Friday, December 14, 2007

Americans Have Overwhelming Support for Israel

Gil Ronen

Americans' support for Israel in the conflict with the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza remains extremely high, with 62 percent of Americans considering themselves supporters of Israel and only 9 percent as "supporters of the Palestinians."
These are some of the findings of a new bipartisan poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP).

By a similar margin (61 to 10), Americans believe the U.S. should support Israel in the conflict with the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. TIP says this is in stark contrast to a 2002 poll, when fully 68 percent of Americans thought the U.S. should take neither side in the conflict.

The poll also shows Americans do not believe the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear projects and worry the NIE report will make the U.S. less safe. The survey shows that while 75 percent of likely voters had heard about the NIE report, only 27 percent believed its assessment that Iran’s nuclear program ended in 2003, while 69 percent believe that the nuclear weapons program is still underway.
85% of those polled consider Iran a serious threat, including 44% who consider it an immediate threat.

'NIE makes us less safe'
Additionally, 64 percent fear America “will be less safe” based on this intelligence estimate “because it might lead to reduced pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear capacity for good.” Only 27 percent thought “we are more safe” after the estimate “because it shows the threat from Iran is not as imminent as had been believed.”

There is a clear sense that despite the NIE report, Americans remain very concerned about Iran and want to expand sanctions and other peaceful efforts to curtail the threat. Fully 85 percent of those polled consider Iran a serious threat, including 44 percent who consider it an immediate threat to the United States.

“The public views Iran as a threat and even after the NIE, they strongly support intensifying sanctions and diplomatic measures,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project. "This is good news as there is still time to use the power of the purse for peace," said Mizrahi, whose organization has provided information on economic ways to help prevent war.

More than three fourths of likely voters approve of “expanded United Nations economic and diplomatic actions” to deal with Iran and 85 percent approve of “support of opposition groups in Iran that are working for dem
Most believed British intelligence findings that Iran’s “nuclear weapons program continues."
ocracy and human rights.”

'Stop civilian nukes as well"
Americans are uncomfortable even with Iran's supposed civilian nuclear research program. When asked, “Do you think Iran should be allowed to continue its civilian nuclear research program or should the international community try to prevent Iran from further nuclear research,” 69 percent agreed with the latter.

Asked about the motivation of the earlier NIE reports that concluded that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, a majority (61 percent) did not believe they had been “deliberate misrepresentations.” Still, they do not trust the current NIE, instead preferring to believe British intelligence findings (67 percent) that Iran’s “nuclear weapons program continues."

Most Americans want a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict. Although just 39 percent had heard a “great deal” or “some” about the Annapolis peace talks, a wide majority of 81 percent believe that “the goal of peace talks in the Middle East should be both a Palestinian state and peace and security in recognized borders for Israel and the Palestinians.” This is in contrast to only 12 percent who believe "the goal of peace talks in the Middle East should solely be the creation of a Palestinian state."

63 percent agreed 'Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians are understandable.'
Photo: Flash 90
'Israel's reaction understandable'
A big obstacle, however, remains PA terrorism. Fully 70 percent of respondents agree that “Palestinian acts of terrorism are unacceptable, no matter the conditions in which they live.” Even though 60 percent were "largely unaware of the 2,000 rockets that have been shot into Israel from Gaza," 63 percent agreed that “Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians are understandable given the security threat they face,” while only 29 percent believe them to be an overreaction.

Nevertheless, most do not see a direct tie between the Israeli-PA conflict and international terrorism. By a 55 to 43 margin, a majority of Americans believe “a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would not have much of an impact on terrorism around the world.”

The poll of 800 U.S. likely voters was conducted for The Israel Project by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent.


Hamas-sympathizing juror behind terror mistrial

"May have misled prosecutors during jury selection." More on the Holy Land Foundation jihad terror funding trial's jury bully from (thanks to all who sent this in):
A Hamas-sympathizing juror may have misled U.S. prosecutors about his neutrality during jury selection in the nation's largest terror-financing trial, investigators familiar with the case say.
The juror's "browbeating" of fellow jurors during deliberations in the Holy Land Foundation trial led to a mistrial, they say. The Dallas-based charity and its leaders are accused of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers and their families.

WND has learned that prosecutors, who are preparing to retry the case next year, considered investigating the juror for perjury after hearing complaints from other jurors about his pro-Hamas, anti-Israeli bias and obscenity-laced bullying in the jury room.

"One guy caused all the trouble," said an investigator involved in the case, which charged several U.S. Muslims with conspiracy to support terrorism. "He browbeat other jurors favoring convictions."

He said the bearded 33-year-old juror – who voted not guilty across-the-board – made statements in the past that are at variance with his answers to prosecutors' questions about his bias during the jury selection.

"He clearly wasn't honest on his voir dire examination," the source said.

Voir dire is a pretrial process lawyers use to object to prospective jurors with strong opinions – in this case, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which might preclude them from weighing the evidence objectively.

Juror William Neal, a Dallas graphic artist, has not tried to hide his opinions on the subject since a mistrial was declared Oct. 22.

His ideological remarks in the media – including suggestions Israeli intelligence officers can't be trusted and their government is guilty of occupying Palestinian lands and oppressing the Palestinian people – have raised alarms at the Justice Department.

Neal also has a hard time calling Hamas a terrorist group, even though the U.S. government has listed it as a terrorist organization for the past dozen years.

He told the Dallas Morning News "it's a political movement. It's an uprising."

Asked by the Investigative Project on Terrorism to clarify his statement about Hamas, Neal said: "It is marked as a terrorist organization. My personal viewpoint, I see it as a political struggle."

"Our country was founded on a terrorist act," he added. "The Boston Tea Party wasn't a tea party, dude. It was a rebellion against the king's wrath. They fought back against an oppressive government."

Terror expert Steven Emerson of the IPT features a video clip of one juror who said, "I was pressured into voting the way they wanted me to vote."

In a recent Dallas radio interview, Neal revealed he actively sought a seat on the jury to sway the verdict against the government. He boasted that he fooled federal prosecutors into believing he would be sympathetic to their case.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two Palestines

Micah Halpern

Headline news on the wire services this week: Israel is moving ahead on the path towards peace with the Palestinians. That same day, another headline: Israel is invading Gaza with armor and airplane cover.

One country, two entirely different headlines defining the Israeli attitude towards the Palestinians. It's not that Israel is suffering from a split personality. It is that the Palestinians are coming to terms with the reality of a split population and a split nation.

The concept of a split population in a split nation was difficult for the Palestinians to accept. It has taken a very long time and cost too many lost lives but Palestinian leadership is now ready to accept the facts on the ground and able to move ahead with plans for a dis-unified but workable Palestine. It is a concept that is difficult for the West to comprehend, difficult to come to terms with, difficult to embrace. It is a concept that Israeli political and military leadership can work with and live with, perhaps, the only way for Israel and any Palestinians to live side by side in peace and harmony.

A split Palestine is a significant move towards a straight forward system within the Palestinian Authority. Fatah is Fatah and Hamas is Hamas - separate, disparate entities. From now on, when we speak of the PA, of the Palestinian Authority, we need to realize that we are speaking only of Fatah and Fatah rule of the West Bank. When we speak of Gaza we speak of Hamas and Hamas rule of that area, the land wrested away from Fatah through guns and bloodshed.

