The Case for Israel


The Case for Israel
The Case for Israel
First published 1972 by
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Carlow House, 289 Flinders Lane, 3000
Printed in Australia by
The Globe Press, Smith St.,
Registered in Australia for transmission
by post as a book
© 1972
This presentation is not intended as an historical background
to Zionism or the conflict in the Middle East. Its primary
purpose is to outline, in a concise manner, the Israeli case in
relation to the turbulent state of that area.
The lay-out and content matter have been prepared so as
to be of maximum use to interested laymen seeking a concise
documented summary of the Israeli case, and to provide a
basic outline for lecturers presenting the Israeli viewpoint and
requiring easily accessible documentation.
In view of my partiality for Israel's position, and in order
to avoid the charge of having made unsubstantiated
generalisations, I have made extensive use of published
statements by Arab leaders and publicists, and those
moulding Arab public opinion throughout the mass media.
These statements speak more clearly than volumes of
generalised evaluations. They also represent a genuine
cross-section of Arab attitudes towards Jews, Israel and their
own kinsmen.
Arab unity based on a determination to annihilate the
state of Israel is a creation of frustrated rulers and military
bureaucratic dictators. Such ambitions can only continue to
bring death and destruction to the people in the Middle East.
It is to be hoped that the future development of Arab
nationalism will base itself not only on the regeneration of
legitimate rights for Arabs, but also on a recognition of, and
respect for, Israel's legitimate right of existence in peace and
security. Such recognition must bring about a change from
xenophobic war cries and economies based on armaments
towards one where the human and natural resources of the
area will become utilized for the benefit of its inhabitants.
The Case for Israel
There is no question that the legitimate aspirations of the
Israeli and Arab peoples are reconcilable. Indeed, for J e w and
Arab alike there is a responsibility to work together for the
benefit of all the people within the area, to utilize scientific
technology to exploit its economic resources, and to bring
education and science as well as medical and social services to
an area which is falling behind rather than developing in
matters concerning human welfare.
This book has been published under the auspices of the
Executive Council of Australian Jewry at a time when a very
uncertain cease fire prevails in the Middle East — a cease fire
that at any moment could again erupt into a war with
possible global implications. The sponsors of this publication,
together with all men of goodwill, are united in the hope that
peace will ultimately be established in the Holy Land.
We share, with men of goodwill everywhere, the hope that
the ancient but pertinent prediction of the Prophet Isaiah
who lived in Jerusalem nearly three thousand years ago, will
soon be realised in relation to Jews and Arabs in the Middle
And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares
And their spears into pruning hooks,
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more.
Isi Leibler
1. T h e Jewish Claim to Palestine
(1) Background — and the Impact of Jewish Immigration, 9
(2) Arab Land was not expropriated by the Israelis, 12
(3) T h e Jewish Juridical Claim to Palestine, 13
2. Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
(1) Obsessive Hatred of Israel, 15
(2.) T h e Nazi Record, 18
(3) Nazi War Criminals and Arab Links with Neo-Nazis, 21
(4) The Promotion of Ancient Anti-Semitic Canards, 24
(5) Anti-Semitic Indoctrination of School Children, 29
3. T h e Arab Refugees
(1) Why the Refugees fled in 1948, 38
(2) U N R W A and the True Number of Bona Fide Arab
Refugees, 43
(3) Why Israel is unable to repatriate Arab Refugees, 45
(4) The Reasons for the Continued Existence of the Arab
Refugee Problem, 47
(5) A Contrast — Israel's Integration of Jewish Refugees from
Arab Countries, 48
(6) Could the Refugees have been integrated by the Arab
States? 49
4. T h e Israeli Arabs and the Jews in Arab Countries
(1) The Israeli Arabs, 52
(2) T h e Contrast — Jews in Arab Countries, 53
5. T h e Background to the 1967 Conflict
7. T h e Israeli-Administered Territories
8. Terrorism and the Palestinians
(1) The Failure of Terrorism, 74
(2) T h e Al Fatah Programme, 75
(3) T h e "Democratic Secular State" sponsored by Al Fatah, 77
(4) The Role of the Palestinians, 81
9. T h e Soviet Union and the Middle East Arms Race
10. Israel and the U . N .
(1) The Role of the United Nations. 89
(2) Security Council Resolution 242, 93
11. Prospects for the Future
(1) Direct Negotiations, 96
(2) Arab Views Concerning Peace, 103
(3) T h e Prospects for Peace, 108
Into the Sea
Unity Means Annihilation
Balance — Arab Style
O Mother of Israel
Strangle Israel — Throw Her into the Sea
Extermination is a Prerequisite
Israel was Born to Die. Prove it!
Like Carthage, Israel must be Destroyed
They will not live save in Darkness
T h e Prophet showed us the Way
T h e Greatest Arab Aspiration
Force and Deceit
T h e Barricades in Tel Aviv
How to use the Star of David
T h e Bottleneck
Ring of Encirclement
1. Israel and the Arabs; Some Comparative Statistics
2. Land Ownership in Palestine, by Moshe Aumann
3. Mrs. Golda Meir's Address to the Council Conference of
the Socialist International, Helsinki, May 25, 1971
4. T h e Crossman - Eban Exchange, 1970
5. A Letter to All Good People, by Amos Kenan
6. How Israel forfeited the Sympathy of the
by Ephraim Kishon
Deployment of Arab Forces against Israel, June 4, 1967
Cease-Fire Lines, 1967
Armistice Lines, 1949-67
Frontier Changes in Europe since World War II
The Jewish Claim to Palestine
(1) Background-and the Impact of Jewish Immigration
The Jewish people and the land of Israel have been linked
together for nearly four thousand years. Unlike its
relationship to Jewish history and religion, Palestine has at no
stage implied a unique national or holy significance to the
Arabs. There was never such a concept as an Arab homeland
in Palestine. Since Imperial Rome introduced the name
Palestine to replace Judea, the country was never a separate
national entity. For three centuries prior to 1918 it was ruled
by various provinces belonging to the Ottoman Turks, and
then remained under British occupation and mandate until
1948. During the nineteenth century, under the Ottoman
administration, Palestine was regarded as a depopulating
country. There were very few Jews, and not very many
Arabs. In the whole of Palestine, on both sides of the J o r d a n
(including areas of Syria and Lebanon), there were only
about 200,000 people, of whom about one half were Arabic
speaking, a quarter Turkish, and some 8—15 per cent Jewish.
* It is significant that the early Arab nationalists never
referred to Palestine, but described it as Southern Syria.
On July 2, 1919 the Syrian General Congress adopted a
resolution stating:
We ask that there should be no separation of the southern part of
Syria, known as Palestine, nor of the Littoral Western zone which
includes Lebanon, from the Syrian country. We desire that the unity
of the country should be guaranteed against partition under
whatever circumstances.
* As late as May 1947 Arab representatives at the UN
General Assembly stated that:
Palestine was part of the province of Syria . . . politically the Arabs
of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate
political entity.
The Case for Israel
Even later, on May 3 1 , 1956, Ahmed Shukairy, the Saudi
Arabian delegate to the UN, told the Security Council:
It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern
The continuous Jewish habitation in Palestine since the
thirteenth century B.C. remained uninterrupted even after
t h e destruction of J u d e a by the Romans in A.D. 70.
However, under succeeding occupiers Palestine degenerated
as a country and became sparsely populated, and over the
centuries her fertile lands turned into sandy deserts, malarial
marshes and eroded hills. It is significant that by the
twentieth century the number of villages in the area was only
half of what it had been three hundred years earlier.
* Thus, when a significant Jewish emigration to Palestine
commenced, a number of Arab leaders saw the Jewish
return as a benefit to the whole area. Emir Feisal signed
an agreement with Dr Chaim Weizmann the Zionist leader
on January 3, 1919 which stated that:
. . . mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing
between the Arabs and the Jewish people, I realise that the surest
means of working out the consumation of their national aspirations
is through the closest possible collaboration in development of the
Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming
the good understanding which exists between them . . .
On March 3, 1919 Feisal wrote to another leading Zionist,
Felix Frankfurter who subsequently became a U.S.
Supreme Court Justice:
We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest
sympathy on the Zionist movement. . .
We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home . . . We are working
together for a reformed and revised Near East, and our two
movements complement one another. The movement is national and
not imperialistic. There is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think
that neither can be successful without the other.
The regeneration of Palestine and the increase in Arab
population both began in the 1920s with the growth of
Jewish immigration and under the impact of Jewish
agricultural development. Arabs prospered because of the
better facilities and economic conditions created by Jewish
immigration, and Palestine itself changed from a country of
Arab emigration to one of Arab immigration.
The Jewish Claim to Palestine
From 1922, Arabs began migrating to Palestine from
Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan and Egypt. Between
World War I and World War II the increase in Arab
population was extraordinary, particularly in areas of Jewish
concentration and development such as Haifa, where the
increase was no less than 216 per cent. Where there was no
Jewish development the population increase was much less,
such as 32 per cent in Bethlehem and 42 per cent in Nablus.
Palestine's overall Arab population more than doubled,from
565,000 in 1922 to over 1,200,000 in 1 9 4 7 - a n increase which
stood in stark contrast to the record of other Arab countries
such as Trans-Jordan (see App. No. 2, p p . 124—6 below).
The British Royal Commission of 1937 clearly related
Arab development and progress with the Jewish presence.
The prosperity of Arab villages was in direct ratio to their
nearness to Jewish settlements. Arabs benefited from Jewish
capital and were taught by Jewish farmers how to use
machines. Arab industry expanded likewise; wages were
higher, hours of labour less, and illiteracy declined. The
budget of the Mandatory Administration was financed 70 per
cent by Jewish tax-payers (who formed less than half of the
population) and 30 per cent by Arab tax-payers. Yet Arabs
benefited from more than 80 per cent of the budget
expenditure, especially in social welfare areas such as health.
The Jewish community also helped Arabs by providing
finance for important non-government social services. In the
year 1934 alone the Jewish Agency spent £350,000 on
medical services in contrast to the £166,000 that the British
Administration spent for the whole population. Similarly,
from 1922 to 1925 Jews spent £403,000 on draining swamps
and fighting malaria while the Mandatory Administration
spent £85,000 and the Arab community nothing.
The Royal Commission report stated (page 94):
The Arabs shared to a considerable degree in the material benefits
which. Jewish immigration has brought to Palestine. The obligation
of the Mandate in this respect has been observed.
* The British Secretary of State for the Colonies stated in
the House of Commons on November 24, 1938:
The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of the
The Case for Israel
country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I
believe the Arab population of Palestine would still have been
around 600,000 at which it has been stable under Turkish rule . . . It
is not only the Jews who have benefited from the Balfour
Declaration. They can deny it as much as they like, but materially
the Arabs have benefited very greatly from the Balfour Declaration.
* The Jewish population growth was
56,000 (decline due to World War I)
650,000 (restricted by 1939 White Paper)
(2) Arab Land was not expropriated by the Israelis
Until 1948 Jewish settlement took place mainly on the
coastal plain in the Valley of Jezreel and the Jordan Valley —
areas largely unpopulated when the Jews settled in that part
of the land. Extraordinary prices were paid for land
purchased from Arabs. The 1937 Report of Britain's Royal
Commission quotes a representative of the Arab Higher
Committee as admitting that "nowhere in the world were
such uneconomic land prices paid as by the Jews of
Most of the lands bought by Jews were large uncultivated
tracts which belonged to absentee Arab owners. The 1937
Report estimated that of the land then in Jewish possession,
57 per cent was purchased from large land owners, 16 per
cent from the government, churches and foreign companies,
and only 27 per cent from Arab peasants. The Commission
also emphasised that very few Arabs were made landless by
the purchases (see Appendix 2, p p . 117—27 below).
* The Survey of Palestine published in 1946 by the British
Mandatory authorities showed that just prior to the
8.6% of the area now known as Israel was owned by Jews,
3.3% was owned by Israeli Arabs,
16.9% was owned by absentee Arab landlords who had
left the country,
70% of the land was state land owned by the British
The Jewish Claim to Palestine
Mandatory Government, the ownership of which was
passed on to Israel. Most of this land comprised the Negev
The Jewish Juridical Claim to Palestine
Israel's juridical claims have their origins in the Balfour
Declaration issued in November 1917 by the British
Government which states:
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their
best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being
clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine
or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Subsequent claims derived from the rights surrendered by
Turkey under the Lausanne Treaty (1923), conferred on
Britain by the League of Nations mandate, and subsequently
affirmed to the state of Israel by the United Nations when
the latter body gave recognition to the creation of the state
by a two-thirds majority in November 1947. Israel's
sovereignty was further confirmed in 1949 by her
membership of the United Nations.
* Six Arab states invaded Israel in 1948. After failing in
their effort to annihilate Israel, Jordan and Egypt
annexed territories that had been set aside by the United
Nations for an Arab-Palestinian state.
* Since Israel's birth the Arabs have consistently challenged
the right of existence of the Jewish state and embarked
on a continuous world-wide economic and political
campaign designed to isolate and crush Israel. The
Egyptians also denied Israel the right of passage through
the United Nations, and in
contravention of specific Security Council resolutions.
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
(1) Obsessive Hatred of Israel
The following representative cross-section of quotations is
indicative of the campaign of obsessive hatred pursued by all
Arab leaders against Israel and their determination from the
day of Israel's birth to see it annihilated. It is significant that
no country in the world other than Israel has been
confronted continuously for over twenty years by neighbours
who openly proclaim at all levels, including public
pronouncements in the United Nations, that they are
determined to bring about her destruction.
Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League in Cairo.
(May 15, 1948):
This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre
which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the
Dr. Mohammed Salah ed—Din, a former Egyptian Foreign
Minister, told the Cairo paper, Al-Misri (April 1 1 , 1954):
It is neither right nor honorable for Arab statesmen to hide behind
diplomatic answers that they cannot consider peace until it
implements the UN resolution. The truth is that we will by no
means be satisfied by the implementation of the UN
resolution . . . The Arab peoples are not afraid to disclose that they
will not be satisfied with anything less than the obliteration of Israel
from the map of the Middle East.
Major Salah Salem, a spokesman
Government (January 2 7 , 1955):
Egypt will serve to erase the shame of the Palestinian War, even if
Israel should fulfil the United Nations resolutions; it will not sign a
peace treaty with her even if Israel should consist only of Tel Aviv.
The Jordanian daily newspaper, Falastin, declared (February
19, 1956):
Any Arab demanding the implementation of the 1947 UN partition
The Case for Israel
decision is mistaken, and every American who thinks modification
of the border will satisfy the two conflicting sides is an i d i o t . . . In
the eyes of every Arab patriot, whether Moslem or Christian, the
problem is one of existence and not of borders. It is one of the
existence of either Jews or the Arabs.
Dr. Walid al Khalidi, a prominent Arab publicist and scholar
(Middle East Forum, Summer 1958):
The solution of the Palestine problem cannot be found in the
settlement of the refugees nor even in the return to the 1947
partition decision.
President Nasser, (June 1960):
The people of Palestine will return to be masters in Palestine
whether the war criminal Ben Gurion recognises this or not.
President Nasser told the UN General Assembly (September
27, 1960):
The only solution to Palestine . . . is that matters should be restored
to normality and should return to the condition prevailing before
the error [of the Partition Resolution] was committed . . .
Nasser wrote to King Hussein of J o r d a n (March 13, 1961):
We believe that the evil which was placed in the heart of the Arab
world should be uprooted and that the rights which were usurped
from the Arab entity should be restored.
Hafiz Asad, Syrian Defence Minister stated (May 24, 1 9 6 1 ) :
We shall never call for nor accept peace. We shall only accept war.
We have resolved to drench this land with your blood, to oust you
aggressors, and throw you into the sea.
Ahmad Said, Director of Radio Cairo, in an introduction to
the b o o k The End of Israel (1960):
The end of Israel, this is the hope in which we live. The time has
come for us to consider it, to discuss and make the road to this
Nasser announced on Radio Cairo (June 4, 1961):
We are facing you in the battle and burning with the desire for it to
start, in order to obtain revenge.
Nasser stated (August 17, 1961):
We will act to realize Arab solidarity and the closing of the ranks
that will eventually put an end to Israel . . . we will liquidate her.
Falastin, a Jordanian daily (March 3, 1963):
It would appear, on the face of it, that the concentration of the
Jews in the Occupied Region militates in favour of Zionism. In our
view, it will favour the Arab nation . . . because this will turn Israel
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
into one huge, world-wide grave for this whole Jewish
concentration. And the day draws near for those who await it.
Radio Cairo (April 20, 1963):
The Arab people will pronounce the death sentence against criminal
Israel, namely disappearance . . . Israel is the cancer, the malignant
wound, in the body of Arabism, for which there is no cure but
eradication . . . There is no need to emphasise that the liquidation of
Israel and the restoration of the plundered Palestine Arab land are at
the head of our national objectives.
Syrian Defence Minister, Abdullah Ziada (August 19, 1963):
The Syrian army stands as a mountain to crush Israel and demolish
her. This army knows how to crush its enemies.
Nasser announced on Radio Cairo (February 24, 1964):
The prospects are for war with Israel. It is we who will dictate the
time. It is we who will dictate the place.
Salah Jadid, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Army
(October 30, 1964):
Our Army will be satisfied with nothing less than the disappearance
of Israel.
President Nasser (February 22, 1965):
Arab unity means the liquidation of Israel and the expansionist
dreams of Zionism.
Ben Bella, then Algerian Head of State (May 1, 1965):
There is no need for Israel to disappear, for it is an artificial
creation, and it is necessary to put an end to it.
Nasser and President Aref of Iraq issued a joint statement
(May 2 5 , 1965):
The Arab national aim is the elimination of Israel.
President Nuredin al Atassi of Syria (May 2 2 , 1966):
We want total war with no limits, a war that will destroy the Zionist
Radio Cairo (May 25, 1967):
The Arab people is determined to wipe Israel off the map.
Ahmed Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation
Organization (May 2 6 , 1967):
D-Day is approaching. The Arabs have waited nineteen years for this
and will not flinch from the war of liberation.
Ahmed Shukairy, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation
Organization (May 2 8 , 1967):
The Case for Israel
There will be no Jewish survivors in the Holy War of liberating
Nasser (May 2 8 , 1967):
We will not accept any . . . co-existence with Israel . . . today the
issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab States and
Israel . . . the war with Israel is in effect since 1948.
President Abdar-Rahman Areef of Iraq (May 3 1 , 1967):
My sons, this is the day of battle of revenge! With the help of God
we will meet together in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The existence of Israel
is a mistake that must be rectified. This is a chance for the removal
of our shame of 1948. The clear aim is to wipe Israel off the map.
Ahmed Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation
Organization (June 1, 1967):
This is a fight for the homeland — it is either us or the Israelis. There
is no middle road. The Jews of Palestine will have to leave. We will
facilitate their departure to their former homes. Any of the old
Palestinian Jewish population who survive may stay, but it is my
impression that none of them will survive.
King Hussein of Jordan (June 2, 1967):
We will. . . march along the right road which will lead us to the
erasure of the shame and the liberation of Palestine. This is a corner
stone of our policy.
Saudi Arabian representative at the United Nations Security
Council (June 1 3 , 1967):
No Arab dares to talk with Israel unless he is a puppet — and the
puppets will be dealt with appropriately. I will be sorry for them as
human beings because nobody should kill anybody else in this
world. Thirteen Arabs were shot like birds on the rumour that they
were going to talk with Israel, during the last two decades. So, then,
let us not mislead ourselves here in the United Nations by saying
that any talks will solve the problems.
(2) The Nazi Record
anti-Semitic and claim that their war with Israel involves a
conflict with Zionism not Judaism or Jews. The enormous
flow of anti-Semitic publications, frequently bearing the
imprimatur of governments, confirms that this is not the
Cannon muzzles of eight Arab states — Sudan, Algeria,
United Arab Republic, Saudia Arabia, Jordan Iraq, Syria and
Lebanon, (Lebanese daily newspaper, "Al-Jarida", May 3 1 ,
"Israel is attempting to achieve balance of power with the
Arabs. The Arab reply: 'This will be the only balance'!"
(Roz-el-Yussef, February 14, 1966).
The Case for Israel
Trans-Jordan, no Arab state declared war on Germany in
September 1939, and that most Arabs sided with the Nazis.
Indeed a pro-Nazi coup took place in April 1941 in Iraq and
the Egyptian Premier Ali Maher was subsequently arrested
for pro-Nazi policies. The current President of U.A.R., Anwar
Sadat, openly identified himself with t h e Axis powers and
was arrested and imprisoned in Upper Egypt for two years
for having collaborated with Nazi agents.
The most prominent pro-Nazi collaborator within the
Arab ranks was undoubtedly Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand
Mufti of Jerusalem, who was Chairman of the Arab Higher
Committee for Palestine. The Mufti actually went to
Germany and negotiated with Hitler personally in an effort
to co-ordinate operations against the Jews. At a public rally
in Berlin in November 1942 the Mufti stated:
The Germans know how to get rid of the Jews.
He recruited S.S. units for the Nazis and appealed to Arabs to
desert from Allied forces and serve in the German army. He
was in close contact with leading Nazis including Eichmann,
Himmler and Ribbentrop. The Mufti's patronage of the
Moslem Waffen S.S., which committed unspeakable atrocities
in Yugoslavia and elsewhere, is the reason for his still
remaining on Yugoslavia's list of wanted war criminals. After
the war he settled in Cairo and played a prominent role in the
campaign against Israel. He developed close contacts with
Sadat, the present U.A.R. President, he had the full support
of the Moslem religious authorities, and was one of the pivots
around which Arab hatred against the newly-formed Jewish
State was centred. Many of his disciples and associates
(including President Sadat) play important leadership roles in
the Arab world today.
The Mufti is still active and, according to Al Nahar, the
Beirut newspaper (December 29, 1970), has stated
through the medium of his "Arab Higher Committee"
The only solution is the one laid down in the Palestinian National
Convention and adopted by all conferences and assemblies and by
Palestinian national organs. This solution provides for the
liquidation of the foreign occupation of Palestine in its natural
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
borders and the setting-up of a national Palestinian state by Moslem,
Christian and Jewish citizens of Palestine who lived there before the
British occupation in 1917, and their descendants.
Nazi War Criminals and Arab Links with Neo-Nazis
In an environment which welcomes and idolises anti-Semitic
and pro-Nazi criminals, like the Grand Mufti, it is not
surprising that many Nazi war criminals have found asylum in
Arab countries, and in Egypt in particular. A partial list of
these Nazis demonstrates the extent of the Arab affinity with
the surviving wanted criminals from the Hitler era.
Franz Abromeit was a member of Eichmann's staff in Hungary and
Croatia and is being sought for war crimes by Austria, Hungary and
Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
Erich Altern, alias Ali Bella, was head of the "Jewish Department" of
the Gestapo in war-occupied Galicia. He was employed by the Egyptian
military authorities in training volunteers for the Palestine Liberation
Hans Appier, alias Salah Shafar, was a specialist in Goebbels'
propaganda ministry on anti-Semitic material. He arrived in Cairo in
1955, where he published anti-Semitic material for the Egyptian Secret
Service and also worked for the Islamic Congress.
Franz Bartel, alias El Hussein, a wartime Gestapo officer, has been
working in the Jewish Section of the Egyptian Propaganda Ministry
since 1959. He is still wanted by the police in Poland.
Colonel Baumann, alias Ali Ben Khader, was active in the destruction of
the Warsaw Ghetto and killing Jews in Poland. He served as a military
expert with the Egyptian army and assisted in the training of volunteers
for the Palestine Liberation army.
Bernhardt Bender, a leading World War II Gestapo-hunter of Jews, came
to Egypt together with Dr. Hans Eisele, the notorious physician of the
Buchenwald concentration camp. Bender changed his name to
Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Salem and took charge of the Political
Department of the Secret Police in Cairo in 1958.
Wilhelm Boeckler, alias Abdel Nah Krim, was a Gestapo officer who
took part in the massacre of the Warsaw Ghetto. After his arrival in
Egypt, he became a member of the Israeli Department of the Egyptian
Alois Brunner, alias Ali Mohammed, was an S.S. officer and represented
Eichmann in Greece. He was also responsible for the deportation of
Jews from Greece, France and Slovakia. He is sought for war crimes by
Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
The Case for Israel
Franz Buensche worked in Rosenberg's ministry and published many
books purporting to prove that Jews were an inferior race. Amongst his
publications was Sexual Crimes of the Jews, which was published with
the assistance of Goebbels. After the war he reached Egypt and
continued to engage in racial "literary" activities.
Oscar Von Dirlewanger, an S.S. officer declared a war criminal, assumed
a role as adviser for Arab guerilla operators in Egypt in 1952 and also
became the head of Nasser's personal bodyguard.
Eugen Eichberger took part in the slaughter of Jews in the Ukraine and
emigrated to Egypt in 1952, helping Nasser to come to power. In
appreciation for this he was granted the rank of major in the Egyptian
Dr. Hans Eisele, was an S.S. captain and "physician" at Buchenwald
concentration camp. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment
after the war and was due to be tried for other war crimes but escaped
to Egypt in 1958. In 1959 West Germany asked for, but was refused,
his extradition. He was employed as a physician to the German
scientists and technicians who worked on Egypt's missile and aircraft
Colonel Leopold Gleim, head of the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Poland,
who is under a death sentence of a Polish court, arrived in Egypt in
1955 and immediately assumed an important role within the Egyptian
Secret Police under the new name of Colonel Ali al Nasher. He also
contributed to a number of local and national anti-Semitic publications.
Subsequently, he was placed in control of the remnants of Egypt's
Jewish community.
Louis Heiden alias Louis al Hadj, was the head of the Nazi German
Press Service in Egypt during the war. He stayed in Egypt and was
responsible for the Arabic translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf and its
distribution to other Arab-speaking countries.
Dr Johann von Leers, a notorious anti-Semitic propagandist and former
adviser to Goebbels, was, until his death in 1965, a principal architect
of Nasser's Jewish propaganda department. He had changed his name to
Omar Amin. He was publicly welcomed to Cairo by the Grand Mufti,
who thanked him "for venturing to take up the battle with the powers
of darkness that have become incarnate in World Jewry".
Seipel, alias Emad Zucher, was an S.S. major who worked with the
Gestapo in Paris. He became an advisor on security matters to the
Egyptian Minister of the Interior.
Heinrich Selliman, alias Colonel Hassan Hamid Suleiman, a German
Gestapo leader and war criminal, fled to Egypt and from 1948 worked
as a police expert and adviser in counter-intelligence for the Egyptian
Government. In 1962 he was included in the highest echelons of the
Egyptian Secret Service.
Gustav Wagner was the assistant to the Camp Commander at Sobibor
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
concentration camp and arrived in Egypt from Chile in 1958. He is
wanted by the Austrian, German, and Polish police.
Friedrich Warzok was the former Commandant of the Lemberg
Janowska concentration camp and is wanted by Germany, the Soviet
Union and Poland, who have all issued warrants for his arrest.
Friedrich Karl Wesemann, an S.S. officer responsible for rounding up
Polish Jews to the slaughter camps and wanted by the British for his
war crimes,worked for the Egyptian Secret Service.
Dr Heinrich Willerman, a doctor to the High Command of the S.S., took
part in sterilisation, freezing and poisoning experiments on prisoners at
Dachau concentration camp and worked closely under Kaltenbrunner,
who was executed as a war criminal in Nuremberg in 1946. In Egypt he
assumed the name of Lieutenant-Colonel Dr Nairn Fahoum, and from
1958 he worked for the Egyptian Secret Service.
It is not surprising that a number of Arabs also
maintained close links with neo-Nazi groups.
Antoine Albina, a Christian Arab formerly living in Jerusalem,
maintained close connections with the notorious Swedish
anti-Semite and Nazi Einar Aberg, and until his death was quoting
him regularly in violently anti-Semitic publications issued in
H.A. Fakousa,an Arab, spent the war years in Germany and since
1945 founded links with various international neo-Nazi groups in
Germany and elsewhere and established the "Friends of
German-Arab Understanding" — a neo-Nazi Arab Front organization.
In 1964 the South African Nazi organization was
revealed to be in close contact with the Egyptian Secret
Service and former Nazis in Cairo. Similar links between
Nazis and Arabs were discovered in other countries including
In Latin America t h e Arabs have closelycollaborated in their anti-Semitic activities with the
Argentinian neo-Nazi Tacura Group.
Pro-Nazi Arabs continually defend and praise the Nazi
effort to exterminate the J e w s .
Le Monde, the French newspaper (August 17, 1956), quoted the
Damascus daily, Al Manar:
One should not forget that in contrast to Europe, Hitler occupied an
honoured place in the Arab World. . .Journalists are mistaken if
they think that by calling Nasser Hitler they are hurting us, on the
contrary, his name makes us proud. Long live Hitler, the Nazi who
struck at the hearts of our enemies! Long live the Hitler of the Arab
World . . . !
The Case for Israel
The Beirut daily, Al Anwar, (June 9, 1950), carried a cartoon depicting
Adolph Eichmann talking to Ben Gurion, with the caption:
Ben Gurion: "You deserve the death penalty because you killed six
million Jews".
Adolph Eichmann: "There are many who say I deserve the death
penalty because I didn't manage to kill the rest!"
(4) The Promotion of Ancient Anti-Semitic Canards
All the ancient anti-Semitic canards that have served for
centuries to inflame the masses against Jews are being revived
throughout the Arab world with the formal backing of
political and governmental leaders and publishers. There is
also a strong tendency to give this anti-Semitism a religious
Islamic form. For example, the October 1968 issue of Al
Azhar, the principal magazine published by the Islamic
University of Cairo, refers to a Moslem tradition by which
Mohamed was said to have declared that a Moslem slaughter
of Jews will precede the Day of Resurrection. The author
claims that God had ordained that the Jews would develop an
aggressive state so that the slaughter might be realized. This
type of approach gives a theological justification for Arab
defeats and anticipates the ultimate genocide that is being
promoted on a political level. It must be emphasised that this
religious approach is also frequently employed by Arab
Cairo daily, Al Ahram (November 26, 1955):
Our war against the Jews is an old struggle that began with
Mohammed and in which he achieved many great victories . . . It is
our duty to fight the Jews for the sake of God and religion and it is
our duty to end the war which Mohammed began.
Cairo daily, Al Ahram (December 6, 1956), quoted Ibrahim Tahawi,
Assistant Secretary of the Palestinian Liberation Rally:
God has gathered the Zionists together from all corners of the world
so that the Arabs can kill them all at one stroke. Before, this was
impossible, owing to their dispersion.
Sheikh Abd Al Rahman Al Haj, Rector of Al Azhar (the Cairo religious
university) issued the following declaration on the tenth anniversary of
the establishment of Israel (May 15, 1958):
It is now our duty to renew the Jihad in order to restore our
usurped country.
