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Re: That Quote

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  • james tan
    From: Christopher Bobo Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com To: faris osman CC: Wisdom Forum
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 27, 2002
      From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      To: "faris osman" <frovpt@...>
      CC: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: [Fateha] Re: That Quote
      Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 12:35:54 -0700

      Dear Faris,

      Thank you for forcing me to examine these questions more carefully. My
      examination of the historical record indicates, first, that a substantial
      number of Jews lived in Palestine from time immemorial and that their claims
      to the land are probably more ancient than that of the Palestinian Arabs.
      Second, for a long period of time prior to World War II, many Jews had been
      migrating back to the area of ancient Judea. They did so lawfully and in
      accordance with the laws of immigration of the lawful governmental
      authorities of the area at the time. Therefore, their occupancy was and is
      legitimate. It appears from all accounts that they did not dispossess any
      Arab occupants but settled in previously uninhabitated areas or purchased
      land from the Arabs who were there. The Jewish presence in the area was
      substantial in both numbers and length of time. Their presence their was
      lawful under the laws applicable to the region at the time. All such
      activity gave them a legal right to occupy the land they had.

      After the expiration of the Bristish Mandate, the international community
      proposed a partition of the land. Neither side liked it (and I looked at
      the map), even though the Israelis were to be accorded territory that was
      hard to defend, widely dispersed and in some instances connected only by
      narrow corridors through proposed Arab territories, the Isarelis accepted
      the plan as the best compromise in light of the political realities. In
      doing so, the Israelis were behaving reasonably. Importantly, at this time
      the Israelis had prepared to constitute themselves into a lawful government
      and declared the existence of the state of Israel. This lawfully
      constituted government was immediately recognized by the U.S. and the then
      Soviet Union and most other nations of the world. The nation of Israel was
      further recongized by the U.N. and granted member status in 1949. Israel is
      a legally constituted and recognized sovereign government and has been
      since its inception.

      By contrast, the Palestinians did not constitute a government and did not
      agree to accept the U.N. proposal. Both decisions reflect poor planning and
      a lack of reasonable foresight on their part. Instead, many Arabs simply
      abandoned their land and fled. It appears that the new Israeli government
      implored them not to do so and invited them to stay and live in peace with
      their Jewish neighbors, but many Arabs refused to do so. The Arab states
      surrounding Israel declared war, fought and lost. Following this war, Israel
      occupied more land and this new position on the ground, given the
      geographical terrain, provided Israel with much more defensible borders. In
      rejecting reasonably proposals for compromise, and in instigating wars and
      refusing to live peacefully with the Jews, the Arabs have behaved
      unreasonably and immorally if not unlawfully.

      Be that as it may, after the war, the Israelis offered and allowed those
      Arabs who had fled to return to their homes. A few did, but most did not.
      Those who abandoned their homes and did not return when given the
      opportunity to do so lost them. It was only reasonable for the Israelis to
      occupy the abandoned property. The Israeli claim to such abandoned property
      is, in my humble assessment, both morally and legally justifiable.

      Thus, it appears to me that the Israelis have superior claims over Arab
      claims to property their citizens occupied before the Declaration of
      Independence by Isarel. Their claims to land captured in war are superior
      to the Arab claims to such land. (After all, if you start a war and then
      loose your land to the person you attacked, there really is no claim that
      your victim stole it from you--is there?) Finally, the Isareli claims to
      occupy lands abandoned by Arabs who refused to return and occupy such land
      despite being given an opportunity to do so are superior to the Arab claims
      that they have a right to return to such lands. Finally, I think the
      Israelis have a superior right to occupy all land purchased by them and all
      previously vacant land developed by them--which, as I understand it includes
      most of the disputed settlements.
      I would also give the Israelis superior claim to all land that they acquired
      in wars of self defense against the agression of Arab states. (Once again,
      if you start a war and get beat, you really can't complain about having lost
      your land to your vicitm. That's the risk you assumed when you started the

      As for any acts of violence by either the lawful government of Israel or
      Israeli terrorist organizations, the victims of those acts--such as, for
      instance, the survivors of Deir Yassin--should be compensated for their
      losses. I think it probably is in order that any new Isareli settlements
      constructed on land within traditional Arab areas, whether vacant or not,
      since the signing of the Olso Accord should be dismantled and returned to
      the Palestinians as such new settlements violated the spirit if not the
      letter of the Oslo Accords. Given the seeming impossibility of reaching any
      agreement to divide Jerusalem, I think the only reasonable solution with
      respect to Jerusalem is either a joint administration by the Palestinians
      and the Israelis or the administration of the city by an international body
      such as the U.N.

