter-propaganda programs for college youth, has
lectured on numerous university campuses and other platforms,
and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His
articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of
newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites around the
world. His official website is:
Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article.
A. G. S.