Gaza is, quite simply, a mess. It is a mess that was created by Hamas and can only be cleaned up by Hamas. Hamas controls Gaza and even though a significant segment of local Gazans are displeased with Hamas rule they are stuck with it. Fatah will not step back into the area, will not come to the rescue of the people who live in Gaza or attempt to come to their rescue. It is not in the best interests of Fatah, not in the best interests of the rest of the Palestinians, not on the agenda of Palestinian i.e. Fatah leadership.

Gaza is geographically, politically and emotionally separated from the West Bank.

Hamas is not willing to cede control of Gaza. Hamas has created an enclave that is separate and independent from the rest of the Palestinian people, an enclave that is and neither under the influence nor the rule of mainstream Palestinian leadership. Palestinian leadership under Abbas wants nothing to do with Hamas in Gaza. The ugly ousting of Fatah from Gaza this summer served to exacerbate an already strained and artificial relationship.

Abbas and Fatah will return to Gaza only after they are recognized as the legitimate leaders of the Palestinian people. Hamas will do everything possible to prevent that from happening. The people of Gaza now stand alone. No help is coming their way from Abbas and, more crucially, no help will be sent to them by the West.

Hamas is a terrorist organization and that fact is now clear to everyone, everyone including the leadership of Fatah.

In the discussions which led up to the Annapolis Summit, when the Palestinians and the Israelis were hammering out a joint document, a few words were scribbled on the bottom of an Israeli working copy. The words were: what about Gaza? The Palestinians never addressed the question. It was no longer their domain, no longer their responsibility.

Fatah is interested in creating a working relationship with Israel. Hamas is not. Hamas wants to shoot Kassam rockets into Israeli cities and towns on a daily basis. And that is why Island launched an armored incursion with air cover into Gaza. To attack the launch sites, to manage a quick fix to a deadly problem with an in-and-out raid. Not to eliminate the long term problem, simply to temporarily close down the short term problem. To put Hamas on edge. To force Hams to consider the ramifications of shooting at Israel.

And that is why Israeli leadership and Fatah leadership are working towards fulfilling the commitment they both made in Annapolis and working towards implementing the Road Map. But here too there are issues. This past week Israel starting construction in parts of Jerusalem the Palestinians lay claim to. It was a real monkey wrench thrown into the negotiations. US Secretary of State Condi Rice was livid. UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon was furious. But Israel did what it thought it must do.

In order for Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to keep his coalition together, he must make it very clear to Israelis and to those parties in his coalition to the right of center that Israel will maintain Jewish Jerusalem and most certainly, retain custody and control of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jewish Jerusalem includes the communities that are growing around the city, like the community of Har Homa where the building is taking place. Building in Har Homa is the kind of international flack that Olmert can handle without even flinching - with the exception of the extreme right parties, Olmert has almost complete support for the action.

The Israeli prime minister will persistently and proudly continue to build and announce that he is building. But as part of his plan he will also insist that eventually, those Arab neighborhoods that surround Jerusalem will eventually compose part of the Palestinian area and become part of the Palestinian capital. The split that divides the Palestinian people is Palestinian induced, it will not be Israeli produced.

Palestinian politics are complicated. So are Israeli politics.

Micah Halpern maintains The Micah Report.

The Occupation is the solution not the problem

Ted Belman

[this as true today as when it was written in March ‘06]

Proponents of withdrawal both before Gaza and now, argue that it will save money. They also argued that Israel will be more secure, but that’s another story.

Olmert has gone so far as to say that Kadima will no longer spend money on the settlements east of the fence. [N ow he destroys the settlements.] In so doing he is reinforcing the message that the settlements and or the occupation are a financial burden, a waste of money that could be better spent on Israelis rather then settlers. Fair enough, but where is the proof? What are the facts?

On an issue as important as this, I would expect to see a study which compared the future expenditures if Israel did not withdraw or if it did. Not only is there not such a study, so far as I know, nobody is talking about it in an detailed way other then to simply declare money would be saved.

Kadima is saying it will maintain a military occupation of Yesha. Will this take more troops with the removal of settlements or less? Israel ran from such an occupation in Lebanon. Will it be able to remain in Yesha without the settlers? If we have to remain there why suffer the pain of uprooting settlements? What’s the benefit? It doesn’t even end the occupation.

Yoram Ettinger recently wrote to me,

“The 1994 “disengagement” from Gaza quadrupled the number of security persons stationed in/around the Gaza area, but the public is uninformed about it. When you’re inside Gaza, you enhance intelligence, deterrence and operability, and therefore you can manage with fewer personnel. When you’re out of Gaza, you regress on all these accounts; hence you need to offset the damage by increased personnel/budget.”

To put it another way, the more you suppress terror, the less terror there is and therefore the fewer soldiers needed to deal with it.

To suggest that to give up control of Gaza or the West Bank would result in the deployment of fewer troops is a lie. Furthermore Israel has learned over the decades that it is cheaper to control the land around highways then to forego control and use armored convoys to travel the highways. Like it or not control saves lives and money. A stitch in time saves nine.

Reality is simply ignored in favour of an “end the occupation” ideology.

It is crystal clear that withdrawal from Gaza and withdrawal from the West Bank will entail an exponential increase in terror and the forces needed to deal with it.

Currently the rocket attacks continue from Gaza and will soon emanate from the Westbank. Firing on empty fields is not the answer. Controlling the fields is.

Then there is the cost of compensating the settlers the government wishes to uproot. Just think, if you didn’t uproot them, you wouldn’t have to pay them. And we’re talking twelve billion dollars worth over the next four years. Better to use that money to buy land from Arabs living around the fence which could then be incorporated into Israel. The land would them be resold to Israelis and the money recovered.

[The present intention is to uproot 150,000 Jews at a cost of perhaps $50 billion. Steve Plocker estimated the cost of uprooting 90,000 Jews at $25 billion]

Thus the occupation is the solution, not the problem. It is beyond ludicrous that Israel should be contemplating withdrawal, when Iran is threatening annihilation, Iraq is disintegrating, Islamic Brotherhood is on the rise in all surrounding lands, Hamas is rearming, Jordan is under attack and America is in retreat

The withdrawal proponents cite the demographic problem. What demographic problem? Aside from the new Demographic Study that reduces the number of Arabs in the West Bank from 2.5 million to 1.4 million, these Arabs only present a demographic problem if given citizenship. Unless and until these lands are annexed, there is no need to deal with the alleged demographic problem.

We are our own worst enemy. We allow our enemies to get stronger and have more power and more land only to complain that they are a danger to us. Why not destroy them so there is nothing to complain about. Snuff out any hope they have of destroying us. Rather then give them hope we must destroy their hope.

The answer, my friends, is to kill the peace process, kill the PA, kill the Roadmap, kill the terrorists and take control

Iran Forecast: Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

onathan Tobin

Intelligence estimate leaves Bush nuke policies in ruins and Jerusalem isolated
After years of trying to build awareness of the threat from Iran, the release this week of a new National Intelligence Estimate claiming that it has no current nuclear-weapons program has sunk the campaign to keep that Islamist republic in quarantine.

That is not the spin coming out of the administration or from many of its supporters.