      So, Faris, after having conducted my reasearch and listened to your
      arguments, there is my analysis of the situation. You probably won't like
      it, but that's how I see it.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: faris osman
      Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 10:47 PM
      To: Christopher Bobo
      Cc: Sayf Uddeen Fariis @ Terence Kenneth John Nunis; Tan James
      Subject: Re: [Fateha] Re: That Quote


      Dear Chris

      Thanks for the info. But I have read it all before -

      Again, Jewish religious claims, historical links, oppression at the hands of
      Christians, mandate by Britain etc do not answer this most basic question -

      Do Jewish claims based on the above overrides the rights of the Arabs ? Do
      the Arabs have lesser rights to claim Palestine for themselves given the
      facts ? Did anyone Britain included have the right to partition Palestine ?

      Please prove to me that the creation of Israel does not infringe on the
      rights of the Arabs and therefore justified.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Christopher Bobo
      To: faris osman
      Cc: Tan James
      Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 12:12 PM
      Subject: Re: [Fateha] Re: That Quote

      Well, here is what the Encarta Encyclopedia says about the creation of

      "Although the modern state of Israel came into being in 1948, its history is
      based on an ancient Jewish connection to the region, a recurrent theme in
      Jewish tradition and writing since the 2nd millennium bc. King Saul
      established the first Hebrew state, the Kingdom of Israel, in the region of
      Palestine in the 11th century bc. Saul���s successors, David and Solomon,
      further consolidated the kingdom. The southern part soon became the
      independent kingdom of Judah. When both kingdoms were defeated by the 6th
      century bc, most Jews were exiled from Palestine. The desire of the exiled
      Jews, known collectively as the Diaspora, to return to their historical
      homeland is recorded in the Bible and became a universal Jewish theme after
      Roman rulers destroyed the ancient city of Jerusalem in ad 70. For the
      history of Palestine before the 19th century, see Palestine: History.
      dynamic timeline
      The State of Israel is Founded

      The modern concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine began in the late 19th
      century, when the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1880 Palestine
      had a Jewish population of about 25,000, composing about 5 percent of the
      total population in the predominantly Arab region. Jews resided primarily in
      Jerusalem and in other holy cities such as ?efat, Tiberias, and Hebron. In
      the early 1880s Eastern European Jews, primarily from Russia and Poland,
      began to immigrate to the region to escape persecution (see Pogrom).
      Beginning in the mid-1890s Zionism, the movement to unite Jews of the
      Diaspora and settle them in Palestine, further bolstered immigration. In his
      book The Jewish State (1896), Hungarian-born Jewish journalist Theodor Herzl
      analyzed the causes of anti-Semitism and proposed as a solution the creation
      of a Jewish state in Palestine. In 1897 Herzl convened the first Zionist
      Congress, representing Jewish communities and organizations throughout the
      world, in Basel, Switzerland. The congress formulated the Basel Program,
      which defined Zionism���s goal: ���to create for the Jewish people a home in
      Palestine secured by public law.��� The congress also established the
      movement���s administrative body, the World Zionist Organization (WZO).

