Friday, June 08, 2007

Forgetting the past

"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." The danger behind these oft-repeated words is that young Arabs, who now constitute a large majority in the Arab world given the high birthrate, have forgotten the suffering of their past wars against Israel and their comprehensive defeats. They may remember that the Arabs were humiliated by Israel, since that is the basis of their culture, but they forget that making war with Israel can be very hazardous to them. Since they have enough unoccupied young men, who have forgotten the results of the Six Day War, and the Yom Kippur War, etc. they may think again that they have a chance to destroy Israel as the Arabs thought before 1967. There is a well-known psychological tendency in the Arab world to avoid unpalatable facts, so they call the 6-Day War "the setback," and they are sure that it was Jews who carried out the bombing of the Twin Towers not Arabs (that's Zionist propaganda!).
Certainly uppermost in their minds is the recent Second Lebanon War of 2006, which is considered in the Arab world to have been a smashing success for Hizbollah. No doubt Iran, who pays the bills and pulls the strings in Lebanon and Syria, is urging Assad to repeat the success of Hizbollah, only with his trained army. Although talking peace, Assad has been rearming and modernizing his armed forces, which was previously paid for by the former Soviet Union but now by Iran. This is a very treacherous situation, that could provide an excuse for Iran also to get into direct conflict with Israel, but if that should happen, hopefully it would be before they have nuclear weapons.
Forgetting also applies to the PR war that has been waged successfully by the Arabs/Palestinians and their leftist supporters in Europe against Israel. For example, it is almost universally believed that the "occupied territories" Gaza and the West Bank are "Arab Lands." But, in fact they are not, they were occupied by Egypt (Gaza) and by Jordan (West Bank) and neither country had recognised sovereignty over them, and the previous sovereign was the British Mandate. So these lands are not legally "Arab Lands" according to UN Resolution 242 that was adopted after the Six Day War. That Resolution, contrary to almost universal belief, does not call for the formation of a Palestinian State. That is a position that Israel and the US have accepted after years of badgering propaganda, but it is not required by UN Resolution 242. That only requires Israel and the Arabs to negotiate an agreement over what to do with these lands. And according to resolution 242, Israel does not have to withdraw from all of these lands (although Israel has already withdrawn completely from Gaza and from parts of the West Bank to form the PA). So that according to Resolution 242, Israel has a legitimate claim to parts of these territories. Remember that the Arab States were instumental in formulating this Resolution, but have been trying to roll back its provisions ever since. So that in the so-called Arab/Saudi Peace Plan they misquote UN Resolution 242 (!) and specifically require Israel to withdraw from ALL the territory, to the lines before June 5, 1967. In other words, they want to ignore previous requirements and reverse the results of the Six Day War to the dangerous borders (for Israel) prior to the conflict. I hope no Israeli Government is ever foolish enough to accept this dictate.
It is Israel's fault that successive Governments have adopted a policy of conciliation and concessions tyowards the Arabs rather than standing up for their rights under UN Resolutions and international law, as the Arab side has consistently done. Israel lost the PR war, and that may help to lead to another actual war in which Israeli lives will be lost. That is the cost of forgetting the past both by the losers and the victors.


Post a Comment

<< Home