Instead, some of them claim the finding that Iran abandoned its nuclear program in 2003 is proof that an aggressive American foreign policy, mixing diplomatic sanctions, threats and military strikes, can bring rogue regimes to their senses.

Nice try. But, if the Iranians were scared out of a nuclear infatuation (as Libya apparently was after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq), then why have they spent the last four years busily — and publicly — defending their right to go nuclear and holding ceremonies commemorating each step along the way?

The same document, which reverses a 2005 finding from the same source that claimed the Iranians were working on a bomb, also points out that a nuclear capability is still the long-term goal and acknowledges the scientific work that's been accomplished to get there. There's no sense either in the piece of just how close the Iranians were when they dropped the program.

But whatever the country is planning to do — or is doing now without the knowledge of our spies — the proclamation that there's no current nuclear program puts an end to all the Bush administration's hopes for increased sanctions on Iran.

President Bush was right when he noted after the document's release that Iran was and remains dangerous, and that nothing has really changed. Iran is the leading exporter of terror in the world via Hezbollah and Hamas. Its president has threatened Israel with genocide, and its religious leaders (who hold the real power in the country) have the goal of imposing their radical ideas about Islam throughout the region and the world.

Supporters of an aggressive policy of Iran containment, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, can claim and be right that the details of the report buttress the belief that it's a nation that must be restrained.

But in the absence of an imminent nuclear threat, those who still think that either Russia or China will go along with the West's push for more sanctions are dreaming. And anyone who thinks the Western European governments who've been reluctant passengers on Bush's anti-Iran bandwagon won't now get off promptly is also not paying attention.

That's bad news for a number of reasons, of which only the most prominent is the fact that the NIE might be wrong.

We can leave aside the fact that it makes no sense for a nation like Iran, which is sitting on one of the biggest oil reserves in the world, to be expending so much treasure on peaceful uses of nuclear energy rather than military ones. We can also discount the fact that Israeli intelligence sources, which have a slightly better track record than Washington's spooks, disagree with the NIE.

This is, after all, the same U.S. group that two years ago were sure the Iranians were developing nukes; that four years ago assured Bush that the proof Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk" and that utterly failed to predict the Sept. 11 attacks or prepare Americans for their aftermath.

If these operatives are wrong again, it won't matter whether the motive for their newfound caution stems from an overreaction to their Iraq mistakes or, as some Bushites now claim, a politically inspired move by some in the intelligence community to stop the use of force against Iran.

If, as the document admits, the Iranians decide to go nuclear at some point in the not-too-distant future — something that will be facilitated by the reported construction of centrifuges — then it will be too late to reassemble the coalition of concerned nations to do something about what was billed as an urgent problem.

As those urging action on Iran have stated in the past, once Iran crosses the nuclear threshold, the only options then will be acquiescence or war.

All that notwithstanding, the NIE finding means that the air is out of the balloon for the push for Iran divestment and international sanctions. And that means both our European "allies" and the Russians and Chinese, can go back to business as usual when it comes to trading with Tehran. It also means that the Israeli diplomatic campaign to raise awareness about Iran won't be going anywhere either.

But the toll on American diplomacy is greater than that.

The rationale behind the recently completed Middle East summit in Annapolis, Md., was that opposition to Iran throughout the region would be the impetus for support for a renewed peace process. With the nuclear question now off the table — and with Europe almost certainly dropping out of the argument — how exactly do Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice propose to convince the so-called "moderate" Arabs to remain interested in isolating Iran?

All of which leaves us with a Mideast policy that, at present, consists almost solely of an irrational belief in the peaceful intentions of the Palestinians and their leaders.

It was one thing for Bush to push hard for Israel to go to Annapolis and to start final-status talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a global vision that had, as its centerpiece, the goal of stopping Iran.

With that central prop torn away from our foreign policy — and without belief in the nuclear peril from Iran that both Washington and Jerusalem have been promoting — all that's left is faith in Abbas and the allegedly moderate Arabs who back him.

You needn't be a peace skeptic to understand that Abbas hasn't the power or the ability to make a deal, or to finally end Palestinian terror, even if Israel retreated from the West Bank, as it did from Gaza. The fact that three of his own "policemen" celebrated the Annapolis meeting by murdering a Jew in the West Bank in order to make a political point should have reminded us that the differences between Abbas' Fatah and its Hamas rivals are more style than substance.

All of which means that Bush's policy has now officially gone from a prayer to a joke.

That will leave Israel once again isolated and trying to defend itself against false charges that its "occupation" of the territories is the impetus for Palestinian terrorism and the sole cause of the conflict.

If the NIE is right, we should be thankful that the ability of Iran to commit nuclear genocide might not be in the cards. But right or wrong, the administration now finds itself painted into a corner — with no solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in sight, and no hope of rallying the world against a key Islamist threat.

Even if there are no nukes in Tehran's future, that's a pretty frightening thought for both Israelis and Americans.

A 'rising force'

Jonathan Spyer

Last week's demonstrations across the West Bank in protest of the Annapolis conference showcased the entry into the public eye of a new force in Palestinian politics - the pan-Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation.) The party held a demonstration numbering 2,500 in Hebron, and one of its members was killed in subsequent clashes with Palestinian Authority police. Similar gatherings took place in other West Bank cities. Hizb ut-Tahrir's slow emergence from eccentric obscurity has been a subject of note among observers of Palestinian affairs in recent years. The anti-Annapolis demonstrations are the latest stage in this process. These events may indicate deeper political currents - both in the West Bank and beyond.

Hizb ut-Tahrir was established in 1952, in then-Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem, by Sharia court judge Taqi al-Din al Nabhani, from the village of Ijzim, near Haifa. The party's goal is the reestablishment of an Islamic caliphate to govern the whole Muslim world under Islamic law - and eventually to bring the entire world under Islamic rule. The caliphate, a title that had been claimed by Ottoman sultans since the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate, was formally abolished by Turkey's founding father Kemal Ataturk in 1924. In its half-century of existence, Hizb ut-Tahrir has developed into an international Islamist organization known to be active in 45 countries. It has particularly active branches in Indonesia and Uzbekistan, and has made inroads into the Pakistani community in the United Kingdom.

Its branches do not maintain an armed, insurgent wing. But the movement also does not stand in elections. Rather, Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to agitate and educate, gaining supporters for the idea of restoring the caliphate. The intention is to leave violent action - such as the destruction of Israel, which the party supports - to the conventional armed forces of the restored caliphate. This orientation - neither insurgent nor political in the conventional sense - has meant that for much of the movement's history, the Arab world has traditionally considered Hizb ut-Tahrir as a strange, scholastic, rather other-worldly current. Such a view is misleading and outdated. Misleading, because even if Hizb ut-Tahrir itself does not maintain an insurgent wing, recent experience in Europe shows that it has acted as an exemplary hothouse for the nurturing and education of future terrorists, who then go on to ply their trade in different frameworks. Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Muhammad Hanif, for example - the two British-Pakistanis who bombed the Tel Aviv bar Mike's Place in 2003 - had been associated with a Hizb ut-Tahrir splinter group in Britain, as had the "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid. This is why the party is outlawed in a number of European countries.