      By 1914 the Jewish population of Palestine had grown to about 85,000, or
      about 12 percent of the total population. In 1917, during World War I, the
      British government issued the Balfour Declaration, which expressed
      Britain���s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish
      people in Palestine. By issuing the declaration Britain apparently hoped to
      generate support from both American and Russian Jews for the Allied war
      effort and to preempt efforts by its rival, Germany, to win Jewish support
      by issuing a similar declaration. Britain���s main long-term goal was to
      retain Palestine as a strategic territory after the war. Despite these
      underlying motives, the Zionist movement saw the declaration as an important
      achievement promoting Jewish settlement and development in Palestine.
      However, the British had already made two previous agreements to others in
      the region. In the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 Britain had agreed to split
      the Ottoman lands into British, French, and Russian areas of control upon
      defeating the Ottomans. The British had also made vague promises in 1915 and
      1916 to support Arab independence in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire
      in return for Arab support of British forces against the Ottomans. Aided by
      the Arabs, the British captured Palestine from the Ottomans in 1917 and

      A The British Mandate Period
      In July 1922 the League of Nations, an alliance of world powers formed in
      1920 to preserve peace, issued a mandate granting control over Palestine to
      Britain, entrusting it to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national
      home. Encouraged by British support of the Zionist cause, waves of Jewish
      immigrants arrived in Palestine between 1919 and 1939, each contributing to
      the developing Jewish community (Yishuv). About 35,000 came between 1919 and
      1923, mainly from Russia. These pioneers laid the foundations of a
      comprehensive social and economic infrastructure, developed agriculture,
      established kibbutzim and moshavim, and provided labor for construction of
      housing and roads. Another 60,000 Jews, primarily from Poland, arrived
      between 1924 and 1932. This group developed and enriched urban life. These
      immigrants settled and established businesses in Tel Aviv (now part of Tel
      Aviv-Yafo), Haifa, and Jerusalem. As German dictator Adolf Hitler and his
      Nazi Party rose to power, about 144,000 Jews, primarily from Germany,
      immigrated to Palestine in the early 1930s to escape increasingly ruthless
      persecution. Increased momentum internationally of the Zionist movement,
      combined with economic recession in Europe, brought thousands more Jews from
      elsewhere in Western and Central Europe to Palestine in the late 1930s. Many
      were professionals and academics whose education, skills, and experience
      raised business standards, improved urban and rural life, and broadened the
      community���s cultural life.
      The mandate authorities allowed Jewish and Arab communities to run their own
      internal affairs. The Jewish community elected a self-governing assembly,
      which in turn elected a council to implement its policies and programs.
      Financed by local resources and funds raised by worldwide Jewish
      organizations, these bodies developed and maintained a network of
      educational, religious, health, and social services for the Jewish
      population. Meanwhile the Jewish Agency, established by the mandate, handled
      matters of immigration, settlement, and economic development. The Arab
      Executive, a coalition of leading Muslim and Christian Arabs against
      Zionism, handled political, administrative, and economic affairs of the Arab
      community until 1934, when more activist groups emerged.
      Through the 1920s and 1930s economic and cultural development of the country
      gained momentum. Yishuv leaders expanded agriculture, established factories,
      set up hydroelectric facilities on the Jordan River, built new roads
      throughout the country, and began tapping the mineral resources of the Dead
      Sea. The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) advanced workers��� welfare
      and provided employment by setting up cooperative industrial enterprises and
      marketing services for the communal agricultural settlements. Art, music,
      theater, and dance developed gradually with the establishment of
      professional schools and studios. Galleries and halls were set up for
      exhibitions and performances. The Hebrew language became one of three
      official languages of the mandated area; it was used for documents, coins
      and stamps, and radio broadcasts. Publishing and Hebrew literary activity
      The British realized that their World War I promises to the Jews and Arabs
      had led to conflicting expectations.
      During the mandate the British realized that their World War I promises to
      the Jews and Arabs had led to conflicting expectations of the two
      communities in Palestine: Each community felt entitled to the territory.
      Anti-Jewish attacks occurred in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the 1920s.
      Attempting to placate both communities, Britain issued periodic policy
      statements that reaffirmed support for a Jewish national home but also
      limited Jewish immigration and land purchases. But the Arabs, viewing any
      British support of Jewish statehood as a threat to Arab independence,
      continued demonstrations, protests, and attacks on the Jewish community.
      Arab resistance culminated in a full-scale revolt between 1936 and 1939.
      Britain issued a policy statement called a White Paper in 1939 imposing
      drastic restrictions on Jewish immigration and providing for the
      establishment within ten years of a single independent state with Jewish and
      Arab government participation in proportion to the population. Zionists, who
      saw the White Paper as a reversal of the Balfour Declaration and a denial of
      mandate obligations, emphatically rejected the document.
      During World War II (1939-1945) the Nazi regime carried out a systemic plan
      to murder the European Jewish population. As German armies swept through
      Europe, Jews were herded into ghettos and eventually transported to
      concentration camps. Experts estimate that between 5.6 million and 5.9
      million Jews had died at the hands of the Nazis (see Holocaust) by the end
      of the war. During the war the United States became a center of Zionist
      activity. A Zionist conference in New York in May 1942 resulted in the
      Biltmore Program, which rejected British restrictions, called for the
      fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration and the mandate, and urged the
      establishment of Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth. Nevertheless, British
      restrictions on Jewish immigration continued throughout the war and
      intensified in the years after. The Jewish community responded by
      instituting a network of illegal immigration activities. Between 1945 and
      1948 about 85,000 Holocaust survivors were brought to Palestine by secret
      immigration routes.
      Exhausted by the war, Britain sought to reassess its position and policy in
      Palestine and other locations in the mid-1940s. After efforts to negotiate
      with the Arabs and the Zionists, the British government referred the
      Palestine issue to the United Nations in February 1947. After extensive
      evaluation of the situation, the United Nations Special Committee on
      Palestine (UNSCOP) proposed that the territory of the British mandate west
      of the Jordan River be partitioned into Jewish and Arab states with
      Jerusalem under international control. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted
      a partition plan. Both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist
      Republics voted in favor, while Britain abstained. Zionists reluctantly
      accepted the plan as the best resolution they could expect given political
      circumstances, but the Arab world denounced and rejected it. The Arabs felt
      that the UN had no right to make such a decision and that Arabs should not
      be made to pay for Europe���s crimes against the Jews. Fighting in Palestine
      escalated rapidly in the months after the plan was adopted.
      B Independence and War
      Israel 1948-1949 In 1947 the United Nations proposed dividing the British
      mandate of Palestine into two states: a Jewish one and an Arab one. The Jews
      accepted the plan and in 1948 proclaimed the state of Israel, which was soon
      attacked by a coalition of Arabs. By the end of the war, Israel had taken
      much of the Arab land.�� Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

