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Origins of the Dispute

The Origin of the Dispute: Israel attacked before there were Refugees & before any "Occupied Territories" in 1948 

The original plan for a Jewish National home included what is now the State of Israel and the State of Jordan.  League of Nations allocated this entire tract of land to be the intended home of 12 million European Jews, as a solution to the violence and pogroms suffered by the Jews over the previous century.  It was a proposed solution to the "Jewish Question".

After a series of compromises, partitions and whittling away of the original plan -- and 1/2 of Europeans Jews had been exterminated, due in part to Britain's ruthless refugee policies  -- on November 29, 1947 the United Nations Assembly decided to recommend the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state.

At that time there were no Arab refugees. The area allotted to the Jewish state was much smaller even than that established by the Armistice lines of 1949 (which lasted until June 5, 1967), to which Israel is now urged to withdraw. At that time, Israel had no "occupied territories" from which to withdraw.

It was against that embryo state that the Arabs declared and waged their war. Its total area, amounting to little more than half of western Palestine, was roughly 15,000 square kilometres (about 6,000 square miles), including the semiarid Negev (see Map No. 2). The Arabs were thus assured of seven eighths of the totality of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan as it was recognised at the end of the First World War by all the nations of the world as the territory for the Jewish National Home (see Map No. 3).

The seven Arab states in existence in 1947 -- Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Transjordan (see Map No. 4) -- whose leaders decided to prevent the birth of Israel, contained an area 230 times larger than the projected Jewish state and a population 60 times that of its Jewish inhabitants who numbered only a little more than half a million.

The Arab appetite would be satisfied with nothing less than the remainder. It was, moreover, characteristic that the Secretary of this confederation of invader states, Azzam Pasha, in forecasting the success of the invasion, invoked the memory of the massacres by the Mongols and the Crusaders.

Such was the attitude of the Arabs in 1947, when they had in their hands all, and more than, the territory they are now demanding from Israel. At that time, they violently refused to share 'Palestine with the Jews in a territorial ratio of seven to one. They refused to recognise the Jewish claim to the country or to the smallest part of it; to acquiesce in the international recognition of that claim; or to abate this one jot of their designs on the whole of the area that had once been the Moslem Empire in Asia.

Less than thirty years earlier, the "historic rights" Of the Arabs to Palestine, allegedly existing for a thousand years, had not yet been discovered. In February 1919, the Emir Faisal, the one recognised Arab leader at the time, then still striving for the creation of Arab political independence in Syria (of which he was briefly king) and Iraq (over which he and his house subsequently ruled for forty years), signed a formal agreement with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing the Zionist Organisation. This provided for co-operation between the projected Arab state and the projected reconstituted Jewish state of Palestine. Borders were still to be negotiated, but Faisal had already described the Zionist proposals as "moderate and proper." The borders proposed by the Zionists included what subsequently became Mandatory Palestine on both banks of the Jordan as well as north-western Galilee up to the Litany River-later included in southern Lebanon -- part of the Golan Heights -- later included in Syria -- and part of Sinai -- left under British administration in Egypt (see Map No. 5).

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst 
Brooklyn, New York 
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Source: "Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine" by Samuel Katz, 
SPECIAL OFFER Purchase this 1970s classic, a special reprint only found at WorldNetDaily

A fully documented, dramatic history of the turbulent events which shaped the crisis of the Middle East.

"Battleground" is one of the best written and most informative histories of the Arab-Israeli conflict. ... I advise everyone to read it. - Congressman Jack Kemp

Reading "Battleground" is an eye-opener. It is well written, informative, fast-paced and debunks some carefully cultivated myths concerning Israel and the Middle East. - Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick


Copyright © 1973, 1977, 1978, 1985 by Samuel Katz.
All rights reserved.  Reprinted by Permission.
Portions Copyright © 2001 Joseph Katz