Outdated, because since 2003 the party has been led by a younger, media-savvy leadership, whose direction is enabling it to establish a more visible and significant presence in parts of the Arabic-speaking world. Hizb ut-Tahrir today is led by a Jordanian of Palestinian origin (and indeterminate whereabouts) - Sheikh Abu Yasin Abu Rashta. Under Abu Rashta's leadership, Hizb ut-Tahrir has made particularly effective use of the Internet in spreading its message. And its central idea of the revival of the caliphate is no longer quite the hallucinatory notion it once seemed. Even if it is nowhere near being realized, the constant use of the idea of the revived caliphate in the propaganda of Osama bin Laden has given the notion a new presence in the Arab world's public mind. Hizb ut-Tahrir's growing visibility in the West Bank over the last few years is in turn a product of all this. Its members played a prominent role in the demonstrations organized against the Danish Muhammad cartoons last year. And last May, it organized protests against the founding of a new Christian mission school in Hebron. Most strikingly, last August, it organized a 10,000-strong rally in al-Bireh, north of Jerusalem, and similar gatherings in Hebron and Ramallah, under the slogan, "The caliphate is the rising force." The anti-Annapolis protests are the latest stage in this process.

Hizb ut-Tahrir remains a small, minority stream in Palestinian politics and the significance of its emergence should not be exaggerated. But neither should it be ignored. Those who thought the emergence of Hamas as the most significant Palestinian political movement was a product of a momentary coming together of particular circumstances - the most significant one of them being the corruption and failure of Fatah - may have missed a key contemporary dynamic of the politics of the Arab world, namely the growing "Islamization" of politics, with a variety of different Islamic currents coming to populate and increasingly define political language and action in country after country. Whether Abu Rashta's group, or another movement, eventually benefits from this process is less important than the existence of the process itself, with all its implications for hopes for peaceful and rational development in the region.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Commemorating Israel’s Creation

Benjamin Netanyahu | 12/12/2007

The UN resolution of November 29, 1947, recognizing a Jewish state was an important moment in the history of our nation, and an important moment in the history of all nations Since then, we have made peace with Egypt and Jordan, but the obstacle to widening the circle of peace remains what it has always been: the refusal of Israel's enemies to recognize the Jewish State in any borders.

Our enemies do not want an Arab state next to Israel. They want an Arab state instead of Israel.

Time and again they were offered an Arab state next to Israel: first, in the partition plan of 1947; then, indirectly, in the Oslo accords; later, unequivocally, at Camp David in 2000; and finally, in the countless declarations since then by both Israeli and international leaders which have called for two states for two peoples.

And how did our enemies respond to these offers? Time and again they violently rejected them. In 1947, they launched terror attacks and then an all out war to annihilate the Jewish state. During the Oslo peace process, they terrorized Israel with suicide bombers; after Camp David, they orchestrated the Second Intifadah in which over 1,000 Israelis were murdered; since then they have fired thousands of Katushya rockets on the Galilee and thousands of Kassam rockets on the Western Negev in order, they say, "to liberate occupied Palestine" – in other words, "occupied" Haifa, "occupied" Acre, "occupied" Sderot and "occupied" Ashkelon.

In doing so, Hezbollah and Hamas are merely following the words of Jamal Husseini, a cousin of the Mufti and a member of the Arab High Committee, who said four days before the UN partition vote: "Palestine will be filled with blood and fire if the Jews receive even a part of it."

Regrettably, even the more moderate Palestinians refuse to support making peace with Israel as a Jewish state. They support two states for one people: A Palestinian state cleansed of Jews, and a bi-national state that they hope to flood with Palestinians according to what they call the "right of return."

Until they truly recognize and internalize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own and until their leaders show the courage of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, it is doubtful that we will have a real partner for a genuine peace.

In this context, we can understand what happened – and what didn't happen – with the adoption of the UN partition resolution in 1947.

The resolution did not fix for all time the contours of a final settlement between us and our neighbors. After all, the Arabs rejected the establishment of a Jewish state and sought to destroy it. The day after the vote the Mufti himself said, "what the UN wrote in black ink, we will write in red blood."

Arab leaders cannot come today, 60 years later, and demand to turn back the clock as if nothing happened. They cannot demand that we accept an agreement that they themselves tore to shreds because, having failed to destroy Israel, they have now concluded that its provisions would spell Israel's doom.

Ben Gurion understood this well when he said in one of the first meetings of the government of Israel: "The decisions of November 29 are dead. The borders of partition are dead. Jerusalem as an 'international city' is a mere fantasy." He repeated these ideas in his speech to the Knesset on December 12th, 1949 when he said that the UN decision was null and void.

Thus, neither the borders of partition nor the internationalization of Jerusalem are the enduring features of the UN vote.

What is enduring is the international recognition of the right of the Jewish people to their own state, a right anchored in the Balfour Declaration which recognized the right of the Jews to a national home in the Land of Israel and which was reaffirmed by both the San Remo conference in 1920 and by the League of Nations in 1922.

But the UN partition vote is seared in our memory because immediately following the vote Britain began to leave the country, opening the way to the fateful battle that almost snuffed out our existence.

The UN partition vote did not establish the state of Israel. It merely recognized the historic right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland and restore their sovereign existence.

But had it not been for the millennial longing of the Jewish people for the land of Israel, the continuous presence of Jews here across the centuries and the seventy years of intensive Jewish settlement in the land that preceded the UN vote, this historic right would never have been realized.

And even these would not have sufficed had not the sons of a tiny nation, in the wake of the horrific Holocaust, raised the sword of the Macabees and with incomparable heroism repelled an Arab onslaught that was about to overwhelm the fledgling state.

The enduring belief in our historic national rights, the settlement effort that realized those rights and the military struggle that defended them– these are what established the Jewish state.

The UN vote merely gave international recognition to this. Yet the UN vote was an important and historic decision, and it is right that we commemorate that vote today with the distinguished ambassadors of the nations that supported it.

But consider this: What would have happened to the UN decision if we would have been defeated in the War of Independence?

The key to Israel's existence has always been rooted in strengthening Zionism and our ability to defend ourselves - and this remains the key to our existence and the key to forging a genuine peace with all our Arab neighbors. Only when some of them recognized Israel's permanence and indestructibility did they reconcile themselves to making peace with us.

That is why I was shocked to hear in the press that the prime minister said: "If there will not be two states, Israel is finished."

Mr. Prime Minister: The state of Israel will never be finished! Our fate will be determined by us, and us alone!

Our existence does not depend on the willingness of the Palestinians to make peace with us. Our existence is secured by our right to live in this land and our capacity to defend that right.

We built up our country for 31 years before the peace agreement with Egypt, we continued to build it for another 16 years before the peace agreement with Jordan, and I hope we will not wait long before we can achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians and with others in the Arab world.

But we do not condition our existence on their agreement. That was the policy of all Israeli governments until now, and it must be the policy of all Israeli governments in the future. Let me repeat: Our fate will be determined by us and us alone!

In the Middle East, peace and security go hand-in-hand. In fact security, which stems from Israel's strength, precedes peace and peace agreements. Whoever does not understand this will be left without security and without peace.

Only a strong Israel, confident in the justice of its cause and led by a strong leadership, will be able to achieve the lasting peace with our neighbors for which we all yearn.

