Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who didn't want peace?

Who didn't want peace?



 The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process is under way, and it is hoped that the conflict will be resolved within the coming year.  However, the outcome will be influenced to a great extent by perceptions of the rebirth of Israel 60 years ago. As Israel's 60th birthday approaches, it should be remembered that there are two 'narratives' of the conflict.

The first is based on carefully researched, verifiable, relevant documents and quotations from both sides.  This approach is exemplified by such eminent historians as Sir Martin Gilbert who said: 'I believe in true history.  What happened in the past is unalterable and definite' (Churchill and the Jews, Simon & Shuster, 2007), and 'You can have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts' (Matthias Küntzel)

 The second is based on the writings of those who look at the conflict with a predetermined agenda, and make the facts fit into their ideology; and the  'revisionist historians' who have said, 'Historical research need not be based on facts' (Ilan Pappé, interview in Le Soir, Bruxelles,29/11/1999,  

 The following pages, which contradict widely-held beliefs based on propaganda and ideology, give the hard facts.  For example:

  • Jews were massacred in Palestine well into the 20th. century
  • Jews were ethnically cleansed from Palestine and other Arab lands
  • Arab leaders were largely responsible for the mass exodus/migration  of Palestinian 'refugees'
  • All Israel's citizens, including Arabs, have equal rights under the law
  • Israel has received about 7% of the original Mandate, which included what are now Jordan, Israel, Gaza and the 'West Bank'.
  • Arabs have repeatedly tried to eliminate her entirely by violence

 Text Box:







1914 Ottoman - Turkish Muslim Empire, which controlled the whole of the Middle East, had the backing of Germany during WW1.

British and French, signed the Sykes-Picot agreement


  1917 Great Britain promised the Jews a homeland in the whole of Palestine, in the Balfour Declaration
1922 The Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and  thereby became international law.   
1922 Arabs objected , so Palestine was partitioned by Britain, giving the Arabs 78% of the promised Jewish homeland to the Arabs of Palestine for their state, to be known as TransJordan (later Jordan), and the remaining 22% to the Jews.


1937 A further partition of the remaining 22% of the land was proposed by the Peel Commission. The Arabs again rejected the partition and their own  state. The Jews were divided over whether to accepted this greatly  reduced land offer, but accepted it initially. The British government reduced the area of the Jewish state, but the Arabs still rejected the plan. The British withdrew the suggestion.
1947 The remaining 22% of Palestine that had been mandated for a Jewish national home under international law, was partitioned by UN General Assembly Resolution 181,

The Jews again accepted, while the Arabs again refused to accept the creation of either their own or the Jewish state,  threatened violence, and attacked the newly established State of Israel. See Arab League Statement and  Israel - Birth of a Nation


November 1947

24th November 1947

Egyptian delegate Heykal Pasha, addressing the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly, remarked on the Partition Plan for Palestine - five days before the historic vote:   

'The United Nations....should not lose sight of the fact that the proposed solution might endanger a million Jews living in the Muslim countries .... If the United Nations decides to partition Palestine, it might be responsible for very grave disorders and for the massacre of a large number of Jews ... if a Jewish state were established, nobody could prevent disorders. Riots would spread through all the Arab states and might lead to a war between the two races'.

                                                (UN Official records of the 2nd session of the GA ad hoc Committee on the Palestinian question, 25th September -25th November, p. 185)


[From November 1947 to 1951, Jews were persecuted in Muslim countries. This persecution followed a plan decided upon by the Arab League 5 months before Arabs left Israel (See Jews in Grave Danger in All Moslem Lands  and Arab League Draft Law on Jews-1947 .  800,000 Jews, many of whose ancestors  had lived there for centuries, were expelled or fled Arab countries. They were forced to desert their homes, and leave behind their belongings and their businesses. ]


24th November 1947


Jamal Husseini, spokesman for the Palestine Higher Committee told the UN that:

'The partition line proposed shall be nothing but a line of fire and blood'

(UN GA A/AC.14/SR.31,24/11/47)

29th November 1947

[UN General Assembly Resolution 181 adopted by 33 votes to 13, with 10 abstentions, a second partition of Palestine, and the creation of Independent Arab and Jewish states]


29th November 1947

UN  Iraqi representative Mr Jamali said:

'In the name of my government, I wish to put on record that Iraq does not recognise the validity of this decision, [and] will reserve freedom of action towards its implementation'.

