I am a Jew. I am a poet.
by Alyssa A. Lappen
I am heartbroken
February 23, 2001
am a Jew. I am a poet. I am heartbroken. Next to God and Jerusalem, the
thing most central to Judaism is peace. But my people's fervent prayers
for peace - embodied for millennia in every Jewish prayer - every
one - again go begging, when they seemed at last so close to fruition.
We find our homeland unwittingly immersed in another war, the sixth in
Israel's short life.
The United Nations years ago equated Zionism
with the basest human emotion. Yet my most beloved friend, also a poet,
was an Arab. Chris Khattar gave me priceless encouragement to renew the
poetic voice I had lost for 15 years. Before he died of Hodgkin's in 1992,
I gave him a poem. I am also fortunate to count among my neighbors, colleagues,
fellow-poets, like-minded parents and friends, other Muslims and Arabs,
Christians, African Americans, East Indians, Native Americans, Hispanics,
Chinese, Japanese, and people who are disabled, sightless, gay - anyone,
in short, open to mutual respect and willing to bless me with kindness,
intelligence, wisdom. By this Jewish precept - respect - I strive to conduct
all my affairs.
Last spring I felt great pride in learning
that my first chapbook, The People Bear Witness, would soon appear
in a journal published by Catholic theologians along with work by a Palestinian
poet. Honored to be in his company, I wrote him an email, kindly forwarded
by our editor. I was heartened by his praise for my work, but disappointed
by his failure to return my salutations - in Hebrew and Arabic - of peace.
I had high hopes for the Camp David II talks then in progress; he signed
note only, "Cheers."
Months later as violence erupted, I extended
a hand again - a small gesture I nevertheless felt necessary: Jewish theology
requires small acts of goodness. These in turn can save lives - and each
life is considered as an entire world. His reply pained me: On the one
hand, he accepted my sincerity. On the other, he questioned it: "The Jews
demand, rightly, apologies and compensation from those who wronged them.
These are not part of Israel's negotiating discourse. That is why, to tell
you the truth, I find your signature at the end (Shalom, Salaam) too casual."
For every gain the Palestinians might make, he said, "we will pay a terrible
I wrote our editor, "When even poets cannot
talk, we have a problem in Jerusalem." I had no idea yet how big.
A great deal more death and pain followed.
I reconsidered the poet's reply.
Towns, cities, a whole culture died with
six million Jewish Holocaust victims. German and world debts incurred cannot
be counted, much less paid. How unjust to compare a people - murdered throughout
history simply for being Jews1
- with one that intended in 1948 to conduct another genocide. In 1947,
Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha prom "a war of extermination,"
"a momentous massacre" to be remembered "like the Mongolian massacres and
Jerusalem Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini -
who had spent World War II in Nazi Germany and was indicted for war crimes
by Yugoslavia, though never prosecuted - declared a holy war. "Murder the
Jews, murder them all," he cried.3
Under Oslo, Israel negotiated in good faith
to exchange recognition of a new Palestinian state for peace--despite the
fact that Arabs already have 22 nations, including the de facto Palestinian
state of Jordan, and 5.25 million square miles, roughly half again as large
as the U.S. That is another reason I found the allegation--"Jews are not
willing to pay"--offensive. Israel's offer of peace at Camp David II was
so generous that most world leaders warmly congratulated Ehud Barak at
the UN conference in September. How quickly memories fade. Barak's largesse
afterwards grew--expanding under fire to include sovereignty over the most-cherished
Jewish holy site--the Temple Mount. Several Israeli ministers resigned
in protest and Barak's government collapsed. Still, Arafat said "no." Still,
bombers and gunmen took Israeli civilian lives-adding to more than 3,500
Arab attacks on Israelis since September and more than 557 murders of Israelis
since the Oslo accords were signed. Arab terrorism and intransigence alone
account for Ariel Sharon's landslide victory on February 6.
