Sunday, April 28, 2013

Those 'Settlers' Again

As the media pumps it, all the problems of post-1967 Israel, you know, the "territories", the "settlements", the "occupation", the "settlers", are what are at the root of the "conflict".


Well, here is part the The Guardian's story on Mandate period documents now released:

The documents, which have a remarkable contemporary resonance, reveal how British officials looked on as Jewish settlers took over more and more Arab land.
That sentence, an anachronistic interpretation of history, the "throwback" version, followed this:

The British government knew from the moment it planned to withdraw its forces from Palestine more than 60 years ago that partition of the territory and the founding of the state of Israel would lead to war and defeat for the Arabs, secret documents released make clear.

So, were those "Jewish settlers" taking over land - how?

Militarily?  Or simply purchasing it?  The "British officials" simply "looked on"?  But wait, wasn't the purpose of the Mandate to reconstitute the Jewish national home?

True.  But in 1939 the British reneged on that Mandate, avoided the Geneva-based League of Nations Mandates Commission reprimand since war broke out and subverted the legal rights of the Jews.

And this part:

After an increase in violent attacks by the militant Zionists of the Stern group and Irgun, British officials reported later in 1946: "Arab leaders appear to be still disposed to defer active opposition so long as a chance of a political decision acceptable to Arab interests exists." But they warned: "There is a real danger lest any further Jewish provocation may result in isolated acts of retaliation spreading inevitably to wider Arab-Jewish clashes".
makes no sense.  Why?  Because in 1946, neither the Irgun or the Lehi (the Stern Group) were attacking Arabs.  So, they were being provoked because...

...well, perhaps because the Jews were obtaining their lawful and legal rights?  A country?  Even a partitioned one (after the first partition of 1921 forcibly incorporated in the Mandate by the British in 1922 when Transjordan was separated from the Jewish National Home territory)?

There was another document, as the Jewish Chronicle relays:
The report on "Great Britain and Arab Nationalism" was completed at the height of the Second World War, but remained secret for 70 years until its release at the National Archives this week.  AH Hourani, who compiled it, found evidence of an "obsession with Zionism" among Arab nationalists, out of a misguided belief "that it aims at dominating all Arab Asia". He wrote of the belief that the allies were "committed to support of Zionism" over Arab aims, and noted "widespread feeling in favour of Germany"...Mr Hourani wrote that the Arabs were by 1943 more disposed to accept the British White Paper that they had rejected in 1939 "by a tactical blunder"...Mr Hourani delved into the structure of Arab nationalism across the region, noting that there was an "absence of constructive thought and organisation".
That last bit, which is an earlier formulation of Abba Eban's quip that the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, is an example of what is all wrong with those who support the Arabs against Zionism for it indicates that the conflict is not about land, or borders or the "settlers" but is about the very existence of a state of the Jews.  And it so much so that they would favor Nazi Germany in their cause.


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