Question: You have favored Israel in your articles and books, with little sympathy for the Palestinians suffering under enemy occupation for the last 35 years since Israel invaded and took over the West Bank and Gaza. Millions still live in pitiful refugee camps and after more than 50 years are not allowed to return to the homes from which the Israelis expelled them in 1948. Isn’t it understandable that after such long oppression by a foreign power in their own land the Palestinians are driven as a last resort in sheer desperation to the extreme measures of suicide bombing? Why do you favor their oppressors?
Response: Oppressors? Most Palestinians would rather live under Israel (the only democracy in the Middle East) than in Arafat’s police state! Have you heard Israelis calling for the destruction of Palestinians? Israel never attacks them except in retaliation for their attacks and to defend its citizens. It was not Israel who attacked anyone in 1948, but six Arab nations who attacked her. Israel was satisfied with what little territory the UN gave it and only wanted to be left in peace. Have you forgotten the facts? Since the Arabs wanted Israel’s annihilation in 1948 and have daily renewed that vow ever since, why should Israel trust them at all? Yet Israel has been forced to negotiate with an enemy dedicated to its total destruction.
Israel has subsequently given back 90 percent of the territory it took in self-defense against an enemy that has continually attacked it and calls daily for its annihilation. It offers to give back more—but only if the Arabs will acknowledge its right to exist. So far they have not been willing to make even that concession. Why isn’t Israel’s desire to have its enemies renounce violence and admit that it has a legitimate right to exist the most reasonable and minimal request one could make? Why won’t the PLO accept this reasonable condition?
Israel’s very existence is considered to be illegitimate because of the Islamic teaching that the “promised land” belongs to the descendants of Ishmael, not those of Isaac. In From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters you will find hundreds of footnotes citing Arab leaders calling for Israel’s destruction and rejecting her very existence. The following from the PLO National Charter reveals a perverse mindset:
Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Zionism is a political movement origin- ally associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is...a geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces, and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all the aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland. (PLO Charter, paras. 20,22)
As for the “Palestinian” refugees, it was the attacking Arab military that told them by radio to leave Israel while they moved in and wiped out the Jews. There was an even greater exodus, however, of Jews fleeing Muslim countries where they had been persecuted and killed for 1,300 years since the advent of Islam. That flight eventually brought about 820,000 Jewish refugees into Israel, more than twice as many as the number of Muslims who fled from Israel during the 1948 war of independence.
Tiny Israel absorbed not only the 820,000 Jews fleeing from Muslim lands but several million more immigrants from about 80 other countries. Yet Arab countries with 700 times Israel’s land mass and billions of dollars in oil revenues have steadfastly refused to absorb any “Palestinian refugees.” Since it was well known that Syria was seeking immigrants, Joan Peters asked Syrian officials, “Why not give the land to those Palestinian Arabs who would choose to accept your offer?” She reports that the answer was “always the same. As one of the Syrians responded angrily, ‘We will give the land to anyone—the Ibos, the Koreans, Americans ...anyone who comes—anyone but the Palestinians! We must keep their hatred directed against Israel.’” (p. 406)
The latter are deliberately kept as pawns on display in squalid camps with the insistence that they must be allowed to return to a “Palestine” which is part of what was the land of Israel in the days of Joshua and David. The hypocrisy of the so-called “Palestinian refugee” problem is scandalous. In the last 100 years, there have been about 100 million displaced persons who have fled from their homelands as refugees into neighboring countries. For example, when India was given its independence more than 7 million Hindus fled from what had become East and West Pakistan, while about the same number of Muslims fled from what had just become independent India—a total of about 15 million refugees. No one has called for their return to the homes from which they fled. No one has called for a return of any of the tens of millions of other displaced persons. No one ever calls for that. There is only one exception, the “Palestinian refugees,” even though Israel has absorbed more than twice as many refugees of its own from Muslim countries. If the “Palestinians” should return to Israel (which would destroy it), then why isn’t there an equal cry for the Jews to be allowed back into Muslim lands from which they fled? In fact, the Jews would not want to return!