Contrary to press reports, even Sharon
supports peace: He served as a key negotiator at the 1979 Camp David Peace
Accords with Egypt and as Defense Minister in 1982, dismantled two Israeli
settlements - the first in Israel's history, against a backdrop of sharp
criticism. Sharon supported peace with Jordan and negotiated increased
water transfers to her. In 1998, Sharon was Israel's chief negotiator at
Wye River. The result was the transfer, to full Palestinian Authority control,
of 13 percent of Israeli controlled territories in Area C and 14.2 percent
of joint Israeli and Palestinian lands in Area B. Shortly thereafter, Israel
offered accelerated timetables to conclude negotiations within nine months.
Then as now, the Palestinian Authority rejected the plan.
In historical context, Israel has done
except give and pay. To understand how much, let us retreat
into history. In the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a litany of Christian
travelers - Siebald Rieter and Johann Tucker, Arnold Van Harff and Father
Michael Nuad, Martin Kabatnik and Felix Fabri, Count Constantine Francois
Volney and Alphonse de Lamartine, Mark Twain and Sir George Gawler, Sir
George Adam Smith and Edward Robinson - found Palestine virtually empty,
except for Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Safed, Shechem, Hebron, Gaza,
Ramleh, Acre, Sidon, Tyre, Haifa, Irsuf, Caesarea, and El Arish, and throughout
Galilee towns - Kfar Alma, Ein Zeitim, Biria, Pekiin, Kfar Hanania, Kfar
Kana and Kfar Yassif. They cannot all have been wrong. To stay, these Jews
had submitted to innumerable conquerors, taxes, pogroms and degradation.
But they stayed. But by 1799, Palestine was still so much in need of people
that Napoleon Bonaparte championed a full-scale return of Jews.4
By the mid-19th century, up to 100,000
people lived in Palestine, including a high percentage of Jews, whose forebears
had lived there for thousands of years. In 1882, roughly 200,000 Muslims
lived in all of Western Palestine.5
By 1918, the situation had not changed much: That was why Hussein ibn-Ali,
Sherif of Mecca, and his son, King Faisal of Iraq, both endorsed and extolled
the Balfour Declaration
Hussein wrote in Mecca's Al Qibla,
in 1918, "The resources of the country are still virgin soil and will be
developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until
recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering
over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain
a hold on him.... At the same time, we have seen the Jews from foreign
countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain,
and America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had a gift
of deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons
[abna'ihi-l-asliyin], for all their differences, a sacred and beloved
homeland. The return of these exiles [jaliya] to their homeland
will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their
brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades and all things
connected to the land."
In early 1919, King Faisal, then the only
recognized Arab leader in the world, executed a treaty with Chaim Weizmann
adopting the understanding of the Balfour Declaration. It outlined relations
between Palestine and the Arab state, recognizing the former as a National
Home for the Jews, in which they should quickly settle. He wrote, "We Arabs,
especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the
Zionist movement. Our delegation here in Paris is fully acquainted with
the proposals submitted yesterday to the Zionist organization to the Peace
Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper." (emphasis
The 1919 Faisal-Weizmann treaty provided
a firm foundation for League of Nations ratification of the Balfour Declaration
at the San Remo Conference in 1920. The proposals covered Palestine - from
the Mediterranean through the entire Galilee, up to the Litany River, hundreds
of miles east of the Jordan River through all of current day Jordan, and
into part of the Sinai. The League assigned Palestine Mandate administration
to Britain, entrusting it to establish the National Home for the Jews Jewish
Instead, the British grossly corrupted
the Mandate's enforcement, planting the seeds of the current conflict.
By 1923, they had illegally and unilaterally lopped off the territory east
of the Jordan River--75% of the original Palestine Mandate--as a new kingdom
for Emir Abdullah. They tore the northern Galilee from Palestine and gave
it to the French as part of Lebanon. The northern slice of the Sinai, which
remained under British administration, they gave to Egypt.
