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What They Are Saying, Jan. 17, 2008
Acknowledge the Truth: Palestinians Don't Deserve Special Treatment!
Author Rachel Neuwirth writes on AmericanThinker.com Jan. 6 about the myths surrounding the Arab "right of return":
"A media and propaganda campaign has been under way since the Annapolis 'peace' conference to legitimate the longstanding demands made on behalf of the Palestinian 'Arab refugees' -- meaning, in practice, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of refugees -- from the 1948 Arab-Israel war of 60 years ago, for their return to their ancestral homes, and the return of all their ancestors' former land and property in what is now Israel.
"The Palestinian leadership continues to stand by this demand today, promising their supporters that they will never agree to 'peace' without its acceptance by Israel.
"What is wrong with these demands? Just about everything. Here are only a few of the reasons why they are unjust, ill-intentioned and grounded in deceit.
"First and foremost, the Palestinian Arabs were the primary aggressors in the 1948 war, not innocent victims of the 'Zionists' as their spokesmen and advocates claim. The Palestinian Arab guerrilla-terrorists used very brutal tactics indeed in 1947-48 to achieve their leaders' publicly affirmed goal of 'driving the Jews into the sea.'
"Even the claims of many of the present-day 'refugees' to be Palestinians are dubious. Many not only have never lived in Palestine themselves, but are fairly distant descendants of people who lived there only briefly before 1948, having been born elsewhere in the Arab world. Even more registration of phony refugees occurred because of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency practice of relying solely on the claims of self-professed refugees to determine refugee status, without attempting to verify their claims.
"The international community has not recognized or enforced a 'right of return' for most of the very numerous non-Palestinian refugee communities throughout the world. The list of refugee populations who have been forced from their homelands and whose lands have been seized without compensation because of wars and revolutions within the past 100 years is endless.
"The more than 850,000 Jews who have either been expelled or fled from Arab and other Muslim countries since the Arab world initiated hostilities against the Jews of Israel-Palestine in 1947; the 15 million Germans expelled from Pomerania, Silesia, Bohemia and Moravia by Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War II; the 2 million ethnic Greeks and Turks who were expelled from either Greece or Turkey in a 'population exchange' administered by the League of Nations in 1922; the additional 200,000 Greeks who were expelled from northern Cyprus by the Turkish military invasion in 1974; the millions of Hindus who fled the newly created Muslim state of 'Pakistan' and the millions of Muslims who fled what remained of India to Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947; all have been denied repatriation, the return of the vast amounts of property they were forced to leave behind or even compensation for their lost property.
"Why should the Palestinian Arabs be considered a uniquely special case, with more rights than other refugees from wars and/or revolutions?
"Implementation of the 'right of return' demand for Palestinian Arabs would force the relocation of millions of people, most of them refugees or the descendants of refugees themselves, who have been resettled in the course of 60 years on land that is claimed by the Palestinian Arabs. The 'return' of 4 million alleged 'refugees,' actually the descendants, mainly third and fourth generation, of people who once were or claimed to be refugees, who have been trained from birth to hate Israel, would result in a massive internal insurgency against the state, followed by the occupation of Israel by hostile Arab armies and the probable extermination of its Jewish population. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that this is precisely what most 'right of return' advocates have in mind.
"It is long overdue for the libel of an Israeli or Zionist 'original sin' against the Palestinian Arabs to be discredited, along with the supposed Palestinian 'right of return,' which is grounded in this false 'narrative.' There can be no peace between Arabs and Israelis before the lies are dispelled, and people on both sides -- as well as the international media, academic experts, the world's governments and international organizations -- all acknowledge the truth."
Will the Real Mr. Bush Please Stand Up? Policies Leave Israelis Flustered
Historian Michael Oren writes in The Wall Street Journal (www.opinionjournal.com) on Jan. 9 about Bush's Middle East muddle:
"George W. Bush's visit to Israel -- the first of his presidency -- has many Israelis confused. Is he coming to advance the peace process begun six weeks ago at the Annapolis Summit, that 83 percent of Israelis see as fruitless? Or is he aiming to fortify Israel against a mounting Iranian nuclear threat that American intelligence services claim no longer exists? The visit spotlights the blurring of the administration's Middle East policies, leaving many of its friends -- Israel included -- confused.
"Israel's bafflement is deepened by the fact that Mr. Bush's agenda departs from a more than 30-year tradition. Unlike Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, all of whom visited Israel, Mr. Bush will not address the government on the grounds that that would obligate him to speak before the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Parliament.
"While Mr. Bush's predecessors came to Israel following diplomatic achievements -- Nixon after the separation of forces in the Yom Kippur War, Mr. Carter after the Camp David Accords and Mr. Clinton after the Wye River Memorandum -- Mr. Bush has none to his credit.
"Further bewildering for Israelis is the fact that Mr. Bush's policies previously seemed unequivocal. He repeatedly affirmed America's support for Israel's identity as a Jewish state, and so ruled out the Arabs' demand for the resettlement of millions of Palestinians within Israel's pre-1967 borders. He further recognized the reality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and insisted that any agreement take that reality into account.
"Most importantly, Mr. Bush had reversed the once-sacrosanct formula through which the Israelis first ceded territory and only then received peace, insisting that the Arabs first eschew terror and recognize Israel's existence before regaining land. The president upheld Israel's right to defend itself, while stressing the Palestinians' duty to dismantle terrorist infrastructures and abjure violence. 'The Palestinian people must decide that they want a future of decency and hope,' he declared last July, 'not of terror and death.'
"Since Annapolis, however, much of this paradigm has been jettisoned. Mr. Bush hasn't reconfirmed Israel's status as a Jewish state, and failed to comment when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice compared the Palestinians' plight to that of African-Americans in the Alabama of her youth -- implicitly likening Israelis to Southern racists.
"The administration has also denounced settlements as 'obstacles to peace,' while ignoring the Palestinians' reluctance to clamp down on terror. Freed from their road-map commitments, Palestinians can now proceed directly to the 'Go' of statehood without paying a fine for infractions.
"No wonder Israelis are stumped."