      Proclamation of the State of Israel Israel was declared an independent
      country on May 14, 1948, after British administration of the territory
      expired. Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion (standing in the
      back), read the proclamation declaring the establishment of the state of
      Israel. Ben-Gurion devoted his life to the creation of the Jewish homeland.
      Hanging above his head is a photograph of Theodore Herzl, a journalist who
      founded the modern Zionist movement and, in 1896, proposed the idea of a
      Jewish homeland as a solution to anti-Semitism.Corbis

      On May 14, 1948, when the British mandate over Palestine expired, Jewish
      authorities declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The
      declaration recalled the religious and spiritual connections of the Jewish
      people to the land of Israel, without mention of specific boundaries;
      guaranteed ���freedom of religion and conscience, of language, education,
      and culture���; provided a framework for a democratic Jewish state founded
      on liberty, justice, and peace; and called for peaceful relations with Arab
      neighbors. The state declared itself open for Jewish immigration. A
      provisional government was established, with Jewish Agency chairman David
      Ben-Gurion as prime minister and former Jewish Agency president Chaim
      Weizmann as president. The United States and the USSR, along with many other
      states, quickly recognized the new government.
      Israel at 50
      Modern Israel marked its 50th anniversary as an independent state in 1998.
      Originally conceived as a state that would unite Jews in their original
      homeland, Israel has struggled to defend its borders from hostile neighbors
      and to assimilate diverse immigrant populations. In this August 1998 article
      from Encarta Yearbook, Middle East expert Shaul Ephraim Cohen writes about
      the forces that have shaped modern Israel and the choices Israel faces for
      the future.