The Jewish people neither protested nor
fought this whittling away of 75% of their Homeland. The Jews did not even
raise arms when the British began in the 1920s to limit the Jewish immigration
encouraged by the League of Nations Mandate, or when Britain instead allowed
illegal Arab immigration from neighboring lands to benefit from the economic
development of the Jewish communities. 11
What new land the Jewish people acquired,
they bought - often in deserts or swamps. Hadera, for example, was the
worst malaria-ridden swamp in Palestine when Jewish pioneers arrived from
the coastal plain in 1891 - buying land at full price. 12
The British largely ignored their Mandate obligation to sell Ottoman state
land to Zionists. This provided absentee Arab landlords a lucrative monopoly.
Some 64% of Zionist land purchases through 1946 were from Syrians, Lebanese,
Palestinians or Egyptians - like the clan of Mufti al-Husseini, Yasser
Arafat's uncle - who had bought it from Turkish sultans for a song. In
1944, Jews were paying $1,100 an acre for untilled land. Iowa farms then
sold for less than $110 per acre. Another 27% of their land, Zionists bought
from Arab farmers. 13
In 1921, the British appointed Jerusalem
Mufti al-Husseini, who was already inciting hatred of Jews. A series of
riots culminated in the 1929 massacre of 67 Jewish students in Hebron -
and the expulsion of Jews from a town they had inhabited for 400 years.
Husseini's vitriol ignited more anti-Jewish riots in 1936. Britain then
turned League of Nations policy on its head. Its 1939 White Paper unilaterally
cut Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine to a trickle - condemning
six million Jew Nazi Europe to death. 14
The false idea that Palestine Arab farmers
had been displaced, first adopted in anti-Jewish propaganda in 1909, took
on a life of its own. 15
"In fact, every square inch of land acquired from Arabs was paid for,"
writes Samuel Katz. This included settlements at Kfar Darom and Gush Etzion,
bought from Arabs in 1930. When Arab attackers won them in 1948, Jews there
- like the 100,000 in Jerusalem - were murdered and expelled. 16
In 1947, 70% of Israel's land came directly to the new government, as transferred
former Ottoman government holdings from the British Mandate. None had ever
been privately owned. 17
Jewish history has been one of paying,
and paying, and paying--in cash, in land, in blood. My poetic colleague
forgets, along with the rest of the world, that the 1947 United Nations
partition plan provided for two states--one Jewish and one Arab. But Israel's
Arab neighbors begrudged her even the little that was left of the original
Palestine Mandate. Rather than accept a tiny Jewish state to live peacefully
alongside yet another Arab one, seven Arab nations attacked the fledgling
Israel in 1947. That war, in which Britain encouraged and joined Israel's
Arab foes, took 6,000 Israeli lives--more than 1% of her population--equal
proportionately to the devastating 620,000 U.S. losses in the Civil War.
I come back again and again to the history
that brought us to this painful place, of which recent reports have been
so devoid. As a woman with 25 years of experience on world class journals
I find Middle East coverage Kafkaesque. Far from adhering to minimum standards
of objectivity, reporters feed the flames of war.
They almost ubiquitously refer to the West
Bank and Gaza as "occupied territory," obliterating in those words many
critical facts: First, they were part of the original Palestine Mandate.
Second, UN Resolution 242 recognizes Israel's pre-1967 borders as indefensible
thanks to a four-nation attack on her. Third, Jewish settlements were reestablished
on land Jews had purchased, from which tens of thousands were illegally
expelled in 1948. Fourth, the Palestinian Authority already governs 99%
of the Palestinian population there. Fifth, the PA would soon govern 95%
of West Bank land had it accepted a settlement. Sixth, previous Egyptian
and Jordanian occupations were illegal under international law but earned
no approbation. Seventh, Arab occupiers failed to establish the new Arab
state the UN called for. Eighth, Israel was ready to cede huge areas to
parties which have not demonstrated willingness to be peaceful.