America’s silly demand

Haim Misgav

Why can’t Israel build homes in areas like Har Homa, where no Arabs lived before? I was there when the cornerstone was laid for the Har Homa neighborhood in Jerusalem. The hill was empty. Hundreds of citizens gathered around. Not even one Arab was expelled from his home. As opposed to other places, like Jaffa, Ramle, Lod, Haifa, Safed, Nahariya or Be’er Sheva, all captured by the IDF in 1948, no Arabs lived in what is today Har Homa. It was as if the empty hill was waiting to be salvaged.

It was just like the pre-state days. Just like the time when the Jewish State, whose establishment was just declared, was led by people with vision and faith and hope that what was promised to the Jews on November 29th, 1947 by the United Nations would be rejected by the Arabs and serve as a bridgehead to acquiring everything that was promised to the Jews in the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

It’s a pity that the dry facts are not widely known. That declaration was not just another impassioned document, but rather, an international document that was the basis for the League of Nations’ 1922 decision to grant the British a Mandate to establish the Jewish people’s national home in the Land of Israel.

Nobody in the world at the time heard about the political gimmick known as the “Palestinian people,” and that’s why there is not even one international document that promises this “Palestinian people” the right to self-determination or a territory for establishing its national home.

The big lie
When the British left the Land of Israel in 1948, they in fact left a government vacuum in their wake, but not a political vacuum. In that regards, the entire area west of the Jordan River should have been handed over to the Jewish State. The “territories” taken over at the time by the Kingdom of Jordan, a puppet state established by the British in order to rob the Jews of 78 percent of the area entrusted in British hands in order to build the Jewish people’s national home, were only recognized by two states (Pakistan and Britain.)

The big lie, as if the State of Israel occupied the “Palestinian state” was nurtured only many years later – particularly in the wake of the Six-Day War.

I’m saying all of this because it’s difficult to understand the huge outcry. Har Homa was built on land that is part of Greater Jerusalem. It is not located on land that the State of Israel “forgot” to handle the way David Ben Gurion handled the territories captured in 1948. Israeli law was applied at the time to any territory captured by Yigal Allon and his comrades – and this put an end to any public debate which predecessors of today’s leftist camp wanted to launch.

In fact, we can say today that had the IDF chosen to charge east, in the direction of Judea and Samaria, and abandoned the Galilee, today we would see Condoleezza Rice and her comrades in the White House questioning the legitimacy of construction in Galilee towns like Carmiel. Any new home in the region would likely be referred to as an illegal outpost.

The road to the sought-after peace does not pass through Har Homa. This quiet neighborhood merely became a symbol. The demand to freeze all Jewish construction beyond the armistice lines determined at the end of the 1948 war is silly. Why are Jews allowed to build in territories captured that same year in northern Tel Aviv for example, but are not allowed to build in Har Homa or in Pisgat Ze’ev or in Maale Adumim, where no Arabs lived?

There is one thing we can say at this time: Neither the Americans nor anyone else can tell us, the Jews, where to live in the Land of Israel. If we have no right to build homes in Beit-El or in Shilo or in Hebron, we certainly have no right to build in northern Tel Aviv or in Herzliya.

Dr. Haim Misgav is an attorney and law lecturer

A Homemade Genocide

The Arab world is subject to genocide, it is true. It's just that it's mostly self-inflicted, and Israel has nothing to do with any of it. Fact no. 1: Since the establishment of the State of Israel a merciless genocide is being perpetrated against Muslims and/or Arabs. Fact no. 2: The conflict in the Middle East, between Israel and the Arabs as a whole and against the Palestinians in particular, is regarded as the central conflict in the world today. Fact no. 3: According to polls carried out in the European Union, Israel holds first place as “Danger to world peace”. In Holland, for instance, 74% of the population holds this view. Not Iran. Not North Korea. Israel. Connecting between these findings creates one of the biggest deceptions of modern times: Israel is regarded as the country responsible for every calamity, misfortune and hardship. It is a danger to world peace, not just to the Arab or Muslim world.

The finger is pointed cleverly. It’s difficult to blame Israel for the genocide in Sudan or for the civil war in Algeria. How is it done? Dozens of publications, articles, books, periodicals and websites are dedicated to one purpose only: Turning Israel into a state that ceaselessly perpetrates war crimes. In Jakarta and in Khartoum they burn the Israeli flag, and in London, in Oslo and in Zurich hate articles are published, supporting the destruction of Israel.

Any request in Internet search engines for the words “genocide” against “Muslims”, “Arabs” or “Palestinians”, in the context of “Zionists” or “Israel” – will give us endless results. Even after we’ve filtered out the trash, we are left with millions of publications written in deadly seriousness.

This abundance brings results. It works like brainwashing. It is the accepted position, and not just a fringe opinion. Only five years ago we
were witness to a international anti-Israeli show in the Durban Convention. Only two years ago we were shocked when a member of our Academia blamed Israel of ‘symbolic genocide’ against the Palestinian people. Much ado about nothing. There are thousands of publications blaming Israel of genocide, and not ‘symbolic’.

Under an academic and/or journalistic umbrella, today’s Israel is compared to the damned Germany of yesteryear. In conclusion, there are those who call to terminate the ‘Zionist project’. And in more simple words: because Israel is a country that perpetrates so many war crimes and engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide – it has no right to exist. This, for instance, is the essence of an article by the Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder (writer of “Sophie’s world”), who wrote, among other things: “We call killers of children by their name”). The conclusion is that Israel has no right to exist.

How the deception works

The tragedy is that in Arab and Muslim countries a massacre is happening. A genocide protected by the silence of the world. A genocide protected by a deception that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of mankind. A genocide that has no connection to Israel, to Zionism or to Jews. A genocide of mainly Arabs and Muslims, by Arabs and Muslims.

This is not a matter of opinion or viewpoint. This is the result of factual examination, as precise as possible, of the numbers of victims of various wars and conflicts that have taken place since the establishment of the State of Israel up till this time, in which the massacre continues. It is, indeed, death on a massive scale. A massacre. It is the wiping out of villages and cities and whole populations. And the world is silent. The Muslims are indeed abandoned. They are murdered and the world is silent. And if it bothers to open its mouth, it doesn’t complain about the murderers. It doesn’t complain about the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. It complains about Israel.

This great deception, that covers up the real facts, endures and even grows because of one reason only: The Media and Academia in the West participate in it. In endless publications, books, periodicals and websites Israel is portrayed as a state that perpetrates “war crimes”, “ethnic cleansing”, and “systematic murder”. Sometimes it is because this is fashionable, sometimes it is mistakenly, sometimes it is the result of hypocrisy and double standards. Sometimes it is new and old anti-Semitism, from the left and from the right, overt and covert. Most of the classic blood libels were refuted not long after they came into being. The blood libel of modern times, against the state of Israel, continues to grow. Many Israelis and Jews are accessories to the nurturing of the libel.

The Arab-Israeli conflict

The Zionist settling of this country, which began at the end of the 19th century, did indeed create a conflict between Jews and Arabs. The amount of those killed in various clashes up till the establishment of the State of Israel was no more than a few thousands, of both Jews and Arabs. Most of the Arabs killed in those years were killed in armed struggles of Arabs amongst themselves; such as, for example, in the days of the Great Arab Uprising of 1936 – 1939. That was a sign of things to come. Many others were killed as a result of the harsh hand wielded by the British. Israel never did anything comparable.

