Friday, December 05, 2008

The Israel-Arab Conflict Misexplained

I said the conflict between Israel and the Arab world is not between Jews and Arabs or between Islam and Judaism. Those have lived in comradeship and peace for hundreds of years and there is no reason for a conflict between them. The cause of the conflict is the Zionist settlement which operated since 1900 to found a Jewish state in a land where most of the residents are Arabs. Zionism has taken lands and independence from the Arab majority and that is the reason for the conflict. And it will end only by compromise between Israel and the Palestinians.

Akiva Orr, Matzpen founding member

who also tells this tale:

"In 1938 I was the District Commissioner of the Nablus district. The Palestinians rebelled against Britain and a member of your family participated in an attack on a British police station. I was the judge who sentenced him and I gave an order to blow up this house. I am sorry for it and I have come to ask for your forgiveness".

I don't know if they forgave him. However I know no Israeli governor ever asked forgiveness of a Palestinian family for giving an order to blow up their house. I wasn't surprised to hear of Hugh Foot's behavior because it matched my impression of him at the gathering in Leeds. Though he surprised me once more. When I met at Jerusalem in 1997 a delegation sent by the British organization "Medical Aid for Palestine". This organization gathers donations, medical equipment and volunteer medical staff in order to support the Palestinian health services. The organization was headed by Lord Gilmour, who served for a while as the minister of defense in the Thatcher's cabinet. When I met Lord Gilmour in Jerusalem I asked him how was Lord Caradon doing. Gilmour was surprised: "Didn't you hear he has died?" I apologized that I did not. He added "So you haven't heard about his last request", "Regretfully not", I answered.

Lord Gilmour added "He asked to be buried wrapped in the Palestinian flag".

Until this very day I wonder why the last request of the British representative to the UN, who served in important government positions in Britain, was for his coffin to descend to the grave wrapped in the Palestinian flag.

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