UN General Assembly 128th Plenary Meeting 11363


Syrian UN representative Amir Arslam said:

'My country will never recognise such a decision [partition].  It will never agree to be responsible for it. Let the consequences be on the heads of others, not on ours'.

UN General Assembly 128th Plenary Meeting 11363


Yemeni UN representative, HRH Prince Seif Islam Abdullah said:

'The Government of Yemen does not consider itself bound by such a decision, and will reserve its freedom of action towards the implementation of this decision'.

UN General Assembly 128th Plenary Meeting 11363


December 1947

Trygve Lie, UN Secretary General, later wrote:

'From the first week of December 1947, disorder in Palestine had begun to mount.  The Arabs repeatedly had asserted that they would resist partition by force.  They seemed to be determined to drive that point home by assaults upon the Jewish community in Palestine'.

   Trygve Lie, 'In the Cause of Peace', NY, Macmillan, 1954, P. 174.


11th December 1947

[The British announced that they would withdraw from Palestine by May 15th 1948]


 January 1948

The British Commander of Jordan's Arab Legion, Sir John Bagot Glubb told the Security Council:

'Ever since January 1948, the Arabs had been endeavouring to cut the main road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thereby isolate the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy City'.

            'A soldier with the Arabs',  London, Stoughton and Holder, 1951


The British Commander of Jordan's Arab League, John Bagot Glubb, wrote:

'Early in January, the first detachments of the Arab Liberation Army began to infiltrate into Palestine from Syria.  Some came through Jordan and even through Amman.…They were in reality to strike the first blow'.

'A Soldier with the Arabs', John Bagot Glubb, London, Stoughton and Holder, 1951, p. 79


[Confirming that the fighting was started by the Arab armies, not the Jews]


 February 1948

February 16th 1948

UN Palestinian Commission, on Arab Higher Committee's rejection, said it was an effort


'to prevent the implementation of the [General] Assembly's plan of partition, and to thwart its objectives by threats and acts of violence, including armed incursions into Palestinian territory'


'Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort alter by force the settlement envisaged therein'.

Security Council Official  Records, Special Supplement, (1948) p.20


 April 1948

April 3rd 1948

Near East Broadcasting Station (Cyprus) announced:

 'It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encourages the refugees from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem, and that certain leaders have tried to make political capital of their miserable situation'.



            [This was later confirmed by Arab media]


'The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies'

Falastin, Jordan, 19/2/1949, (


'The removal of the Arab inhabitants …was voluntary and was carried out at our request...The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries'

Arab National Committee of Haifa, April 1950,  (


April 9th    1948


Deir Yassin


'The Jews never intended to hurt the population of the village, but were forced to do so after they met enemy fire from the population, which killed the Irgun commander'

(Yunis Ahmed Assad, survivor,  in Al Urdan Jordanian newspaper, 9/4/53)


'The villagers protested against the atrocity claims. We said; 'There was no rape'. Khalid said 'We have to say this, so the Arabs armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews'.

(Aby Mahmud, resident of Deir Yassin, 20/3/98,


'There were no rapesIt's all lies.  There were no pregnant women who were slit open.  It was propaganda that…Arabs put out so Arab armies would invade.  They ended up expelling people from all of Palestine on the rumour of Deir Yassin'.