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
Abdallah Al Tall, in The Danger of World Jewry to Islam and
Christianity, published in Cairo in 1964, also emphasises the religious
factor in Arab hatred of Israel:
The problem of Palestine is religious and sacred, and any attempt
to deal with it which is not based on a religious Jihad is doomed to
failure . . . The leaders of the secular Arab parties ignore the fact
that in all the decisive historic battles of Arabism and Islam . . . the
battle cry was religious and sacred: "ALLAH AKBAR".
This theme of Jihad and the rallying slogan of "Allah Akbar"
was a prominent refrain throughout the Arab radio and press
during the propaganda build-up prior to the 1967 war.
The "Protocols of the Elders of Z i o n " probably represents
anti-Semitism. The forgery purports to describe an
international J e w i s h . conference where "Jewish Elders"
outline a conspiracy by which international Jewry is to
conquer and enslave mankind. It was originally utilized by
the Czarist Secret Police as a means of inciting hatred against
Jews and diverting the attention of the masses from their
own social and economic misery. It was subsequently
exploited by the Nazis as a major vehicle by which to
promote hatred of Jews. Since the war, the "Protocols" have
only had a very limited circulation. Yet in Arab countries,
where they first appeared in Arabic in the 1920s, Nasser
himself endorsed this vicious anti-Semitic forgery:
The editor of the Indian magazine, Blitz, R.K. Karanjia, quoted
(October 4, 1958) an interview with Nasser, who stated:
I wonder if you have read a book called The Protocols of the
Learned Elders of Zion. It is very important that you should read it.
I will give you an English copy. It proves clearly, to quote from the
Protocol, that three hundred Zionists, each of whom knows all the
others, govern the fate of the European continent and they elect
their successors from their entourage.
It is significant that, on January 28, 1964, Nasser instructed
his representative at the Arab League session in Cairo to
promote distribution of the "Protocols" to Asia and Africa.
* Prior to Nasser's endorsement of this forgery the U.A.R.
Information Service officially published an edition of the
"Protocols" on April 13, 1956. In the introduction, the
The Case for Israel
book is described as "a most important secret Zionist
d o c u m e n t " , and a later passage states:
We believe that the Arab reader should examine the Zionist protocol
and read it attentively, so that he should know the scope of the
purposes of World Zionism whose accursed spore, Israeli
imperialism, has sown in our country Palestine.
* In another U.A.R. government-supported publication, The
Danger of World Jewry to Islam and Christianity, Abdallah
Al Tal claims that the " P r o t o c o l s " have the same authority
for Jews as religious books like the Bible and the Talmud.
* Another Egyptian authority, Dr Nasr, in his book Zionism
in International Affairs ( 1 9 5 6 ) , cites Hitler's Mein Kampf
as evidence of the authenticity of the "Protocols".
Al Ahram, the official Cairo daily newspaper, edited by Mohammed
Heikal, stated (January 20, 1961):
The Information Department of the United Arab Republic has been
able to obtain copies of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", the
Talmud and other books . . . The Department is now engaged in
translating these books into Arabic, French and English in order to
distribute them in African countries . . . The Talmud says that
whoever kills a non-Jew will be admitted to Paradise. The Talmud
also permits the stealing of gentile property and attacks upon the
honour of non-Jewish women.
This theme even appears in what are alleged to be scholarly
Egyptian publications.
In an article by Fathi Mahlawi, the UAR Political Science Review states
(January—March 1959):
It is easy to perceive clearly the aims and methods of Zionism if we
consult "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", which contain
twenty - four chapters and are regarded by Jews as sacred
enactments. They call for the imposition of a Pax Judaica, like the
ancient Pax Romana, but in the form of a dictatorial world Jewish
government which will arise on the ruins of the present international
society of mankind.
Hasan Sabri al Khuli, Nasser's personal representative, in an official
publication issued in 1966 by the Education Directorate of the U.A.R.
Armed Forces, stated:
One of the most outstanding Zionist works on general political
planning is "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", which clearly lays
down the way to the achievement of their aim, Jewish domination
of the world, by the corruption of virtue, economic profiteering, the
dissemination of vice, the destruction of religion and finally, the use
of murder as a means of reaching their destination.
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
It is worth noting that the latest Arabic edition of the
"Protocols" was published in Cairo in 1968 by none other
than Shaqi Abd al Nasir, the late President Nasser's brother.
In addition to promoting The Protocols of the Elders of
Zion, the Arabs have revived the most outrageous mediaeval
lies about Jews killing non-Jewish children and using their
blood for ritual purposes, human sacrifices, etc.
In 1962 Egypt's National Publishing House produced a book entitled
Talmudic Human Sacrifice. The introduction states (page 7):
The Talmud believes that the Jews are made from different material
from the rest of mankind, who are the servants and property of the
Jews . . . The Jewish sages commanded them to illtreat the rest of
the nations, to kill their children to suck their blood and to takepossession of their riches.
Similar themes are contained in The End of Israel by Abu
Al-Majd, published in Cairo in 1960 with an introduction by
the director of Cairo Radio's "Voice of the Arabs". It quotes
the alleged evidence of a "Rabbi Taunitus", a convert to
Christianity, who testified that
The Zionists believe that Christian blood is essential for the
performance of several religious rites.
As alleged examples he makes the extraordinary assertions
that at Jewish weddings bride and groom are given eggs
stained with Christian blood, at circumcisions Rabbis put
drops of Christian blood into a child's mouth, and when
Zionists mourn the destruction of the Temple they smear
their foreheads with Christian blood. When Christian blood is
unavailable Moslem blood may be used as a substitute!
Mahmud Nanaa in his Zionism in the Sixties, The Vatican, and the
Jews, published in Cairo in 1963 by the official Egyptian Institute for
Publications, states:
The kneading of Passover Matzot with gentile blood is not a
groundless charge against the Jews. We have in our possession
hundreds of proofs from East and West, in ancient history and
modern times, of this barbaric traditional Jewish custom.
Abdallah Al Tal, a signatory to the Armistice Agreement in Jerusalem,
published a book in Cairo in 1964 entitled The Danger of the World
Judaism for Islam and Christianity. On page 20 he states:
The God of the Jews is not satisfied with the sacrifices of animals,
but needs to be placated with human sacrifices. Hence the Jewish
The Case for Israel
practice of slaughtering children and sucking their blood in order to
mix it with unleavened bread for the Passover.
Tal details h o w the Jews kill these children by placing
them in barrels equipped with hollow needles which pierce
their bodies, and through which the blood flows into
drainage pipes. Tal claims that only a small proportion of
these Jewish child murders are detected among the vast
majority of thousands of children, who simply disappear
every year (p. 104):
They are mostly the victims of Jewish religious rites and their blood
sinks into the bellies of the Jews together with the unleavened bread of
their four festivals.
The Bible described exactly the nature of the Jewish people and
clearly brings out the character of the Jewish faith, which is built on
treachery, baseness, barbarism, hatred, corruption, fanaticism,
covetness, arrogance, and immorality . . .
A critical and honest examination of the provisions of the Jewish
faith will show that the criminal character of the Jews is not accidental
or due to the persecutions that were their lot for many centuries, but is
the outcome of the Jewish faith itself.
The Fatah Radio Station from Cairo announced (April 24, 1970):
Reports from the captured homeland tell that the Zionist enemy has
begun to kidnap small children from the streets. Afterwards the
occupying forces take the blood of the children and throw away
their empty bodies. The inhabitants of Gaza have seen this with
their own eyes.
Similar outrageous nonsense is expressed in Israel the Enemy
of Africa, issued in 1964 by the Egyptian Ministry of
The Talmud says: If a non-Jew steals from a Jew, he must be put to
death, whereas if a Jew lays his hand on the property of a non-Jew
he is not liable for punishment. The Jews base this on the
commandment that one must not rob a relation. And as they do not
consider non-Jews to be related to them, then they may rob them as
they please. The Talmud also allows the Jew to cheat the non-Jew
and charge him high interest on loans, but he must not cheat a Jew
like himself.
The Talmud condones the murder of the non-Jew. It says "The
killing of a non-Jew is not a crime. On the contrary it pleases God!"
The Talmud adds that it is forbidden for a Jew to help a non-Jew get
out of a hole. It decrees that the Jew must cover the hole with a
stone and bury the non-Jew alive.
Other grotesque anti-Semitic themes are also utilized:—
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
Voice of the Arabs, Cairo (August 6, 1955):
Israel dreams of establishing its criminal regime and of enslaving the
entire world and of spreading terror and corruption to secure world
domination for its interests. Israel's Bible pictures inhuman
barbarism, as expressed by the crucifixion of Christ and the
torturing of his disciples . . . Only wantoness, hatred and barbarism
are the means of exterminating Israelis in Palestine and in every
other place.
It is significant that none other than Colonel Anwar Al Sadat
then Egyptian Minister of State, today President of the
United Arab Republic, also generated this genre of poisonous
hatred against Jews. He was quoted in the Cairo daily
"Egyptian Mail" as stating (November 26, 1955):
The Zionists claim that their Holy Book states that Jews enjoy
preference over gentiles, who are all dogs and pigs, and whose
houses are like pens; that any good which a Jew does for a gentile is
a mortal sin; and that the practice of lending money at exorbitant
interest to non-Jews is permissible on the grounds that all the
property of the gentiles had been usurped from the Jews and
therefore it must be taken from them by all means . . . Such is the
law which the Zionists wish to apply. By gentiles they mean all
creatures on earth except themselves. The Jews believe that all the
good things on earth belong to them and so they should try to
dominate the whole earth and its inhabitants.
Jamil Baroody, the Saudi Arabian representative to the
United Nations, told the General Assembly (July 17, 1967):
It was in Jerusalem that Jesus laboured and died . . . Jesus does not
exist for Ben Gurion and therefore Jesus should have no place in
Jerusalem . . . The Christians and Moslems, however, are to be
tolerated in visiting their Holy shrines for the revenue which will be
gathered from them to fill Israel's coffers. But this time there will be
no Jesus to drive money-traders from the Temple. What a shame,
what a shame that Jerusalem should come to this.
These quotations are merely a cross-section of typical, not
exceptional, extracts; they are indicative of the manner in
which Jews are presented throughout the Arab mass media.
In addition, monstrous cartoons and caricatures, reminiscent
of the worst Nazi anti-Semitic stereotypes, appear regularly
throughout the Arab press.
(5) Anti-Semitic Indoctrination of School Children
One of the most heart-breaking aspects of anti-Semitism in
Arab countries is the extent to which the educational system
The Case for Israel
United Arab Republic
Ministry of Education and Instruction
for third-year high school
(Names of four authors)
Printing rights reserved to the Ministry
O Mother of Israel! Dry your years, your children's blood which is
being spilled in the desert will produce naught but thorn and
wormwood. Wipe off your blood, O Mother of Israel, have mercy and
spare the desert your filthy blood, O Mother of Israel. Remove your
slain, for their flesh has caused the ravens belly-ache and their stink
causes rheum. Cry, O Mother of Israel, and wail. Let every house be the
Wailing Wall of the Jews. Let it be under every fence (p. 163).
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
Copyright reserved to the Ministry
of Education and Instruction (Syria)
for third-year junior high school
By a group of scholars
The Cooperative Printing House
Carrying out the unity of the countries of the Arab homeland will
provide them with the strongest possible weapon enabling them to
restore the stolen right, to strangle Israel, to tear her ambitions to
pieces and throw her into the sea (p. 64).
Israel exists today in the heart of the Arab homeland. Its extermination
is a prerequisite for the preservation of Arabism and the renaissance of
the Arabs (ibid., p. 26).
The Case for Israel
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ministry of Education and Instruction
Department for School Curricula
and Textbooks.
for first-year high school
(Names of four authors)
Printed by the Ministry of Education
and Instruction in the Arab Legion
Printing House.
Thus Israel was born and thus the malignant cancer came to infect the
Arab Homeland. King Abdullah [grandfather of King Hussein] called it
'a cataract in the eye, a thorn in the living flesh, and a bone in the
throat'. Like the cry of Cato, the famous Roman orator, 'Carthage must
be destroyed', so you Arab boys and girls must cling to the slogan
'Israel must be destroyed' (ibid., p. 106).
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
(Egyptian State Seal)
The Ministry of Education
and Instruction
for third-year teacher training
(five-year programme)
(Names of two authors)
The Arab Socialist Union
The People's Printing House
The Jews are always the same, every time and everywhere. They will
not live save in darkness. They contrive their evils clandestinely. They
fight only when they are hidden, because they are cowards (p.47).
The Prophet enlightened us about the right way to treat them [the
Jews] and succeeded finally in crushing the plots that they had
planned. We today must follow this way and purify Holy Palestine from
their filth in order to bring back peace to the Arab homeland (p. 48).
The Case for Israel
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ministry of Education and Instruction
Department of School Curricula
and Textbooks
for the sixth-year junior school
(Names of three authors)
In 1964, following the growing Zionist danger, the President of the
U.A.R. called upon the leaders of the Arab countries to hold an Arab
Summit Conference to deal with the danger. All the Arab nations
responded to the call, and King Hussein was the first to respond. The
conference convened in 1964 and formulated a comprehensive plan for
the fulfilment of the greatest Arab aspiration: the extermination of
Israel (p. 156).
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ministry of Education and Instruction
Department for School Curricula
and Textbooks
for third-year high school (arts)
by Dhukan al-Hindawi
Printed by the Ministry of Education
and Instruction in the Arab Legion
Printing House.
The following passage is introduced as a quotation from the notorious
anti-Jewish forgery, 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion':
Whenever we [the Jews] find that the gaze of world public opinion is
cast towards the truth, we must strive to divert it in a different
direction. Our task is to prevent any serious and healthy consideration
by inventing new objects. Another" means of diverting the opinion of
the public is by filling in their free time with all sorts of amusements
and artistic entertaining and sports competitions. Our slogan is force
and deceit and with these means we shall achieve our object without
being deterred from using bribery, lies and treachery. We must
unhesitatingly carry out the theft of property of others (p. 41).
The Case for Israel
itself formally promotes it. The vilest forms of hatred against
Jews are incorporated in the curriculum and nurture the
seeds for future Arab anti-Semites from the day the children
first set foot in school. Extracts from leading Arab
government text-books illustrate this point:
United Arab Republic Ministry of Education and Instruction —
Grammar for First-Year High School (page 244):
The Arabs do not cease to act for the extermination of Israel.
Syrian Ministry of Education — Islamic Teaching for Sixth-Year
Elementary School (page 169):
The Jews always and everywhere dislike people living in peace, since
their rule and domination over others depends on the existence of
anarchy, division and contention.
U.A.R. Ministry of Education and Instruction — Religious Teaching for
First-Year Secondary Students (page 119):
The Jews, more than others, incline to rebellion and disobedience.
These verses warn you against the Jews. Explain it!
Syrian Ministry of Education and Instruction — The Religious
Ordinances — Reader for Second-Year Junior High School (page 138):
The Jews are scattered to the ends of the earth where they live
exiled and despised since by their nature they are vile, greedy and
enemies of mankind; by their nature they were tempted to steal
land as asylum,for their disgrace.
Syrian Ministry of Education and Instruction — Basic Spelling for
Fifth- Year Elementary School — Exercises:
Analyse the following sentences:
1. The Merchant himself travelled to the African continent.
2. We shall expel all the Jews from the Arab countries.
Jordanian Ministry of Education and Instruction — Islamic for
Fifth-Year Junior School (page 53):
It is the obligation of the Moslems to guard this Holy Land and not
to let the Jews stay in any part of the country since it is Holy for
the Moslems.
Jordanian Ministry of Education and Instruction — The Palestinian
Problem (pages 40, 42 & 42), by Dhuqan al Hindawi for Third-Year
High-School Students. Printed by the Ministry of Education for
13-year-old School children. The author was King Hussein's Minister of
Education from 1964 to 1967:
It transpires from the intrigues which were uncovered in various
European and Asiatic countries in the years 1950—1960 that
imperialist intelligence depends only on Jewish elements, some of
which had the opportunity of obtaining ministerial and senior party
posts in the countries where these elements carried out espionage.
Arab Hatred and Anti-Semitism
The case of Beria, the Interior Minister of the U.S.S.R., who was
executed in 1956 for being the greatest spy in Russia, is only one
example of the Zionists' intelligence octopus. Beria did not spy for
the U.S.A. or England but for the object of World Zionism.
This textbook also incorporates quotations from the notorious forgery
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (see p. 35 above):
Whenever we (the Jews) find that the gaze of world public opinion
is cast towards the truth, we must strive to divert it in a different
direction. Our task is to prevent any serious and healthy
consideration by inventing new objects. Another means of diverting
the opinion of the public is by filling in their free time with all sorts
of amusements and artistic entertainment and sports competitions.
Our slogan is force and deceit and with these means we shall achieve
our object without being deterred from using bribery, lies and
treachery. We must unhesitatingly carry out the theft of property of
According to the recommendations [of the 'Protocols'], the Zionists
used the spread of corruption and decay as an objective and as a means.
Precedents for this were found in the Bible . . . The Bible justified
intercourse between the two spies and the harlot from Jericho. The
Bible favoured this since it aided them in their task of espionage, which
in turn helped Joshua to conquer the town . . . and, according to the
instructions of the Elders of Zion, and to what it mentioned in the
Bible, the Zionists saw the spread of corruption and decay as an
objective and as a means.
Nine additional pages are devoted to extracts from The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion in which, amongst other things, it is alleged that Jews
sacrifice babies.
The Arab Refugees
(1) Why the Refugees fled in 1948
More than half a million Palestinian Arabs left Israel in 1948
during the Israeli War of Independence. Approximately one
fifth of them found permanent homes, or resettled, in other
Arab countries.
The Arabs left Israel for a number of reasons. A major
contributing factor was that a substantial proportion of the
Palestinian Arab middle and professional classes emigrated
voluntarily with much of their property as soon as it was
proposed that a Jewish state should be established in the
country. They found ample opportunities open to them in
the rest of the Arab world. Many of the rank and file Arab
peasants in towns and villages therefore fled because they had
been deserted by their leaders and they believed propaganda
from the radio stations of neighbouring Arab states.
Another reason lay in the fact that Palestinian Arabs were
traditionally accustomed to temporary flight as a means of
avoiding involvement in any kind of warfare. When rival
Arabs raided villages the weaker village residents usually fled,
and returned after the raids to restore their homes and repair
Only a very small percentage of the overall Arab civilian
population left directly as a result of the Israeli Army. This
t o o k place in Ramleh and Lydda where the Army was forced
to bring about evacuation after the residents had continued
indulging in acts of armed hostility after the capture of the
The overwhelming majority of Arabs fled because they
were urged to do so by their leaders. There would have been
no refugee problem if leaders of the Arab states had not
The Arab Refugees
declared war on Israel and urged their Palestinian kinsmen to
evacuate Israel and return after the destruction of the Jewish
state. It has become fashionable for pro-Arab apologists to
claim that the refugee problem was brought about by the
victorious Israelis either chasing the Arabs out or terrorising
them by indulging in atrocities. The only atrocity that Arabs
can refer to is the tragedy of Deir Yassin where 200 Arab
villagers were killed in the course of a battle with Irgun
forces. The Irgun were one of the minority anti-British
establishment of the Jewish state and the creation of a single
Israeli army. The incident was unreservedly condemned by all
Jewish authorities, despite the fact that the Irgun leaders
maintained that the Arab deaths could not have been
Menachem Begin, the Irgun leader, conceded that the
Hagana had warned them against the attack. However, he
claimed that the village was in a strategic position and that
prior to the attack repeated loudspeaker warnings in Arabic
had appealed to non-combatants to evacuate the village.
Instead, the village became an armed fortification and
directed effective fire against the Irgun troops. A prominent
inhabitant of the village subsequently declared in the
Jordanian newspaper Al Urdun (April 9, 1953):
The Jews never intended to hurt the population of the village, but were
forced to do so after they met enemy fire from the population, which
killed the Irgun Commander. The Arab exodus from other villages was
not caused by the actual battle, but by the exaggerated description
spread by Arab leaders to incite them to fight the Jews.
In view of oft-quoted Arab denials that they themselves
urged the Palestinian refugees to leave, the following
extensive documentation primarily from Arab sources
refuting this is incorporated:
Monsignor George Hakim, the Greek Catholic Archbishop of Galilee,
informed the Lebanese newspaper, Sada al Janub (August 16,. 1948):
The refugees had been confident that their absence from Palestine
would not last long, that they would return within a few days,
within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the
Arab armies would crush the Zionist 'gangs' very quickly and that
there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile.
The Case for Israel
Emile Ghoury, Secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in
an interview with the Beirut Telegraph (September 6, 1948):
The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of
the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state.
The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must
share in the solution of the problem.
The Economist (October 2, 1948) London:
During subsequent days the Jewish authorities, who were now in
complete control of Haifa (save for limited districts still held by the
British troops), urged all Arabs to remain in Haifa and guaranteed
them protection and security. As far as I know, most of the British
civilian residents whose advice was asked by Arab friends told the
latter that they would be wise to stay. However, of the 62,000
Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa, not more than 5,000 or 6,000
remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in
flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of these factors
were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher
Executive, urging all Arabs in Haifa to q u i t . . . It was clearly
intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted
Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.
The Jordanian daily newspaper, Falastin (February 19, 1949):
The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave
their homes temporarily in order to be out of the- way of the Arab
invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these
Habib Issa, editor of Al Hoda, a New York Lebanese newspaper (June
8, 1951):
The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha,assured the
Arab people that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would
be as simple as a military promenade . . . He pointed out that they
were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had
spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for
it would be a simple matter to throw the Jews into the
Mediterranean . . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of
Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay
temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states, lest the guns of the
invading Arab armies mow them down.
Kul-Shay (Moslem weekly), Beirut (August 19, 1951):
Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now
from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who
have neither honour nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire
straits and penniless, after they lost their honour? The Arab states,
and Lebanon amongst them, did it.
The Jordanian daily newspaper, Al Urdun (April 9, 1953):
For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are
The Arab Refugees
responsible because of their dissemination of rumours exaggerating
Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame
the Arabs . . . By spreading rumours of Jewish atrocities, killings
of women and children, etc. they instilled fear and terror in the
hearts of the Arabs in Palestine until they fled leaving their homes
and property to the enemy.
The Jordanian journal, Ad-Difaa (September 6, 1954):
We were masters in our land, happy with out lot . . . but overnight
everything changed. The Arab government told us "Get out so that
we can get in" — so we got out but they (the Arab government) did
not get in.
Mahmoud Seif ed-Din Irani, With the People (Amman, Jordan 1956):
All of a sudden, the people of Jaffa began to evacuate their town,
abandoning it in the middle of a fight, even before its climax . . . I
now see that we fought only half-heartedly . . . Our many quarrels
kept us too busy. We left the country of our own free will believing
we were going on a short visit, a trip and soon we would return as if
nothing had happened and as if there had never been a war.
Bulletin of the Research Group of European Migration Problems,
January 1957 (The Hague), pp. 10-11.
As early as the first months of 1948 the Arab League issued orders
exhorting the people to seek temporary refuge in the neighbouring
countries, later to return to their abodes in the wake of the
victorious Arab armies and obtain their share of abandoned Jewish
The Secret Behind the Disaster, by Nimer Al-Hawari, former
Commander of the para military Arab Youth Organization in Palestine:
The Arabs' eyes were blinded and their brains clogged. They were
confused by promises and deluded by their leaders. The Palestinian
Arabs were ignorant and easily led astray. They were short-sighted
and unthinking and subjected to a gangster leadership . . . which
herded them like docile sheep . . . Many left temporarily, they
thought, to await the passing of the storm . . . The leaders rattled
their sabres, delivered fiery speeches and wrote stirring articles.
Iraq's Prime Minister had thundered "We shall smash the country
with our guns and destroy and obliterate every place the Jews will
seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children
to safe areas until the fighting has died down."
The Cairo daily - Akhbar el Yom (October 12, 1963):
The 15th May 1948 arrived . . . On that very day the Mufti of
Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country,
because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead.
In the light of this, the contrasting appeals of the Jews who
urged the Arabs to remain should be noted:
The Case for Israel
The Assembly of Palestinian Jewry (Vaad Leumi) (October 2, 1947):
The Jewish people extends the hand of sincere friendship and
brotherhood to the Arab peoples and calls them to co-operate as
free and equal allies for the sake of peace and progress, for the
benefit of their respective countries.
Haifa British Police Report to Police Headquarters in Jerusalem (April
26, 1948):
Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab
populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their
shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and
interests will be safe.
Appeal by the Haifa Workers Council (extracts from posters distributed
in Arabic and Hebrew throughout Haifa, April 28, 1948):
For years we lived together in our city, Haifa, in security and in
mutual understanding and brotherhood. Thanks to this, our city
flourished and developed for the good of both Jewish and Arab
residents, and thus did Haifa serve as an example to the other cities
in Palestine . . . We are peace-loving people! There is no cause for
the fear which others try to instil in you. There is no hatred in our
hearts, nor evil in our intentions towards peace-loving residents who,
like us, are bent upon work and creative effort. Do not fear! Do not
destroy your homes with your own hands; do n o t block off your
sources of livelihood; and do not bring upon yourselves tragedy by
unnecessary evacuation and self-imposed burdens. By moving out
you will be overtaken by poverty and humiliation. But in this city,
yours and ours, Haifa, the gates are open for work, for life and for
peace, for you and your families . . . Workers, our joint city, Haifa,
calls upon you to join in its upbuilding, its advancement, its
development. Do not betray your city and do not betray yourselves.
Follow your true interests, and follow the good and upright path.
Federation of Jewish Workers in Palestine
Appeal from the Assembly of Palestinian Jewry (Vaad Leumi)
(December 3, 1947):
Arabs! The National Council of Jews in Palestine sends you words
of peace and calls on you not to follow those who invite you to
riots, and bloodshed. The Jews plan to build their state . . . with
complete co-operation and friendship. They have no interest in
destruction, but in construction. The Jewish effort developed and
enriched all of the country in the past — and it will continue to be
in the future a perpetual source of blessing to Jews and Arabs
alike . . . Remove the inciters from your public forums and take the
hand which is stretched out to you in peace.
Appeal from the Zionist General Council (April 12, 1948):
At this hour, when bloodshed and strife have been forced upon us,
The Arab Refugees
we turn to the Arabs in the Jewish state, and to our neighbours in
adjacent territories, with an appeal for brotherhood and peace.
Israel's Proclamation of Independence (May 14, 1948):
In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab
inhabitants of the state of Israel to return to the ways of peace, and
to play their part in the development of the state with full and equal
citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions,
provisional and permanent.
It is perhaps pertinent to observe that the U.S.S.R., which
today strongly supports the Arab version of the origin of
the Arab refugees and holds Israel responsible, did n o t
always have this attitude:
The Soviet Delegate to the U.N. Security Council stated
on March 4, 1949:
Statements have also been made on the Arab refugee question, but
why should the state of Israel be blamed for the existence of that
problem? When seeking to determine the responsibility for the
existence of the problem of the Arab refugees, we cannot fail to
mention the outside forces I have already referred to. They pursue
their own selfish interests for the monopoly exploitation of the oil
wealth of the Near and Middle East and the creation of military
strategic bases, which have nothing in common either with the cause
of peace and international security or the interests of the Arab and
Jewish peoples and only correspond to the aggressive designs of the
leading circles of some states.
(2) UNRWA and the true number of bona fide Arab Refugees
There are conflicting estimates ranging from 600,000 to
2,000,000, as to how many Arab refugees exist. The number
has usually been greatly exaggerated.
Arabs who lived in the area covered by Israel in 1949
numbered approximately 750,000. Of them, 160,000
remained in Israel after the exodus, showing that up to
600,000 bona fide Arab refugees had left Israel. Early
UNRWA reports indicated that a substantial proportion of
these, probably in excess of twenty per cent, found
permanent homes and resettled in. other parts of the Arab
The Case for Israel
1,300,000 Arab refugees! The reason for this discrepancy lies
in the fact that many Arabs in J o r d a n and Gaza, who had
never lived in Israel, claimed that they were entitled to relief
and attained the status of refugees. In addition padding of
the rolls has been notorious; many deaths are not reported, as
ration cards are valued as currency. Until 1967 UNRWA had
no means of verifying the eligibility or genuiness of those
registered on the rolls.
* The United Nations Economic Survey Commission
reported on 28 December 1949 that the number of bogus
refugees on the list at that stage was as high as 160,000.
* In 1952 UNRWA stated:
Whereas all births are eagerly announced, the deaths, wherever
possible, are passed over in silence so that the family may continue
to collect rations for the deceased.
* Henry Labouisse, UNRWA Director, told a Palestinian
Refugee Conference in Jerusalem (July 20, 1955):
There are refugees who hold as many as five hundred UNRWA
ration cards and there are dealers in UNRWA approved clothing
ration cards.
The Arabs exploited UNRWA in other areas. For example,
UNRWA paid indirectly for Arab text-books which fanned
anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel amongst Arab children.
Arab refugees who joined Arab terrorist organizations also
remained on the rolls and continued receiving UNRWA
* In J u n e 1967, when Israel assumed jurisdiction of the
administered territories, the bogus refugee rolls and
similar discrepancies were cleared u p .
* It is significant that since assuming these responsibilities
in 1967 Israel has also made substantial contributions to
UNRWA, amounting to over three million dollars up to
the end of 1971.
* The bulk of funds for UNRWA come from the United
States which provided $455 million of UNRWA's total
income of $700 million. The U.S.S.R. has never
contributed at all, and the oil-rich Arab states have
contributed a mere pittance.
The Arab Refugees
(3) Why Israel is unable to repatriate Arab Refugees
Israel has frequently expressed a willingness to extend limited
repatriation to Arabs separated from their families and has in
fact permitted tens of thousands of refugees in this category
to return. Israel has also repeatedly offered compensation for
Arab refugees within the context of a peace settlement with
the Arab states.
However, a mass repatriation of Arab refugees pledged to
the destruction of the state of Israel could not be accepted
by Israel, as such a move would jeopardise her very existence.
This is spelled out openly in hostile Arab statements:
Dr. Mohammed Salah ed-Din, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, stated in
Al Misri (October 1 1 , 1949):
In demanding the restoration of the refugees to Palestine, the Arabs
intend that they shall return as the masters of their homeland, and
not as slaves. More explicitly, they intend to annihilate the State of
The Lebanese newspaper, Al Siad, advocated (April 6, 1950):
The return of the refugees in order to create a large Arab majority
that would serve as the most effective means of reviving the Arab
character of Palestine while forming a powerful fifth column for the
day of revenge and reckoning.
The Jordanian daily, Falastin (January 28, 1956):
The Arab refugees will not be returned to Palestine except by war,
which will preface their return. Palestine Arabs only demand arms,
mobilization and training. The rest they will do themselves.
Beirut publication, Al-Massa (July 15, 1957) Resolution adopted by the
Conference of Arab Refugees at Horns, Syria, July 11-12, 1957.
Any discussions aimed at a solution of the Palestinian problem
which will not be based on ensuring the refugees' right to annihilate
Israel will be regarded as a desecration of the Arab people and an act
of treason.
President Nasser in an interview with Zuericher Woche (September 1,
If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist.
