Tuesday, December 03, 2013


I believe very much in reciprocity as the basis for equitable treatment and fairness in relation to the Israeli/Arab conflict. For example, everyone knows that the Palestinians claim the whole of Palestine as theirs and seek to destroy the Jewish State that exists in part of Mandatory Palestine. But, equally, the Jews claim the whole of British Mandatory Palestine as their homeland to constitute the Jewish State of Israel. Certainly there is the fact of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land long before the Arabs came on the scene and conquered the Land as late as the 7th century ce. Then there is the legal basis to the Jewish claim as exemplified in the Balfour Declaration of the British Government of 1917, the San Remo peace conference of 1922 that gave this Declaration the force of international law and the British Mandate of the League of Nations under the peace treaty of Lausanne of 1922 that required a Jewish homeland to be established in Palestine, but said nothing of an Arab homeland. The Arabs got the French Mandate of Syria/Lebanon and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia/Iraq as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt .

In order to prevent the existence of a Jewish State the armies of the Arab countries attacked and invaded Palestine, but were defeated time and time again by the forces of the Jewish State. Now you have the well-established and viable Jewish State of Israel having to deal on equal terms with a truncated and unsustainable Palestinian entity, that is split irrevocably between two competing Arab ideologies. Is this true reciprocity? By calling the Jewish State an "occupying power" and invoking Geneva conventions and trying to delegitimize it in the UN, the Arabs hope to undermine the State of Israel. What has not succeeded in the past will not succeed now. It is purely a desperate last gasp by those who have already lost the wars. They single out Israel for uniqely biased treatment, 9 anti-Israel resolutions so far in the current UN General Assembly, while no other country is criticized. Anyone who believes in fairness will have to acknowledge that this is bizarre and unjustified treatment.

Now let us consider the refugees of the conflict. Some 750,000 Palestinian Arab refugees left the area that was to become Israel and were labelled "refugees." Equally some 850,000 Jews left Arab lands (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria), most of whom (ca. 650,000) settled in Israel. But, these Jews were never registered as refugees by UNRWA, the UN agency that was established to help the Palestinian refugees, or by the UNHCR, the UN agency that adminsters to all other refugees except Palestinians. How is it that the Palestinian Arabs get such preferential treatment, cradle to grave welfare, while the Jews from Arab lands have received nothing? Is this fair, is this reciprocal? Note that the number of actual Palestinian refugees have decreased now (after 65 years) to a few tens of thousands, while UNRWA counts all their descendents, so that the number of Palestinian "refugees" according to them have ludicrously increased to 5 million! Is this equitable?

November 29 is the 66th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan that established the legal framework for the Jewish State in Palestine. Let's use this anniversary to push for equitable treatment of Israel and reciprocity in all aspects of the Israel-Arab dispute.


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