The press swallowed whole the claim that
Sharon's Temple Mount visit provoked the conflict. Nevermind that Arabs
began exploding bombs at Netzarim junction on Sun. Sept. 24--five days
before. Or that David Biri, who died the day before, was an Israeli. (So
was Ethiopian-born Yossi Tabaji, killed point blank by his Palestinian
Authority patrol partner.) Nevermind that Sharon was investigating the
Wafq' s removal and dumping of priceless artifacts from Judaism's holiest
site--including a large stone fragment from the Triple Gate jamb dating
to the Second Temple. While the PA had assured Sharon there would be no
problem, at the Mount he was verbally assaulted by three Arab Knesset members,
who egged rioters on.
In fact, Palestinians planned the riots
- having earlier carted in rocks to hurl on Jewish worshipers below. Tanzim
and uprising leader Marwan Barghouti admitted to The New Yorker (Jan. 29),
"The explosion would have happened anyway. It was necessary in order to
protect Palestinian rights. But Sharon provided a good excuse. He is a
hated man." News reports let the error stand - and repeat it endlessly.
More than 3,500 attacks on Israelis and
350 attacks on Jews and synagogues worldwide since September, orchestrated
by Muslims, have attracted little notice. Dozens of Israelis have been
murdered by lynchings, sniper fire, ambushes, bombs and terrorist acts
of war since September - and Palestinian terrorists have killed more than
557 Israeli citizens since 1993, 63% more than the Palestinians have suffered
since September. Yet press sympathy for Israeli victims pales when compared
with that Palestinians, who are dying only because they fight. Columnists
recognizing Arab aggression - like George Will, William Safire, Jeff Jacoby
and Joseph Farah - are exceptions. Most reporters, though, effectively
bless the war on Israel and Jews as an understandable result of "frustration."
In its failure to examine a long history
of Arab wars against Israel, 18
Palestinian claims - or even current evidence - the press promotes propaganda,
making aggressors of victims, victims of aggressors. A recent column in
for example, reprinted from an Internet zine, makes the unsubstantiated
claim that Israelis in 1948 marched Arabs out of their towns at gunpoint.
No names, dates or specifics are cited. Readers are supposed to accept
the assertion on its face. But in a fabulously well-documented book, Fabricating
Israeli History, University of London Professor Efraim Karsh exposes
such claims as largely baseless, malevolent alterations of fact. 19
Arab aggression created this tragic situation.
Arab leaders long ago acknowledged that
refugees' flight in 1948 was not the result of brutal Israeli policy, but
of their leaders' own war and encouragement to leave - rather than
recognize Israel. Emile Ghoury, an Arab commander and Palestine High Committee
secretary, in 1948 told the Beirut Daily Telegraph, "The fact that
there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the actions of the
Arab states, in opposing partition and the Jewish State. The Arab States
agreed to this policy unanimously, and they must share in the solution
of the problem." (emphasis added) In 1948, acting committee chairman
Jamal Husseini told the UN, "The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce....
They rather preferred to abandon their homes, their belongings, and everything
they possessed in the world and leave the town. And this they in fact did."20
Similarly, British General Glubb Pasha,
who built the Transjordanian army, wrote in an August, 1948 London Daily
Mail, "The Arab civilians panicked and fled ignominiously. Villages
were frequently abandoned before they were threatened by the progress of
war." Even a victim of the Deir Yassin massacre noted in 1948 in Al
Urdun, "The Arab exodus from other villages were not caused by actual
battle, but by the exaggerated description spread by Arab leaders t to
fight the Jews."21
British Palestine police in April, 1948
reported, "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." 22 Mass
Arab flight from cities like Haifa began before the UN Partition and snowballed
when fighting began.23
Many Arab, UN and British sources sound the same themes: Refugees left
to make way for invading Arab armies, which lost the war.
Next, the number of refugees was wildly
inflated, as the United Nations admits. Reporters routinely refer to "millions"
of refugees. But in 1947, British figures show, only 561,000 Arabs lived
in the part of Palestine that became Israel. After the war, 140,000 remained.
No more than 420,000 Arabs can have fled Israel in 1948. Emile Ghoury then
put the actual number at 200,000. 24
The inflation is akin to that -city welfare rolls in the 1970s and 1980s.
