Herbert Feis, a State Department economic advisor, did not say this about President Obama’s address in Cairo in June 2009, but after Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, in February 1945. Roosevelt wanted the Arabs to allow thousands of Jews from Europe to immigrate to Palestine to which Ibn Saud responded, “Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their land to Jews.”2
George Antonius, an Arab nationalist, reiterated this point when he said, “no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.”3
Attempts to solve the Arab/Israeli conflict regularly fail because of the refusal to acknowledge that this dispute has never been about borders, territory or settlements, but about the Arabs' refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “The struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders, but touches on the very existence of the Zionist entity,” declared an Arab spokesman.4
Unlike the Nazis who carefully concealed the Final Solution, Hamas and the Palestine Authority openly avow their intentions in their Charter and Covenant and in the Arab media which is available in English on the Internet on MEMRI and the Palestinian Media Watch.
For Hamas liberating all of Palestine to establish an Islamic state requires a holy war against Israel. Anyone daring to sign away even “a grain of sand in Palestine in favor of the enemies of God…who have seized the blessed land” should have their “hand be cut off.”5
Coercing Israel to make concessions and accept a two-state solution will not bring peace to the region. One-sided concessions have convinced the Arabs of the rightness of their policies and the efficacy of using violence to cleanse the country of Jews and Christians.
What compelling reason do Arabs have to stop launching rockets indiscriminately into Israeli cities, refuting the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, destroying artifacts and Jewish holy sites, denying the Holocaust, dehumanizing Jews in their media, textbooks, educational system, political discourse, religious sermons by portraying them as Satan, sons of apes and pigs, a cancer, and using children as homicide bombers, if the West does not hold them accountable?
Instead of demanding that Arabs cease their incitements and attacks, the U.S issues meaningless statements of condemnation, and then grants them foreign aid, arms and military training.
The U.S. pressures Israel to make goodwill gestures in “peace negotiations,” yet Israel has never been the aggressor. Is there any example in history where a victor withdraws from territory when the defeated party does not sue for peace, admits there will never be any reconciliation, declares they will not concede the victor’s right to exist, and labors relentlessly to destroy him? 5
When Israel opens her border check-points as an act of goodwill, the Arabs dispatch homicide bombers to maim and kill Israeli civilians. After Arab terrorists are released from Israeli prisons, they revert to murdering Jews.
Comparing the plight of the Arabs with that of African Americans is a distortion of history and demeans the experiences of the millions of Africans who were brutally abducted from their homes, transported under inhuman conditions aboard slave ships and exposed to torture, murder and rape.
Nothing remotely like this has ever occurred with the Arabs in Israel. Had the Arabs not attacked the Jews before and after Israel was established, they would not be displaced persons today.
If we are to learn from history, we must transmit what actually transpired and not allow those with their own agenda or ignorance to obscure what occurred.
Whether it is naiveté, self-delusion or hubris, a number of U.S. presidents and diplomats have assumed that their powers of persuasion could modify fiercely held beliefs about the sanctity of Arab land. Such reasoning has consistently failed.
Those claiming that Jews have a moral obligation to cede land to the Arabs do not understand Israel’s legal right to exist as a Jewish state. That right was granted by the British in the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 and later recognized under international law at the San Remo Conference on April 24, 1920 by Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan (who defeated the Ottoman Empire and divided up the empire), the Mandate for Palestine and the Franco—British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, as the Jewish National Home.
There are no comparable legal documents conferring the same right on the Arabs living in Palestine at that time or since. 6 Which other country would relinquish land that is legally theirs to anyone, let alone to a people engaged in internecine warfare, who cannot even live in peace among themselves?
The West has not learned that Israel represents all that is abhorred about the U.S. and Europe—a free and open democratic society, and an ethical system encouraging individual expression and independence.7 Through appeasement the U.S. and the West have enabled the Arabs to continue what Ben-Gurion called a “permanent war” against the Jewish people.
This latest drive to establish separate Arab and Jewish states will fail because as Yasser Arafat said, “We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. What you call peace is peace for Israel…. For us it is shame and injustice. We shall fight on to victory. Even for decades, for generations, if necessary.”8
1. Herbert Feis, The Birth of Israel: The Tousled Diplomatic Bed (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1969):16-17.
2. Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History 1929-1969 (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc. 1973):203-204.
3. George Antonius, The Arab Awakening, the Story of the Arab National
Movement (New York: Capricorn Books, 1965): 412.
4. (Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1986), quoted in Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature: A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery (New York: Gefen Publishing House, 1999):78.
5. Jacob L.Talmon, Israel Among The Nations (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970), 172.
6. Lloyd George, The Truth About The Peace Treaties vol. II, (London: Gollancz Ltd, 1938),1149-1201; Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation And Borders Of Israel Under International Law (Jerusalem: Mazo Publishers, 2008): 136-147, 493.
7. Ruth Wisse, “The UN’s Jewish Problem,” Weekly Standard (April 8, 2002).
8. Oriana Fallaci, “An Oriana Fallaci Interview: Yasir Arafat,” The New Republic (November 16, 1974), 10.