Al Nashashibi, editor of UAR daily, Al Jumhuriya (May 14, 1961):
We do not want to return with the flag of Israel flying on a single
square metre of our country, and if indeed we wish to return this is
an honoured and honourable return and not a degrading return, not
a return that will make us citizens of the state of Israel.
U.A.R. Government Radio "Voice of the Arabs" (June 25, 1961):
We will return to Palestine not as refugees, but as masters of the
The Case for Israel
homeland. Soon the march will begin and all the refugees will return
to their homeland.
U.A.R. Government Radio, "Voice of the Arabs" (June 26, 1961):
The refugees will not return under the protection of the Israeli gang,
but will become a liberated state in which not a single Zionist will
have a foothold and which will fly only the flag of the Arabs.
Cairo daily, Al Jumhuriya (June 27, 1961):
The refugees will not return while the flag of Israel flies over
Palestine soil. They will return when the flag of Palestine is hoisted
over Arab Palestine.
U.A.R. Government Radio, "Voice of the Arabs" (September 13,
It is obvious that the return of one million Arabs to Palestine will
make them the majority of Israel's inhabitants. Then they will be
able to impose their will on the Jews and expel them from Palestine.
Nasser told the UAR National Assembly, (March 26, 1964):
Israel thought the ending of the refugee problem would lead to the
ending of the Palestine problem, but the danger lies in the very
existence of Israel.
Al Nashashibi, editor of U.A.R. daily, Al Jumhuriya (May 20, 1964):
The people . . . are well aware that a just solution to the problem of
Palestine means the restoration of Palestine to the Arabs and the
resettlement of all the refugees in their plundered homeland. The
just solution is the liquidation of imperialism represented by Israel,
which serves it as a base and a bridgehead.
The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Abdullah al-Yafi, reported in daily
Al-Hayat (April 29, 1966):
The day of the realization of the Arab hope for the return of the
refugees to Palestine means the liquidation of Israel.
It should be noted that since 1949 Israel has admitted and
resettled more than 50,000 Arabs under family reunification
programmes and has also freed accounts and safety deposits
of Arab refugees in Israeli banks. Israel has also permitted
over 25,000 Arabs from J o r d a n to return to their homes on
the West Bank or in Gaza. Moreover Israel did this despite the
fact that the Jordanian Minister of the Interior, Al Majali,
made statements in August 1967 such as:
Every refugee should return to help his brothers to continue their
political activities, and remain a thorn in the flesh of the aggressor until
the crisis has been solved.
The Arab Refugees
(4) The Reasons for the Continued Existence
of the Arab Refugee Problem
The Arabs have deliberately maintained the miserable plight
of the Arab refugees as a propaganda weapon against Israel.
Report by the Commission of Churches on International Affairs,
compiled by the World Council of Churches' Adviser on Refugees, Dr.
Elfan Rees (1957):
I hold the view that, political issues aside, the Arab refugee problem
is by far the easiest post-war refugee problem to solve by
integration. By faith, language, race and by social organisation they
are indistinguishable from their fellows of their host countries.
There is room for them in Syria and Iraq. There is a developing
demand for the kind of manpower they represent. More unusually
still, there is the money to make this integration possible. The
United Nations General Assembly, five years ago, donated a sum of
$200,000,000 to provide, and here I quote the phrase "homes and
jobs" for the Arab refugees. That money remains unspent, not
because these tragic people are strangers in a strange land — because
they are not, not because there is no room for them to be
established — because there is, but simply for political reasons.
Radio Cairo (July 19, 1957):
The refugees are the corner-stone in the Arab struggle against Israel.
The refugees are the armaments of the Arabs and Arab nationalism.
Beirut daily, Al Hayat (June 24, 1959):
Firstly it should be noted that the Arabs today are the last people
interested in the return of the refugees or in trying to render them
justice. The Arab states use the suffering of the refugees as a weapon
in their struggle. But this struggle has not yet taken place and it does
not look as though the Arab states are getting ready now to wage it
in the near future. Eleven years have already passed, the refugees are
still scattered, and time has begun to leave its mark on them. The
old generation is disappearing and a new generation, foreign to its
motherland, has arisen.
Beirut daily, Al Hayat (June 25, 1959):
It is only regrettable that the refugees themselves have been
prepared to lend themselves to this policy of blindness. They have
not succeeded in organizing themselves properly in order to prevent
the Arab states from leaving the right track. History will determine
that our brothers the refugees are in a very large measure responsible
for their tragedy because of their primitive emotions and hopeless
enthusiasm. Everybody in the Arab states, among the refugees, and
all over the world knows that we the Arabs, in our present position
and on the basis of our present policy, will not do a thing for the
refugees. Nevertheless we 'reject' resettlement and accuse any
The Case for Israel
foreigner who dares mention the word 'resettlement' of treason,
imperialism and intrigue; even if he only wants to help us or the
The time has come for us to rid ourselves of this hysteria of
verbal bravery and empty dreams at our expense and at that of the
refugees. The time has come for the Arab states to forgo their
ambition to compete for the support of the mobs in a contest of
words about Palestine and to move from a policy of 'crocodile tears'
to one of plans, means and aims.
Beirut daily, L'Orient (1957):
The responsibility of the Arab governments is very great. For eight
years these governments have been applying to the refugees an
inhuman policy. Under the pretence of cultivating the longing for
their houses in Palestine, and for the purpose of maintaining a
menacing population on the frontiers of Isreal, these governments.
have systematically rejected all attemps to integrate and find
employment for the refugees.
King Hussein stated (January 17, 1970):
The Arab leaders have used the Palestinian people for selfish
political purposes. This is ridiculous and I could say criminal.
It should be noted that whilst the Jordanians at least
offered the refugees citizenship status, Egyptian rule in Gaza
was a purgatory for the refugees, who were virtual prisoners.
Few were allowed to emigrate, and they were barred from
Egypt. The Saudi Arabian Radio, on March 10, 1962, likened
Nasser's regime in Gaza to Hitler's regime in occupied
territories in World War II.
(5) A Contrast — Israel's Integration of Jewish
Refugees from Arab Countries
Over 500,000 Jews, many of them destitute, were driven out
of the Arab countries and successfully absorbed and
integrated into the Jewish state after 1948. The break-up of
Jewish refugees from Arab countries to Israel was as follows:
Lebanon & Syria
Prior to the establishment of Israel the Arabs made no
secret of the fact that Jews in Moslem countries would suffer
if a Jewish state would come into being.
The Arab Refugees
Muhammed Hussein Heykal Pasha, Chairman of the Egyptian
Delegation to the United Nations told the General Assembly Ad Hoc
Committee on Palestine (November 24, 1947):
The lives of one million Jews in Moslem countries would be
jeopardised by partition. . . If Arab blood is shed in Palestine,
Jewish blood will necessarily be shed elsewhere in the world despite
all the sincere efforts of the governments concerned to prevent such
Jamal al Husseini, Chairman of the Palestine Arab Committee stated
(November 24, 1947):
It must be remembered that there are as many Jews in the Arab
world as there are in Palestine, whose position under such
conditions, will become very precarious even though the Arab states
may do the best to save their skins.
Hundreds of thousands of other Jewish refugees, mainly
survivors from Nazi concentration camps, were also
successfully integrated in Israel.
(6) Could the Refugees have been integrated
by the Arab States?
Arab refugees have not been expelled into an alien
environment. An Arab refugee living in J o r d a n or Gaza is still
living amongst the same people, culture, and way of life as
that which he left in Palestine. The actual movement from
one part of Palestine to the West Bank, represented no
fundamental wrench for the Arabs. So far as they were
concerned both banks of the J o r d a n were home for them.
Indeed, there is no question that settlement in a prosperous
Arab Palestine would be far more meaningful as a solution
for the refugees than repatriation to Israel, a country which
would appear alien to them, with a level of life and taxation
to which they would be totally unaccustomed. The
movement of Arabs within Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as
well as in other areas such as Kuwait, demonstrates the fact
that the nationalism of the Palestinian refugees has been
synthetically created and exploited as a political tactic
against Israel. In the case of the Palestinian refugees, village
patriotism has been raised as a sacred cause. It is significant
that Nasser faced no problems about dislodging whole villages
for the Aswan Dam projects. In view of the Soviet stand in
The Case for Israel
this matter the tremendous population movements which
have been undertaken within the Soviet Union whenever this
was required for Soviet political or economic purposes should
also be mentioned.
Economic conditions do not represent the worst feature
of life in the refugee camps, as many refugees have a higher
standard of living than the people living outside the Camps.
The tragedy of their status lies in the alienation brought about
by a false existence based on hatred of Israel and inculcated
delusions of conquering Israel, killing the Jews and
appropriating houses and farms which most of the refugees
would never recognize, and those under 25 have never seen.
It is pertinent to stress that the whole educational system
in the refugee camps is based on maintaining and inflaming
hatred of Israel amongst these young Arabs. A commission of
experts appointed by UNESCO in 1967-68 pointed out that
in the UNRWA schools:
The choice of historic events selected is almost always centered on
Palestine, but an excessive importance is given to the problem of
relations between the Prophet Mohammed and the Jews of Arabia, in
terms tending to convince the young people that the Jewish community
as a whole has always been and always will be the irreconcilable enemy
of the Muslim community . . . The term Israel is never used in text
books and never features on any map to designate a state entity. The
territories constituting the state of Israel are frequently designated as
the "usurped portion of Palestine."
* Similar sentiments were expressed by the Syrian Minister
of Education, Suleman al Khash, who wrote to M. Rene
Mahey, Director General of UNESCO (May 3, 1968):
The hatred (concerning Israel) which we indoctrinate into the minds
of our children from their birth is sacred.
* In m a n y Arab countries such as Iraq there is a shortage of
manpower, yet visitors to the West Bank will frequently
observe that there are huge tracts of fertile territory
adjacent to refugee camps lying fallow demonstrating that
the authorities have made no effort to divert refugees from
the camps to a constructive agricultural mode of existence.
Who possesses more wealth than the Arabs with their oil
wells in Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia? These three
The Arab Refugees
countries alone could solve t h e Arab refugee problem
overnight by diverting only a small percentage of their
enormous wealth from oil for such a humanitarian
purpose. Other countries such as Egypt, Syria and Iraq
could have established all these refugees on a very high
standard of living if only a small proportion of their arms
budget had been diverted to such a goal.
* It must be emphasised that the Arab refugee problem is a
minor one compared with the major refugee upheavals
that have been solved by integration over the last thirty
Over 40 million European post-war refugees were successfully
reintegrated and today lead constructive lives.
15 million Indian and Pakistani refugees have been re-settled.
9 million East German refugees were re-settled in West Germany.
4 million Korean refugees were re-settled from the North.
At the same time it must be stressed t h a t no refugee
problem of large dimensions has ever been solved by
repatriation. The Israelis are certainly not an obstacle to a
negotiated solution. On the contrary:
Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, speaking to the U.N. General
Assembly suggested (October 8, 1968) that:
A conference of Middle Eastern states should be convened, together
with the governments contributing to refugee relief and the
specialised agencies of the United Nations, in order to chart a
five-year plan for the solution of the refugee problem in the
framework of a lasting peace and the integration of the refugees into
productive life. Under the peace settlement, joint refugee
integration and rehabilitation commissions should be established by
the signatories in order to approve agreed projects for refugee
integration in the Middle East, with regional and international aid.
Michael Comay, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. stated (November 25,
The Israeli government contemplate that a refugee programme
would include a reintegration and compensation fund which would
provide the financial means for land settlement, economic self
support, land, migration and compensation for abandoned property.
I would reaffirm the willingness of my government to give prompt
and substantial support to such a fund.
The Israeli Arabs and
the Jews in Arab Countries
(1) The Israeli Arabs
In 1970 there were 422,700 Arabs in Israel (including 66,000
in Jerusalem since 1967) as compared with 156,000 when the
state of Israel was established in 1948. The Arab increase was
brought about by natural causes (an increase in the birth rate
and a substantial decrease in the death rate as a result of
better medical facilities) as well as by family reunification
permitted by Israel. Those refugees who returned to Israel
were granted full citizenship rights. Approximately 74 per
cent of Israeli Arabs are Moslem, 17 per cent are Christian
and 8 per cent are Druze.
The only real civil distinction between Israeli Jews and
Arabs is that Arabs are not required to serve in the Army.
* Israeli Arabs have full voting rights (85 per cent voted at
the last election) and in 1969 elected seven Arab members
of parliament. There is at present one Arab deputy
parliamentary speaker and two Arab deputy cabinet
ministers. All speeches in parliament are simultaneously
translated into Arabic. Courts, stamps, and coins employ
Arabic as the second language. There are two Arabic daily
newspapers as well as numerous weeklies and periodicals
and Arabic publishing houses operate without restrictions.
There is also a popular Arabic radio programme which
operates for fourteen hours a day.
* There is a network of Arab schools using the Arabic
language. Arab children, like Israelis, must attend school
until the age of fourteen. As a result, over 90 per cent of
Arab children attend school as compared with 35 per cent
The Israeli Arabs and the Jews in Arab Countries
before the establishment of Israel. In 1968 there were 397
Arab educational institutions attended by 89,600 pupils.
* Since 1960 Arabs have been full members of the Israeli
Federation of Labour and entitled to equal pay. The
agricultural output of Israeli Arabs is up by 600 per cent
compared with 1948, and the average Israeli Arab wage is
four times that of Arabs in the Middle East. The
employment rate for Israeli Arabs in 1970 was 97 per
* The death rate of Israeli Arabs has dropped from 20 per
1000 in 1948 to 5.9 per 1000 in 1970, making it the
lowest in the Arab World.
* Arabs demonstrated their loyalties to Israel during the
1967 war, despite radio exhortations from neighbouring
Arab states to revolt.
(2) The Contrast — Jews in Arab Countries
Islamic law has always relegated Jews to second-class
citizenship. Indeed, the Koran states that the Jews "will be
punished with degradation and God will rise against t h e m "
(Sura 1 1 , verse 5 8 ; Sura 3, verse 108).
Muhammed Darwazah, in his study The History of the Children of
Israel from Their Books (Cairo, 1960), catalogues the evil
characteristics ascribed to the Jews by the Koran:
self-aggrandisement, and assumption of superiority to other men,
lack of sincere devotion and stable loyalty to anything, deception,
machination, fraud, intrigue, lust for the possessions of others, deep
envy even when they enjoy much greater comfort, efforts to
dominate everything, efforts to influence everyone, contempt for all
restrictions, assumption of the right to take over the property of
others, denial of responsibility towards others, miserliness, lack of
reciprocity in friendship and in assurance of loyalty, involvement in
every base and immoral situation . . . [and goes on and o n ] .
In most Arab countries the Jews were forced to pay
special head taxes, and faced restrictions such as the necessity
of wearing distinctive clothing, including a yellow badge
(which was not exclusively a manifestation of Christian
Case for Israel
anti-Semitism); frequently, their evidence would n o t be
accepted in Moslem courts against that of a Moslem, and on
many occasions they were confined to special ghettos.
Except during the "Golden Age" in Spain during the tenth
and eleventh centuries, Jews also suffered massacres and
physical deprivations in the Arab world.
When Israel was established, anti-Jewish riots occurred in
all the major Arab countries and thousands of Jews in these
countries were imprisoned. Nearly all the Arab countries
which still have Jewish minorities have incorporated
legislation discriminating against Jewish property and
restricting the employment, education and right of
emigration of Jews. However, there are very few Jews still
left in Arab countries today.
* In Libya, only 100 Jews remain of 4500 in 1967 following
pogroms and murders.
In Iraq, the 3,000 Jews remaining (150,000 in 1947) suffer
restrictions of citizenship, travel, employment, and
property ownership, and many languish in prison.
In Egypt, today, there are only about 1,000 Jews left (of
the 80,000 in 1948), and many of them are in jail.
In Syria, there are only 4,000 Jews (30,000 in 1948) who
are living under a system of terror, and are not permitted
to leave ghettos. Many of them languish in jails despite
appeals from foreign powers for exit permits.
It is an interesting exercise to compare the political rights,
living standards, and freedom of Israeli Arabs with those of
the remaining Jews living in Arab countries.
The Background to the
1967 Conflict
The origins of the war of J u n e 1967 go back to broken
undertakings that had been made to Israel after the 1956
Sinai campaign. The 1956 war came about as a result of the
illegal Arab maritime blockade of the Gulf of Akaba, the
denial of passage to Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, the
enormous Soviet-Egyptian arms deal entered into in 1955,
and the subsequent formation of a ring of Arab military
alliances against Israel with Arab leaders openly announcing
their intention of invading Israel. On t o p of this were the
continued Arab terrorist raids into Israel which were
organized and directed by Egypt and cost the lives of over
1500 Israeli citizens between 1948 and 1956. It is pertinent
to emphasise that in terms of the United States population
this figure would be equivalent to 20,000 Americans killed
every year.
Israel withdrew from her positions on the Suez Canal and
in Sinai in 1957, after obtaining guarantees for freedom of
passage through the Straits of Tiran by the United States.
These guarantees were supported by other maritime powers
such as Great Britain and France. The United States, together
with the United Nations — with Soviet agreement, also
guaranteed that Egyptian armed forces would n o t return to
the Gaza Strip. This was the purpose of the establishment of
the United Nations Emergency Force, with Israeli forces only
withdrawing from Sharm El Sheikh and the Sinai frontier
when they were physically replaced by U.N.E.F. troops. On
March 1, 1957, these undertakings were outlined by the then
Foreign Minister for Israel, Mrs. Golda Meir:
On 11 February 1957 the Secretary of State of the United States of
America handed to the Ambassador of Israel in Washington a
(Syrian Army organ Al-Juni Al-Arabi, June 6, 1967)
(Iraqi daily Al-Manor, June 8, 1967)
The Straits of Tiran dead end.
May 29, 1967)
Israel is surrounded again:
"The pincer arms — Egypt and Syria"
( Lebanese weekly 'Al-Siad, May 25, 1967)
The Case for Israel
Memorandum on the subject of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of
Tiran. This statement discusses the rights of nations in the Gulf of
Aqaba, declares the readiness of the United States to exercise these
rights on its own behalf, and to join with others in securing general
recognition of these rights. My Government has subsequently learned
with gratification that other leading maritime Powers are prepared to
subscribe to the doctrine set out in the United States' Memorandum of
11 February, and have a similar intention to exercise rights of free and
innocent passage in the Gulf and the Straits.
The General Assembly Resolution of 2 February 1957 contemplates
that units of the United Nations Emergency Force will move into the
Straits of Tiran area on Israel's withdrawal. It is generally recognized
that the function of the UNEF in the Straits of Tiran includes the
prevention of belligerent acts.
My Government has noted the assurances embodied in the
Secretary-General's Report of 26 February 1957 that any proposal for
the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force from the Gulf
of Aqaba area would first come to the Advisory Committee, which
represents the General Assembly for the implementation of its
Resolution of 2 November 1956. This procedure will give the General
Assembly an opportunity to ensure that no precipitate changes are
made which would have the effect of increasing the possibility of
belligerent acts . . .
In the light of these doctrines, policies and arrangments by the
United Nations and the maritime Powers, my Government is confident
that free and innocent passage for international and Israel shipping will
continue to be fully maintained after Israel's withdrawal.
Interference by armed force with ships of the Israel flag exercising
free and innocent passage in the Gulf of Aqaba and through the Straits
of Tiran will be regarded by Israel as an attack entitling it to exercise its
inherent right of self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter and to
take all such measures as are necessary to ensure the free and innocent
passage of its ships in the Gulf and in the Straits.
On the same day, March 1, 1957, Mr. Lodge, the United
States Representative at the United Nations, stated:
Once Israel has completed its withdrawal in accordance with the
resolutions of the General Assembly, and in view of the measures taken
by the United Nations to deal with the situation, there is no basis for
either party to the Armistice Agreement to exert or exercise any
belligerent rights.
Some of these undertakings, such as the non-return of
Egyptian troops to Gaza, were breached immediately after
Israel's withdrawal. The insistence that there was no basis for
either party to exercise belligerent rights was repudiated by
The Background to the 1967 Conflict
Nasser and Israel was still denied freedom of access through
the Suez Canal.
The situation continued to deteriorate and ten years later,
in 1966, Israel was complaining regularly to the Security
Council because of sharply increasing Syrian terrorist attacks
into Israel and Syrian Army shelling of Israeli villages from
the Golan Heights. The Soviet veto was continuously
employed to nullify the Israeli protests.
On April 7, 1967 Israeli Air Force units destroyed six
Syrian MIG's in an aerial dogfight. On May 16, goaded by the
Russians, the Arabs alleged that Israel was about to launch a
pre-emptive strike against Syria and insisted that nineteen
Israeli battalions were massing for an invasion on the borders
of Syria. General Odd Bull, the United Nations observer,
checked and repudiated these claims and on May 19, U.N.
Secretary-General U-Thant reported that there was no basis
for such rumours. The Soviet Ambassador in Israel was
invited to visit the borders and see for himself, but he
On May 17, Cairo Radio, "Voice of the Arabs", stated:
All Egypt is now prepared to plunge into total war which will put an
end to Israel.
On May 18, U.A.R. troops occupied Sharm el Sheikh, the
strategic point on the Straits of Tiran, and Nasser demanded
that U-Thant withdraw all United Nations troops in t h a t area
and in Gaza. Israel had withdrawn from these territories
following the Suez war in 1957 on the firm undertaking that
United Nations forces would remain to prevent a renewal of
terrorism and keep the Straits of Tiran open to Israeli
A series of warnings announcing the impending
annihilation of Israel were made by all Arab leaders and the
Arab press. The following are a mere cross-section of these
Cairo Radio, "Voice of the Arabs" stated: (May 18, 1967):
As of today there no longer exists any international emergency
force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall
not complain to the United Nations about Israel. The sole method
The Case for Israel
we will apply against Israel is a total war which will result in the
final extermination of Zionist existence.
Syrian Defence Minister, Hafez Asad, stated (May 20, 1967):
Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression,
but to initiate the work of liberation itself and to exploit the Zionist
presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian Army with its finger on
the trigger is united. I, as a military man, believe that the time has
come to enter into the battle of annihilation.
Nasser told the Egyptian Army in Sinai (May 22, 1967):
The Israeli flag shall not go through the Gulf of Aqaba. Our
sovereignty over the entrance to the Gulf cannot be disputed. If
Israel wishes to threaten war we will tell her 'You are welcome.'
Ahmed Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
(May 26, 1967):
D-Day is approaching. The Arabs have waited nineteen years for this
and will not flinch from the war of liberation.
Nasser (May 27, 1967):
Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab
people want to fight . . . The meaning of Sharm el Sheikh is a
confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be
ready to embark on a general war with Israel.
Nasser (May 28, 1967):
We will not accept. . . co-existence with Israel. . . Today the issue is
not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and
Israel . . . The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.
Cairo Radio (May 30, 1967):
With the closing of the Gulf of Akaba, Israel is faced with two
alternatives either of which will destroy it; it will either be strangled
to death by the Arab military and economic boycott, or it will
perish by the fire of the Arab forces encompassing it from the South
from the North and from the East.
Nasser (May 30, 1967):
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the
borders of Israel. . . to face the challenge, while standing behind us
are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, and the whole Arab
nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that
the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We
have reached the stage of serious action and not of mere
The Background to the 1967 Conflict
Cairo daily, Al Akhbar (May 3 1 , 1967):
Under terms of the military agreement signed with Jordan,
Jordanian artillery co-ordinated with the forces of Egypt and Syria
is in a position to cut Israeli in two at Kalkilya, where Israeli
territory between the Jordan armistice line and the Mediterranean
Sea is only twelve kilometres wide . . .
President Aref of Iraq (May 3 1 , 1967):
The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is
our opportunity to wipe out the ignomity which has been with us
since 1948. Our goal is clear — to wipe Israel off the map.
Ahmed Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
(June 1, 1967):
This is a fight for the homeland — it is either us or the Israelis There
is no middle road. The Jews of Palestine will have to leave. We will
facilitate their departure to their former homes. Any of the old
Palestine Jewish population who survive may stay, but it is my
impression that none of them will survive.
Hussein in the newspaper, Al Hayat (June 2, 1967):
Our increased co-operation with Egypt and other Arab states both
in the east and in the west will enable us to march along the right
road which will lead us to the erasure of the shame and the
liberation of Palestine.
Radio Amman (June 5, 1967):
The hoped for moment has arrived! The hour which you longed for
is here! Forward to arms, to battle, to new pages of glory!
These, and hundreds of similar statements, were paralleled
by an enormous build-up of U.A.R. forces on the borders of
Israel, and the signing of a joint military command between
the Egyptians and the Jordanians.
intervention by the major world powers to end the illegal
U.A.R. blockade of the Straits of Tiran. On J u n e 5, 1967,
war broke out and within six days Israel had successfully
defeated the combined armies of the U.A.R., Jordan and
In recent years the Arabs have tried to rewrite history by
claiming that the 1967 war was a result of aggressive Israeli
expansionism. Apart from the public record of statements by
Arab leaders which make such claims ludicrous, the incredible
graveyard of military equipment scattered for hundreds of
miles in the Sinai Desert up to the Suez Canal, and on the
JUNE 4, 1967
permission of
Tel Aviv
Nasser (May 30, 1967):
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria
and Lebanon are massed on the
borders of Israel. .. today the
world shall know that the Arabs are
girded for battle, as the fateful hour
Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister
(November 9, 1967):
We are determined never to return
to the danger and vulnerability
from which we have emerged; this
determination overrides every other
The Case for Israel
Heights of Golan in Syria, provides irrefutable evidence of
the enormous offensive planned by the Arabs for the publicly
stated intention of annihilating Israel. The suggestion that
King Hussein was an innocent victim of the war is also false,
as the Jordanians need not have become involved. Israeli
Premier Eshkol pleaded with them n o t to participate in
hostilities against Israel. However, as Hussein himself
subsequently admitted in his book My War with Israel, he
was convinced that Israel was about to be overwhelmed and,
not wishing to miss out, ordered the Jordanian Army to
initiate hostilities. The Israeli section of Jerusalem was
bombed and Jordanians attempted to storm the Israeli
Jerusalem has been the central focal point of Judaism for
nearly 3,000 years. During this period it has been the capital
of the Jewish state for three separate periods but it has never
been the capital of an Arab country.
Jews have always lived in Jerusalem and, as the following
statistics demonstrate, they have constituted the majority of
its inhabitants for almost a century:
The Old City of Jerusalem never belonged to Jordan, but
was simply annexed by the Jordanians after the 1948 war,
and with the exception of Pakistan no country recognised
this unilateral annexation. In fact, a number of Arab
countries threatened to use force to compel Jordan to
relinquish its exclusive control of the city. Hussein's loss of
Jerusalem was due solely to his conviction that he stood to
gain by joining Nasser in attacking Israel.
General Odd Bull, Chairman of the United Nations Truce
Supervisory Organisation conveyed the following message to
King Hussein from the Israelis on J u n e 5, 1967:
The Case for Israel
We shall not initiate any action against Jordan. However, should
Jordan open hostilities we shall react with all our might and he will
have to bear the full responsibility for all the consequences.
Convinced that the Arabs were about to overwhelm Israel,
Hussein ignored this call and commenced bombardment of
the Israeli section of the city.
During the period that the Old City of Jerusalem
remained under Jordanian control (from 1948 to 1967) all
undertakings relating to religious rights and access were
broken. Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Armistice Agreement
signed by Jordan and Israel on April 3, 1949 stated that
Jordan would assure the
resumption of the normal function of the cultural and humanitarian
institutions of Mount Scopus and free access thereto; free access to the
Holy Places and cultural institutions and the use of the cemetery on the
Mount of Olives.
The Jordanians breached these commitments and for the first
time since the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, Jews were
denied the opportunity of worshipping at the Western Wall,
the Tomb of Rachel, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The
ancient and holy Jerusalem Cemetery was closed to them.
The Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital on Mount
Scopus remained empty because Jordanians prohibited their
use. The Jordanians also denied Christians from Israel access
to their Holy Places except at Christmas, and Israeli Moslems
were entirely barred from the Holy City even for worship at
the Mosque of Omar and the Al Aqsa Mosque.
When the Israelis re-entered the Old City in June 1967
they found that 34 out of the 35 synagogues had been
destroyed; religious schools of learning had been used by the
Jordanians as stables; and the ancient cemetery on the Mount
of Olives had been desecrated, with 38,000 of the 50,000
graves destroyed. Some of the tombstones had been utilized
in the construction of Jordanian army camp latrines.
During the Jordanian occupation Christians were also
subjected to repression. Christian schools had to close on
Fridays and were required to arrange for their students to be
taught the Koran by Moslem teachers. Christian civil servants
and army officers were discriminated against in promotions.
All activities by Jehovah's Witnesses were banned. No new
churches were permitted to be built and Christian institutions
were prevented from acquiring land or property in Jerusalem.
Mosques were built next to churches to prevent the
expansion of churches. Under the circumstances, it is not
surprising that during the twenty years of Jordanian
occupation the Christian population of the Old City dropped
from 40 per cent to 12 per cent.
It is significant that during the nineteen years of
Jordanian rule which involved desecration of Holy Places,
breaches of signed agreements for free access to Holy Places,
and discrimination against all denominations including Israeli
Moslems, the world remained silent.
Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, told the United Nations
General Assembly (July 12, 1967):
I have heard not one expression of dismay across the entire human
scene when Jordan destroyed ancient synagogues in the Old City in
an orgy of hate . .. No United Nations organ expressed any dismay
when Jordan, for twenty years, refused access to the oldest and
most revered of all Holy Places — the Western Wall. Nor was there
any expression of dismay when tombstones on the Mount of Olives
were uprooted to build walls in secular buildings.
The Rev. John M. Oesterreicher, an American Catholic priest
wrote in the New York Times (May 26, 1971):
While Christians and Moslems in Israel enjoy freedom of worship,
this right was denied Jews under Jordanian administration. They
were not even allowed to pray at the Western Wall — though access
to it and other sites was confirmed by Article 8 of the 1949
Armistice Agreement between Jordan and Israel. This treatment of
Jews, as well as restrictions imposed on Moslems and Christians,
violated the agreement, but no Christian bishop cried out against it.
The end of Jordanian rule in the Old City brought about
immediate and drastic changes. The rough walls cast up by
the Jordanians in 1948 to divide the Jewish and Arab held
sectors of the city were removed and Jews and Arabs now
have freedom to move about Jerusalem without restrictions.
Indeed, there is open access to Jerusalem for all
denominations — including Arabs from neighbouring
countries, who can move freely in and out of the city. In
1970, 52,000 visitors from Arab countries came to
The Case for Israel
Jerusalem; in 1971 more than 100,000 Arabs from
neighbouring countries visited the administered territories
and Israel.
All Jerusalem Arabs have been given the option of
assuming Israeli citizenship and enjoying equal pay and
working conditions and social benefits with the Jews in the
New City. There are over a hundred Arab members of the
Jerusalem Police Force and the Arab daily newspaper, Al
Kuds, is free from political censorship and frequently
criticises Israeli policies. Arab high-school students can take
either the Jordanian or Israeli matriculation examinations, or
b o t h , for admission to Israeli universities. In addition Arab
students from Jerusalem have the option of studying either at
Israeli or overseas Arab universities.