Israel’s War of Independence, known also as the War of 48’, left between 5,000 to 15,000 dead from among the Palestinians and citizens of Arab countries. In this war, as in any war, there were indeed atrocities. The attackers declared their goal, and if they had won, a mass extermination of Jews would have taken place. On Israel’s side there were also barbarous acts, but they were on the fringe of the fringe. Less, far less, than in any other war in modern times. Far less than what is being perpetrated every day in these very times, by Muslims, mainly against Muslims, in Sudan and in Iraq.

The next event of importance was the Sinai War of 1956. About 1,650 Egyptians were killed, about 1,000 at the hands of the Israelis and about 650 by the French and British forces. Next came the Six Day War (1967- IJ). The highest estimates talk of 21,000 Arabs killed on all three fronts – Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The Yom Kippur War (1973 – IJ) resulted in 8,500 Arab dead, this time on only two fronts – Egypt and Syria.

Then there were ‘smaller’ wars: The first Lebanon war, which was initially mainly against the PLO and not against Lebanon. This was a war in a war. These were the years of the bloody civil war in Lebanon, a war we will discuss further later on. And thus also in the second Lebanon war, in which about a thousand Lebanese were killed.

Thousands of Palestinians were killed during the Israeli occupation of the territories, that began at the end of the Six Day War. Most were killed during the two Intifadas, the one that commenced in 1987 and resulted in 1,800 Palestinian deaths, and the one that commenced in 2000 with a Palestinan death toll of 3,700. In between, there were more military actions that caused further Arab fatalities. If we exaggerate, we can say that these were a few hundred more who were killed. Hundreds. Not hundreds of thousands. Not millions.

The total count reaches about 60,000 Arabs killed in the framework of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Among them only several thousand Palestinians, although it is because of them, and only them, that Israel is the target of the world’s anger. Every Arab and Muslim death is regrettable. And it is okay to criticize Israel. But the obsessive and demonic criticism emphasizes a far more amazing fact: The silence of the world, or at least relative silence, in the face of the systematic extermination of millions of others by Muslim and Arab regimes.

The blood price of the Muslims

From here on we must ask: How many Arabs and Muslims have been killed in those same years in other countries, for instance, in Russia or in France, and how many Arabs, Muslims and others, were killed in those same years by Arabs and Muslims. The information gathered here is based on various research institutes, academic bodies, international organizations (such as Amnesty and other bodies that follow human rights), the UN, and governmental agents.

In many cases the different organizations present different and contradictory numbers. The differences sometimes reach hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions. We will probably never know the precise number. But even the lowest agreed numbers, that are the basis for the tables given here, present a staggering and horrific picture. In addition, time is too short to survey bloody conflicts that are not even covered in these tables, although these conflicts took a higher human toll than the blood price of the whole Arab-Israeli conflict.

Algeria: A few years after the establishment of the State of Israel, there began another war of independence. This time it was Algeria against France, between the years 1954-1962. The number of victims on the Muslim side is a subject for controversy. According to official sources in Algeria it is over a million. There are research institutes in the west that tend to accept that number. French sources have tried in the past to claim that it is only a quarter of a million Muslims, with an additional 100,000 Muslim collaborators with the French. But these estimates are regarded as tendentious and low. Today there is no question that the French killed nearly 600,000 Muslims. And these are the French, who do not stop preaching to Israel, the Israel that in the whole history of its conflict with the Arabs failed to reach even one tenth of that number, and even then, according to the more severe assessments.

The massacre in Algeria continues. In the 1991 elections the Islamic Salvation Front was voted in. The results of the elections were cancelled by the army. Since then a civil war has been raging, between the central government, supported by the army, and Islamic movements. According to various estimates, there have been about 100,000 victims so far. Most of them have been innocent civilians. In most cases it has been horrific massacres of whole villages, women, children and old people. A massacre in the name of Islam.

Algeria summary: 500,000 to 1 million in the war of independence; 100,000 in the civil war in the 90’s.

sudan: the worst series of crimes

Sudan: A country torn by campaigns of destruction, almost all of them between the Arab-Muslim north, that is control of the country, and the south, populated by blacks. Two civil wars have taken place in this country, and a massacre, under government patronage, has been taking place in recent years in the district of Darfur. The first civil war spanned the years of 1955-1972. Moderate estimates talk of 500,000 victims. In 1983 the second civil war began. But it wasn’t a civil war but a systematic massacre suitably defined as ‘genocide’. The goals were Islamization, Arabization and mass deportation, that occasionally becomes slaughter, also for the need to gain control over giant oil fields. We are talking about an estimated 1.9 million victims.

The division between Muslim and other victims is unclear. The large district of Noba, populated by many black Muslims, was served its portion of horrors. The Muslims, should they be black, are not granted any favors. Since the rise to power of radical Islam, under the spiritual guidance of Dr. Hassan Thorabi, the situation has worsened. This is probably the worst series of crimes against humanity since WWII. We’re talking about ethnic cleansing, deportations, mass murder, slave trade, forcible enforcement of the laws of Islam, taking children from their parents and more. Millions have become refugees. As far as is known, there are not millions of publications about the Sudanese ‘Right of Return’ and there are no petitions by intellectuals negating Sudan’s right to exist.

Recent years have been all about Darfur. Again Muslims (Arabs) are murdering (black) Muslims and heathens, and the numbers are unclear. Moderate estimates are talking about 200,000 victims, higher estimates say 600,000. No one knows for sure. And the slaughter continues.

Throughout the atrocities of Sudan, the slaughter has been perpetrated mainly by the Arab Muslim regime, and the great majority of victims, if not all, are black, of all religions, including Muslims.

Sudan summary: 2.6 million to 3 million.

Afghanistan: This is a web of nonstop mass killing – domestic and external. The Soviet invasion, which began on 24th December 1979 and ended on 2nd February 1989, left about a million dead. Other estimates talk of 1.5 million dead civilians and an additional 90,000 soldiers.

After the withdrawal of the Soviet Forces, Afghanistan went through a series of civil wars and struggles between the Soviet supporters, the Mojahidin and the Taliban. Each group carried out a doctrine of mass extermination of its opponents. The sum of the fatalities in civil war, up to the invasion of the coalition forces under American leadership in 2001, is about one million.

There are those who complain, and rightly so, about the carnage that took place as a result of the coalition offensive to overthrow the Taliban regime and as part of the armed struggle against al Qaida. Well, the invasion into Afghanistan caused a relatively limited number of deaths, less than 10,000. Had it not taken place, we would have seen a continuation of the self-inflicted genocide, with an average of 100,000 fatalities a year.

Afghanistan Summary: One million to one and a half million, as a result of the Soviet invasion; about one million in the civil war.

somalia: unending civil war

Somalia: Since 1977 this Muslim state in East Africa has been immersed in an unending civil war. The number of victims is estimated at about 550,000. It is Muslims killing mainly Muslims. UN attempts to intervene, in the interest of peace keeping, ended in the failure, as did later attempts by American Forces.

Most of the victims died not in the battle fields, but as a result of deliberate starvation and slaughter of civilians, in bombardments aimed at the civilian population (massive bombardments of opponent districts, such as the bombardment of Somaliland, that caused the deaths of 50,000 ).

Somalia Summary: 400,000 to 550,000 victims in the civil war.