Welfare reform curbed the latter. But the UN has no incentive to curb either
its own employment, or the number receiving its largesse. 25
Certainly some refugees still live in camps in Lebanon, the West Bank and
Gaza. A large number also claim such status simply because it pays.
Refugees are universally considered persons
displaced from permanent residence by war. But in 1948, the UN recognized
as refugees Arabs who lived in Palestine for only two years. Why?
Before 1948, hundreds of thousands of Arabs from Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Syria and even Morocco, migrated illegally into Palestine, unchecked
by British police, who meanwhile blocked Jewish immigration into the land
mandated to Jews by the League of Nations, with King Faisal's blessing.
These illegal immigrants largely make up the people now ubiquitously called
Arafat himself is from Egypt. 27
Which brings us to the "right of return."
Every Arab nation rejected UN Resolution 194, passed in 1948 to
assist Arab refugees, because it excluded an automatic right of
return. The resolution suggests that refugees may return - or obtain compensation
- provided they accept Israel's right to exist and live in peace.
This also covered 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands, leaving homes,
businesses, land worth $30 billion, a point virtually everyone now ignores.28In
any case, most Palestinians still fail to meet the UN criteria for return:
More than 75% of those recently polled support armed conflict against Israel's
"occupation" - meaning all of Israel - some, even by children. 29
The latter defies at least six UN resolutions condemning military
exploitation of children.
Most disturbing is the failure to object
to state-sponsored Palestinian hatred of Jews. Palestinian religious, political
and military leaders tell the West they want peace, but in Arabic call
for Israel's destruction and wholesale murder of Jews. A Nov. 17 program
broadcast by Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arabic news channel, for example,
hosted a debate on the future of the Intifada. PA Minister of Information
Yasser Abd Rabbo, Deputy Hamas political bureau chief Musa Abu Marzuq and
London- analyst Bilal Al-Hassan all argued for Israel's destruction, through
war or negotiation (translated by MEMRI).
Weekly sermons broadcast by the PA (also
translated by MEMRI) show the bloody intentions of Palestinian clerics
- ideological heirs to Arafat's uncle, Mufti al-Husseini - calling the
faithful to "kill" Jews "where ever you find them," to cleanse Palestine
of Jewish "infidels." Palestinian "experts" declare the Holocaust a lie.
Palestinian textbooks teach that Jews are base - and it is good to die
killing them. Their maps show only Palestine in Israel's place. 30
The equal of this can be found nowhere in Jewish theology or Israeli
government policy. In fact, Israel outlaws political parties espousing
Such mass hatred of Jews, rivaling that
of Hitler's Germany, cannot be ascribed to deprivation, or even oppression.
It existed long before Israel was established. 32
It is a common albeit unfortunate theme on Arab websites. An Internet search
for The Protocols of Zion, for example, provides more than 5,000
hits, many at Muslim sites which promote it as gospel truth.33
As Hitler proved, hate greases war. Arab calls for violence now mirror
incitements of 1948, when Arab leaders hoped to soon wash Israel "into
the sea." For true justice, the world must recognize this hate and warmongering
- and pray for it to stop.
As to oppression, Jews can speak with some
authority. Deprived for centuries, ostracized, impoverished, forced to
live in ghettos, expelled wholesale from numerous countries, murdered in
the name of religion, murdered with no excuse, denied rights to vote, work,
own businesses or land, Jews never spoke venomously against another people,
or raised a hand of war. Not even now. Palestinian Arabs have no right
to do so, either.
The tragic situation of Palestinians still
living in refugee camps, 53 years after their first war on Israel, must
be addressed. But as Commander Ghoury said in 1948, "The Arab states agreed
on this policy [of denying Israel] unanimously and they must share in the
solution." I would like my voice to be part of a solution. I would like
to offer a hand of friendship to my Palestinian colleague and have it warmly
accepted. I am like all Israel in this. Each life is a whole world, and
too many worlds have already been extinguished. We mourn for the deaths
of others as our own. 34
We mourn the death of peace.
