Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Re-Writing History

This is my response to a New York Times Op Ed May 17,2011 by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas

I've heard it said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

In his Op Ed piece,the supposed moderate president of the PLA gave a recitation of the facts of the creation of Israel and the Palestinian states that bears little resemblance to the facts as I, and most objective historians, know them.

In recounting the history of the UN's creation of an Israeli state and a Palestinian state, he never mentioned that Israel accepted that proposal. He failed to mention that the Palestinians rejected the UN proposal to create a Palestinian state and a Jewish state. He left out the fact that the Palestinians along with 5 other Arab countries, who had professional armies, declared war on Israel and attacked the nascent Jewish state. Their goal was to wipe Israel out.

They lost. Many Palestinians fled, and I won't even get into the debate as to why. Suffice it to say hundred of thousands Arabs did not flee and were not harmed in any way. Today they constitute a group of 1.3 million Israeli citizens. The fact that so many others fled was their decision.

From 1948 until 1967, the land which the Palestinians now want as the Palestinian state (and are going to the UN to have such a state so declared) was completely in Arab hands. A Palestinian state could have been declared by Jordan and Egypt and, among other things, no one would have had to live in refugee camps.

Why didn't they create the Palestinian state during that period? Whenever I have asked that very question over the years, I only get blank stares and comments about moving on. I believe it is a valid question and it's answer lies at the heart of the real problem. To give the Palestinians a state on anything less than all of the land which includes the state of Israel is an anathema to the Arabs.

Today there is talk of a two state solution. Everyone agrees, but not really.

Israel, ironically, would be doing what the Palestinian's brother Arabs didn't do, create a Palestinian state. This Palestinian state would be on land, the same in total area, and roughly the same geographically, as the pre-1967 borders.

There would be one Jewish state , Israel; and one Muslim state, Palestine. Of course, Jews and Muslims could live in either state. Much like the many Islamic and Christian states around the world.

President Abbas, and most of the Palestinians, view the two state solution much differently. One state , Palestine, would be overwhelmingly Muslim and Arab, and the other state , Israel would not be a Jewish state and in fact would be majority Muslim Arab, after the return of the Palestinians who ancestors left. His refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state says it all. It's not the same as recognizing Israel as a state, as he does.

I don't believe that the President Abbas's solution is what the rest of the world thought a two state solution would be. Of course Hamas won't even go that far.

Why hasn't this been made clear to us in the West?

History is being re-written as evidenced by President Abbas' NYT's Op Ed piece, and given the world's antipathy towards Israel, few seem to care.