Genuine freedom of religion for all has also been
introduced. On J u n e 27, 1967 the Israeli parliament passed
the law relating to the protection of Holy Places:
The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other
form of violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of
access of members of the various religions to the places sacred to them
or their feelings with regard to those places.
T h e l a w p r o v i d e s a p u n i s h m e n t of 7 y e a r s i m p r i s o n m e n t for
a n y d e s e c r a t i o n of a H o l y Place a n d e n s u r e s t h a t all t h e H o l y
Places r e m a i n u n d e r t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e i r o w n religious
Israeli F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r , A b b a E b a n , s t a t e d a t t h e U n i t e d
Nations (October 8, 1968):
Israel does not seek to exercise unilateral jurisdiction in the Holy
Places of Christians and Islam . . . Our policy is that the Christians
and Moslem Holy Places should come under the responsibility of
those who hold them in reverence.
As a result J e w s are free to worship at the Western Wall,
Moslems from East and West Jerusalem are free to worship at
their mosques, and Christians worship freely in their churches
and at their religious shrines. All religious communities
control their own activities without interference.
In the light of past experience it is highly unlikely that
the Israelis will ever agree to another partition of the Holy
The Israeli Administered Territories
City. After nineteen years of artificial division during which
Arab snipers terrorised innocent Jewish civilians, the gunfire
has stopped, peace has been established, and the rights of all,
irrespective of racial, national or religious origin, are
The Israeli~Administered
Since J u n e 1967, nearly a million Arabs have lived in
Israeli-administered territories, 600,000 of them on the West
Bank and 336,000 in the Gaza Strip and Sinai. West Bank
residents have been granted virtual freedom of movement to
Jordan and other Arab states. In 1969, 85,000 Palestinians
from the West Bank and 9,000 from Gaza visited Arab states
either for work, study or contact with families, and an even
greater number travelled in 1971. Conversely, in 1971 over
100,000 Arabs from neighbouring countries visited the
Israeli-administered territories, and the majority of them also
visited Israel. This Israeli policy has enabled residents of the
administered territories to maintain close contact with their
fellow-Arabs as well as for the first time enabling large
numbers of Arabs to visit and see the real Israel as distinct
from the Israel of Arab propaganda.
This "open bridges" policy by Israel has also enabled
Arabs in the administered territories to trade profitably with
the neighbouring Arab countries. This has, of course, proved
to be of great economic and commercial benefit to all parties
concerned, particularly as the neighbouring Arab countries
depend on the agricultural produce of the West Bank and the
citrus supplies from the Gaza Strip.
In September 1970, about 40,000 Arab workers from
the territories were employed in Israel, at the same salary
levels as the Israelis. These salaries contrast with the 75c
per day that the average worker earned on the West Bank
prior to 1967.
The Israeli presence has brought about a remarkable
economic and agricultural development in the West Bank
The Israeli Administered Territories
economy. The Gross National Product of the West Bank
rose by 20 per cent in 1971 and the general economic
status of the West Bank has improved tremendously
under Israeli rule. Unemployment stood at 8 per cent in
1967; by 1970 it was as low as 3.3 per cent.
Despite Arab propaganda to the contrary, most objective
observers concede that the Israeli-administered territories are
being run on uniquely liberal lines. Genuine freedom of
expression prevails and Arab newspapers frequently publish
strongly anti-Israeli editorial material. Only military information or incitement to acts of violence are restricted, as is the
case in Israel itself.
It is significant that the terrorists have found virtually no
support amongst West Bank residents. However, since
1967, Al Fatah terrorists have killed over a hundred Arab
residents of the West Bank and Gaza, and have wounded
over 1,200 of them.
The Arab civil service and police have been maintained
practically as an intact body from before 1967. There are
only two hundred Israeli administrators and there is an
absence of visible Israeli military activity in the area.
Only about three hundred Jordanians have been expelled
from the administered territories between J u n e 1967 and
December 1971. As at August 1 9 7 1 , there were 560
persons under administrative arrest awaiting trials on
charges appertaining to security as against about 1,200 in
the corresponding period the previous year.
The Israeli authorities do not indulge in collective
punishment against the terrorists b u t have demolished
the houses of some individuals who were proved to have
collaborated with terrorists. No Arab terrorist, not even
those convicted of murdering women and children, has
ever been executed by the Israelis who have excluded the
death penalty in relation to terrorism.
Brigadier-General Shlomo Gazit, the Co-ordinator of
Government Authorities in the Israeli Administered
Territories summed up Israeli policy (April 2 1 , 1969):
We are against collective punishment, because we do not want ordinary,
peaceful people in these areas to reach the point where they would say
The Case for Israel
"To hell with it. I am being punished anyway. They put me in prison,
torture me, blow up my house, so at least let me fight them." We want
them to understand that so long as they do not participate directly in
illegal activities,.they have nothing to fear from us. The other side of
this is rather severe punishment for those who do participate. We do
not have capital punishment although from the legal point of view we
could hang them if we wanted to. Those who are in prison are
comparatively well off; we know of many cases — from inside reports —
where our prisoners have said they wish prisons in Jordan were half as
comfortable. Our problem is not one of punishment but of deterrence,
and the most effective, though perhaps not very pleasant, instrument is
the blowing up of houses . . .
We are very careful in deciding what house is to be blown up, and the
action involves a complicated procedure which includes the personal
approval, in each case, of the Minister of Defence. And he makes his
decision only after seeing the file of the person involved. Whenever
there is the least doubt — for example, if the man is not in our hands,
or is in prison but has not admitted his guilt — the house is not blown
There have been numerous Arab claims of Israeli torture
and atrocities, all of which have been disproved, but they are
monotonously resurrected again and again by Arab statesmen
and the Soviet propaganda machine. It is pertinent to point
out that in the few cases where charges have been levelled
and upheld against Israeli soldiers for having acted illegally,
the latter have been severely punished by the authorities. It is
also significant that foreigners and visitors may visit the
administered territories freely without a permit and without
control. These include Red Cross and UNRWA personnel and
In addition to the Arab terrorists who fled to Israel
rather than face capture by Hussein, a number of Arab
spokesmen outside Israel have also stated that they prefer
Israeli occupation with all its limitations to the tyrannies of
the previous Jordanian regime.
Naif Hawatmeh, leader of the Democratic Popular Front, stated in
Beirut (October 10, 1970):
The West Bank people say that they are not prepared to go back to
the regime of Jordanian Security Services. They recall the
dictatorial, police-state regime under Muhamad Rassul al-Kilani.
Remembering this clearly, they find the Israeli administration to be
less tyrannical and frightening than that of Jordanian Security.
The Israeli Administered Territories
The Beirut newspaper, Al-Hawadeth, published a report from a
Lebanese journalist who had spoken to West Bank Arabs who were
contrasting their experiences under Jordanian rule with conditions
existing under Israeli administration (April 27, 1971):
Farmers continue to work their land and gather the harvest. Israel
has helped them with marketing their produce . . . so that they too
enjoy the advantages of Israeli occupation.
As for the labourers — Israel, as is well known, suffers from a lack of
manpower, which has become even more severe owing to the
increase in building and development projects . . . The West Bank, on
the other hand, suffers from unemployment, which forced many
labourers to migrate to Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kuwait and the Gulf
states in search of work.
Therefore, Israel gave work to the unemployed. Workers, who had
reached the threshold of starvation, suddenly found themselves
faced by temptation they could not resist. Israel offered work at
four times the wages they had earned under Jordanian rule, for an
eight-hour day, while previously hours were unlimited.
A special bus takes them from their homes to the place of work,
they get a free lunch and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon they are
taken back home. For the first time in his life a labourer can now
spend time in the company of his family and children, buy them new
clothes for feast-days, send them to school and sleep without
worrying over his livelihood.
The mere thought of the return to Jordanian rule raises associations
of hunger, humiliation, unemployment, migration to the desert. ..
Israel has showered them (the workers) with prosperity and
well-being, which they want to maintain by all means.
The property owners and professionals, doctors and lawyers
continue as usual, unaffected by the occupation. They are flooded
with tempting proposals of large loans for improvement, to be repaid
in twenty or thirty years, and many have begun to consider these
proposals . . .
The solution does certainly not lie in restoring Jordanian rule, nor
any other Arab rule.
We have not forgotten and will not forget those Arab regimes which
have trampled on our honour and humiliated us by their Intelligence
people, who kicked us with their boots. We have lived for many
years under the shadow of humiliating Arab nationalism. We regret
to say that we had to wait for the Israeli occupation to feel that we
are human beings and citizens.
Terrorism and the Palestinians
(1) The Failure of Terrorism
Arab terrorism has been an abysmal failure. The only major
terrorist "successes" were the tragic blowing up of a Swiss
airliner in February 1970 (when 47 innocent passengers were
killed), and the various hijackings of civil aircraft. The only
major Israeli casualties inflicted by Al Fatah were bombs
planted in supermarkets and bus stops which maimed and
killed innocent men, women and children. However, the
overwhelming majority of casualties were Arabs who were
killed by terrorists on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
The terrorist organizations, including Al Fatah, have neither
established bases amongst the Palestinians in the administered
territories nor affected Israel's tourist and migration
programmes, or hindered Israeli economic development. It is,
of course, pertinent to observe that Al Fatah has been
involved in battles with fellow-Arabs in Jordan and elsewhere
which resulted in more Arab blood being shed than in all the
combined wars since Israel's establishment.
The barbaric behaviour demonstrated by terrorists towards
other Arabs was reflected in the murder of Jordanian
Premier, Wafsi Tal, in broad daylight in Cairo on November
28, 1 9 7 1 . Before police could reach the scene, Mounzer
Khalifah, one of the four Palestinian terrorists who had shot
Tal, crouched down and began lapping at the dying man's
blood. In a subsequent statement Khalifa said "I always
promised myself to drink a glassful of Wafsi Tal's blood.
When he fell after I shot him, I kneeled over his body and
drank more than a glassful of his blood, because he was
bleeding profusely. His blood stank". The assassins also
informed police that other Arab traitors "from Morocco to
J o r d a n " would suffer a similar fate. It should be noted that it
Terrorism and the Palestinians
is bloodthirsty creatures of this order that leftist and other
supporters of Al Fatah glorify as humanitarian freedom
fighters who would guarantee the security of Jews in a
"democratic secular s t a t e " comprising Jews and Arabs!
It should also be noted that the terrorist organizations
include a number of groups which are even more extreme
than the dominant Al Fatah group. For example, the
"Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine", headed by
Georges Habash, proudly claims credit for the aircraft
hijackings, the bombing of European El Al offices, and the
planting of bombs amongst civilians in bus stations and
cafeterias. In addition, Habash told the German weekly,
Stern (September 9, 1970):
I want to emphasise to you that starting World War III does not bother
us because the whole world will suffer losses and not only we will be
the losers. Should this be the only possibility of liquidating Israel,
Zionist and Arab reaction, we can only say that we are looking forward
to the outbreak of World War HI.
(2) The Al Fatah Programme
It is significant that even the allegedly " m o d e r a t e " Al Fatah
is pledged not to the liberation of the administered territories
but to the destruction of the state of Israel, and the
expulsion of the overwhelming majority of its Jewish
citizens. It insists that it will combat any peace settlement
achieved by any Arab state which involves recognising the
right of existence of the state of Israel.
Al Fatah references to a "democratic secular s t a t e " are
propagandistic lies. The "Palestinian, National Covenant"
adopted in July 1968 by the Palestinian National Council (a
body covering all Arab terrorist groups) clarified the nature
of a "democratic secular" Palestine. Article 6 states:
Jews who were living permanently in Palestine until the beginning of
the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinian.
In Arab terminology, the "Zionist invasion" started with the
issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Consequently,
by this definition, over two million Jews at present living in
Israel would be expelled as aliens. This clause was
subsequently modified for propagandistic purposes, b u t the
The Case for Israel
final paragraph of the "Covenant", which has not been
amended, clarifies the national rights of Jews in t h e proposed
The aim of the Palestinian Revolution is to dismantle this entity (Israel)
with its political, military, social, syndical, and cultural institutions and
to liberate all Palestine.
Other articles incorporated in the "National Covenant" state:
Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. . . the
liberation of Palestine is a national duty to repulse the Zionist
imperialist invasion from the great Arab homeland and to purge the
Zionist presence from Palestine . . . The partition of Palestine in
1947 and the establishment of Israel are fundamentally null and
void . . .
The Palestinian Arab people rejects every solution that is a substitute
for the complete liberation of Palestine and rejects all plans that aim
at settlement of the Palestine issue or its internationalization.
The official Al Fatah Radio Station announced (December 30, 1968):
The Palestine Liberation Resolution's aim is to destroy the Zionist
character, human or social, of the occupied territory, to uproot a
The Political Program of Eleven Palestinian Organizations, published in
Amman, defined the aim of the Palestine Revolution as follows (May 6,
The destruction of the existence of Israel, politically, militarily,
socially and culturally, and the liberation of Palestine in its entirety.
Yasser Arafat, the Al Fatah and Palestine Liberation Organization
leader, stated in an interview with Oriana Fallaci, correspondent for the
Italian weekly, L'Europa (March 12, 1970):
We shall continue to fight Israel all alone, until we get Palestine
back. Our goal is the destruction of Israel, and it does not admit
compromise nor mediation . . . We don't want peace, we want war
and victory. Peace for us means Israel's destruction, nothing else.
Yasser Arafat (November 16, 1970):
We are against a negotiated settlement. We believe such a solution to
be impossible. even by military means. We oppose any solution at
our expense. We are against any solution which grants the Zionists
any right at all on Palestinian or Arab territory.
It is n o t e w o r t h y that in March 1970 t h e Lebanese
newspaper, Al Anwar, stated that the representatives of the
six largest Palestinian organizations had agreed that t h e
slogan "Democratic Palestine" was designed for propaganda
purposes abroad, that the slogan had no practical meanings,
and that what t h e y really had in mind was an exclusively
Arab Palestine.
Terrorism and the Palestinians
The Palestine Liberation Front, much more explicit and
much less public-relations conscious than Al Fatah, stated in
its platform (June 17, 1971):
We therefore strive to do away with what is called the State of Israel
and drive out the Jews, who came as invaders and conquerors from
the beginning of the British occupation in 1917 till now, leading to
the forced emigration of some of its Arab inhabitants and their
dispersion in the various Arab lands.
We therefore o b j e c t . . . to any state called Israel. We equally oppose
the establishment of a democratic state in Palestine, since that would
contain a Jewish minority and would mean accepting the existence of
waves of Zionist invasion . . . which were rejected by our people.
(3) The "Democratic Secular State" sponsored by Al Fatah
It is grotesque for Al Fatah terrorists to preach to Israel or
anyone else about equality or democracy. Israel is a social
democratic state which, after having successfully integrated
over a million impoverished Jewish refugees from European
and Arab countries, today has the highest standard of living
in the Middle East. In contrast the standard of living of the
masses in Arab countries is still declining and their future
welfare has been mortgaged for arms purchases instead of
social progress.
* Politically, Egypt, Iraq and Syria are military or
bureaucratic dictatorships, not progressive regimes. Saudi
Arabia is a feudal despotism still maintaining medieval
torture and slavery. Jordan is a royalist police state. In the
last twenty years there have been over twenty-five military
coups in Arab countries. In contrast, Israel permits
freedom of expression to all minority groups and even
permits the functioning of Communist Parties, which are
illegal in Arab countries.
When Fatah spokesmen refer to a secular state they would
be unable to present any Arab models. Israel has no formal
state religion, but Islam is the formal state religion of all Arab
states except Lebanon. Israel has always provided complete
freedom of worship to all minorities. This can be contrasted
with the destruction of the Jewish Holy Places in Jerusalem
under Jordanian rule. Al Fatah references to a secular state
The Case for Israel
become even less meaningful when Fatah repeatedly appeals
to Islamic religious leaders to declare a Jihad (Holy War) and
to obtain monetary contributions to Fatah as a religious
obligation. It is surely grotesque for Fatah to wage a Holy
War allegedly in order to establish a secular republic! .
Al-Hayat, the Beirut daily, quoted Al Fatah leader, Yasser Arafat
(December 25, 1970):
The liberation of Palestine and putting an end to Zionist penetration, political, economic, military and propaganda, into Moslem
states — is one of the duties of the Moslem world. We must fight a
Holy War (Jihad) against the Zionist enemy, who covets not only
Palestine but the whole Arab region, including its holy places.
Fatah "undertakings" that the "remaining" Jews in a
"democratic secular" Palestine would be granted generous
minority rights also carry little weight when one observes the
status of Jews in Arab states. Persecution of Jews in Arab
countries has been dealt with elsewhere and provides a
pointer to the likely fate of a Jewish minority in an
Arab-dominated "democratic secular Palestine".
Even in the absence of Jewish minorities, Arabs have
shown that they are not able to live in peace amongst
themselves, and there can be no doubt that, denied the
existence of Israel, the Arabs would be involved in perpetual
war. This is exemplified by the fact that only two weeks
prior to the 1967 war, U Thant was requested by the Saudi
Arabian ambassador to the United Nations, to ask Nasser to
cease bombing Saudi Arabian villages. Cairo Radio described
Saudi Arabia's King Feisal as "a bearded bigot", and
Jordanian Hussein as "the Hashemite Harlot". At that stage
Nasser was still using napalm and poison gas against primitive
royalist Yemenite tribesmen.
The treatment of minorities in Arab countries is a
frightening indication of what a Fatah state would hold for
* The Kurds in Syria and Iraq have been persecuted for over
twenty years. In Syria, Kurds have been denied schools
and newspapers, and are prevented from maintaining any
form of Kurdish culture. In 1961, Iraq commenced a
genocidal war against the Kurds who constitute a quarter
Terrorism and the Palestinians
of her population, and utilized bombs and napalm against
Kurdish villages. When General Mustafa Barzani, a leading
Iraqi Kurd, was requested to commit his forces against
Israel in 1967, he told the Iraqis through Eric Rouleau of
Le Monde in January 1969:
For six years you have been fighting us, trying wipe out the Kurdish
people, so how can you come now and ask for my help?
* Blacks in the Sudan. It is estimated that more than half a
million black Africans have been slaughtered in the Sudan
in the course of their desperate struggle for independertce.
The Arab Sudanese have sealed off the South to the
outside world and attempted to prevent newspapermen
from entering the area in order to cover up the genocidal
slaughter of blacks in the region.
* Slavery. The United Nations Economic and Social Council,
as well as the British Anti-Slavery Society, has highlighted
the fact that, despite theoretical abolition, slavery still
prevails in Saudi Arabia.
* In Yemen, the extermination of countless thousands of
Yemenite peasants has been carried out over the last
decade by Egyptian mechanised forces, assisted by
Russians, who have endeavoured unsuccessfully to suppress and kill supporters of the royalist regime. Thousands
were massacred and entire villages wiped out by the
utilization of mustard gas dropped from Egyptian aircraft.
* In Jordan, King Hussein killed more Palestinians in his
battles with the Palestinian Liberation Organization than
all the Arab casualties in Jordan since the establishment of
the state of Israel. In two weeks alone, tens of thousands
of Palestinian civilians were butchered by fellow-Arabs.
* In the light of these facts it is not surprising that the Arab
Mayor of Hebron, Sheik Muhammad al-Ja'abari, stated in
the independent East Jerusalem daily, Al-Kuds, on July
21, 1971, that all the Arab states were guilty of conspiring
against the Palestinian people. He said that with the
situation now prevailing in the Arab world, there was less
to worry about from Israeli rule than from the Arab states'
treatment of Palestinians.
The Case for Israel
These facts merely illustrate the absurdity of any suggestion that the Jews in Israel should give up their independence
and right to exist as a nation and place themselves at the
mercy of Al Fatah or, for that matter, any Arab organization.
Apart from this, the suggestion that Israel should be the first
nation in history voluntarily to commit suicide is too
outrageous to warrant serious comment.
It is also pertinent to note that leftists who frequently
compare Arab terrorists to the Viet Cong and support Al
Fatah, seem prepared to support every conceivable form of
nationalism as a manifestation of the anti-colonial line. Yet
Jewish nationalism, which provides amongst others, for the
survivors of the Hitler era is considered a heretical movement ! What other people have a greater moral justification
for national self-determination than the Jews, who have
suffered untold misery and degradation for 2,000 years
because of their inability to live in their own country? It is
ridiculous to suggest that the Arab refugees — living among
their own people within the same Arab culture and the same
climate, and with infinite opportunities for integration
amongst their own kinsmen — are in the same category as the
survivors of Nazi persecution. The analogy with the Viet
Cong is also bogus because, unlike the Viet Cong, Al Fatah
has simply been unable to generate any mass support
amongst Arabs in the Israeli Administered Territories, not to
mention its inability to establish even a single base within
Israel itself.
Leftist supporters of Fatah who describe Israelis as alien
and colonial invaders or a "European imposition" into an
otherwise united Arab world are also talking nonsense. These
cliches ignore the fact that the oriental Jews from Arab
countries now constitute more than half of the Jewish
population of Israel. These Jews were expelled or "encouraged" to depart from Arab countries b u t , unlike the Arab
refugees, were supported entirely by their Jewish kinsmen
and, despite many problems, are being successfully integrated
into the state of Israel. They surely repudiate any suggestion
that Israel is an exclusively European colonial invasion.
Terrorism and the Palestinians
Furthermore, to suggest that the Jewish guerilla and
underground war against the British rulers of Palestine which
preceded the establishment of Israel was the beginning of a
colonial movement is too absurd to warrant a rejoinder.
In an article in Foreign Affairs 1965, Israel Foreign Minister, Abba
Eban, stated:
There is no greater fallacy than to regard Israel as a "colonial"
phenomenon. No state in the world expresses the concept of
nationhood more intensely than Israel. It is the only state which
bears the same name, speaks the same tongue, upholds the same
faith, inhabits the same land as it did 3,000 years ago.
The Role of the Palestinians
* Although a final peace settlement could only be negotiated
between Israel and the leading Arab states, particularly the
U.A.R., the role of the Palestinians themselves must not be
It should be emphasised that it was Jordan, Egypt and the
other Arab states, not Israel, who denied the Palestinians a
voice in the 1948—49 armistice negotiations. It must also be
stressed that the failure to establish the Palestinian state
called for in the United Nations Partition Resolution of 1947
was solely brought about as a result of political decisions by
Arab states and not because of any refusal of the Israelis to
recognise the national rights of the Palestinians.
It must also be pointed out that the Palestinians living in
Jordan were severely discriminated against. Special social,
economic and political privileges were granted to the Bedouins, with the West Bank Palestinians restricted to little
more than subsistence farming. As far back as 1 9 5 1 ,
following the murder of King Abdullah, the Arab Legion
ran amok in East Jerusalem and arrests and hangings of
thousands of Palestinians followed. Nine political parties
were banned in 1957. Over 50 anti-Hussein demonstrators
and hundreds more were wounded in 1963 during which time
26 members of the Jordanian parliament were imprisoned. In
November 1966, hundreds were wounded and many more
arrested after violent demonstrations in West Bank cities. It
The Case for Israel
is, therefore, not surprising that 300,000 Palestinians left the
West Bank and Jerusalem between May 1949 and May 1967.
These facts are emphasised to repudiate categorically any
suggestions that the plight of the Palestinians can in any way
be attributed to Israel.
It has been mentioned earlier that twenty years ago
Palestinians had very little real national consciousness and
blended into the Arab world as Syrians or Jordanians. Whilst
much nonsense and exaggeration has been written about the
Palestinians in recent years, there is little doubt that a
genuine Palestinian nationalism is beginning to emerge. This
has been brought about by the refugees who left Israel and
were used as political cannon fodder both by the Jordanians
on the West Bank and the Egyptians in Gaza. They were
indoctrinated to such an extent by Arab leaders that a
nationalism — synthetic perhaps, but nonetheless potent —
has emerged. They have developed a national consciousness
of their own — built on displacement and exile and on wars
not necessarily of their own making or control. Many of
them bitterly resent decisions affecting their destinies being
determined by Arab leaders in Cairo and Amman with and in
whom they have no affinity and little trust.
Those Palestinians living in the Israeli Administered Territories have clearly rejected the terrorist element from their
midst and discovered the economic and social benefits of
contact with Israel. In most cases they were taken by surprise
at the liberalism of the Israeli administration. Likewise they
were astounded at the remarkable progress in an Israel which
till then they had only viewed in the distorted spectrum of
Arab propaganda. Despite benefits from Israeli occupation,
most Palestinians still yearn for independence — but for
many Arabs in the Administered Territories, Hussein's regime
would not mean freedom. Many Gaza Arabs would likewise
regard an (unlikely) return of U.A.R. administration as
resumption of a repressive government which at best granted
them only pariah status and denied them U.A.R. citizenship.
The Israelis are encouraging a number of Palestinian
leaders to meet together and plan for the future. After all,
these Palestinians will ultimately represent Israel's closest
Terrorism and the Palestinians
Arab neighbours, and had the 1947 U.N. Partition Resolution
not been nullified by invading Arab armies, they would even
today have comprised an independent Arab state instead of
being gobbled up by Jordan and the U.A.R.
In the event of a realistic peace settlement with the other
Arab states the Israelis would be able to negotiate with the
Palestinians and possibly give them the opportunity of opting
for an independent Palestinian entity with close ties to Israel
and her Arab neighbours or (in the case of the West Bank
Arabs) to revert to Jordan. In the meantime, while the
present conflict continues with no sight of a genuine peace
settlement the fate of the Palestinians must of necessity
remain undecided. Even if the Israelis attempted to negotiate
independently with the Palestinians, little could be achieved.
The Palestinians have clearly intimated that they would not
be prepared to face condemnation as traitors and be cut off
from their families and kinsmen in neighbouring Arab
countries by negotiating for a peace settlement with the
Israelis which would not be endorsed by the leadership of the
Arab states.
The Soviet Union and the
Middle East Arms Race
Today the Soviet Union represents the major obstacle to a
peaceful settlement in the Middle East. It is clear that the
1967 war would not have taken place had the Soviet
authorities not goaded and incited Nasser towards the
confrontation that ultimately proved to be a debacle for the
U.S.S.R. as well as for the Arabs. Since 1967 the Soviets have
re-armed the Arabs and given them the most sophisticated
weaponry available in their arsenal. As a result, the U.A.R.
today has the use of arms and aircraft that the Russians were
not even prepared to give to North Vietnam. Although Israel
has obtained arms from the United States, the balance is
again strongly weighed in favour of the Arabs.
* The Institute for Strategic Studies in London published its
yearly survey of the world military balance on September
2, 1 9 7 1 . Summarizing the array of forces in the Middle
East, the Institute said that Israeli and Egyptian defence
budgets for 1971/72 had each reached about 600 million
sterling — approximately one quarter of the gross national
product for b o t h countries. The study indicated relatively
greater quantitative increases in forces by Syria and Libya,
which are obliged under the newly-formed tripartite
federation treaty to co-ordinate their armies with Egypt.
* The following are some of the statistics cited in the
Institute report (figures appearing with a plus sign indicate
the numerical increase over 1970/71).
The Soviet Union and the Middle East Arms Race
Fully mobile forces
Total warplanes
Total tanks
Ground-air missiles* 70 (SA-2)
65 (SA-3
Ships 5
Landing craft
Missile boats
Torpedo boats
Active armed forces
All Three
* Number of batteries, and type, in brackets
According to the Institute report, Soviet-piloted aircraft
within Egypt now numbered 200, or fifty more than the
figure in 1970/71. Soviet-operated plane and missile bases
totalled a hundred, an increase of about twenty over the
previous year. The New York Times military editor, William
Beecher, reported from Cairo on August 31, 1971 that two
new MIG-21 squadrons and five Sukhoi-11 squadrons were
added to the four squadrons of MIG-21's delivered to Egypt
early in. 1970 (a squadron numbers from 12 to 16 aircraft).
Three more Sukhoi-11 squadrons were delivered in October
1971, adding to the already operational four MIG-24
interceptors and ten Tupolev-16 reconnaissance planes based
in Egypt.
"The number of MIG-21's and Sukhoi-7's that have been
shipped to Egypt since last fall, more than 150, brings the
Egyptian Air Force up to 550 combat jets, far in excess of
the 330 jet-trained pilots in its ranks", the New York Times
said. It is also estimated that there would now be about
20,000 Soviet military advisors, technicians and pilots
directly involved in the Arab military establishment.
The Case for Israel
In addition to this involvement the Soviet Union has
today emerged as the principal world-wide enemy of the
Jewish people. Soviet publishing presses continuously
produce and distribute on an international level the most
venomous types of anti-Semitic propaganda seen since the
days of Hitler. On occasions the word "Zionists" is utilized as
a euphemism for Jews, but there is no question that the
Soviet Union is indulging in a monstrous propaganda
campaign calculated to create hatred of Jews throughout the
world. Anybody reading a Soviet newspaper would believe
that Israel and "international Zionism" represent one of the
principal threats to the very existence of the Soviet system.
The Soviet material continuously refers to an international
conspiracy of Jews with headquarters in New York and Tel
Aviv, in a manner reminiscent of the notorious Tsarist
forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Z i o n " merely
phrased in Marxist vernacular. It is noteworthy that
according to current Soviet ideological theory Zionists were
responsible for the Czechoslovak uprising and disturbances in
Poland and elsewhere. The latest publications even claim that
Zionism is the motivating power behind "American
In addition the helpless three to three and a half
million Jews living in the Soviet Union have been
continuously subjected to a virulent campaign of
anti-Semitism appearing regularly in the officially-sponsored
Soviet government and Communist Party newspapers, radios
and publishing presses. Soviet Jews have responded with
publicly demanded and
demonstrated for their right to emigrate to Israel where they
would have the opportunity of living and bringing up their
children as free Jews. Many of them have been arrested and
show-trials on various
trumped-up charges. Soviet authorities have also utilized
other means to terrorise Soviet Jews and silence them.
Certain prominent Soviet Jews not brought to trial were
simply arrested and incarcerated in lunatic asylums, a
favoured Soviet form of eliminating troublesome political
dissenters without even going through the formality of a trial.
The Soviet Union and the Middle East Arms Race
It is significant that at the United Nations, and
elsewhere, Soviet and Arab representatives continuously
bracket Zionism with Nazism and maintain that Israel's
leaders are following in the footsteps of the Nazi war
criminals, and practice the worst forms of racism. These
obscenities stand in stark contrast to the temporary support
the Soviet Union extended to the Jewish state in its infancy.