      The Arab League declared war on the new state, and Egypt, Transjordan (now
      Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq announced that their armies would enter
      the area to restore order. The newly established Israel Defense Forces
      (IDF), formed from prestate defense organizations, successfully repelled
      Arab forces. Fighting continued into early 1949, when Israel and each of the
      bordering states signed truce agreements that established the borders of the
      new state. Iraq, which shared no borders with Israel, did not sign any

      The agreements left Israel in control of territory beyond what the partition
      plan allocated to it. Portions of territory that the UN plan had allocated
      to Palestinian Arabs came under Egyptian and Jordanian control (Egypt took
      over Gaza Strip, and Jordan gained control of the West Bank). Jerusalem was
      divided between Israel and Jordan. Several hundred thousand Arabs fled
      Israel for more secure areas in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and in
      neighboring Arab states. Of the original Arab population in Palestine only
      about 160,000 remained in the territory that was now Israel. Permanent peace
      negotiations were supposed to follow the armistice agreements but did not.
      The Arabs refused to recognize or negotiate with Israel."

      And here is another Collier's article.

      "After 1,878 years of dispersal, the Jewish people in Palestine proclaimed
      their independence on May 14, 1948. The establishment of the state of
      Israel, a few hours before the expiration of the British mandate, was the
      result of the United Nations' recommendation to partition Palestine between
      Jews and Arabs, passed by the General Assembly on Nov. 29, 1947. The
      Palestinian Arabs, on the other hand, had not made any preparations to set
      up a state of their own as envisaged in the U.N. plan. From the first their
      leaders had fought partition, and later the pressure of the Arab Higher
      Committee for Palestine and the advice of the neighboring governments
      induced most of the Arabs to desert the Jewish-controlled parts of
      Palestine. Their flight could not be halted by Jewish attempts to persuade
      them to remain. Since then six Arab states have occupied areas assigned to
      the Arab state of Palestine in the U.N. plan.
      The citizens of the new state, calling themselves Israelis (similar to
      Iraqis, not Israelites), originated in many lands. Small numbers of Jews had
      been living in Palestine almost uninterruptedly through the centuries, and
      some 25,000 were estimated to have resided there by 1880. The first wave of
      large scale immigration (aliyah) brought some 25,000 Jews to Palestine in
      the years 1882-1902, mostly Russian Jews fleeing from pogroms and
      persecution under the tsars. In the second aliyah, 1904-1914, 40,000
      immigrants entered the country, mainly from Poland and other parts of
      tsarist Russia, among them many imbued with high ideals inspired by Dr.
      Theodore Herzl's writings and in response to the Zionist movement of his
      creation. During World War I, the Jews in Palestine suffered severe
      hardships, many died, many left the country. It was the Balfour Declaration
      of 1917 which gave new impetus to the Zionist movement by promising the Jews
      a national home in Palestine (and Transjordan), on an area of about 44,000
      sq. mi. The third wave of immigration brought 36,000 in 1919-1923, the
      fourth aliyah followed with 84,000 in 1924-1931 (62,000 thereof in
      1924-1926), and the fifth carried 264,000 into Palestine in 1932-1939,
      mostly Jews fleeing from Germany, Austria, and other Hitler-occupied
      countries. In the period that followed, 1940-1947, some 112,000 immigrants
      entered Palestine, bringing the total number entering the country since 1882
      to 561,000, including an estimated 125,000 entering "illegally," i.e.,
      without prior landing permits by the mandatory government, in the period
      1919-1947. The number of immigrants for 1948 exceeded 120,000, all
      limitations to their coming, other than those of transportation, having been
      removed by the Israeli government. According to the census taken in Israel
      in November, the total Jewish population was approximately 713,000."

      From these accounts it does not appear that the Israeli immigration was
      unlawful, nor does it appear that they were forcing people out of their
      homes in order to take them. Indeed, it appears from reliable historical
      sources that many Palestinians abandoned their homes and refused to return.
      Those who wanted to return after the War of Independence were allowed to do
      so and stayed. By all accounts, your description of the creation of Israel
      as illegitimate is inaccurate. The credible facts simply do not support your

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