Monday, July 19, 2010

Responding to King Abullah, the First

There's an effort to rehabilitate an Arab ruler who, like his grandson, is viewed as the "likeable hero" of the Arab-Israel conflict. King Abdullah I, assassinated by an agent of the Grand Mufti.

Back in 1947, in an effort to quash the diplomatic efforts of establishing the Jewish state out of a further partitioned Mandate of Palestine, this article was published:

"As the Arabs see the Jews"
His Majesty King Abdullah, The American Magazine, November, 1947

As touted now, the article "disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred."

Abdullah "asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe."

And in the height of chutzpah, King Abdullah "asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years?".

Some other gems (to think that Abdullah wrote this, or even conceived of these arguments in the way they are presented is mind-boggling but ghostwriters have been around for a long time and the English were quite keen on their chappie there in TransJordan):

"I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

...We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

Well, it seems America still remains the main target for Arab propaganda.

And here's one glaring example:

Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.

That's a lie. Quite simply, a gross untruth. Arabs first came to the territory of the Land of Israel in 638 CE - as conquerors. They were foreign occupiers. And just like Spain finally liberated itself from the Arab yoke in their reconquista, we, too, with our Zionism, the Zionism of the return to Zion, succeeded in reclaiming our national homeland. And that historical connection was recognized by the international community in the League of Nations decision to award Great Britain the Mandate in 1922 and a year later, even tore away parts of our homeland to give Abdullah, a refugee fleeing from Saudi Arabia, an emirate.

Moreover, the land was almost 100 per cent Arab for 1300 years only because they oppressed and repressed the local indigenous Jewish population and prohibited or restricted Jewish immigration over the centuries.

And these same 1947 lied are being retold today.

But read this nasty bit of antisemitism:

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.

Playing the race card, we'd say today.

And then he gets all "historical" and weaves an amazing story:

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land." Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.

Nothing could be farther from the truth...If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia."

Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine... (there's more)

The Jewish presence throughout the years of exile (see here; this; as well as this and this, too)

But the march of conquest by Arabs is presented simply thus:-

In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

"Only" because tens of thousands were expelled by the Ottoman Turks as citizens of a hostile country in time of war.

And on Jerusalem, the message hasn't altered one iota:-

May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

And he relates to what I wrote above:

...We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people. Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

At the time of his writing, there were only 7 Arab states anyway which wouldn't have changed the decision. And yes, America supported the Balfour Declaration and the reconstitution of the Jewish national home in then Palestine.

And in a direct appeal to Americans, similar to today, he writes:

I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.

Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.

The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door...It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists...

Plus la change, plus la meme chose.

- - -


Suzanne Pomeranz said...

"And just like Spain finally liberated itself from the Arab yoke in their reconquista...."

Don't forget that Islam, a triumphalist, territorial religious/political movement has never "spiritually" relinquished Spain. Thus, his comments are to be understood in that context which is, as we know, completely and utterly unrealistic and have no bearing on the situation today.

yoni said...

critiquing utter garbage like this must be the easiest job in the world- i envy you.

:)just kidding, i know it isn't always so easy. but this was pretty blatant.