Bangladesh: 1 of the 3 greatest genocides

Bangladesh: This country aspired to gain independence from Pakistan. Pakistan reacted with a military invasion that caused mass destruction. It was not a war, it was a massacre. One to two million people were systematically liquidated in 1971. Some researchers define the events of that year in Bangladesh as one of the three greatest genocides in (history - IJ) (after the Holocaust and the Ruanda genocide).

An inquiry committee appointed by the government of Bangladesh counted 1.247 million fatalities as a result of systematic murder of civilians by Pakistan’s army forces. There are also numerous reports of ‘Death squads’, in which “Muslim soldiers were sent to execute mass killings of Muslim farmers”.

The Pakistani army ceased only after the intervention of India, which suffered from waves of refugees - millions – arriving from Bangladesh. At least 150 thousand more were murdered in acts of retaliation after the retreat of the Pakistan army.

Bangladesh summary: 1.4 million to 2 million.

indonesia: The massacre commenced with a communist uprising

Indonesia: The biggest Muslim state in the world competes with Bangladesh for the dubious title of ‘The biggest massacre since the Holocaust’. The massacre commenced with a communist uprising in 1965. There are different assessments (of the number of fatalities - IJ) in this case as well. The accepted estimate talks of as many as 400 thousand Indonesians killed in the years 1965-1966, although stricter estimates claim the number is higher.

The massacre was perpetrated by the army, led by Hag’i Mohammed Soharto, who seized power in the country for the next 32 years. An investigator of those years points out that the person who was in charge of suppressing the rebellion, General Srv Adei, admitted: “We killed 2 million not 1 million, and we did good work”. For this argument, we will stick to the lower, more accepted estimates.

In 1975, after the end of the Portuguese rule, East Timor announced its independence. Within a short time it was invaded by Indonesia, who ruled the area until 1999. During these years about 100,000 to 200,000 people were killed, along with the complete destruction of infrastructure.

Indonesia summary: 400,000 killed, with an additional 100,000 to 200,000 in East Timor

Iraq: the destruction of Saddam Hussein

Iraq: Most of the of the last two decades was the doing of Saddam Hussein. This is another case of a regime that caused the deaths of millions. Nonstop death. One of the highpoints was during the Iran-Iraq war, in the conflict over the Shat El Arab River, the river that is created by the convergence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. This was a conflict that led to nothing but large scale destruction and mass killing. Estimates are between 450,000 and 650,000 Iraqis, and between 450,000 and 970,000 Iranians. Jews, Israelis, and Zionists were not around, as far as is known.

Waves of purges, some politically motivated (opposition), some ethnic ( the Kurdish minority) and some religiously motivated (the ruling Suni minority against the Shiite majority), yielded an astounding number of victims. Estimates vary from one million, according to local sources, to a quarter million, according to Human Rights Watch. Other international organizations quote an estimate of about half a million.

In the years 1991 - 1992 there was a Shiite uprising in Iraq. There are contradictory estimates about the number of victims. The numbers vary from 40,000 to 200,000. In addition to the Iraqis that were slaughtered one must add the Kurds. During Saddam Hussein’s reign, between 200,000 to 300,000 of them were killed in a genocide that continued all through the 1980’s and the 1990’s.

Over half a million more Iraqis died from diseases because of the shortage of medicine, which was the result of sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War. Today it is clear that this was a continuation of the genocide perpetrated by Saddam on his own people. He could have purchased medicine, he had enough money to buy food and to build hospitals for all the children of Iraq, but Saddam preferred to build palaces and to distribute franchises to many in the west and in Arab states. This issue is being exposed in the corruption of the UN’s ‘Oil for Food’ project.

The Iraqis continue to suffer. The civil war that is raging there now - even if some would rather not give that name to the mutual massacre of Sunis and Shiites – is costing tens of thousands of lives. It is estimated that about 100,000 people have been killed since the coalition forces took control in Iraq.

Iraq Summary: 1.54 million to 2 million victims.
Iran Summary: 450,000 to 970,000 victims.

Lebanon: The Lebanese civil war

Lebanon: The Lebanese civil war took place from 1975 to 1990. Israel was involved in certain stages, by way of the first Lebanon War in 1982. There is no disagreement that a considerable part of the victims were killed in the first two years.

The more assessments talk of over 130,000 killed. Most of them were Lebanese killed by other Lebanese, on religious, ethnic grounds and in connection with the Syrian involvement. Syria transferred its support between various parties in the conflict. The highest estimates claim that Israeli activities were the cause of around 18,000 people, the great majority of which were fighters.

Lebanon summary: 130,000.

Yemen: In the civil war that took place in Yemen from 1962 to 1970, with Egyptian and Saudi involvement, 100,000 to 150,000 Yemenites were killed, and more than a thousand Egyptians and a thousand Saudis.

Egypt committed war crimes by incorporating the use of chemical warfare. Riots in Yemen from 1984 to 1986 caused the deaths of thousands more.

Yemen summary: 100,000 to 150,000 fatalities
Chechnya: Russia turned down Chechen Republic demands for independence, and this led to the first Chechen war of 1994 to 1996. The war cost the lives of 50,000 to 200,000 Chechens.

Russia put a great deal into this conflict, but failed miserably. This did not help Chechens, because although they had gained autonomy there republic was in ruins.

The second Chechen War began in 1999 and officially ended in 2001, but it has not really ended, and number of the victims is estimated at 30,000 to 100,000.

Chechnya summary: 80,000 to 300,000 fatalities.

smaller confrontations

From Jordan to Zanzibar: In addition to the wars and the massacres, there have also been smaller confrontations, that have cost the lives of thousands and tens of thousands, of Muslims and Arabs (killed) by Muslims and Arabs. These confrontations are not even taken into account in the tables presented on these pages, because the numbers are small, relatively speaking, even though the numbers of those killed are far higher than the numbers of the victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Here are some of them:

Jordan: 1970 to 1971 the Black September riots took place In the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. King Hussein was fed up of the Palestians use of the country and their threatened to take control of it. The confrontation, mainly a massacre in the refugee camps, took thousands of lives. According to estimates provided by the Palestinians themselves - 10,000 to 25,000 fatalities. According to other sources - a few thousand.

Chad: Half of the population of Chad are Muslims: In various civil wars 30,000 civilians have been killed.

Kosovo: In the mainly Muslim area of Yugoslavia about 10,000 were killed in the war there from 1998 to 2000.

Tajikistan: Civil war from 1992 to 1996 left about 50,000 dead.

Syria: Hafez Assad’s systematic persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood ended in the 1982 massacre in the city of Hama, costing the lives of about 20,000 people.

Iran: Thousands were killed in the beginning of the Humeini Revolution. The precise number is unknown, but is somewhere between thousands and tens of thousands. The Kurds also suffered at the hands of Iran, and about 10,000 of them were murdered there.

Turkey: About 20,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey as part of the conflict there.

Zanzibar: In the earlyu 1960’s the island was granted independence, but only for a short time. At first, the Arabs were in power, but a black group, made up mainly of Muslims, slaughtered the Arab group, also Muslim, in 1964. The estimates are that 5,000 to 17,000 were killed.