This was prior to the alliance with the Arabs, at a time when
Stalin mistakenly believed that the creation of a Jewish state
would serve as a base for Soviet penetration of the Middle
Mr Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Union representative to the United
Nations, stated to the General Assembly (May 14, 1947):
The Jewish people suffered extreme misery and deprivation during
the War. It can be said without exaggeration that the sufferings and
miseries of the Jewish people are beyond description. It would be
difficult to express by mere dry figures the losses and sacrifices of
the Jewish people at the hand of the fascist occupiers. In the
territories where the Hitlerites were in control, the Jews suffered
almost complete extinction. The total number of Jews who fell at
the hands of the fascist hangmen is something in the neighbourhood
of 6 million . . . It may be asked whether the United Nations,
considering the very serious situation of hundreds of thousands of
Jews who have survived the war, should not show an interest in the
situation of these people who have been uprooted from their
countries and from their homes . . . The fact that not a single
Western European state has been in a position to guarantee the
defence of the elementary rights of the Jewish people or compensate
them for the violence they have suffered at the hands of the fascist
hangmen, explains the aspirations of the Jews for the creation of a
state of their own. It would be unjust not to take this into account
and to deny the right of the Jewish people to the realization of such
an aspiration.
In the same speech, Mr Gromyko referred to the rights of the Arabs:
We have to bear in mind the incontestable fact that the population
of Palestine consists of two peoples. Arabs and Jews. Each of these
has its historical roots in Palestine. That country has become the
homeland of both these peoples, and both of them occupy an
important place in the country economically and culturally . . .
Neither history nor the conditions which have arisen in Palestine
now can justify any unilateral solution of the Palestine problem,
either in favour of the creation of an independent Arab state,
ignoring the lawful rights of the Jewish people, or in favour of the
creation of an independent Jewish state, ignoring the lawful rights of
The Case for Israel
the Arab population . . . A just settlement can be found only if
account is taken in sufficient degree of the lawful interests of both
Mr Andrei Gromyko informed the Security Council a year later (May
It is very difficult not to agree that the military operation in
Palestine, in which eight states, the majority of which are members
of the United Nations, are more or less involved, constitutes a threat
to peace . . . The U.S.S.R. delegation can but express surprise at the
position adopted by the Arab states in the Palestine question, and
particularly at the fact that those states — or some of them, at least
— have resorted to such action as sending their troops into Palestine
and carrying out military operations aimed at the suppression of the
National Liberation Movement in Palestine.
Israel and the U.N.
The Role of the United Nations
In recent years the United Nations has displayed an
extraordinary record of bias and incompetence in relation to
the Middle East. In the General Assembly, Israel is
continuously confronted by a large hostile group comprising
the Soviet bloc, the Arab states, and some of the African and
Asian countries who regard the goodwill of the vast Arab bloc
as far too important to risk by voting independently or on the
merits of an issue effecting Israel. It should also be noted that
not less than 36 member states of the U.N. even refuse to
maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel's handicap in
not being associated with any bloc of nations is underlined by
Mr. Cooper, the Liberian delegate, who stated at the General
Assembly on November 2 2 , 1 9 5 6 :
We come to the conference table with fixed ideas and immovable
positions. Having formed ourselves into blocs to protect or foster some
mode of life peculiar to our environment or to enhance our position in
world affairs, our stand becomes inflexible. The Organization instead of
being united, is now shattered into blocs which seem to be losing all
power of cohesion. Such compacts appear not only to have paralyzed the
Organization's decisions, but also to have penetrated the operations of
the Organization itself, making it difficult for the Organization to work
smoothly. Offices, membership of committees, seats on various
subsidiary organizations are all apportioned according to the strength of
nations and the size of each bloc. In such conditions no nation can afford
to stand aloof, basing its interests upon right or justice. To exist in such
conditions, it becomes not only necessary but imperative for a state to
align itself with the group in which it thinks its interests may best be
served and safeguarded. In such a situation it is difficult to achieve
solutions of world problems.
At best Israel can expect partial support from the United
States, neutrality from most Western countries, and hostility
from France. It is significant that most anti-Israel resolutions
The Case for Israel
are carried by the hostile minority, the less partial majority
taking the easier course of abstaining.
* Israel has also found that in contrast to the Soviet veto which
has been utilized on numerous occasions over the last twenty
years to block condemnations of Arab acts of aggression, the
Americans have never employed the veto in favour of Israel
as their general policy in relation to utilization of the veto
has always been restricted. As at January 1972 the United
Nations veto scores were: U.S.A., one; China, t w o ; France,
three; Britain, four; and the Soviet Union — one hundred
and seven!
From its very birth, Israel has come to realize that the United
Nations is an impotent body. On May 16,1948,Mr.Trygve Lie,
the U.N. Secretary-General, informed permanent members of
the Security Council that
The Egyptian Government has declared in a cablegram to the President of
the Security Council on May 15 that Egyptian armed forces have engaged
in armed intervention in that country. On May 16 I received a cablegram
from the Arab League making similar statements on behalf of the Arab
states. I consider it my duty to emphasize to you that this is the first time
since the adoption of the Charter that member states have openly
declared that they have engaged in armed intervention outside their own
Likewise in 1948, the acting mediator between the Israelis
and the Arabs reported to the General Assembly at its full
session that "The Arab states had forcibly opposed the
existence of the Jewish state in Palestine in direct opposition
to the wishes of two-thirds of the members of the
Assembly." This arrogant flouting of the will of the majority
of U.N. members by Arab states brought no formal reaction
from the United Nations either on the Security Council or
General Assembly level.
A further example of the ineffectiveness of the U.N. was
demonstrated by Secretary-General U-Thant's behaviour on
the eve of the 1967 War. On May 1 7 , 1 9 6 7 , Nasser insisted that
U-Thant withdraw the United Nations forces stationed since
1957 at Gaza. U-Thant complied immediately and paved the
way for the Egyptian military takeover of the Tiran Straits and
subsequent blockade of the Gulf of Akaba. Israel's Foreign
Minister compared the behaviour of the United Nations in this
Israel and the U.N.
context with a fire-brigade disappearing the moment an actual
fire commenced.
These examples demonstrate that from the day of its
creation until and including the 1967 War, Israel would have
been annihilated had she relied exclusively on support or
protection from the United Nations.
At present, due to the influence of the anti-Israeli bloc, little
or no effort is made in General Assembly decisions and
resolutions relating to Israel to maintain even a facade of
objectivity. A typical example was a resolution passed by the
Human Rights Commission on March 3, 1969, setting up a
committee to investigate alleged Israeli atrocities in the
Administered Territories. The resolution blatantly pre-judged
the findings that the committee was supposed to evaluate, and
did not include a clause for a parallel investigation of
discrimination against Jews in Arab states involving the public
hanging of Jews in Baghdad and documented cases of
maltreatment of Jews in gaols and concentration camps in
Damascus and Cairo.
Only 13 of the 32 members of the committee voted, the
majority abstaining. Not a single responsible and objective
government of all those approached, was prepared to serve on
the committee, with the result that a committee had to be
composed of three countries all openly and officially inimical
to Israel. One was Somalia, which is completely identified with
the Arab camp and has declared itself "in a state of war with
Israel"; another was Yugoslavia, which broke off diplomatic
relations with Israel in 1967 and whose President announced in
1969 that "we are on the side of the Arabs". The third member,
Ceylon, had recently demonstrated its partiality by suspending
diplomatic relations with Israel.
Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that Israel
refused to co-operate with this committee. However, this did
not deprive the committee of information, since the Administered Territories are, in effect, open to the outside world.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors, including journalists and
politicians, move around freely and are permitted to observe
conditions for themselves, and were available to be heard by
the committee.
The Case for Israel
The final report of the committee comprised a long list of
alleged brutalities and tortures by Israelis against Arabs, who
gave their testimony in Arab countries. An example of the type
of material involved was the case of Mohamed Derbas, who
appeared before the committee in Cairo and stated that he was
castrated by an Israeli doctor assisted by an Israeli nurse
following the 1967 War. Records subsequently proved that he
had had his testicles removed for medical reasons by an Arab
surgeon in the Gaza Strip in 1965, prior to the war. His and
similar "cases" were subsequently utilized by Arab propagandists as "proof" that an "impartial" body like the United
Nations had condemned Israel for atrocities against Arabs.
Yet another example of bias was the unanimous resolution
passed by the Security Council in September 1971 calling on
Israel to rescind all the measures it had taken in relation to
Jerusalem. The Soviet representative at the debate spoke at
length about the sacredness of Jerusalem to the same religions
which Moscow persecutes, and the Jordanian representative,
whose government had indulged in outrageous desecrations of
the most revered Holy Places in Jerusalem, warned that Israel's
defiance of the resolution would challenge the very basis of the
United Nations!
It is significant that whilst there is continuous criticism at
the United Nations of Israel's policies in relation to Jerusalem
and alleged ill-treatment of Arabs in the Administered
Territories, neither the Security Council nor the General
Assembly has seen fit to consider seriously some of the really
critical world issues which have arisen over the last five years.
These include:
The tragedy of the Biafrans.
The brutal Soviet invasion of Czecho-Slovakia.
The terrible plight of the nine million people who fled from
East Bengal and the genocide practised by the West
The Indo-Pakistan war.
The continuous persecution and murder of black Christians
by the Moslems in the Sudan.
These and many other issues involving the lives and liberties of
Israel and the U.N.
millions o f p e o p l e h a v e n o t b e e n raised a t t h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s a s
t h e y w o u l d h a v e c o n f l i c t e d w i t h t h e i n t e r e s t s o f a t least o n e o f
t h e major powers within t h e U . N . organization.
T h e Security Council R e s o l u t i o n 2 4 2
* T h e Security Council resolution of November 2 2 , 1 9 6 7 , was
o n e o f t h e few o c c a s i o n s w h e n b o t h Israel a n d m o s t o f t h e
A r a b s t a t e s c l a i m e d to a c c e p t a r e s o l u t i o n as a basis for a
settlement of the conflict.
T h e following i s t h e t e x t o f R e s o l u t i o n 2 4 2 :
The Security Council,
Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the
Middle East.
Emphasizing the inadmissability of the acquisition of
territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace
in which every State in the area can live in security.
(1) Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires
the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle
East which should include the application of both the
following principles:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied
in the recent conflict;
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and
respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty,
territorial integrity and political independence of every
State in the area and their right to live in peace within
secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts
of force;
Affirms further the necessity,
For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through
international waterways in the area;
For achieving a just settlement of the refugee
For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and
political independence of every State in the area,
through measures including the establishment of
demilitarized zones.
Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special
Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish
and maintain contacts w i t h the States concerned in order to
promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful
The Case for Israel
and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions
and principles in this resolution;
(4) Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security
Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special
Representative as soon as possible.
The Arabs and their allies maintain that, in accordance
with the resolution, Israel must withdraw from all the
territories captured in the Six-Day War. This is distorting the
fact that the resolution does not state that Israeli Armed
Forces must withdraw from "all" territories, or from "the"
territories, and also that it calls for secure and recognised
boundaries. There was considerable conflict during the U.N.
debate over the incorporation of the words "all" and " t h e " ,
and the Arabs and their Soviet allies were defeated on this
* In a public statement on J u l y 12, 1971, American
Under-Secretary of State, Joseph Sisco, declared that he
had taken an active part in the formulation of Security
Council Resolution 242. He added:
That resolution did not say withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines. The
resolution said the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on
the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words the
question of the final borders is a matter of negotiation between the
The United Kingdom government, which sponsored
Security Council Resolution 2 4 2 , also put itself on record
in November and December 1969, when the Foreign
Secretary, Mr. Stewart, was asked:
What is the British interpretation of the wording of the 1967
resolution. Does it mean that the Israelis should withdraw from all
territories taken in the late war?
He replied:
No sir, that is not the phrase used in the resolution. The resolution
speaks of secure and recognized boundaries and those words must be
read concurrently with the statement on withdrawal.
A month later, in the House of Commons, he said:
There is reference in the vital United Nations Security Council
Resolution both to withdrawal from territories and to secure and
recognised boundaries. As I have told the House previously these
two things should be read concurrently and the omission of the
word "all" before the word "territories" is deliberate.
Israel and the U.N.
* Egypt, under Sadat, has at certain stages indicated that it
was willing to renounce belligerency and sign a peace
treaty with Israel, but it then proceeded to formulate its
own conditions on the basis of a unilateral and erroneous
interpretation of Security Council Resolution 242, and
would not negotiate directly with Israel, demanding that
Israel accept Egypt's dictates.
Prospects for the Future
Direct Negotiations
To achieve a meaningful peaceful settlement, t h e first
impasse to be overcome is the refusal by the Arabs to
conduct any form of direct negotiations with the Israelis. It is
highly significant that the Soviets who strongly support their
Arab allies in this question have themselves always maintained that direct negotiations were the only means of
achieving a peaceful settlement between conflicting parties:
Jacob Malik, the Soviet United Nations representative, told the Security
Council (March 3, 1949):
The U.S.S.R. delegation notes with satisfaction the successful
outcome of the negotiations between Egypt and the state of Israel,
which it regards as a most favourable development in the Palestine
question. Ever since the Palestine question first arose, the U.S.S.R.
delegation has maintained that direct negotiations between the two
parties were the best way of settling the disputes which have arisen
between the state of Israel and the Arab states.
Events have justified this stand. Only direct conversations have
enabled both sides to bring the negotiations to a successful close,
and thus, to a certain extent, to take the first step towards the
settlement of their disputes . . .
The Palestine question could have been settled long ago by peaceful
means if it had not been for forces which tried to prevent direct
negotiations and thus to hinder the settlement of the question.
U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister, A. Vishinsky, at the United Nations Security
Council debate (March 29, 1954):
International disputes must be settled otherwise than by imposing a
decision on one party in contravention of all its arguments . . . What
is the proper method for this?
. . . The method is that of direct negotiations between the interested
parties. On one side we have the representative of Israel and on the
other the representative of Egypt; they are sitting opposite one
another. Let them sit down together at one table and try to settle
the question which the Security Council cannot settle now. I am
deeply convinced that they can find a better solution. That is why
Prospects for the Future
certain representatives and states show a stubborn disinclination to
permit direct negotiations between the interested parties and are
trying to interfere in, and unfortunately, to hinder those
India also displays a lack of consistency in supporting the
Arabs in their refusal to indulge in direct negotiations with
India's late Prime Minister Nehru at the Belgrade Conference on
Non-Aligned Nations (September 2, 1961):
To say there is no choice between war and peace sounds rather
fatuous. I put it this way: there is no choice left between
negotiations-for-peace or war. If people refuse to negotiate, they
must inevitably go to war. There is no choice . . . We cannot really
lay down any terms on which they should negotiate. But it is our
duty to say that they must negotiate and any party that does not do
so does tremendous injury to the human race.
Paradoxically even Nasser was a supporter of the concept of
direct negotiations in relation to all states except Israel: —
President Nasser at the Belgrade Conference of Non-Aligned Nations
(September 4, 1961):
It is now essential that sabre-rattling be silenced, and the opportunity be afforded for calm negotiations to be undertaken at highest
levels, for there is now no choice between two extremes, either
negotiations or war. It appears to us essential that there should be a
meeting of leaders at the earliest possible time . . . Negotiations are
the only safe way in such an atmosphere. In fact, negotiations are
the only means to peace based on justice . . .
The Israelis have made it clear that within the context of
direct negotiations they would be prepared to freely negotiate over occupied territories (see p p . 128—39 below, Mrs.
Golda Meir's Address to the Council Conference of the
Socialist International). However, with the exception of a
generalized and somewhat meaningless indication by
President Sadat that he would extend some form of
recognition to Israel after it returned all occupied territories,
there is very little basis for the Israelis to assume that such a
unilateral move would provide them with security in the
future. Indeed, Sadat has emphasised that such a move by
Israel would have to be followed up by a solution to the Arab
refugee problem which does not conform to the Security
Council Resolution and which, in Arab terms, means repat-
The Case for Israel
riation of all Arab refugees to Israel, If accepted by Israel this
in turn would bring an end to her existence.
T h e United States could conceivably exert pressure on
Israel to withdraw unilaterally but this is likely to meet firm
resistance as the Israelis believe that even partial withdrawal
without a genuine peace settlement could again m a k e them
vulnerable to attacks by terrorists and the recurrent nightmare of masses of enemy troops concentrating on her borders
and cities and threatening her existence
It should be noted that any U.S. attempt to exert such
pressure would repudiate the clear United States position
established from J u n e 1967 and reiterated by President
Nixon on J a n u a r y 2 5 , 1970 when he stated:
The United States believes that peace can be based only on
agreement between the parties and that agreement can be achieved
only through negotiations between them. We do not see any
substitute for such negotiations if peace and security arrangements
acceptable to the parties are to be worked out.
The United States does not intend to negotiate the terms of peace. It
will not impose the terms of peace. We believe a durable peace
agreement is one that is not one-sided and is one that all sides have a
vested interest in maintaining. The United Nations resolution of
November 1967 describes the principles of such a peace.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur
Goldberg, w h o played a key role in t h e drafting and final
passage of the resolution, explained the basis of U.S. policy
which was successfully p r o m o t e d at the United Nations in
November 1 9 6 7 . He said (May 1 5 , 1 9 6 9 ) :
The premises underlying our support for the Resolution were these:
What the Middle East needs is a real, just and lasting peace,
acceptable and agreed upon by the parties . . . Something more than
the fragile much violated armistice that prevailed for nineteen years.
As we said (and it is an important premise), to return to the
situation as it was before the 1967 war is not a prescription for
peace but for renewed hostilities . . .
Withdrawal of Israeli troops, we held, should be in the context of
and pursuant to a peace settlement accepted and agreed upon
between the parties. Such a settlement will necessarily entail
agreement on secure and recognized boundaries, ensuring the right
of both Israel and her Arab neighbours to live in peace, free from
threats or acts of force.
The Resolution of November 22, 1967, in its first operative
Prospects for the Future
paragraph, explicitly treats at the same time with both of these vital
necessities of peace: on one hand, the withdrawal of Israeli forces;
on the other hand, termination of the Arab's claim of belligerency,
sovereignty and her right to live in peace within secure and
recognized boundaries . . . History shows that if boundaries are to be
secure, they cannot be determined unilaterally or imposed from the
outside; they must be worked out by the parties themselves in the
process of making peace . . .
Finally, it was a clear premise of the U.S. vote on the November
22 Resolution that the parties to the conflict must be parties to the
peace. It is they who, sooner or later, must make a settlement . . .
Other countries can help; but the time when even great nations
could impose their will on small ones is long past.
These were the premises — even-handed premises, in my opinion
— that underlay our government's support of the resolution.
Fundamentally, the Resolution is not self-executing, nor can it be
implemented by unilateral action. It states general principles and
envisions 'agreement' on specifics; the parties must put flesh on
these bare bones.
If . . . the four powers, either singly or in combination, seek to
impose a settlement on the parties, then I fear their efforts will fail.
No good can come from any attempt to impose a settlement. On
the contrary, much mischief may result from such an enterprise.
This is the lesson of the last twenty years, particularly of the Suez
crisis in 1956—57, when our country took the lead in imposing a
settlement. We were singularly unsuccessful in achieving the just and
permanent peace we sought; and even the makeshift arrangements of
1957 fell apart in May 1967.
Israel maintains that she is not negotiating over territories
but over her very survival, as defeat would in fact mean
Israel's annihilation. In this regard the world-famous military
authority, Sir B. H. Liddell Hart, wrote in Encounter
(November, 1967):
In the present political turbulence, it is most important for Israel's
security that she should remain in control of the whole, or almost
the whole of the area she has conquered . . . that the Israelis will be
able to withstand any pressure to give up this "security area", and
that there will be no British or American pressure, even well-meaning
pressure, to give it up in the supposed hope of conciliating her
A better chance lies in the possibility of non-political Arabs
coming to see the advantages of cooperation with Israel.
Blue: Strategic dimensions of
defence, which Israel enjoys
today, and which Egypt demands
Israel give up.
Red: Israel's vulnerable strategic
dimensions if she accepts the formula
of "insubstantial border changes" and
withdraws to the vicinity of the
pre-June 1967 lines.
Some Basic Facts
SINAI: 61,198, all desert
EGYPT: 1,002,000
Area of Sinai as % of area of Egypt: 6%
SINAI: 60,000 mostiy nomad Bedouins
EGYPT: 33,000,000
Population of Sinai as % of population
of Egypt: 2%
Egyptian Forces available for
entry into Sinai, if Israel
500,000 men (compared with 250,000
in May 1967)
12 divisions (compared with 7 in May
1,800 tanks (compared with 1,200 in
May 1967)
700 aircraft (compared with 400 in
May 1967)
Frog ground-to-ground missiles —
range 70 km. (not available in May
It must be noted that:
No one in Israel has ever sought to
deprive Egypt of its identity and
In Egypt there is still plenty of talk, at
all levels, about the need for a
"two-phase" strategy against Israel —
aiming at the destruction of Israel's
identity and independence.
Until J u n e 1967, the Egyptian army had been stationed
within ten minutes' walking distance from Israeli villages;
today, they are 400 kilometres away. The Jordanian army
previously had been 15 km. from Tel Aviv and was actually
inside Jerusalem. Its guns at Kalkiliya shelled Tel Aviv in
J u n e 1967. Today they are 90 km. from Tel Aviv and 40 km.
from Jerusalem.
Before J u n e 1967, an enemy offensive would have
found Israel fighting in her main centres of population
Today, such an enemy offensive would not directly threaten
her urban centres.
In addition, the present distance of the nearest
Egyptian air force bases from Israel's major centres of
population adds an essential security dimension.
This dimension is vitally important to Israel since the
Soviet Union has provided the U.A.R. with ground-to-air and
ground-to-ground missiles. The military presence of Soviet
forces in the U.A.R. also imposes upon Israel special
considerations in determining the geographical dimensions of
its security.
Following the Six-Day War Israel's land borders have
been considerably shortened. The border with Egypt was 265
km. long and is now only 160 km.; that with Jordan has been
shortened from about 560 km. to 300 km. This made the
frontiers far more defensible than before.
Israel maintains that the final "secure and recognized
boundaries" should be identical neither with the armistice
lines of 1949 nor with the cease-fire lines of 1967. The
determination of such boundaries thus awaits negotiation
between the two sides.
Israel adhered to the Security Council Resolution to
cease fire. The cease-fire lines established at the time are still
in force, pending a peace treaty. The Security Council
rejected the Soviet proposal to call for Israel's withdrawal
from the cease-fire lines
(Map and commentary are reproduced from Secure and Recognized
Boundaries: Israel's Right to Live in Peace within Defensible Frontiers,
by permission of Carta Publications, Jerusalem).
Prospects for the Future
Arab Views concerning Peace
Israel's resolve not to withdraw from the occupied territories
merely in return for a possible lukewarm undertaking by
Sadat recognising Israel's "right" to exist, is strengthened by
the continued Arab statements which even after 1967 still
refer to the ultimate imperative of annihilating Israel:
Saudi Arabian representative at the United Nations Security Council
(June 13, 1967):
No Arab dares to talk with Israel unless he is a puppet — and the
puppets will be dealt with appropriately. I will be sorry for them as
human beings because nobody should kill anybody else in this
world. Thirteen Arabs were shot like birds on the rumour that they
were going to talk with Israel, during the last two decades. So, then,
let us not mislead ourselves here in the United Nations by saying
that any talks will solve the problems.
King Hussein of Jordan (June 26,1967):
Israel makes no sense, geographically or economically . . . The battle
which began on 5 June will then become only one battle in what will
be a long war.
George Tomeh, Syrian Representative to U.N. (July 17, 1967):
On behalf of all the Arab delegations, and in accordance with the
resolution adopted by the League of Arab States, we now confirm,
as we have stated in the past, our non-recognition of the State of
Israel . . . The denial of recognition to that state should be
reaffirmed time and again.
Resolutions of Khartoum Arab Summit Conference (Aug. 24—Sept. 1,
The Arab heads of state have agreed to unite their political efforts at
the international and diplomatic level . . . This will be done within
the framework of the main principles by which the Arab states
abide, namely: No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no
negotiations with Israel. . .
President Nasser (November 23, 1967):
The Arabs will adhere to the Khartoum Summit Conference decision
of no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel.
President Nasser (November 23, 1967):
We will not recognise Israel, we will not make peace with it. We will
not permit Israel navigation of the Suez Canal.
Al Ahram, Cairo daily (December 29, 1967):
The Arab struggle aims at liquidating the results' of the June '67
aggression without losing sight of the aim of liquidating the results
of the aggression of May '48.
The Case for Israel
Radio Cairo "Voice of the Arabs" (January 25, 1968):
When we come to choose a paramount objective there is no doubt
that this objective will be the return of Arab Palestine, the
destruction of Israel and Zionist existence.
Radio Cairo "Voice of the Arabs"(March 17, 1968):
The real Palestine problem is the existence of Israel in Palestine. As
long as a Zionist existence remains even in a tiny part of it — that
will mean occupation. The important thing is to liquidate the Israeli
occupation and there is no difference between the lately occupied
and those occupied before.
President Al-Bakr of Iraq (April 2,1968):
Israel. . . should definitely be annihilated.
President Nasser (April 10, 1968):
The Arab nation has decided to embark on the path of struggle and
war. We will move on to the containment of Israel, and after that
to . . . its eradication.
Representative of Algeria, in U.N. Security Council (May 1, 1968):
We are in favour of the liquidation of the Zionist regime.
Lebanese Foreign Minister, Fuad Butros (May 28, 1968):
The signing of a final peace agreement is far from becoming a reality.
Our generation is of the opinion that there will be no negotiations at
all nor any peace agreement.
Lebanese Foreign Minister, Fuad Butros (May 29, 1968):
The present generation of Arabs will never negotiate a peace
settlement with Israel.
Hassanein Haikal, editor of Al Ahram (June 1, 1968):
.. . Her (Israel's) one hope is to obtain acceptance by the Arabs of
her existence and their consent to co-operate with her. It is here that
the significance and importance of the Arab rejection appears.
Al Ahram - Cairo daily (June 12, 1968):
Israel wants negotiations with the Arabs since it is the only way that
it can feel that it has become a normal state and a homogeneous part
of the Middle East . . . Israel knows that the Arabs have finally
closed the door to its existence.
Radio Damascus (June 30, 1968):
Peace in the Middle East will be implemented only by delivering a
blow against Israel to liquidate it, thus abolishing the factor which
constitutes the main cause of the tension.
President Nasser (July 5, 1968):
The first and paramount aim of the Arab nation, including the
Egyptian people, is the unification of all its forces and resources in
order to cleanse the Arab land and liberate it. This is an
Prospects for the Future
unquestioned aim, and there is no alternative to it, whatever the
difficulties and sacrifices.
Syria's President, Al Atassi (November 11, 1968):
There can be no political solution short of complete Israeli eviction
from Palestine . . . The Arabs' very existence remains in peril as long
as the Zionist state exists in the heart of the Arab world . . . All Arab
states should extend the utmost assistance to the Palestinian guerillas
and enable them to continue their anti-Israeli warfare.
Syria's President, Al Atassi (December 1,1968):
The only way to end the Middle East crisis is through armed struggle
and support of commando action . . . The Arab nations want not
only to regain the territory lost during the June War, but to strike at
the imperialist Zionist base.
President Al Bakr of Iraq (May 17, 1969):
We reject any, international proposals to liquidate the Palestinian
question that leave Israel in existence. For us, the Arab armed
struggle is the only way to liberate the stolen lands and to root out
the Zionist cancer.
Amman Radio (November 17, 1970):
Israel's existence in the heart of the Arab people is an absurdity and
ought to be got rid of by any means whatsoever.
This was admitted even by those elements who have created a
multitude of secondary absurdities to distract the Arab people from
the main one, which is Israel.
Baghdad Radio (November 26,1970):
The Jews in Palestine should remember . . . that peace will be
attained through victory of the forces of peace and progress. Peace
will come through victory of the Palestine revolution after the
Zionists in Palestine are torn out by the roots.
Wasfi at-Tall, the Jordanian Premier, stated (December 14, 1970):
We have accepted the Security Council Resolution of 22 November
1967 but the Palestinians have the right not to accept it. First, the
Israelis must withdraw. After that the Palestinians will have to
answer for themselves. They will then have to decide whether to
continue terrorist activities or choose another way of fighting the
Saeb Salam, the Lebanese Premier, stated (February 19, 1971):
The world must know that these parts cannot ever contain the Arabs
and the Israeli robber-aggressor. It has to be either Arabs or Israel
and its long-drawn aggression.
President Sadat, at a banquet in honour of President Tito of Yugoslavia
(February 19, 1971):
. . . The need is to safeguard the natural and legitimate rights of the
The Case for Israel
Palestinian people, not on a humanitarian basis but above all on a
national political basis. This means that the problem to be solved is
not that of the Palestine refugees but that of the Palestinian
Baghdad Radio (February 19, 1971):
The question of the Palestine state is part of an imperialist design
aimed at diverting the Palestinian peoples' struggle from its main
objective of liberating all the homeland and liquidating the Palestine
question in that way. Accepting a Palestine state on part of the
homeland would mean recognizing the Israeli enemy's entity,
abandoning the major part of the homeland usurped by Israel, and
legalizing its illegal existence by the Palestinian people who are the
legitimate owners of Palestine.
Syrian President Hafez al-Asad (March 17, 1971):
I repeat again, we are not involved in any negotiations for a peace
settlement. We have never committed ourselves, nor shall we ever do
so, to restrict terrorist activities. Syria is the lung through which
terrorist activity breathes and it will remain that.
President Boumedienne of Algeria (March 29, 1971):
There has been talk about the Rogers Plan, and a return to the 1967
borders as an acceptable solution to this problem, and the United
Nations mediator, Gunnar Jarring, etc. But we say that if such a
policy is designed to gain time for the building of the armed forces
and in preparation, then it is reasonable . . . However, if this policy is
not a planned tactic .. . we cannot accept it, for it leads to
recognition of Israel. And we cannot in any way pursue a policy that
might lead to a direct or an indirect recognition of Israel.
President Numeryri of the Sudan (June 7, 1971):
The Sudanese army stands ready to enter the fateful battle at
Egypt's side. There may be some slight hope for a peaceful solution
and — as Nasser and Sadat said — one must work for each spark of
hope, but this will not restrain the Arab people and army from
entering the war. Even if Israel withdraws from Sinai in the
framework of a partial settlement, there is no hope for a final peace.
In the end there is going to be war.
Al-Akhbar, Cairo daily (June 9, 1971):
Israel lacks the components essential to the existence of a state. It is
gnawed by worms from within and there is no doubt about its fate —
annihilation. It does not matter when this will come to pass, but its
liquidation is a matter of certainty.
President Sadat on Radio Cairo (June 10, 1971):
Even if a settlement were achieved the Zionist invasion will last
during our generation and that of our children. Israeli aggression will
remain even after we complete the liberation of our land — it is like
a sword over our neck.
Prospects for the Future
In contrast Israel has maintained a consistent policy aiming
for peace, a policy which goes back to Israel's Proclamation
of Independence, issued May 14, 1948, which declared:
In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab
inhabitants of the state of Israel to return to the ways of peace and
to play their part in the development of the state, with full and
equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and
institutions, provisional or permanent.
Golda Meir, then Israel's Foreign Minister stated before the U.N.