Mourning, however, does not permit us to
let our own light be extinguished. Israel, the Jewish state, is our home.
Only when her Arab neighbors accept our state, can there be a just peace.
Eliyahu (Elias) Sasson, the Damascus-born head of the Arab section of the
Jewish Agency said it well, when in 1947 he begged Abd al-Rahman Azzam,
then Secretary-General of the Arab League to say yes to peace:
"You and us stand today at
the crossroads of history. It depends on you whether you are going to hamper
our path or accept us as we ask to be accepted, as sons of the East....
Our work of reconstruction will proceed whether our neighbors wish it or
not, but it depends on them what part our new Commonwealth will take in
the revival of the Middle East. The choice is theirs. Let me end by quoting
a passage from our Holy Bible. 'I have set before thee life and death,
blessing and cursing: choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live'."
Alyssa A. Lappen worked on staff for 25
years for such publications as The New Haven Register, Forbes, Corporate
Finance, Working Woman and Institutional Investor. Her poetry has appeared
in more than 20 print and Internet literary journals, including International
Poetry Review, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Ruah, Blueline, Heart Quarterly,
Out of Line, Touched by Adoption, ForPoetry.com, KotaPress.com, New Works
Review, Kudzu and Neovictorian/Cochlea.
Copyright 2001 - Alyssa A. Lappen
worst examples of oppression, aside from the Holocaust itself, were the
Crusades, the Spanish inquisition, Czarist and Stalin's terrors, and the
forced Arab expulsion of 850,000 Jews from Muslim lands. However, through
history Jews have been the target of malicious rumors and even theology.
Collins, Larry and Lapierre, Dominique, O Jerusalem, p. 400.
The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust; Collins & Lapierre, O Jerusalem,
Katz, Samuel, Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, pp. 90-115.
Katz, an Israeli historian, makes wide use of Arab sources, as well as
news reports of the day. This broad sourcing, from the Arabs, UN, British
and other non-Israeli sources, makes his work particularly useful.
Katz, Battleground, pp. 90-115 (citing De Haas, Jacob, History of Palestine:
Last Two Thousand Years, New York: Macmillan, 1934), 123-127; Peters,
Joan, From Time Immemorial, pp. 244-245, citing Dr. Carl Herman
Voss, The Palestine Problem Today, Israel and Its Neighbors (Boston:
Beacon Press, 1953), p. 13. Western Palestine (also then called Southern
Syria) was considerably larger than the area that later became Israel.
It is very misleading to cite their populations interchangeably, as Peters
Katz, Samuel, Battlegound: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, 123-127.
Katz, Battleground, pp. 125-127
Katz, Battleground, pp.125-127
Katz, Battleground, pp.125-127
Katz, Battleground, pp. 51-69, ; From Time Immemorial, pp.
Katz, pp. Battleground, 51-69; Peters, Joan, From Time Immemorial,
Honig, Sarah, "For the Love of Hadera," Jerusalem Post, Dec. 8,
Sources; Aumann, Moshe, Land Ownership in Palestine, Government
of Palestine Survey of Palestine, 1946, cited in Katz, pp. 231-232; Peters,
Joan, From Time Immemorial, PP 200-359. Yasser Arafat's lineage:
Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, co-Chairman, Root and Branch Assoc.
Peters, Joan, From Time Immemorial, pp. 333-350; Katz, Samuel, Battleground,
pp.72-78; Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
Peters, From Time Immemorial, pp. 201-215. Later on, during British
Mandate rule, a 1937 call for Arab claims of land dispossession produced
664 applications, and those proved displaced were given lands by the government,
or the "declined the land offered on the grounds that they were accustomed
neither to the climate of the new area nor to irrigated cultivation." p.
Sources: a) Honig, Sarah, "For the Love of Hadera," Jerusalem Post, December
1, 2000; b) Aumann, Moshe, Land Ownership in Palestine; Government
of Palestine Survey of Palestine, 1946, cited in Katz, pp. 231-232; c)
Collins and Lapierre, Oh Jerusalem; d) Peters, Joan, From Time
Immemorial, pp. 323-324.