(Muhammed Radwan,  Deir Yassin survivor and fighter, quoted in 'Deir Yassin, in  'A Casualty of

 Guns and Propaganda' by Paul Homes, Middle East Times, 20/4/98)


[Survivors statements about Deir Yassin]


April 13th 1948


[80 Jewish doctors and nurses were killed by Arabs in a massacre, planned in advance,  on their way up to the Jewish Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem]. See The Hadassah Convoy Massacre

April 16th, 1948

Jamal Husseini, Arab Higher committee's spokesman told the Security Council:

'The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting.  We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight'.

(Security Council Official records, S/Agenda/58)


[Showing that the war started because Arabs armies attacked Israel]


April 26th 1948

US Consul General in Haifa, Aubrey Lippincott:

'Local Mufti-dominated leaders were urging all Arabs to leave the city'.


Haifa District HQ of the British Palestine Police reported to Police HQ in Jerusalem

'Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives'.


[Showing again that Palestinian refugees were urged to flee by their own leaders]


 May 1948

 May 8th 1948

A British Military Observer reported that:

'The Jews have been making extensive efforts to prevent wholesale evacuation [of Arabs], but their propaganda appears to have had very little effect'.


Following a visit to refugees in Gaza, a British diplomat reported

'But while they express no bitterness against the Jews...they speak with the utmost bitterness of the Egyptians and other Arab states: 'We know who our enemies are,' they will say, and they are referring to their Arab brothers who, they declare, persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their homes'.

British Foreign Office Document #371/75342/XC/A/4991, (

[Confirming that 'Palestinian' refugees were urged to flee by their own leaders]


May 13th, 1948

[A Jewish Kibbutz, Kfar Etzion, and its defenders surrendered to the Arab Legion. 128 Jews were massacred by Palestinian Arab irregulars of the Jordan Legion, or members of the Legion itself. This was an example of ethnic cleansing.   The Dehaisheh refugee camp was later established on the site of the 3 Kibbutzim of the Etzion Bloc].  Gush Etzion Remembered - The Kfar Etzion Massacre


May 14th 1948


 Israel's Proclamation of Independence: (see Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel )


'In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace and to play their part in the development of the state, with full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions, provisional or permanent'

Tel Aviv, 14/5/48


[Israeli law states unequivocally that Arab citizens have 'full and equal citizenship']


May 15th 1948

Secretary General of the Arab League, Abdul Razek Azzam Pasha, announced at a Cairo Press Conference:

'This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre'.

Reported in New York Times, 16/5/48


May 20th 1948

Ukraine Delegate Tarasenko told  the UN Security Council:


'An armed struggle is taking place in Palestine as a result of the unlawful invasion by a number of  States of the territory of Palestine, which does not form part of the territory of any of the States whose armed forces have invaded it'

Quoted by Herzog, Israel's ambassador, at 47th Plenary Meeting of United Nations, 26/10/1977 (United Nations official record A/32/PV.47 )


[More confirmation that it was the Arabs who were the aggressors]

May 26th 1948


A Haifa District H.Q British Police report:

'Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe'.


May 29th 1948

[During the The Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem, the nearly 2,000 remaining Jews whose families had lived in the old city of Jerusalem were forcibly removed from the city,  Ignoring UN Resolutions, the TransJordanian soldiers destroyed all but one of the  synagogues, as well as ancient Jewish graveyards in the Old City.



May 29th 1948

Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko told Security Council:

'This is not the first time that the Arab states, which organised the invasion of Palestine, have ignored a decision of the Security Council or of the General Assembly'.

Security Council Official Records, SA/Agenda/77, May 29th, p. 2

 September 1948

Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph, said:


'The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state.  The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously, and they must share in the solution of the problem'.

(Beirut Telegraph, 6/9/48,

Sixty years ago in December 1948

December 12th 1948

UN General Assembly Resolution 194, Para 5 called for

'A just settlement of the refugee problem'

[This referred to all refugees, Jewish as well as Arab]

Please contact me if you would like further information, at:

Naomi Benari meedu (at)

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