General Assembly (October 9, 1962):
My government rejects war as a means of settling disputes. From the
day that the state of Israel was established, my government has
called for settling all outstanding differences by direct negotiations.
The policy of the Israeli government has been and continues to be
peace. It is peace, not only for the world, but also between us and
our neighbours. We believe in co-existence and co-operation everywhere and we shall do everything in our power towards that end . . .
Despite all the speeches which we have heard from Arab representatives we are convinced that for us and for our neighbours the day
must come when we shall live in amity and co-operation. Then will
the entire Middle East become a region where the tens of millions of
people will dwell in peace and then will its economic potentialities
and rich cultural heritage achieve fulfillment.
Immediately following the Six Day War, Foreign Minister, Abba Eban,
at the U.N. General Assembly stated (June 19, 1967):
Free from external pressures and interventions, imbued with a
common love for a region which they are destined to share, the Arab
and Jewish nations must now transcend their conflicts in dedication
to a new Mediterranean future . . .
The development of arid zones, the desalination of water and the
conquest of tropical disease are common interests of the entire
region, congenial to a sharing of knowledge and experience.
. . . young Israelis and Arabs could join in a mutual discourse of
learning. The old prejudices could be replaced by a new comprehension and respect . . . In such a Middle East, military budgets
would spontaneously find a less exacting point of equilibrium.
Excessive sums devoted to security could be diverted to development projects.
For the first time in history, no Mediterranean nation is in
subjection. All are endowed with sovereign freedom. The challenge
now is to use this freedom for creative growth. There is only one
road to that end. It is the road of recognition, of direct contact, of
true co-operation. It is the road of peaceful co-existence.
In free negotiation with each of our neighbours, we shall offer
The Case for Israel
durable and just solutions redounding to our mutual advantage and
Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, at Sharm el Sheikh (June 20, 1967):
I am ready to meet our nearest neighbours, President Nasser, King
Hussein and other Arab leaders, at any place and at any time in
order to hold peace talks.
We want to forget what was done to us. We want to prevent future
tests of strength, and we want Jews and Arabs to renew those bright
days when together we contributed to human culture. There is a
great future in store for the Middle East. We must not miss this
opportunity . . .
Yigal Allon, cabinet minister (February 18, 1968):
The Arabs should test Israel at the bargaining table, as they did on
the battlefield . . . There are no problems that cannot be solved by
talks. Israel is ready to sit with them.
It must be emphasised that whilst the above quotations are
representative of Israeli policy, it would be impossible to find
a single remotely compatible conciliatory statement towards
Israel from any Arab leader since 1948.
(3) The Prospects for Peace
Israel's principal demands for a peace settlement are
* A genuine peace settlement.
* Guarantees for future border stability and security.
* Freedom of navigation in international waterways,
including the Suez Canal.
In an interview with Time, on April 24, 1970, Israeli Foreign
Minister, Abba Eban, outlined Israel's unsuccessful efforts to
reach some form of settlement since the June 1967 war:
As soon as the War ended, we suggested that the parties proclaim their
intention to make peace. The Arab states said no. We suggested direct
negotiations. They said no. We suggested an agenda for peace talks and
asked them to make their counter suggestions. They said no. We said we
would like Ambassador Jarring to bring the parties together in a peace
conference. They said no. We agreed to follow the procedures, at a
peace Conference, that was followed in the Armistice talks at Rhodes.
They said no. We said that the boundary question should be regarded as
open for negotiation and agreement and that there should be no prior
conditions. They said no. We suggested an international conference
with the parties in the Middle East, international agencies, and states
Prospects for the Future
which support refugee relief, to work out a refugee plan ahead of any
other negotiations. They said no. We launched an idea concerning the
Jerusalem problem. They said no. I then raised the possibility of
discussing a new concept of the boundary, namely an open boundary
like the "community boundaries" in Western Europe. They said no.
Abba Eban told the United Nations on October 8, 1968:
Within the framework of peace we are willing to replace the cease-fire
by lines of secure and recognised boundaries between Israel and each of
the neighbouring Arab states, and to carry out the disposition of forces
in full accord with the boundaries agreed under the final peace.
It is obvious that Israel desires to negotiate a peace
settlement. However, Israel does not accept as a precondition that she would return all the territories. Indeed, if
one examines the post-war European map it is noteworthy
that there have been substantial adjustments in borders of
various states (particularly the U.S.S.R.) through the medium
of peaceful negotiations (see p p . 110—111). However, within
the context of current Arab unwillingness to reach a genuine
peace settlement, Israel is unlikely to withdraw unilaterally
from the Administered Territories.
The current situation therefore offers little basis for hope
of a real peace in the near future. This is further accentuated
by the considerable doubt concerning the stability of many
of the Arab governments. The Sadat regime, itself a shaky
government, demonstrated during the 1971 trials against
Sadat's political enemies, how close Egypt came to being
ruled by people who indulged in seances to guide them as to
when " t h e most opportune moment to attack Israel" would
It is significant that in the course of entering into the
federal framework, grouping U.A.R. with Syria and Libya,
Sadat himself, despite statements to the contrary to the
Americans, once again committed his regime to a policy of
" n o peace, no recognition, and no negotiations" with Israel.
President Sadat expressed himself in a somewhat ambiguous
manner (June 2, 1971):
As a politician I must look at the entire picture: not just the coming
battle, but the picture of present and future alike. The Zionist
conquest which oppresses us will not come to an end by the return
of the conquered territories. This is a new war of the crusades, which
In calling for the establishment of final, agreed, secure and
recognized borders, Israel only follows the established
practice following wars. The following map shows frontier
changes in Europe at the end of World Wars I and II, the
outcome of peaceful negotiations.
The changes conform with standard precedents even in the
case of existing political borders, and should especially hold
true for Israel, whose final borders are yet to be determined.
The Soviet Union has been in the forefront of those calling
for unconditional return to the status quo ante in the Middle
East in plain departure from its own practice in Eastern
Europe. There is truth in a commentary in Pravda of
September 2, 1964:
"The borders of the state have become sanctified in the
efforts of the settlers in the border villages and by the
streams of blood which they have had to shed in their
defence. A people which has been attacked and which
defended itself and emerged victorious has the sacred right of
establishing for itself such a final political settlement as
would permit it to liquidate the sources of aggression . . . a
people which has acquired its security with such heavy
sacrifice will never agree to restore the old borders."
It is a truth that should be applied in the case of Israel,
(Map and commentary are reproduced from Secure and Recognized
Boundaries: Israel's Right to Live in Peace within Defensible Frontiers,
by permission of Carta publications, Jerusalem).
The Case for Israel
will continue in our generation and in coming generations. It is
incumbent upon us, before the responsibility is passed on to those
coming after us, to arm the new generation and invest it with new
power, so that it can continue the battle after us.
Sadat's former Information Minister and editor of Al Ahram,
Mohammad Hassanein Heikal was franker when he wrote
(February 2 5 , 1961):
Arab policy at this stage has but two objectives. The first, the
elimination of the traces of the 1967 aggression through an Israeli
withdrawal from all the territories it occupied that year. The second
objective is the elimination of the state of Israel itself. This is,
however, as yet an abstract, undefined objective, and some of us
have erred in commencing the latter step before the former.
In an interview broadcast on Egyptian television, Heikal was
even more explicit (June 2 9 , 1971):
Israel is an historic mistake, and cannot exist for any long-range
period. The meaning of her continued existence would be that the
Arabs are worth nothing.
Apart from this, no Arab state has indicated that it would
abide by a Sadat contracted settlement even if such a
settlement were feasible. Indeed, all Arab states, including
the U.A.R., still continue verbally supporting the Arab
terrorist movements and refuse to accept responsibility for
terrorist activities initiated within their own borders.
Even if the Arabs gave verbal undertakings in regard to a
peace settlement, it is pertinent that, going back to the U.N.
Partition Plan of 1947, the historical records show that the
Arabs have demonstrated little regard for either international
law in general or their own undertakings. They have gone
back on agreements to which they have committed themselves, especially in the case of Sharm el Sheikh and the
Straits of Tiran and the use of the Suez Canal. Other
agreements were also breached, e.g. the demilitarization of
the Golan Heights, the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, the
right of free access to the religious shrines of the Old City of
Jerusalem and to the Western Wall, to name only a few. It
should also be noted that Egypt's unilateral repudiation in
1969 of the U.N. cease-fire which ended the Six Day War in
1967 was also followed in August 1970 by a blatant violation
of the terms of the new cease-fire, promote d under U.S.
Prospects for the Future
auspices, when the Russians and Egyptians jointly moved
their missiles into the "standstill" zone along the Suez Canal.
When viewed in perspective, the continued maintenance of
the present conflict is truly grotesque:
(1) Ninety million Arabs, living on ten million square
kilometers of territory, appear unwilling to countenance
the existence of a nation of 2 1/2 million Jews living on
territory which is one tenth of one per cent of the size of
the Arab territories.
(2) In twenty years the Arab countries have received 26
billion dollars in oil royalties.
In 20 years the Arab countries ruled by army officers have
spent more than 20 billion dollars for military purposes.
Yet Arab refugees linger in camps and the living standards
of Arab peasants and workers have declined.
It is to be hoped that social progress will ultimately
produce new and progressive Arab leaders who will lead their
people towards constructive internal reforms rather than
continue fanning an atmosphere of xenophobic nationalism
which even if temporarily diverting Arab peasants and
workers from their miserable plight, cannot be expected to
solve the long-term problems confronting the Arab peoples.
This hope is expressed by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba
Eban who told the United Nations General Assembly (August
Peace has too often been considered by international bodies in semantic
formal terms, and too little in terms of human realities. It is not enough
that Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan should agree on a form of
words; indeed, such an agreement may be a perilous illusion if it
conceals a wide gap in intention and interpretation. What is needed
most is that they, and all concerned with their deeper interests, should
have a clear vision of what our region would look like and how its
people would live, once hostility was replaced by peace.
The most conclusive evidence of the hallmark of peace is the open
frontier. In a peaceful Middle East, a man would be able to travel by
road and by rail from Cairo through Israel to Beirut and Amman;
Egyptian civil aircraft could traverse through the Suez Canal; Israeli and
Arab civil aircraft would land in Cairo, Lod and Amman on their
present route to East Africa; and a railway for the transportation of
heavy goods would pass from the Suez area through Kantara, across the
The Case for Israel
Israeli coast northward. The ports of Eilat and Aqaba. would plan their
expansion and development co-ordination .. .
Why should not Israeli and Arab doctors and scientists co-operate in
the common quest for learning, visit each other's institutions, lecture to
each other's students, meet together to face the opportunities and ills
which are common to our region? If the Israeli yield of cotton is about
120 kilograms per dunam, more than twice the average in other areas in
the Middle East, might not the lessons be experimentally learned and
In 22 years, the Arab States and Israel have spent more than 20
thousand million dollars for military purposes. If one-tenth of that sum
had been invested in a refugee solution, the problem would have been
solved long ago, in a way that would have promoted economic progress
in all the countries in which the resettlement was made. At the present
time, Egypt and Israel are spending two thousand million dollars a year
for military purposes.
Peace is not a word or a juridical phrase. It is a total revolution in
the meaning, style and content of life. It is not a documentary device,
but a human condition the like of which our generation in the Middle
East has never known.
The Case of Israel
Israel and the Arabs — Some Comparative Statistics
Area ('000 sq mls.)
Income — per
capita ($)
($ million)
Birth rate
(per 1000)
Death rate
(per 1000)
Life Expectancy
Persons per Doctor
No. of Schools
Pupils ('000''s)
p r i m . & secondary
Daily Newspapers
Copies sold (per
('000 population)
Private cars (per
'000 population)
Telephones (per
'000 population)
Radio sets (per
'000 population)
Television sets
(per '000 pop.)
Jordan* Lebanon*
*Administered Territories: areas included under Israel, but not population.
West Bank
2,270 sq. miles; 600,000 pop.
Gaza & Sinai
23,762 sq. miles; 365,500 pop.
Golan Heights
— 444 sq. miles.
Land Ownership in Palestine, 1880-1948
by Moshe Aumann
A great deal has been spoken and written over the years on the
subject of land ownership in Israel—or, before 1948, Palestine.
Arab propaganda, in particular, has been at pains to convince the
world, with the aid of copious statistics, that the Arabs "own"
Palestine, morally and legally, and that whatever Jewish land
ownership there may be is negligable. From this conclusions have
been drawn (or implied) with regard to the sovereign rights of
the State of Israel and the problem of the Arab refugees.
T h e Arab case against Israel, in the matter of Jewish land
purchases, rests mainly on two claims: (1) that the Palestinian
Arab farmer was peacefully and contentedly working his land in
the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th
when along came the European Jewish immigrant, drove him off
his land, disrupted the normal development of the country and
created a vast class of landless, dispossessed Arabs; (2) that a small
Jewish minority, owning an even smaller proportion of Palestinian
lands (5 per cent as against the Arabs' 95 per cent), illegally made
itself master of Palestine in 1948.
O u r purpose in this pamphlet is to set the record straight by
marshalling the facts and figures pertaining to this very complex
subject, on the basis of the most reliable and authoritative information available, and to trace the history of modern Jewish resettlement purely from the point of view of the sale and purchase of land.
Pre-1948 Conditions in Palestine
A study of Palestine under Turkish rule reveals that already at
the beginning of the 18th century, long before Jewish land purchases
and large-scale Jewish immigration started, the position of the
Palestinian fellah (peasant) had begun to deteriorate. T h e heavy
burden of taxation, coming on top of chronic indebtedness to
money-lenders, drove a growing number of farmers to place themselves under the protection of men of wealth or of the Moslem
religious endowment fund (Waqf), with the result that they were
eventually compelled to give up their title to the land, if not their
actual residence upon and cultivation of it.
Until the passage of the Turkish Land Registry Law in 1858,
there were no official deeds to attest to a man's legal title to a parcel
of land; tradition alone had to suffice to establish such title— and
usually it did. And yet, the position of Palestine's farmers was a
precarious one, for there were constant blood-feuds between families,
clans and entire villages, as well as periodic incursions by rapacious
The Case for Israel
Bedouin tribes, such as the notorious Ben Sakk'r, of whom H. B.
Tristram (The Land of Israel: A Journal of Travels in Palestine,
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1865) wrote
that they "can muster 1,000 cavalry a n d always join their brethren
when a raid or w a r is on the move. They have obtained their
present possessions gradually and, in great measure, by driving out
the fellahin (peasants), destroying their villages and reducing their
rich corn-fields to pasturage." (p. 488.)
Tristram goes on to present a remarkable and highly revealing
description of conditions in Palestine on both sides of the J o r d a n
River in the middle of the 19th century—a description that belies
the Arab claim of a tranquil, normally developing Palestinian rural
economy allegedly disrupted by Jewish immigration a n d settlement.
A few years ago, the whole Ghor was in the hands of the fellahin, and
much of it cultivated for corn. Now the whole of it is in the hands of the
Bedouin, who eschew all agriculture, except in a few spots cultivated
here and there by their slaves; and with the Bedouin come lawlessness
and the uprooting of all Turkish authority. No government is now
acknowledged on the east side; and unless the Porte acts with greater
firmness and caution than is his wont . . . Palestine will be desolated
and given up to the nomads.
T h e same thing is now going on over the plain of Sharon, where, both
in the north and south, land is going out of cultivation, and whole villages rapidly disappearing from the face of the earth. Since the year
1838, no less than 20 villages have been thus erased from the map and
the stationary population extirpated. Very rapidly the Bedouin are encroaching wherever horse can be ridden; and the Government is utterly
powerless to resist them or to defend its subjects. (p. 490)
For descriptions of other parts of the country, we are indebted to
the 1937 Report of the Palestine Royal Commission—though, for
lack of space, we can quote but the briefest passages. In Chapter 9,
para. 43 the Report quotes an eye-witness account of the condition
of the Maritime Plain in 1913:
The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track
suitable for transport by camels and carts . . . no orange groves, orchards
or vineyards were to be seen until one reached Yabna village. . . . Not
in a single village in all this area was water used for irrigation. . . .
Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen. . . .
The ploughs used were of wood. . . . T h e yields were very poor. . . .
T h e sanitary conditions in the village were horrible. Schools did not
exist. . . . T h e rate of infant mortality was very high. . . .
T h e area north of Jaffa . . . consisted of two distinctive parts. . . . T h e
eastern part, in the direction of the hills, resembled in culture that of the
Gaza-Jaffa area. . . . The western part, towards the sea, was almost a
desert. . . . The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many
ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence
of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants.
T h e H u l e h basin, below the Syrian border, is described as
" i n c l u d i n g a n u m b e r o f A r a b villages a n d a l a r g e p a p y r u s s w a m p
draining south into L a k e H u l e h . . . a triangular strip of land some
44 sq. miles in area. . . . This tract is irrigated in a very haphazard
manner by a network of small, primitive canals. It is, owing to overirrigation, now the most malarious tract in all Palestine. It might
become one of the most fertile."
With regard to yet another region in Palestine—the Beisan (Beit
Shean) area—we quote from the report of Mr. Lewis French,
Director of Development appointed by the British Government in
We found it inhabited by fellahin who lived in mud hovels and suffered
severely from the prevalent malaria. . . . Large areas of their lands were
uncultivated and covered with weeds. There were no trees, no vegetables.
The fellahin, if not themselves cattle thieves, were always ready to harbour these and other criminals. The individual plots of cultivation
changed hands annually. There was little public security, and the fellahin's lot was an alternation of pillage and blackmail by their neighbours
the Bedouin.
This, then, was the picture of Palestine in the closing decades of
the 19th century and up to the First World W a r : a land that was
overwhelmingly desert, with nomads continually encroaching on
the settled areas and its farmers; a lack of elementary facilities and
equipment; peasants wallowing in poverty, ignorance and disease,
saddled with debts (interest rates at times were as high as 60 per
cent) and threatened by warlike nomads or neighbouring clans.
T h e result was a growing neglect of the soil and a flight from the
villages, with a mounting concentration of lands in the hands of a
small number of large landowners, frequently residing in such
distant Arab capitals as Beirut and Damascus, Cairo and Kuwait.
Here, in other words, was a social and economic order that had all
the earmarks of a medieval feudal society.
T h e Palestinian peasant was indeed being dispossessed, but by
his fellow-Arabs: the local sheikh and village elders, the Government
tax-collector, the merchants and money-lenders; and, when he was
a tenant-farmer (as was usually the case), by the absentee-owner.
By the time the season's crop had been distributed among all these,
little if anything remained for him and his family, and new debts
generally had to be incurred to pay off the old. T h e n the Bedouin
came along and took their "cut", or drove the hapless fellah off
the land altogether.
This was the "normal" course of events in 19th century Palestine.
It was disrupted by the advent of the Jewish pioneering enterprise,
which sounded the death-knell of this medieval feudal system. In
this way the Jews played an objective revolutionary role. Small
wonder that it aroused the ire and active opposition of the Arab
sheikhs, absentee landowners, money-lenders and Bedouin bandits.
The Case for Israel
It is important to note that the first enduring Jewish agricultural
settlement in modern Palestine was founded not by European refugees, but by a group of old-time families, leaving the overcrowded
Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. (According to the
Turkish census of 1875, by that time Jews already constituted a
majority of the population of Jerusalem and by 1905 comprised
two-thirds of its citizens. T h e Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1910
gives the population figure as 60,000, of whom 40,000 were Jews.)
In 1878 they founded the village of Petah Tikva in the Sharon
Plain—a village that was to become known as the "Mother of
Jewish Settlements" in Palestine. Four years later a group of
pioneering immigrants from Russia settled in Rishon le-Zion. Other
farming villages followed in rapid succession.
When considering Jewish land purchases and settlements, four
factors should be borne in mind:
(1) Most of the land purchases involved large tracts belonging to
absentee owners. (Virtually all of the Jezreel Valley, for
example, belonged in 1897 to only two persons: the eastern
portion to the Turkish Sultan, and the western part to the
richest banker in Syria, Sursuk "the Greek".)
(2) Most of the land purchased had not been cultivated previously
because it was swampy, rocky, sandy or, for some other reason,
regarded as uncultivable. This is supported by the findings of
the Peel Commission Report (p. 2 4 2 ) : " T h e Arab charge that
the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land
cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange
groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it
was purchased . . . there was at the time at least of the earlier
sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land." (1937)
(3) While, for this reason, the early transactions did not involve
unduly large sums of money, the price of land began to rise
as Arab landowners took advantage of the growing demand for
rural tracts. T h e resulting infusion of capital into the
Palestinian economy h a d noticeable beneficial effects on the
standard of living of all the inhabitants.
(4) T h e Jewish pioneers introduced new farming methods which
improved the soil and crop cultivation and were soon emulated
by Arab farmers.
T h e following figures show land purchases by the three leading
Jewish land-buying organizations and by individual Jews between
1880 and 1935.
Appendix 2
J E W I S H LAND PURCHASES, 1880-1935 (in dunams*)
PICA (Palestine Jewish
Palestine Land
Development Co.
Jewish National
Until 1930
Individual Jews
* 4 dunams = 1 acre.
66,513*** 512,979
** T h e large tracts often belonged to absentee landlords.
*** Land situated in the sandy Beersheba and marshy Huleh districts.
**** ". . . created on December 25, 1901, to ensure that land would be purchased for the Jewish workers who were to be personally responsible
for its cultivation.
"Since the J.N.F. was as concerned with conforming to socialist ideals
as with intensive economic exploitation of land, its Charter was
opposed to the use of lands purchased by it as private property. T h e
J.N.F. retained the freehold of the lands, while the people working
it are only life tenants. . . .
" T h e capital of the Jewish National Fund was essentially raised from
small regular donations from millions of Jewish craftsmen, labourers,
shop-owners and intellectuals in Central and Eastern Europe where the
shadow of genocide was already apparent, who felt concerned about
the return of Jews to Zion. . . .
"Contrary to colonialist enterprises, which were seeking an exorbitant profit from land extorted from the colonized peoples, Zionist
settlement discouraged private capital as its enterprise was of a
socialist nature based on the refusal to exploit the worker." (Kurt
Niedermaler, Colonisation without Colonialism, Youth and Hechalutz
Dept., Jewish Agency, Jerusalem, 1969).
F r o m t h e a b o v e t a b l e i t will b e seen t h a t t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f l a n d
purchased from large (usually absentee) owners ranged from about
50 to 90 per cent.
"The total area of land in Jewish possession at the end of June
1947," writes A. Granott in The Land System in Palestine (Eyre
and Spottiswoode, London, 1952, p. 278), "amounted to 1,850,000
dunams, of this 181,100 dunams had been obtained through concessions from the Palestinian Government, and about 120,000
dunams had been acquired from Churches, from foreign companies, from the Government otherwise than by concessions, and so
forth. It was estimated that 1,000,000 dunams and more, or 57
The Case for Israel
per cent, had been acquired from large Arab landowners, and if to
this we add the lands acquired from the Government, Churches,
and foreign companies, the percentage will amount to seventy-three.
From the fellaheen there had been purchased about 500,000
dunams, or 27 per cent, of the total acquired. T h e result of Jewish
land acquisitions, at least to a considerable part, was that properties
which had been in the hands of large and medium owners were
converted into holding of small peasants."
The League of Nations Mandate
When the League of Nations conferred the M a n d a t e for Palestine
upon Great Britain in 1922, it expressly stipulated that " T h e
Administration of Palestine . . . shall encourage, in cooperation
with the Jewish Agency . . . close settlement by Jews on the land,
including State lands and waste lands not acquired for public
purposes" (Article 6 ) , and that it "shall introduce a land system
appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other
things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and
intensive cultivation of the land." (Article 11)
British policy, however, followed a different course, deferring to
the extremist Arab opposition to the above-mentioned provision of
the Mandate. Of some 750,000 dunams of cultivable State lands,
350,000, or nearly half, had been allotted by 1949 to Arabs and
only 17,000 dunams to Jews. This was in clear violation of the
terms of the Mandate. Nor, ironically enough, did it help the Arab
peasants for whose benefit these transactions were ostensibly carried
out. T h e glaring examples of this policy are the case of the Besian
lands and that of the Huleh Concession.
Beisan Lands
U n d e r the Ghor-Mudawwarra Agreement of 1921, some 225,000
dunams of potentially fertile wasteland in the Besian (Beit Shean)
area were handed over to Arab farmers on terms severely condemned not only by Jews but also by such British experts as Lewis
French and Sir John Hope-Simpson. More than half of the land
was irrigable, and, according to the British experts, eight dunams
of irrigated land per capita (or 50-60 dunams per family) were
sufficient to enable a family to maintain itself on the land. Yet
many farmers received far more than that: six families, of whom
two lived in Syria, received a combined area of about 7,000 dunams;
four families (some living in Egypt) received a combined area of
3,496 d u n a m s ; another received 3,450 and yet another, 1,350.
T h u s the Ghor-Mudawwarra Agreement was instrumental in
creating a new group of large landowners. Possessing huge tracts,
most of which they were unable to till, these owners began to sell
the surplus lands at speculative prices. In his 1930 Report, Sir
Appendix 2
Hope-Simpson wrote of the Agreement that it had deprived the
Government of "the control of a large area of fertile land
eminently suited for development and for which there is ample
water for irrigation," and that "the grant of the land has led to
speculation on a considerable scale."
For twenty years (from 1914 to 1934) the Huleh Concession—
some 57,000 dunams of partly swamp-infested but potentially highly
fertile land in north-eastern Palestine—was in Arab hands. T h e
Arab concessionaires were to drain and develop the land so as to
make additional tracts available for cultivation, under very attractive terms offered by the Government (first Turkish, then British).
However, this was never done, and in 1934 the concession was sold
to a Jewish concern, the Palestine Land Development Company,
at a huge profit. T h e Government added several onerous conditions
concerning the amount of land (from the drained and newly
developed tracts) that had to be handed over—without reimbursement for drainage and irrigation costs—to Arab tenant-farmers in
the area.
All told, hundreds of millions of dollars were paid by Jewish
buyers to Arab landowners. Official records show that in 1933
£854,796 was paid by Jewish individuals and organizations for
Arab land, mostly large estates; in 1934 the figure was £1,647,836
and in 1935, £1,699,488. Thus, in the course of only three years
£4,202,180 (more than 20 million dollars at the prevailing rate of
exchange) was paid out to Arab landowners (Palestine Royal
Commission Report, 1937).
To understand the magnitude of the prices paid for these lands,
we need only look at some comparative figures. In 1944, Jews paid
between $1,000 and $1,100 per acre in Palestine, mostly for arid
or semi-arid land; in the same year rich black soil in the state of
Iowa was selling for about $110 per acre (U.S. Department of
In those instances where as a result of such transactions Arab
tenant-farmers were displaced (on one year's notice), compensation
in cash or other land was paid, as required by the 1922 Protection
of Cultivators Ordinance; the Jewish land-buying associations often
paid more than the law required (Pollack and Boehm, The Keren
Kayemeth Le-Israel). Of 688 such tenants between 1920 and
1930, 526 remained in agricultural occupations, some 400 of them
finding other land (Palestine Royal Commission Report, 1937,
Chapter 9, para. 61).
The Case for Israel
Investigations initiated in 1931 by Mr. Lewis French disposed of
the charge that a large class of landless or dispossessed Arab
farmers was created as a result of Jewish land purchases. According
to the British Government report (Memoranda prepared by the
Government of Palestine, London 1937, Colonia No. 133, p. 37),
the total number of applications for registration as landless Arabs
was 3,271. Of these, 2,607 were rejected on the ground that they did
not come within the category of landless Arabs. Valid claims were
recognized in the case of 664 heads of families, of whom 347
accepted the offer of resettlement by the Government. T h e
remainder refused either because they had found satisfactory employment elsewhere or because they were not accustomed to irrigated
cultivation or the climate of the new areas (Peel Report, Chapter 9,
para. 60).
Purchases of land by Jews in the hill country had always been
very small and, according to the investigations by Mr. French, of
71 applications by Arabs claiming to be landless, 68 were turned
to Jewish
Another Arab claim disproved by the facts is that Zionist
"colonialism" led to the disruption and ruin of the Arab Palestinian
society and economy.
Statistics published in the Palestine Royal Commission Report
(p. 279) indicate a remarkable phenomenon: Palestine, traditionally
a country of Arab emigration, became after World W a r I a country
of Arab immigration. In addition to recorded figures for 1920-36,
the Report devotes a special section to illegal Arab immigration.
While there are no precise totals on the extent of Arab immigration
between the two World Wars, estimates vary between 60,000 and
100,000. T h e principal cause of the change of direction was Jewish
development, which created new and attractive work opportunities
and, in general, a standard of living previously unknown in the
Middle East.
Another major factor in the rapid growth of the Arab population
was, of course, the rate of natural increase, among the highest in
the world. This was accentuated by the steady reduction of the
previously high infant mortality rate as a result of the improved
health and sanitary conditions introduced by the Jews.
Altogether, the non-Jewish element in Palestine's population (not
including Bedouin) expanded between 1922 and 1929 alone by
more than 75 per cent. T h e Royal Commission Report makes these
interesting observations:
The shortage of land is, we consider, due less to the amount of land
acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population, (p. 242)
Appendix 2
We are also of the opinion that up till now the Arab cultivator has
benefited, on the whole, both from the work of the British administration
and from the presence of Jews in the country. Wages have gone u p ; the
standard of living has improved; work on roads and buildings has been
plentiful. In the Maritime Plains some Arabs have adopted improved
methods of cultivation. (p. 241)
Jewish development served as an incentive not only to Arab entry
into Palestine from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and other neighbouring
countries, but also to Arab population movements within the
country—to cities and areas where there was a large Jewish concentration. Some idea of this phenomenon may be gained from the
following official figures:
Changes in towns: The Arab population in predominantly Arab
towns rose only slightly (if at all) between the two World Wars: in
Hebron—from 16,650 in 1922 to 22,800 in 1943; Nablus—from
15,931 to 23,300; Jenin—from 2,737 to 3,900; Bethlehem—from
6,658 to 8,800. Gaza's population actually decreased from 17,426
in 1922 to 17,045 in 1931.
On the other hand, in the three major Jewish cities the Arab
population shot up during this period, far beyond the rate of
natural increase: Jerusalem—from 28,571 in 1922 to 56,400 (97
per cent); Jaffa—from 27,437 to 62,600 (134 per cent); Haifa—
from 18,404 to 58,200 (216 per cent).
Changes in rural areas: The population of the predominantly
Arab Beersheba district dropped between 1922 and 1939 from
71,000 to 49,000 (the rate of natural increase should bave resulted
in a rise to 89,000). In the Bethlehem district the figure increased
from 24,613 to about 26,000 (after falling to 23,725 in 1929). In
the Hebron area it went up from 51,345 to 59,000 (the natural
increase rate dictated a rise to 72,000).
In contrast to these declines or comparatively slight increases in
exclusively Arab-inhabited areas, in the Nazareth, Beit Shean,
Tiberias and Acre districts—where large-scale Jewish settlement and
rural development was underway—the figure rose from 89,600 in
1922 to some 151,000 in 1938 (by about 4.5 per cent per annum,
compared with a natural increase rate of 2.5-3 per cent).