Sources: Aumann, Moshe, Land Ownership in Palestine; Government
of Palestine Survey of Palestine, 1946, cited in Katz, pp. 231-232; Peters,
Joan, From Time Immemorial, pp. 200-359; Committee for Accuracy
in the Middle East Reporting in America.
Seven Arab nations attacked Israel in 1947; Egypt against Israel in 1956,
four nations attacked her in 1967, Egypt attacked in the 1970 War of Attrition;
two attacked in 1973; and there was a prolonged Palestinian assault from
Lebanon in 1982. Arab nations - even those at peace with Israel - routinely
refer to Israel as the aggressor; but Israel has not once initiated war
on another state. Even the 1982 invasion of Lebanon was to defend against
ceas eless Palestinian bombardments of northern Israel by Katyusha rockets.
Harper's, "Readings", December, 2000; Karsh, Efraim, Fabricating Israeli
History, Frank Cass, 2000; other sources include From Time Immemorial,
by former newswoman and peace negotiator Joan Peters and Samuel Katz' Battleground:
Shapira, Anita, "The Past is Not a Foreign Country," New Republic,
Nov. 29, 1999; Teveth, Shabtai, "The Palestine Arab Refugee Problem and
Its Origins," Middle Eastern Studies, Apr il, 1990.
Katz, Battleground, pp. 15-20
Katz, Battleground, pp. 18-19; see also Collins and Lapierre, Oh
Jerusalem, pp. 274-281. The incident began with a battle in which virtually
every Arab male carried a firearm. Although Jewish fighters insisted that
the killing of scores was the result of Arab opposition, atrocities did
occur. But the vast majority of Palestine's Jewish community condemned
them as a violation of Jewish and Zionist ideals. Jerusalem Arab High Committee
member Haza m Nusseibi later recalled that using the news of the events
to shock Arab governments proved a "fatal error," which stirred panic and
Katz, Battleground, pp. 18-19
Karsh, Efraim, Fabricating Israeli History: The New Historians,
Frank Cass, 2000, p 24
Katz, Battleground, pp. 20-22
Katz, Battleground, pp. 23-28; United Nations; Committee for Accuracy
in Middle East Reporting in America.
Peters, From Time Immemorial, pp 1-10, 137-171, 196-340; Katz, Battleground,
pp. 231-233, citing Palestine Royal Commission.
Peters, Joan, From Time Immemorial, pp. 401-402, citing Thomas Kiernan,
Arafat; Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, co-Chairman, Root and Branch Assoc.
Post, January 3, 2000
United Nations; Bir Zeit University Poll as reported in Jerusalem Post,
Nov. 14, 2000; Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
see: www.memri.org; www.edume.org; www.pmw.org.il.
York Times, Jan 1, 2001
Peters, Joan, From Time Immemorial, pp. 33-79; Katz, Samuel, Battleground,
www.alltheweb.com; The Protocols of Zion, also known as The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion, according to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust,
purports to be prove a plot of Jewish leaders to take over the world. It
was circulated in Russia in 1905 by a Czarist secret policeman, in Germany
in the 1920s and 1930s by Hitler's henchmen and in the Soviet Union by
Stalin. Apparently forged in 1894 by the head of the foreign branch of
the Russian secret police, it was taken from two 19th century sources -
a satire by Maurice Joly, Dialogues in Hell, and the 1868 novel,
by Hermann Goedsche (aka Sir John Retcliffe). It now circulates widely
again - in the Arab Middle East, and in the US, where Amazon, Barnes &
Noble, and Borders are selling in volume over the Internet.
Many Jewish congregations now say Kaddish, the Hebrew prayer of
mourning, for both our own and Palestinian dead. It is a blessing of God,
of life and of peace, thereby renewing our fervent hopes for peace.
Sasson, Eliyahu, as cited in Karsh, Efraim, Fabricating Israeli History,
the Death of Peace
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend