Somewhere on A1A...

Thursday, February 06, 2003

The Six-Day War changed American perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict. After that Jewish victory, Israel, for the first time was perceived as the stronger party. Unfortunately, for many, many Americans, and most Europeans, being stronger equates to being wrong and being a bully, especially in armed conflict. By the logic of enlightened folk the palestinians must be good because they are suffering. Suffering people are innocent and good. Strong people are oppressive and bad. But things aren't quite so simple...
For an interesting insight into the Arab-Israeli problem from someone who has lived Israel's modern history, read this Article by Dr. Matania Ginosar: The British Called me a Terrorist:

When my father was seventeen the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration giving their support to the creation of a Jewish State on the TWO SIDES OF THE JORDAN RIVER (as it was in biblical times). After the British conquered the Middle East in 1918, and promised the Jews to help them create a state on the two sides of the Jordan, my father and many of his friends moved to Israel to build the new state. In 1922 Churchill created Trans Jordan and gave three quarters of the land promised to be Israel to the Arabs. The smaller portion, ALL THE LAND BETWEEN THE JORDAN AND THE SEA was to be a TEMPORARY British Mandate under the League of Nation DEDICATED TO THE CREATION THE STATE OF ISRAEL in that full area.

My older brother, my sister, and I were raised to continue our hope for an Israel on both sides of the Jordan, and to fight to achieve that goal. We did not accept the duplicity of the British, cutting down our country to its minimum size. You may say it was an unrealistic dream, but that was part of our soul, an integral part of who we were. And we fought for it, as many other Israelis did. The Left and the Hagana accepted the shrinking of Israel, the Right, and the Irgun and Lechi undergrounds did not. We were still hoping.

As the UN divided Israel in 1947 to an Arab and Israeli portion, our hearts were cut again. It was a severe blow to our dreams, but we wanted a Jewish State to accept the millions of wondering, stateless Jews; and eventually most Israelis, including my father, my brother, my sister, and I, accepted that sad reality. I accepted this reality despite the Arabs killing a quarter of my elementary and highschool friends during the war of 1947-48 that they imposed on us, despite them killing three of my kibbutz friends, out of forty members, in "peace time" after the 1948 war. We wanted bygones to be bygones. it all.


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