In the largely Jewish Haifa area the number of Arab peasants
increased by 8 per cent a year during the same period. In the Jaffa
and Ramla districts (heavily Jewish populated), the Arab rural
population grew from 42,300 to some 126,000—an annual increase
of 12 per cent, or more than four times as much as can be
attributed to natural increase (L. Shimony, The Arabs of Palestine,
Tel-Aviv, 1947, pp. 422-23).
One reason for the Arab gravitation toward Jewish-inhabited
areas, and from neighbouring countries to Palestine, was the incom-
The Case for Israel
parably higher wage scales paid there, as may be seen from the
following table.
(in mils)
Source: A. Khoushy, Brit Poali Eretz-Israel, 1943,
p. 25.
The capital received by Arab landowners for their surplus holdings was used for improved and intensive cultivation or invested in
other enterprises. Turning again to the Report of the Palestine
Royal Commission (p. 93), we find the following conclusions: "The
large import of Jewish capital into Palestine has had a general
fructifying effect on the economic life of the whole country. . . .
The expansion of Arab industry and citriculture has been largely
financed by the capital thus obtained. . . . Jewish example has done
much to improve Arab cultivation. . . . The increase in Arab
population is most marked in areas affected by Jewish development."
During World War II, the Arab population influx mounted
apace, as is attested by the UNRWA Review, Information Paper
No. 6 (September 1962) :
A considerable movement of people is known to have occurred, particularly during the Second World War, years when new opportunities of employment opened up in the towns and on military works in Palestine.
These wartime prospects and, generally, the higher rate of industrialization in Palestine attracted many new immigrants from the neighbouring
countries, and many of them entered Palestine without their presence
being officially recorded.
Land Ownership in 1948
The claim is often made that in 1948 a Jewish minority owning
only 5 per cent of the land of Palestine made itself master of the
Arab majority, which owned 95 per cent of the land.
In May 1948 the State of Israel was established in only part of the
area allotted by the original League of Nations Mandate. 8.6 per
cent of the land was owned by Jews and 3.3 per cent by Israeli
Arabs, while 16.9 per cent had been abandoned by Arab owners who
imprudently heeded the call from neighbouring countries to "get
out of the way" while the invading Arab armies made short shrift of
Israel. The rest of the land—over 70 per cent—had been vested in
Appendix 2
the Mandatory Power, and accordingly reverted to the State of
Israel as its legal heir. (Government of Palestine, Survey of Palestine, 1946, British Government Printer, p. 257.)
The greater part of this 70 per cent consisted of the Negev, some
3,144,250 acres all told, or close to 50 per cent of the 6,580,000
acres in all of Mandatory Palestine. Known as Crown or State
Lands, this was mostly uninhabited arid or semi-arid territory,
inherited originally by the Mandatory Government from Turkey.
In 1948 it passed to the Government of Israel.
These lands had not been owned by Arab farmers—neither under
the British Mandate nor under the preceding regime. Thus it is
obvious that the contention that 95 per cent of the land—whether
of Mandatory Palestine or of the State of Israel—had belonged to
Arabs has absolutely no foundation in fact.
There is perhaps no better way of concluding and summing up
this study than to quote from an article entitled Is Israel a Thorn
or a Flower in the Near East? by Abdul Razak Kader, the Algerian
political writer, now living in exile in Paris (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 1,
"The Nationalists of the states neighbouring on Israel, whether
they are in the government or in business, whether Palestinian,
Syrian or Lebanese, or town dwellers of tribal origin, all know that
at the beginning of the century and during the British Mandate
the marshy plains and stone hills were sold to the Zionists by their
fathers or uncles for gold, the very gold which is often the origin
of their own political or commercial careers. The nomadic or seminomadic peasants who inhabited the frontier regions know full well
what the green plains, the afforested hills and the flowering fields
of today's Israel were like before.
"The Palestinians who are today refugees in the neighbouring
countries and who were adults at the time of their flight know all
this, and no anti-Zionist propaganda—pan-Arab or pan-Moslem—
can make them forget that their present nationalist exploiters are
the worthy sons of their feudal exploiters of yesterday and that the
thorns of their life are of Arab, not Jewish, origin."
The Case for Israel
Address to the Council Conference of the Socialist
International, Helsinki, May 25, 1971
by Golda Meir
It is pertinent that the international voice of democratic socialism,
the Socialist International, has never turned against Israel in the
manner of the totalitarian Communist left and sections of the so
called "New Left" who seem to prefer the "socialism" of Egypt and
the anti-imperialism of Al Fatah to the socialism of Israel and her
right to exist as a nation. The speech by the Israeli Premier at the
1971 Conference of the Socialist International is an excellent up-todate presentation of Israel's case and is reproduced below in its
Comrade Chairman and Comrades,
May I be allowed to add my word of congratulation to Comrade Douglas, and may I tell him that I have some feeling of envy.
I tried to do what you did now. I was not offered a silver plate,
and you see what happened to m e ! I wish you well, but I don't
believe anybody who has been in socialist activity as long as you
have been really can resign. You think you will, but you really
Comrades, the Middle East has been mentioned several times
this morning, and it has been said that there is now a change in
the situation. This is a fact since the real change has not yet
taken place, and I don't think there is any one of us who is prepared to prophesy when that will happen. I mean when will
somebody from our region be able to stand before an international
or any other body and say that a new era has set in in the Middle
East for the good and welfare of all the people in that area. And
there are millions upon millions upon millions of people whose
lot, I'm afraid, will not be improved until there is peace among the
countries in the area—among the Arab states themselves and
between Israel and its neighbours.
When that day comes it will be a great day. It will mean
new life, a new development for an era that has known in its long,
long history many struggles and many wars. But the mountains
and valleys of that entire area can tell a story not only of wars
and destruction and death. It happens to be a part of the world
where a great story of culture was written. Moral principles have
been handed down to civilisations, three of the great religions
of the world were born, many things have been created in that part
of the world.
Appendix 3
I am convinced that in spite of anything that has happened
and is happening, even today, that the day will come, because the
people want it and need it. And finally the leaders who don't
express the real needs and desires of the people will either have to
give in, or other leaders will have to take their place.
But some changes have taken place since we met last in
Eastbourne. In the first place there have been some changes in
some of our neighbouring countries. I believe when we met in
Eastbourne I mentioned it, at any rate the situation on our eastern
border was that the kibbutzim, our collective settlements in the
valley of Beit-Shean, in the valley of the Jordan, were being
shelled day and night from across the Jordan river. Children have
grown up now, reached the age of four, five, six years and don't
know what it means to live above ground, as they spent most of
their days and all their nights in air raid shelters.
We were told by those who were supposed to have known,
that we cannot hold King Hussein responsible for Al Fatah activities, terrorist activities that were performed against our settlements
across the Jordan river. We were told that King Hussein just wasn't
strong enough to do anything.
Lo and behold, a miracle has taken place! When Hussein felt
it was not the children in the kibbutzim who were in danger but
his throne in danger, Amman was in danger—then he got from
somewhere, some source, the strength, the courage and the ability
to fight those terrorist groups against whom he was too weak to
fight before.
At any rate I am happy to say as a result of that the border
has been relatively quiet now for nine or ten months. We are
thankful for little things, especially if so-called "little things"
express themselves in no shooting and no people being killed.
For the last nine months the Canal Zone has been quiet. No
shooting. It is true we could not have all the joy of that because first
it was for a period of three months, and then the entire world that
cared, and the United Nations, was seized with this great problem
—will the cease-fire be renewed? Finally it was renewed for a
further three months, and finally this three months were up and
then it was renewed for one month—just one more month. And I
am happy to say that that has passed and there is still no shooting.
But at the end of that last period, which was ended on March
7, the new President of Egypt announced no more cease-fire. But
that doesn't mean that he is committed not to start shooting
again. He will do it when he believes it is necessary for him,
or when he is prepared to renew the shooting. And at any rate
here were are now, towards the end of May, and there has been
no shooting.
The Case for Israel
There is one great desire, greater than any other on he part of
Israel and that is the desire for a final contractual peace treaty.
If we cannot have that, then let's have it quiet. But the problem
naturally is not solved. When in last August the Secretary of State
of the United States presented to us and Egypt and Jordan a
proposition called "peace initiative", it consisted of several items.
One, that Israel should be prepared to change her basic
position, which was direct negotiations between our neighbours
and ourselves. Somehow we believe, we still believe, that parties
that have been at war, countries that have been at war, if both
honestly and sincerely have come to the conclusion that from now
on we are going to live in peace, then those parties should be prepared to meet and sit around one table to argue, to see whether
they can understand each other, to see on what items they can
compromise, to have the real expression of preparedness to live
in peace together.
It was said at the Eastbourne Conference that Israel is rather
stubborn. Why does she stand on technicalities? And you people
convinced us. So we said "all right, it will be indirect negotiations". But even the Rogers Plan called for indirect negotiations
between the parties under the aegis of Dr. Jarring. We accepted.
It is said, too, that Israel should commit itself for the implementation of Resolution 242 in all its parts. And we said "yes",
and in the letter that we wrote we said we would do that and
the Israeli army will withdraw from the cease-fire lines to secure
and agreed borders when there is a peace treaty signed. And we
proceeded to negotiations.
There was one more item: a cease-fire for at least 90 days,
and the heart of the cease-fire arrangement was a standstill on
both sides of the Canal. And since there were a few missiles on
the Egyptian side of the Canal it pointed out exactly what the
standstill meant: — no more missiles moving in. The situation
must remain exactly as it was when the cease-fire went into effect.
No bringing in of heavy equipment on either side, not on our
side, not on the other side. We agreed to this and accepted it.
I must say with sorrow the cease-fire went into effect at twelve
o'clock midnight, and in the morning we found that the situation
on the other side of the canal had changed. New missiles had been
moved in. Other missiles that were there before were moved closer
to the Canal, and from that hour on SAM 2 and SAM 3
missiles were moving in. It was everything except a standstill.
An unbelievable situation arose. We saw them, but it was
almost impossible for us to get other people to see them, even
those who initiated the cease-fire and initiated the standstill article.
Appendix 3
It took about three weeks for other people to see what we were
seeing. Now, it is difficult for us to believe that Israel, which is,
of course, exceptionally able, in fact was so able that only Israel
itself has the means to find out whether there were missiles in the
Canal Zone or not. After three weeks when it was revealed that
somebody else saw them and began comparing, let us say, notes,
it finally was concluded that everything that we said was happening
was actually happening.
By that time we were asked, as many ask us today, to be
reasonable. They told us: of course missiles have been moved in;
of course your situation is more dangerous now, but you don't
expect the President of Egypt really to remove the missiles. You
certainly don't expect those that were responsible for supplying
the missiles that they should remove them. You just have to
acquiesce to this new situation, to the new dangers that are facing
your pilots and go back to the Jarring talks. And it's stubborn
and intransigent for Israel not to want to go back.
Comrades, when we wonder about this situation called "keeping
the balance of power" and it has been upset by the missiles. Then
it was agreed that we would be supplied with more planes. And we
said "Fine. The fact that you realise that the missiles are there in
the Canal Zone and it requires more planes for us means that our
situation is more dangerous. We are thankful and appreciative of
new planes to offset those planes that might be shot down. It just
happens that in every plane there is one man, sometimes two, and
these, if they come down, cannot be replaced. They are gone for
ever." But these are sentiments, and men of state and leaders of big
countries, and sometimes even small countries, think that such little
things really should not be taken into account. "Don't be stubborn,
don't be intransigent. Don't stand in the way of peace. Maybe
Israel doesn't want peace at all. Maybe what Israel really wants is
acquisition of territory."
Sometimes we say to ourselves: how has it happened? Is the
memory of the people of the world so short that they have forgotten
what happened, not two thousand years ago, but only four years
ago? Four year ago, exactly today, we first realised that the Sinai
desert was being packed with men and guns and bombers, and then
we went out to the world. We never asked anybody to fight for us,
but we went around to the capitals of the world, the friendly
capitals, the capitals that could, we thought, translate the sentiments
into action, not to help us to defend ourselves, but to prevent war.
And at least two of the men who were the heads of those countries
to which we came wanted to prevent war. They were Harold
Wilson as Prime Minister—let no one doubt that Harold Wilson
wanted to prevent the war—and President Johnson of the United
The Case for Israel
States. The third, to our sorrow, our great sorrow, was the head of
France, a man who promised that we were his friends and allies
and when we needed him most he decided that his friendship and
help were not forthcoming.
But there is something much more shocking. We are being
preached to by the United Nations that borders are not important,
that there is no such thing as "secure borders". We are being told
that geography in modern life is not important. What is important
is "international guarantees".
That is exactly what we had in Sharem El Sheikh, — international guarantees. On March 1, 1957, I had the sorry duty on
behalf of my government as Foreign Minister to write out a
statement to the United Nations that we were pulling back from
Sharem El Sheikh and from the Gaza Strip, and there were hopes
and aspirations and promises made by all the maritime powers
in the world that the United Nations Emergency Force would stay
there until normal conditions prevailed. And the letter from the
then Secretary General — in that letter it said that the units cannot
be removed unless it is brought to the General Assembly of the
United Nations.
Well, I'm not going to trouble you with listening to that story
over and over again, how the U.N.E.F. personnel just evaporated.
No special meeting, no special committee, the whole force just
evaporated. I have nothing against the men. How could they fight
against Migs and Ulyushins and guns? Naturally they left, and they
left on the order of the new Secretary General of the United
Nations. But between May 16 and June 4 even the Security
Council could not be called, because one of the great powers, one
of the Four, upon whom we are now expected to depend, to have
our security depend on, one of them said until the 4th of June
"nothing is really happening in the Middle East. That is Israel
propaganda. No need for a Security Council meeting."
It is difficult to believe now how it is that for weeks the region
was in an uproar. There was a volcano, and no hand was lifted to
see that the lava would not flow over the populations in that area.
The same Security Council, the same permanent members, the same
United Nations, the same family of nations.
I want to be just. Many, many people all over the world were
concerned about us. Many people really worried about us. Many
people feared for our fate. But the family of nations together, the
United Nations, the Big Four, the Security Council did nothing.
I say this only to try to recall what the situation was. And
sometimes, Comrades, to be very, very frank, I come to the conclusion: why try again? Maybe we don't know how to tell the
story. Maybe because it is so very, very simple that we don't succeed
in expressing ourselves. There's nothing that's so unjust when here
and there, even from friends, we hear the same kind of language:
"acquisition of territory by force".
You can imagine that one bright morning the Israeli government
had nothing else to do, so it looked out of the window and decided:
"Well, maybe we should acquire some territory, some more sand,
some more rocks, we don't have enough!"
There are some places in the world where history is re-written
but in a lot of countries history is not re-written. W h a t has been and
what has happened remains. And this history of four years cannot
be re-written. People are still here. They remember, still remember
it. There are still articles in all your papers in all your countries of
May 16, of May 23 and June 4. We can still read them. Many
of them have a real bearing on what has happened and what is
going to happen to Israel.
And I say things have changed in our area. On the death of
President Nasser another man took over. We naturally watched
carefully. We were very happy when Dr. Jarring succeeded in
getting from President Sadat a statement that he is prepared to
make peace with Israel. We had never heard that for 23 years, and
we thought this was very important, and we wanted to believe this
is the real thing. And to our great sorrow we found that is wasn't—
not yet, at any rate.
President Sadat said to Dr. Jarring that he would be prepared
to make peace with Israel on condition that Israel makes a prior
commitment that it will withdraw from all territories—all Egyptian
territories and all other Arab territories—and then when we do that
there will be peace. There will be shipping through the Suez Canal
according to the Convention of 1888. This very Convention was
given as a reason throughout the years why there should not be
Israeli shipping. In the Straits of Tiran navigation according to
international law. T h a t is exactly what was said in the past. "You
have no right. This is not an international water, go to the International Court of the Hague and wait".
But never mind these minor matters. We said to Dr. Jarring
that we were prepared to go into negotiations with the parties under
his aegis, that we would not ask for any pre-commitments, nor
would we accept any pre-commitment. We demand and desire that
there should be free negotiations, each side will say what it wants.
After the President of Egypt had said that in its memorandum, we
said: all right, now this is our position—secure and agreed borders.
We don't accept the pre-June 5 lines. This is our position. We
don't ask Egypt to commit itself beforehand that it accepts that we
should not go back to June 4 lines. We do not say that. We said
"we know what the Egyptian position is now, and this is our
The Case for Israel
position. Now, Dr. Jarring, please let us go point by point through
the parties' stands and let's see what can be agreed upon". Three
times we have asked Ambassador Jarring to convey this to the
Egyptians. He sent the messages to the Egyptian government, and
there is no answer.
Instead, on March 24, already after the Egyptians submitted
their memo, President Sadat on the French television said—and I
quote—"The entire matter is summed up in two points: withdrawal,
Israel's withdrawal from all the territories occupied after 5th June;
and the national aspirations of the Palestinians . . ." (not the
refugees). ". . . If this problem is not solved, nothing will be
solved. We are talking about peace, but there can be no peace if the
Palestinian peoples' rights are ignored".
Comrades, if you want to know the definition of what the
"Palestinian peoples' rights" is, read what leaders of the Arab states
say, what Arafat, who is supposed to be head of the Palestinian
people, means when he demands the liberation—we know how
countries have been "liberated" in the past—the liberation of the
Palestinian fatherland and our removal from the map. In the goodness of his heart he sometimes says that maybe those who were in
the country of Palestine before 1917 may be allowed to remain.
A very important, able, knowledgable newspaperman in Egypt,
Hassanein Heikal, wrote on February 25 in his weekly column:
"The defined purposes which are current in the Arab sphere are
only two: one, the first purpose, the removal of the traces of
aggression of 1967 . . ." (We are the aggressors, naturally) ". . .
by the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories which it conquered that year; two, the second purpose, the removal of the traces
of the aggression of 1948 by the very liquidation of Israel". And he
said, "The mistake of some of us . . ." (By "some of us" he means
the Arab leaders who are arguing amongst themselves) ". . . is that
they commence with the last step before they start with the first
step . . . but let us not discuss it prematurely".
Maybe this explains why we do not hear now the Arabs saying
that they want to throw Israel into the sea. Not now. Let's take
the first step, then the second step and the rest will follow.
The Security Council Resolution 242 has been mentioned here
this morning, and it is a very popular item. Sometimes I wonder if
the people who speak about the 242 Resolution—some of them with
great enthusiasm—if they ever really took the trouble to read it,
because if they did then I don't understand how they can repeat
that the 242 Resolution calls for withdrawal from all the occupied
territories. It doesn't. There was a suggestion at the time in the
Security Council that it should read "withdrawal from all occupied
territories", or "the occupied territories". That version was not
Appendix 3
accepted. The Resolution that was accepted said: "Withdrawal of
Israeli armed forces from territories occupied . . .", not all territories or the territories. The operative paragraph of that Resolution
reads: "Requests the Secretary General to designate a special
representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and
maintain contacts with the states concerned in order to promote
agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted
settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this
Resolution" and one of the principal provisions in the Resolution is
the right to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries.
Some time ago, on February 4, President Sadat suggested that
the Suez Canal should be opened. I went to parliament on behalf
of my government on February 9 and said by all means, let's
negotiate the possibility. Now we find out that what is in his mind
is that we should move from these defensive lines along the Canal
and immediately afterwards the Egyptian army will cross the
Canal and thus take the first step of the advance up to the
international border. All this to be done under the constant threat
that the shooting can be renewed at any moment. But this time
there will be a renewal of shooting not when the Canal is between
us and Egypt, but when they are right at our backs. This formula,
"obstinate" and "intransigent" Israel is not prepared to accept.
We will be happy to co-operate in the opening of the Canal and
the clearing of the Canal. By the way, it was not Israel that put the
Canal out of order, the Egyptian government did that.
We are prepared to co-operate to open the Canal for shipping,
but we demand that Israeli ships should also go through the Canal
as all other boats. It is true we managed for twenty years without
Israeli shipping in the Canal. This time we are asked to agree that
Israeli shipping should be discriminated against. That is a little bit
too much. We are prepared to negotiate a way of opening the Canal
without hurting Israel's security. And we said if our parliament will
agree to our proposal, the Israeli forces will pull back a certain
distance from the Canal.
This is not the final line, naturally, and the discussions under
the aegis of Dr. Jarring should go on, but then they will go on in a
peaceful relaxed atmosphere with no pistol held at our heads—"if
you don't move, if you don't pull back there's going to be more
shooting". If that's the case, if there's danger of more shooting then
the Canal is the best defence line that Israel can have. But we are
prepared to go to a line that is maybe not so good provided there
is no more shooting. And once we are negotiating for peace over a
conflict that lasted for 23 years, if people are sincere about it then
they have to realise that it must take time, maybe weeks, maybe
months, but a lot of patience and a lot of determination to come to
The Case for Israel
a peace treaty, to a peace agreement, to make a real peace and to
end all wars. There's no gimmick by which you can do it, and
nobody else can do it except the parties concerned.
I don't know where from stems the authority of the Four
Permanent Members of the Security Council to meet among themselves and to try and take decisions that affect the very fate, the
very life of other people. I thought socialists certainly and many
others would think that in the '70s of the twentieth century the
days have passed when big powers—no matter how big they are—
may decide the fate of small nations. Maybe the bigger they are the
less we should ask of them to decide the nature and fate of small
And now for a moment let me analyse the composition of this
so-called "Court of the Four". The second biggest power of the
Four—I don't think I need especially mention the name although I
don't think they would mind, they're there—is the Soviet Union.
If Harold Wilson will permit me, let me say in a real British
understatement, the Soviet Union is not the best friend that Israel
has. Then there is the French government—we say it with a lot of
pain, because we shall never forget that in many hours of need the
French government was with us. I say "government" because I
believe the French people are with us even today, but governments
deal in the name of the people. Fifty of our Mirage planes, for
which we paid over sixty million dollars several years ago, are
still on French soil, but the French government will not release
them. On the other hand they sold and began delivering Mirage
planes to Libya, when the President of Libya said in public that his
planes are Egyptian planes, and when Egypt needs them to use
against Israel they will have my planes. That is the second member
of the Four.
We consider the two others friendly countries. But the two others,
and this is to their credit, are not against the Arab countries.
They are friends of Israel, but they are also friends of Egypt, Syria
and Libya. They want to be friends of Egypt. What does it mean?
It means that there are two countries that will try to be fair to both
sides, so Israel has no special advantage there. There are none that
say "Israel, right or wrong", and I don't expect it. There are two
that are against Israel, regardless of what she says or does.
Now, Comrades, if there is one person in this room who will
stand up and say, "if I were the head of my country in a similar
situation I would allow one of the big powers, or any other country
for that matter, to decide my future or my existence", I will go
back to Israel and advise my government to do the same. But I
refuse to be the first one to do it, to put the fate of our country in
the hands of four countries as they are.
Appendix 3
What do we ask of our Arab neighbours? In negotiations with
Israel don't put prior commitments, don't ask of Israel anything
beforehand. Come to the negotiating table and put anything you
want on the table. Argue with Israel, disagree with us, keep on
arguing, but don't dictate to us. We haven't forgotten what happened four years ago. It wasn't we who were responsible for the
war and, thank God, it wasn't we who lost it. But that is our only
fault; we haven't lost it and yet we are being dictated to.
Immediately after the war we said: no dictated peace from a
winner to a loser. We want to live with these people in the same
area, in the same neighbourhood. We know that we will remain.
Naturally we are not so foolish as to believe they will disappear.
Naturally they will remain and so will we. So no negotiations
dictated by one over the other. We have said over and over again
we want to sit down with you, not in the spirit of conqueror
speaking to the conquered. But in that sense the situation to my
sorrow has not changed.
In the last few weeks we have seen new airlifts, some of the
most sophisticated weapons that are available anywhere being
flown into Egypt mainly, and enough arms also to Syria. I would
like to ask if anybody suggest to us to go back to the June 4
borders and I would invite him first to come to the Golan Heights.
You won't need field glasses. Stand on those hills and look down at
the members of the Kibbutzim and without field glasses you can see
and hit every house. And they were hit, more than once, in the
nineteen years. Really, should we step right down so that it would be
possible for the Syrians to take up their guns and do the same all
over again?
It was said here this morning that we should all be courageous
to state our opinions and our ideas. I agree with it one hundred per
cent. But I am afraid, if I may say so, it takes a little bit more than
even courage to tell another people you must do this or you must
do that, even if you think you are in danger. I don't know if that
can be called courage exactly.
I am pleading this here although I know the Socialist International cannot supply us with the necessary planes or tanks or
other equipment which is absolutely essential for the balance not
to be upset more than it is now. Some day—since I believe honestly
and sinecerly that there will be peace some day—it will be told of
what was earnestly called "the balance of power in the Middle
East". But it has been upset, dangerously upset. It is being upset
every day by one of the big powers which constantly sends more
advanced weapons that are not sent by the Soviet Union to any
other country in the world except to Egypt.
I know that Comrade Peterson has no storehouse of planes and
The Case for Israel
tanks which he can send to Israel, but we are comrades, we believe
in the same things. We believe in peace and we all believe that
socialism includes the precept that not only the individuals should
be free and should be equal, but that countries, sovereign countries,
sovereign peoples have the right to live and be safe in their
countries. I am older than many people that sit here. I am glad to
say so—not that I am older but that there are many young people
here. I believed in socialism when I was really young, and I never
stopped to believe in it. Sometimes it pains me. That wasn't what I
really thought and believed in my youth that the Socialist International would do. But friends, I think it was the Italian comrade
who said this morning, that there are various dates when the
International community did not act.
I plead for one thing. If you are convinced that Israel is wrong,
say so. If you are convinced that Israel didn't start the war, that
Israel didn't go out for territorial acquisition, that Israel didn't
go out for more territory, but that Israel was protecting herself, that
Israel had the right, as every single one of you, to have borders
that you consider safe and defensible, that Israel should also have
the same right—not more, God forbid, but not less—then say so.
Friends, I think it is the elementary duty of the socialist community to say so. And to say that Israel should be helped and that
Israel should be equipped in such a way that not only will it be able
to defend itself if and when attacked. But the strength of Israel to
defend itself is its best guarantee. No United Nations can guarantee
the safety of Israel if it has no ability to defend itself.
In 1948 exactly the same thing happened. In 1947 the United
Nations decided to have Jerusalem internationalised. We did not
like it, but we accepted it. In 1948 Jerusalem was shelled. It was
an international city. Who came to save it from the attack by the
Jordan army? Nobody but ourselves.
On June 5, the late Prime Minister, Eshkol sent a message to
King Hussein: "If you don't come into the war nothing will
happen to you". He received another message that morning from
President Nasser: "I am bombing Tel Aviv, come in" and poor
man, he came in and began shelling Jerusalem. This time we could
save it, and we did.
And my closing words: I will never understand why so many
people in the world evidently didn't spend sleepless nights, when
for 19 years the old city of Jerusalem was under the rule of the
Moslem countries, and Jews were the only ones who were not
allowed to come to their holy places. In 19 years not one Jew was
allowed in the old city. Our synagogues were destroyed, our
cemetries desecrated and roads paved with the gravestones. Why,
tell me why are people uneasy now when Jerusalem is united and
Appendix 3
is part of Israel and everybody—Christians and Moslems—can
come to their holy places in the old city. And the Israeli government
say we have no interest in the administration of the holy places.
Let each group, Moslem and Christian, take care of its holy places.
I am sorry, Comrades, that maybe some words sound harsh,
but I don't wish it upon any one of you to come from a little
country in an area of that kind, pleading for life and security and
an ability for Jews that want to, or have to, leave the countries in
which they live and come to Israel—pleading all this and not
always, let me say, being understood.
Thank you.
The Case for Israel
The Crossman-Eban Exchange, 1970
The following open exchange of correspondence between leading
British Labour M.P., Mr. R. H. Crossman, and the Israeli Foreign
Minister, Mr. Abba Eban, appeared in the London weekly New
Statesman on July 31 and August 14,1970.
An open letter to the Israeli Foreign Minister
Dear Abba,
For nearly six years you and I have been reading each other's
minds through Top Secret files. You have had the reports from
your embassy in London on our secret cabinet discussions and
decisions: I have been reading our Foreign Office telegrams from
Tel Aviv. Occasionally we met at receptions; once we shared a
platform and I had to listen to you saying the things I used to say
but was now prevented from saying for fear of hostile Arab
reactions. Not once could we confide in each other as we used to do
in those terrible, exhilarating years when the issue hung in the
balance whether the great powers would allow a Jewish nation to
be reborn in Palestine or stifle it at birth.
Each in his own way, we won our political spurs in that struggle.
And I suspect that both of us, looking back now, feel that to have
been the most worthwhile period in our lives. A lucky fate had
permitted us to be in on an act of political creation which we both
believed would provide the long-term cure for anti-semitism in
the Western world, while creating the conditions for a post-imperial
renaissance which would transform the Middle East within a
Twenty years ago we looked forward to the 1970s so confidently.
How do they look now that they have become the gnawing present.
Now that I can write to you freely, I cannot help putting the
question in that way. Let us count our blessings first. The success
of the Ingathering of the Exiles has exceeded our wildest dreams.
Out of the broken shell of the British mandate has emerged an
Israeli democracy, open to every Jew the world over, whose exploits
in peace and war have purged the Diaspora of the inferiority
complex which was historically both cause and effect of antisemitism. It is largely thanks to the existence of Israel that Jew
and non-Jew now live in the West on terms of genuine equality.
But what of the Arab-Jewish accord which we predicted should
follow the winding up of Britain's Middle Eastern empire? Alas
there has been no rebirth, no social revolution, but war, declared
or undeclared, from the first day of Israel's independent life. For a
Appendix 4
brief moment it looked as though victory might be used for reconciliation. But the Six-day War, as Moshe Dayan told the Israeli air
force last week, is now in its fourth year. Even worse, the fratricidal
struggle for a promised land to which Israelis and Palestinians both
have a total attachment is reviving the great powers' imperialism
which we expected to see extinguished—but this time with a significant difference. Twenty years ago the excuse for great-power
control of the Middle East was the vacuum of power which would
result from withdrawal. Neither Jew nor Arab, we were told, was
militarily capable of shaping the course of history. This is now
replaced by an unbalance of power. Within a day Israeli forces
can be in Amman, in Beirut, in Damascus.
It is this simple fact which has driven the Arabs to seek Russian
assistance, and compelled the rulers of the Kremlin to intervene
on their side more expensively and more dangerously than they
would have wished. And because intervention breeds counterintervention a similar process is now at work in Washington. The
Americans are compelled, not to intervene on your side (that would
not be tolerated), but to provide you with the means of waging war
successfully whatever help the Russians give your neighbours.
And you still wage war successfully, justifying each costly turn of
the military screw, each new and deeper penetration, by recalling
the harsh lessons of your 22-year national history. Others can blame
you for suspecting every UN mediator, for distrusting the word
of every American President and relying on nothing but your own
military strength. I do not. But somehow or other this process of
military escalation must be broken. Like everyone else, I have
strongly supported your efforts to persuade your colleagues to
accept the American cease-fire proposal; and feared their ability
to hedge it round with every condition the soldiers can think up.
What in fact alarms me is your failure to persuade those soldiers
to see that the greatest military risk they face is not the dangers of
a peace initiative but the certain consequences of continuing without one.
Your military ascendancy is a wasting asset, just as the territories
you have occupied become heavier liabilities the longer you hold
them. I know you did not want this military ascendancy. I know
that your occupation of the West Bank was unpremeditated, that
you recognise that the Suez Canal is not your natural frontier.
I also know that any peace initiative you now take involves a
military risk. But in a year's time the risk will be even greater and
you will be even more reluctant to take it. The vision of ArabJewish accord which was so fervent in 1948 and which has grown
dim today, will grow dimmer still.
Moreover, that choice is being steadily and inevitably eroded
The Case for Israel
within your own frontiers. Your hold over the West Bank must
grow even more oppressive the longer it lasts. Yet your government
feels compelled by military necessity to plant a settlement at
Hebron, an area which could not possibly remain Israeli in any
peaceful solution. And what applies to Hebron applies throughout
the territories occupied after the Six-day War. You took possession
of them only in order to be able to withdraw safely. Yet every day
the difficulties of withdrawal are increased by your own occupation
policies. And these difficulties will be enhanced by the very democracy of which you are rightly proud. An Israel which aped the
ethos of a Prussian state would be a contradiction in terms. Your
young people have not forgotten the other half of the Zionist
vision—the role of Israel in the Middle-Eastern renaissance. Given
the choice between a policy completely dominated by military
considerations and a peace initiative which involves some military
risk, there will, I believe always be a powerful minority in Israel
which prefers the latter. I only hope and pray that you will not
disregard the growing dismay of that minority until the doorway
to peace, forced open by your military strength, is irrevocably
closed. T h e Arabs can survive a decade of Jewish military domination. T h e Israel you and I believe in can't.
Abba Eban replies
Dear Dick,
You haven't changed a bit. It is no small thing to come out of
six ministerial years with moral conscience and literary power so
visibly intact. I knew that you had vanished deep into a distant
world of parliamentary reforms, social benefits and pensions. Yet I
had a premonition that you would somehow find your way back
to your normal vocation—which is to make your friends feel even
more uncomfortable about their beliefs and actions than they
deserve to be.
I well remember the dreams which united us two decades ago.
Israel's rebirth had a special quality which spoke powerfully to
men of rebellious and progressive spirit and you came closer than
anyone outside our ranks to the understanding of what Israel was
really about. It was first of all a celebration of resilience—the
triumph of what seemed to be the most desperate of lost causes.
But I remember that what stirred you most was the challenge to
justice. A world was emerging in which national freedom might
belong to all nations—except to the one which needed it most.
Today, with an international community of 130 states, the absence
of an independent Israel would be even more grotesque than it
seemed then. And in the regional context the balance has become
more eloquent. There are 14 Arab sovereign states with a population of 100 million, an area of four million square miles and
unlimited wealth and opportunity.
Facing them alone in the scales of equity is the small state of
Israel. There is therefore only one nation which stands or falls in
history by the way in which the conflict is resolved. T r u e , there
are rights and injuries on both sides; but this does not mean there is
no scale of priority. By its solitude and uniqueness Israel's secure
existence is the overriding moral imperative in this dispute.
Socialists in particular cannot be ardent about a tolerable distribution of wealth and apathetic about the distribution of sovereignty
and national freedom, to the point of accepting the idea that all
Arabs must be sovereign everywhere—and all Jews nowhere.
You and I have always held these ideas in common: and in
your letter you do not retreat from them. I am less concerned
than you about whether Israel has provided 'a cure for antiSemitism in the West'. I am more worried about the new international 'progressive' type of anti-Semitism. In its old form antiSemitism said that certain rights were due to all individuals except
Jews. In its modern expression it affirms that national individuality
and sovereignty are inherently good, and if they are Arab one
simply cannot have enough of them. They come under question
only if they happen to be Jewish. T h e distinction between antiSemitism and anti-Zionism is a semantic fiction: both converge on
the unifying principle of discrimination.
Since we do not disagree on this I come to the two points in
which I cannot share your discomfort. You are clearly anxious
about the effects of victory on Israel's character and conduct: and
you have a picture of an Israeli dominated by formidable 'soldiers'
who are hostile to cease-fire and recalcitrants to political initiatives.
Now it is better that the editor of the New Statesman should be
agitated than that he should be complacent: but when you get
worried about whether we 'ape the ethos of a Prussian state' your
agitation carries you much too far. O n e of the disadvantages of
your status in the last six years is that you could not come to Israel
very often. T h e public 'media' on which you had to rely are more
fascinated by violence than by peaceful action. For these reasons
you, like others, have not seen Israel in a full length mirror. All
Israeli life is lived today in the memory of the peril that we faced
in 1967. Every one of us had good reason to fear the very worst
that can befall a man, his family, his home and his nation. In our
people's history many things are too strange to be believed: but
nothing is too terrible to have happened. We have vigorously
survived the danger with consequent injury to our martyrs' image.
The Case for Israel
And if you ask me as you seem to do, 'What have you gained by
victory?' I answer simply: 'Everything that we would have lost
without it.'
I am just as sensitive as you guess to the moral dangers which
could arise from the abnormal relationship between a democratic
society and a disenfranchised Arab community living under its
control. This abnormality was not sought: it was created by war,
and it can be cured by peace. Peace would replace cease-fire lines
by negotiated and agreed boundaries to which armed forces would
be withdrawn: and, in any solution which my present cabinet
colleagues would endorse, the majority of the two million Palestinian Arabs on both sides of the river would be the citizens of an
Arab state (beginning on our newly negotiated eastern frontier),
whose structure, name and regime they would be free to determine.
I do not know how long the attainment of peace will take: but
you really need not worry lest we shall have become Prussian by
the time it comes about. When you come to see us, you will not
find us paralysed or obsessed by war. You will find that 40,000
Arabs from neighbouring lands have visited the west bank this
summer. You will see a freer movement of men and goods across
the whole of the former Palestine area than at any time since
1948. You will be astonished in Jerusalem by an unceasing contact
of Jews, Arabs and thousands of all faiths which puts the segregation and fanatical exclusiveness of the Jordanian occupation to
shame. You will find a vast flow of visitors to Israel from all over
the world. You will see hundreds of the future leaders of developing
countries studying here. Israel, of course, is a society which has its
imperfections: but these are redeemed by the free and lucid
criticism of them as well as by the constant quest for improvement.
In short: you will find that you are as far from Prussia as you can
get in the modern world.
The main achievement of Israel since 1967 is to have remained
a fighting nation without becoming a warrior state. Nor do I
think that you will find us dominated by 'soldiers'. I put the word
in quotation marks because it conjures up a special breed which
does not belong to our experience. We have nothing here but
civilians, some of whom are temporarily under arms. We may show
you a pilot who shot down eight aircraft bringing in the fruit from a
kibbutz orchard. And when a cease-fire and negotiating framework
of balanced risk came into view last week, we put parliamentary
convenience aside in order to grasp it with full military support.
If you find that the diversity, turbulence, paradox and indiscipline
of our democracy are from Prussia I may suggest that you write
your next open letter to President Nasser. An authoritative socialist
voice calling Nasser to the peace table is overdue. There has been
Appendix 4
too much indulgence of Habash and Arafat and their exclusivist
fantasies about a purely Arab Middle East without a sovereign
Israel as part of its memory, reality and hope. There has been too
much docile acceptance by part of the Left of a rampant Israelophobia with its ugly Stuermer-like expression portraying Israel as
lying outside the human context. In your letter, if you feel like
writing it, you could remind President Nasser that the idea of an
Israel-Egyptian treaty as the gateway to a new era of peace and
development in the Middle East would evoke his better days. For
Israel respected the progressive ideals of the Egyptian revolution in
its early phase. All of these have been corrupted by the senseless
war against Israel. Nasserism once stood for independence and the
expulsion of foreign armies. It has now become the vehicle of Soviet
penetration and therefore of potential Great Power confrontation.
Nasserism saw an open nationalised Suez Canal as the symbol of
Egypt's new international status. Today the Egyptian canal is
closed while the Israeli route to southern waters is open. Finally
Nasser once had a vision of social reform which has been lost in the
debris of expensive and destructive wars. In two decades the Arab
States and Israel have spent twenty billion dollars on war. Five
billion of those would have opened the gates of dignity and work to
all the Palestinian refugees.
Is there no moral here? Perhaps President Nasser would not
resent your reminder that the principles of his revolution can still
be recaptured by renouncing war with Israel and seeking a final
peace. You may tell him in full confidence that there are untapped
sources of effort and imagination in Israel which his willingness to
negotiate would release and put to work for the establishment of
a new order of relations in our region. Today as I write to you
from Jerusalem the guns are silent in Suez: it is time for sane and
gentle voices to be lifted up—and heard.
The Case for Israel
A Letter to all Good People
By Amos Kenan
Amos Kenan's political outlook is that of the extreme left and
would find common ground with only a small minority of Israelis.
However, this cry of anguish is relevant precisely because it comes
from an articulate Israeli leftist who is outraged at what he considers to be a betrayal of Israel by his leftist comrades abroad.
I am for Cuba. I love Cuba. I am opposed to the genocide perpetrated by the Americans in Vietnam. But I am an Israeli, therefore I am forbidden to take all these stands. Cuba does not want
me to love her. Someone has decided that I am permitted to love
only the Americans. I don't mind so much that someone, especially
the good people everywhere, have decided to outlaw me. I shall
be able to get along without their help. But I do mind that I am
not permitted any longer to love and hate according to my feelings,
and according to my political and moral inclinations, and that I am
refused invitation or even admittance to parties held by the good
people. I am not permitted any longer to toast justice with a
glass of champagne. I am not permitted to eat caviar and denounce
the Americans. I am not permitted to stroll in the sun-drenched
streets of Havana, arm-in-arm with my erstwhile good friends from
St. Germain, Via Veneto and Chelsea, and celebrate the memory
of Che Guevara, casting a threatening look at imperialism. I am
also finally and absolutely forbidden to sign petitions of all sorts
for human rights.
This situation drives me slightly out of my mind. Therefore I
wish to relate a few confused, disconnected stories. Perhaps some
good man will find the connection. One day an Israeli submarine
sank in the Mediterranean with its 69 crew members. Its SOS was
answered, among others, by the British, Turkish and Greek fleets.
The Russian navy, which cruised very close to the location, did not
join in the search. Moscow radio, in its Arab broadcasts, took
the trouble to denounce the countries whose ships rushed to help
the lost submarine. It is a sacred principle of seamen of all nations
to hasten to the aid of distressed vessels. The Israeli submarine
was not on a war mission, and Israel is not in a state of war with
the Soviet Union.
I am not so naive as to believe that this is anti-semitism, Sovietstyle. I have never believed that the Russians are guided, in their
calculations, by such powerful and sincere emotions as antisemitism, which is common to both progressive and reactionary
camps. I know that the Russians conduct a cool and considered
Appendix 5
pragmatic policy, and are guided by clear political considerations.
This was a political move, carried out as a part of a political
game. The meaning of this move can only be: Israel must be
isolated from the civilised human community. The rules that apply
to the civilised community, rules of honour, consideration and
mutual aid, do not apply to me. I am out. There is only one
more step to the conclusion: the shedding of my blood is no crime.
Forgive my brutal way of putting things. I cannot conceive of
it otherwise. If this was a move in a game, the game must have
an object. The object is the penetration of the Middle East, and let
us assume, for the sake of arguments, that this is for the purpose
of advancing world revolution and the overthrow of imperialism.
The Middle East contains 100m. Arabs and 2.5m. Israelis. But
it is not so easy, in our enlightened world, to wipe out 2.5m.
people. A reason, and a justification, are needed. You cannot
wipe out just like that. First of all you must outlaw. Therefore
you must not invite an Israeli communist party to a convention
of communist parties. Therefore you must not invite a leftist
Israeli author to a conference of leftist authors in Havana. There
are no more class distinctions. There are only national distinctions.
Even an Israeli leftist is an imperialist. And an oil sheikh is a
socialist. Therefore it is permissible to compare me to the Nazis.
It is permissible to call me a Gauleiter. It is permissible to mobilise
all of the world's conscientious people against me—and without
them you cannot do it—and all this because there is an object
looming beyond the horizon, an object for the sake of which this
tactic is justifiable and useful.
Until quite recently, I also belonged to the Good People. Meaning
that not only did I sit in cafes and sign petitions for the release
of political prisoners in countries not my own, not only did I
join proclamations, after sipping my aperitif, for the release of the
downtrodden from the yoke of imperialism in places I shall never
reach; I also did something against what seemed to me to be
oppression and injustice in my own country. During the 20 years
of the existence of the State of Israel I helped with my pen, in my
regular newspaper column, the fight against the injustices committed against the Arab minority. And not by the pen only, but
also in demonstrations, and also when arraigned before a military
tribunal. I am used to being called a traitor by local patriots.
During the Six Day War, in June 1967, the battalion I served
in was ordered to supervise the demolition of four Arab villages:
I considered it my duty to desert from my unit, to write a report
of this action, and to send the copies to the General Staff of the
army, to members of the government and to Knesset members.
This report has been translated and circulated in the world as a
proof of Israel's crimes.
The Case for Israel
But permit me to conclude the story. The action I undertook was
in flagrant violation of any military law. I have no idea what
would have happened to a Red Army soldier were he to violate
national and military discipline in such a manner. After returning to my unit, I was ordered to present myself—I, in rank
a private—before the general commanding all the divisions on
that front. He told me that he had read my report, and considered it his duty to inform me that what had occurred was a
regrettable error, which will not recur. Deep in my heart I
disbelieved his statement that this was only a mistake. I was
convinced that whoever ordered such an action did not expect
such resistance from within—the men of my battalion refused to
carry out the order—and was alarmed at the impression such an
action might create abroad. But I was glad that he found it
necessary to announce that this was only an error. I asked him
how he intended to ensure that the 'error' will never recur. On
the spot he signed an order permitting me free movement in all
occupied territories, so that I could see with my own eyes that
such an action had not recurred.
But since then, in all the peace-papers in the world, my report
about the destruction of villages has been reprinted over and over
again, as if it happened only yesterday, as if it is happening all
the time. And this is a lie. It is like writing that witches have
been burnt at the stake in England—omitting the date. I hereby
request all those who believed me when I reported a criminal act,
to believe me now too. And those who do not believe me now,
I hereby request to disbelieve my former report too, and not to
believe me selectively, according to their convenience. I should
also add that the town of Kalkiliya, which began to be demolished
during the writing of my report, is now in the process of being
rebuilt, after the expelled inhabitants have been brought back.
This does not mean that other injustices are not perpetrated now.
The less you fight me, the more you would help me fight them.
Even the most leftist of men will not consent to be slaughtered
when a sword is pointed at his throat. Even when the sword
is a progressive one, it does not make it any the pleasanter. The
trouble is that not a single serious person in the world believes
today that Israel was really in danger of being annihilated. This
is the optical illusion of 1968. The gigantic Goliath is threatening
little David. The fact that Goliath is a giant, and that David is
small, is only an optical illusion. If Goliath triumphs and tramples
David under his feet, it is a sign that he really is a giant. But
if little David beats the giant, people say: the giant David has
trampled poor little Goliath in the dust. I claim that Israel played
the role of David. And I claim that even now, after the stunning
Appendix 5
victory, it still is little David who has indeed beaten the stunned
Goliath, but Goliath still is a menacing giant. Today, no less than
in June 1967, Israel is in danger of annihilation. Unless the enlightened world mobilises now, immediately, perhaps it will be
too late. But I am afraid that there are not many people in the
world today who will be sorry if victorious David is destroyed. A
bitter suspicion rises in me that even the most enlightened among
the most progressive people still adhere to the Christian tradition
that they imbibed with their mothers' milk: Jew, stay on the
cross. Never get off it. The day you get off the cross and hurl
it at the heads of your crucifiers, we shall cease to love you.
Today the Arabs boast of waging a revolutionary guerrilla warfare. They claim to have copied the Viet Cong method of
warfare and to apply it in the Middle East. They march with
Che Guevara's picture. This makes me laugh. Just as Che
Guevara's picture hanging in the luxurious salons of Montparnasse
made me laugh. I have always wondered whether Che Guevara
had a picture of Che Guevara hanging in his salon. What is a
Viet Cong? The Viet Cong is not white flags on buildings. The
Viet Cong means fighting to the last man. The Viet Cong of the
Middle East, whether those who demonstrate with Che Guevara's
picture like it or not, are we. We are prepared, at any moment to
wage the battle to the death. After the death camps, we are left
with only one supreme value: existence.
Our existence today, is inconvenient for those who work at
the global balance of power. It is more convenient that there should
be two camps, one white, the other black. We number, as I said
before, only 2.5m. people. On the global map, what is the value
of a few hundred thousand leftists, opposing the Eshkol government policy and striving for a genuine peace with the Arabs,
who strive to liberate themselves from the one-way dependence on
American power? Somebody has already decided to sacrifice us.
The history of revolution is full of such sacrifices since the days of
the Spanish War. At one time world revolution had been sacrificed
on the altar of the revolution in one country. Today the calculation
is somewhat subtler. Today they try to explain to us that there is
an Arab socialism. That there is an Egyptian socialism, and an
Algerian socialism. There is a socialism of slave-traders, and a
socialism of oil magnates. There are all kinds of socialism, all
aiming really at one and the same thing—the overthrow of imperialism, which happens to be one and indivisible. Once there
was only a single kind of socialsm, which fed on principles, some of
them moral. On the day that morality died there was born the
particular, conventional socialism, changing from place to place
and from time to time, for which I have no other name but
National Socialism.
The Case for Israel
I want to live. What can I do if Russia, China, Vietnam, India,
Yugoslavia, Sartre, Russell, Castro, have all decided that I am
made all of a piece? It is inconvenient for them to admit that there
is an opposition in Israel too. Why should there be an opposition
in Israel if in the Popular Democracies in Cuba or Algeria, there
is only one party? And perhaps they do have pangs of conscience,
but they have made their calculation, and found out that I am
only one, only 10, only 100,000; and on the other side there are
tens of millions, all led like a single man, in a single party, towards
the light, towards the sun. And if so, who am I? I will tell you
who I am: I am the man who will confuse and confound your
progressive calculations. I have too much love for this vain world,
a world of caviar, television, sunny beaches, sex and good wine.
You go ahead and toast the revolution with champagne. I shall
toast myself, my own life, bottle in one hand, rifle in the other.
You send Soviet arms to Egypt. You isolate me. And in order
to make it easier to isolate me, you change my name. My flesh,
which you eat, you call fish. You don't want to protect me—
neither against the Arabs, nor against the Russians, nor against
Dayan or Johnson. Moreover, when I try to call on you and tell
you that I am against Dayan, against Eshkol, against Ben-Gurion,
and ask for your help, you laugh at me and demand that I should
return to the 4 June borders, unconditionally. Hold it! I refuse
to play this game. If you give me back the pistol with which I
tried to kill you, I won't kill you. Because I am a nice fellow.
But if you don't give it back to me, I shall kill you, because you
are a bad fellow. Why were the 4 June borders not peace borders
on 4 June but will become peace borders now? Why were not the
U.N. partition plan borders of 1947 peace borders then but will
become so now? Why should I return the bandit his gun as a
reward for having failed to kill me? I want peace peace peace
peace peace peace peace. I am ready to give everything back in
exchange for peace. And I shall give nothing back without peace.
I am ready to solve the refugee problem. I am ready to accept
an independent Palestinian state. I am ready to sit and talk.
About everything, all at the same time. Direct talks, indirect talks,
all this is immaterial. But peace. Until you agree to have peace,
I shall give back nothing. And if you force me to become a
conqueror, I shall become a conqueror. And if you force me to
become an oppressor, I shall become an oppressor. And if you
force me into the same camp with all the forces of darkness in
the world, there I shall be.
There is no lack in Israel of rabid militarists. Their number is
steadily increasing, the more our isolation becomes apparent. Nasser
helps Dayan, Kosygin helps Eshkol. Fidel Castro helps the Jewish
chauvinists. Who of the world's giants cares how many more Jews,
how many more Arabs, bleed to death in the Sinai sands? There
is no lack here of mad hysterical militarists. All those quiet citizens
who went out to war with K.L.M. handgrips and in laundry
trucks, who scribbled on their tanks: 'We want Home'. All those
who fought without anger, without hatred, only for their lives,
are becoming militaristic, convinced that only Israeli power, and
nothing else in the world, will ever help us.
T h e only ones who are prepared to defend me, for reasons I
don't like at all, are the Americans. It is convenient for them, for
the time being. You are flinging me towards America, the bastion
of democracy and the murderer of Vietnam, who tramples the
downtrodden peoples and spares my life, who oppresses the Negroes
and supplies me with arms to save myself. You leave me no other
alternative. You don't even offer me humiliating terms, to be
admitted through the rear door into the progressive orgy. You
don't even want me to overthrow my government. You only want
me to surrender, unconditionally, and to believe the spokesmen of
the revolution that henceforth no Jewish doctors will be murdered,
and that they will limit themselves to the declaration that Zionism
is responsible for the riots in Warsaw.
Very funny. T h e truth is that I and Sartre, two people with the
same vision, more or less, with the same ideal, more or less, and
if I may be permitted to impertinence, with the same moral level,
more or less, are now at the two sides of the barricade. We have
been pushed to both sides by the cold calculations of the people
who sent us, or abandoned us. But the fact remains—these are
not Americans shooting Russians, or capitalists shooting socialists,
or freedom-fighters shooting the oppressors. It is I, shooting
Sartre. I see him in my gun sights; he sees me in his gun sights.
I still don't know which of us is faster, more skilled, or more
determined to kill or be killed. Neither do I know who shall be
more lucky—the one who has no other alternative, or the one
who acts out of choice. O n e thing is clear to m e ; if I survive,
I shall mourn Sartre's death more than he would mourn mine.
And if that happens, I shall never be consoled until I wipe from
under the heavens both the capitalists and the communists. Or they
me. Or each the other. Or all destroy all. And if I survive even
that, without a god but without prophets either, my life will have
no sense whatsoever. I shall have nothing else to do but walk on
the banks of streams, or on the top of the rocks, watch the wonders
of nature, and console myself with words of Ecclesiastes, the wisest
of m e n : "For the light is sweet, and it is good for the eyes to see the
The Case for Israel
How Israel Forfeited the Sympathy of the World
by Ephraim Kishon
The following article by Ephraim Kishon, one of Israel's outstanding columnists was written in 1956 after the Sinai Campaign. The
satire was widely recognised as a biting comment on Israel's role,
her relationship with her allies, and the status of international
morality in relation to the Middle East. It is reproduced because
it reflects the feelings of most Israelis as they follow some of the
incredible debates and resolutions at the United Nations. Kishon's
satire hits too close to reality to be read by an Israeli without his
shuddering at what could easily have happened to him in June
1967 and could still happen tomorrow.
War broke out in May 1957.
The armies of Egypt, Syria and "Jordan" under joint command
penetrated Israel's borders practically along their whole length.
The Israel Army was not surprised by the blow, but lacking heavy
weapons and especially an adequate air arm, had to limit itself to
defensive manoeuvres.
The Arab invasion was supported by 3,000 Soviet tanks and
1,100 planes. Why the small Jewish State had been unable to
procure proper defensive weapons before the expected Arab blow
fell—that is a riddle which only history will solve. In October
1956 certain unconfirmed rumours circulated about allegedly large
quantities of modern weapons from certain Western Powers, but
it seems that these were dependent on certain operations connected
with the Suez crisis and did therefore not materialize. Red tape
held up all but seven of the 24 jets purchased in Canada.
Made bold by the attackers' initial successes, Saudia, then Iraq,
and finally Lebanon also declared war on Israel.
The Israel Government immediately appealed to the U.N. whose
machinery, however, took some time before it set itself in motion.
World public opinion had been caught completely unawares by
the Arab attack: Nasser, President of Egypt and "Jordan" had
assured the world at large only a few weeks before that he was
concentrating all his efforts on the region's economic consolidation.
The huge quantities of Soviet arms in Arabs' hands caused universal
Even before the Security Council convened, Secretary-General
Hammarskjold had sent two personal emissaries to the M.E., but
they did not receive entry visas to Egypt and had to follow events
from Copenhagen.
Appendix 6
The U.S. immediately convoked the Security Council for the
weekend and drafted a cease-fire resolution. The resolution was
carried by 22 votes against 7 (42 states, i.e. Britain, France and
the Asiatic Bloc abstained), but the Soviet used its veto right,
stressing that it saw in the Arab action a glorious chapter in the
struggle for freedom of the subjugated colonial peoples.
The Venezuelan delegate accused the Soviet Union of having
colluded in the preparation of the attack, and Ambassador Eban
brought documentary proof that Soviet officers and advisers were
directing the operations. The Soviet Foreign Minister branded
the Israel declaration a "typically Jewish provocation". The Pope
broadcast an appeal for the preservation of the Holy Sites.
The Arabs had meanwhile reached Israel's large cities and were
bombarding them with rockets. The Security Council again met
in emergency session, but Russia again vetoed the cease-fire
Under American pressure, the U.N. Plenary met in extraordinary
session and passed the cease-fire resolution. But the drafting of
the final text took a number of days, as the original draft called
for an "immediate" cease-fire, while the Indonesian amendment
used the expression "as soon as possible". The parties finally compromised on "speedy". By then, the fighting had reached the hearts
of the large cities.
The U.S. threatened to apply economic sanctions against the
belligerents unless they stopped fighting within five days, and
Nehru appealed to Nasser to be humane with the Jewish civilians.
Quite unexpectedly, Saudi Arabia nationalized Aramco. President Eisenhower ordered the Navy's partial de-mothballing and
sent a letter to Marshal Bulganin. The Arab Supreme Command
agreed to the cease-fire.
On the shore of bombed-out Tel Aviv and Haifa, 82,616 Jewish
survivors were sheltering in camps under U.N. protection. And
then world conscience awakened. Public opinion was gripped by
such consternation, that its echoes reverberated even in the Eastern
Bloc. "History has tragically caught up with the Imperialists'
puppet state"—Izvestia wrote: "Israel was a reactionary, feudalistic
body, its government an oppressive military dictatorship, but the
sufferings of innocent population cannot fail to awaken compassion
in the camp of peace, which always fearlessly champions the cause
of the small nations. It cannot be denied however, that Israel
called its doom upon itself by the provocative attitude it adopted."
"The artificial miniature State had for some time now been
the West's arsenal and the Jews, armed to their teeth, took on
increasingly arrogant airs towards their peaceful neighbours. The
Jewish nation, whose history is so imbued with suffering, will now
The Case for Israel
again have to seek refuge among hospitable nations. As always, the
Soviet Union will ensure full rights for its citizens of Jewish origin."
After the article in Izvestia, there was no more mention of the
affair in the Soviet press. Czecho-Slovakia simply ignored the
Mid-Eastern war, but a few courageous voices in the Polish press
stated that their joy over Nasser's victory was not unmixed.
Marshal Tito sent Nasser a long congratulatory telegram, while
in the name of the Hungarian working people, Premier Imre Nagy
sent his best wishes.
But the West did not mince its sympathy for Israel. The most
famous politicians sounded warning notes. Sir Winston Churchill
called Israel's liquidation "the century's badge of infamy" and the
usually so reserved Sir Anthony declared: "We witnessed sad
events indeed, which make the strengthening of the United Nations
Organization imperative". Hugh Gaitskell eulogised Israel at a
memorable session of the House of Commons: "They were our
friends", he cried, "heroes and socialists! We shall always cherish
their beloved memory!"
Public opinion in the progressive Asian states also reacted.
Krishna Menon, India's chief U.N. representative, is said to have
declared at a private meeting: "We are forced to condemn the
reckless step of our Arab brethren."
At his Tel Aviv victory parade, Nasser stood surrounded by
Soviet officers. In Iraq, the Communist Party staged a coup and
seized power. King Saud declared his regime a People's Democracy.
State Department circles expressed apprehension lest the Soviets
gain a certain degree of influence in the Middle East. President
Eisenhower submitted an extraordinary bill to Congress for the
immediate admittance of 25,000 Israeli refugees . . .!
The President's speech sparked unprecedented world-wide enthusiasm. Switzerland immediately offered 2,000 transit visas and
Guatemala increased its quota for Jewish immigrants from 500 to
Socialistic Labour the world over held spontaneous rallies and
sharply condemned Arab aggression. In a number of Western
capitals, students demonstrated in front of the Arab legations.
Some window panes were smashed. The International Pen Club
branded the Arabs' barbaric action at a public meeting. UNESCO
appropriated 200,000 dollars for Israel refugees. The Brazilian
Parliament observed a minute of silence "in the cause of Israel
justice". Japan and South Korea sent medicaments. The Scandinavian countries announced their willingness to admit any number
of Israel orphans.
Appendix 6
Under pressure of public opinion, the New Zealand government
proposed a pact of eternal friendship with Israel's memory. Australian P.M. Menzies called the Arab aggression "infamous". At
the national convention of American Jewish organizations, the
Assistant Secretary of State made a solemn promise (with the
President's approval) to the effect that "in future the U.S. would
pay greater attention to the problems of small nations and prevent
the recurrence of similar excesses."
While expressing their deep regret, the State Department spokesmen stressed that up to a certain point, Israel herself was to blame
for her fate, as she had not prevented the Arab attack in time.
The world press gave Israel its unreserved sympathy. In the
Herald-Tribune commemorative issue, the Alsop Brothers glorified
Israel's democratic character, stressing the great loss the world had
suffered with the demise of the small model state.
Ed Murrow openly came out on Zionism on TV and declared
that "every American Jewish family was entitled to be proud
of the heroic Israel nation". The until then unsympathetic Manchester Guardian fervently beat its chest and declared that Israel
had been perfectly right and that "its tragedy would for centuries
burn like an accusing torch under the window of the world's
The necessity for a political settlement was first pointed out by
Marshal Bulganin, who proposed to convene a 5-Power conference
in Cairo "with the participation of all interested parties". The
Soviet government made another goodwill gesture by requesting
Nasser not to demand excessive material compensation for the
permission to evacuate the Israeli refugees. This humane Soviet
step made an extremely favourable impression the world over.
The Israel refugees, scattered over the four corners of the
world, were overwhelmed with affection and admiration. They
inspired such a wave of enthusiasm for Israel as had not been
witnessed since the creation of the Jewish state.
In most countries main thoroughfares were named after Israel
and the U.N. memorial session decided almost unanimously (!)
not to fill the chair of the Jewish delegate, but to leave it vacant,
also to let the Zionist flag stay among those of U.N. member
Enthusiasm reached its climax when the Russian Foreign Minister unexpectedly proposed the holding of an "Israel Day". World
Peace again had good prospects, humanity was again filled with
hope for a brighter and happier future. Israel itself became the
international symbol of Justice and Morality.

Documentos relacionados