Even this is not the end of the list. There were more conflicts with unknown numbers of victims in former USSR republics with Muslim majority populations (like the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagurno Karabach), and a disputable number of Muslims that were killed in mixed population countries in Africa, such as Nigeria, Mauritania or Uganda (in the years of Idi Amins reign in Uganda, in the decade that began in 1971, about 300,000 Ugandans were killed. Amin defined himself as Muslim, but in contrast to Sudan, it is hard to say that the background for the slaughter was Muslim, and it certainly wasn’t Arab.

"to liquidate the Jewish entity"

To all the above, one can add this data: The great majority of Arabs killed in the framework of the Israeli-Arab Conflict were killed as a result of wars instigated by the Arabs and as a result of their refusal to recognize the UN decision regarding the establishment of the State of Israel, or their refusal to recognize the Jews’ right of self-definition.

The number of Israelis killed by Arab aggression has been relatively far than the numbers of Arabs killed. In the War of the Independence, for example, more than 6,000 Israelis were killed out of a population that was then made up of 600,000. This means: One percent of the population. In comparison with this, Arab fatalities in the war against Israel came from seven countries, the populations of which were already tens of millions. Israel did not dream, did not think and did not want to destroy any Arab state. But the ostensible goal of the attacking armies was “to liquidate the Jewish entity”.

Obviously, in recent years, the Palestinian victims have received most of the attention of the Media and the Academia. In actual fact, these make up just a small percentage of the total sum of all victims. The total sum of Palestinians killed by Israel in the territories that were conquered is several thousand. 1,378 were killed in the first Intifada, and 3,700 since the start of the second Intifada.

This is less, for instance, than the Muslim victims massacred by former Syrian president, Hafez Assad in Hama in 1982. This is less than the Palestinians massacred by King Hussein in 1971. This is less than the number of those killed in one single massacre of Muslim Bosnians by the Serbs in 1991 in Srebrenica, a massacre that left 8,000 dead.

Every person killed is regrettable, but there is no greater libel than to call Israel’s actions ‘genocide’. And even so, the string ‘Israel’ and ‘genocide’ in Google search engine leads to 13,600,000 referrals. Try typing ‘Sudan’ and ‘genocide’ and you’ll get less than 9 million results. These numbers, if you will, are the essence of the great deception.

not enlightened, but is not brutal

Another fact: Since WWII, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the national conflict with the lowest number of victims, but with the world’s highest number of publications hostile to Israel in the media and in the Academia.

At least half a million Algerians died during the French occupation. A million Afghanis died during the Soviet occupation. Millions of Muslims and Arabs were killed and slaughtered at the hands of Muslims. But all the world knows about one Mohammed a-Dura (whose death was regrettable, but there is some doubt whether he was killed by Israeli gunfire at all).

It is possible and acceptable to criticize Israel. But the excessive, obsessive, and at times anti-Semitic criticism serves also as a coverup, and in some cases also as an approval, of the genocide of millions of others.
Occupation is not enlightened and can’t be enlightened. But if we try to create a scale of ‘brutal occupation’, Israel will come last. This is a fact. This is not an opinion.

And what would have happened to the Palestinians if, instead of being under Israeli occupation they were under Iraqi occupation? Or Sudanese? Or even French or Soviet? It is highly probable that they would have been victims of genocide, at worst, and of mass killings, purges, and deportations at best.

But luckily for them they are under Israeli occupation. And even if, I repeat, there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation, and even if it is acceptable and possible, and at times necessary, to criticize Israel, there is no occupation and there has never been an occupation with so few fatalities (indeed, there are other injuries that are not manifested in the numbers of fatalities, such as the refugee problem. This will be discussed in a separate chapter).

Television screen ethics

So why is the impression of the world the direct opposite? How come there is no connection between the facts and the numbers and the so very demonic image of Israel in the world?

There are many answers. One of them is that western ethics have become the ethics of television cameras. If a Palestinian terrorist or a Hizballah man tries to shoot a rocket from the midst of a civilian neighborhood, and Israel retaliates with fire - causing the death of two children - there will be endless headlines and articles all over the world that “Israel murders children”. But if entire villages are destroyed in Sudan or whole cities are erased in Syria, there will be no television cameras in the area.

And so, according to television ethics, Jose Saramago and Harold Pinter sign a petition protesting ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes’ perpetrated by Israel. They have never read the Geneva Convention either. They probably do not know that, aside for very few exceptions, the actions of Israel against military targets hitting civilians is allowed according to the Geneva Convention (protocol 1 paragraph 52.2). And because these people are so submerged in television ethics, they will not sign any petitions in protest of the genocide of Muslims by Muslims. Murder for the sake of it. They are allowed to do it.

Television ethics is a tragedy for the Arabs and the Muslims themselves. Israel pays dearly because of it, but the Arabs and the Muslims are its real victims. And as long as this blue screen morality continues, the Arabs and the Muslims will continue to pay the price.


There are those that claim that Arab and Muslim states are immune from criticism, because they are not democratic, but Israel is more worthy of criticism because it has democratic pretences. Claims like this are Orientalism at its worst. The covert assumption is that the Arabs and the Muslims are the retarded child of the world. They are allowed. It is not only Orientalism. It is racism.

The Arabs and the Muslims are not children and they are not retarded. Many Arabs and Muslims know this and write about it. They know that only an end to the self-deception and a taking of responsibility will lead to change. They know that as long as the west treats them as unequal and irresponsible it is lending a hand not only to a racist attitude, but also, and mainly, to a continuation of their mass murder.

The genocide that Israel is not committing, that is completely libelous, hides the real genocide, the silenced genocide that Arabs and Muslims are committing mainly against themselves. The libel has to stop so as to look at reality. It is in the interest of the Arabs and the Muslims. Israel pays in image. They pay in blood. If there is any morality left in the world, this should be in the interest of whoever has a remaining drop of it in him. And should it happen, it will be small news for Israel, and great news, far greater news, for Arabs and Muslims.

Ben-Dror Yemini: “And the World is Lying” - The Plight of the Refugees

Ben Dror Yemini's last article was a lengthy must-read that attempted to set the record straight on the huge numbers of Arabs and Muslims killed in various conflicts around the world and their juxtapose them with the relatively tiny number killed in wars against Israel -- though the former looms huge in significance and imagination: And the world is silent

This, Yemini's second must-read tackles the special status of Palestinian refugees. Here is the article at Maariv in Hebrew. Gadi Taub has a short review, here.

Someone has forwarded me an English translation of the article, and I have included it in the entry below in full. As far as I can tell, this is its first appearance in English. Due to its length, and for issues of readability, I have not pasted it in blockquote style. Everything below this paragraph is quoted material. Do read.

This article is the second in a series of investigations of the unique standards applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the international community and world media. Part I of the series ("And the World is Silent" - 22 Sept. 2006) dealt with the world's silence in response to mass murders by Arabs of their fellow Arabs and Moslems. That silence is of particular significance in light of the constantly reiterated charge that Israel is implementing genocidal policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians. As we demonstrated, the number of Palestinian casualties inflicted by Israel is trivial compared to the magnitude of casualties inflicted in other ethnic or religious conflicts around the globe.

Part II focuses on the unique treatment of Palestinian refugees compared with the refugees generated by other ethnic and religious conflicts over the course of the last century. Let us begin with a well-known story. In a country that formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire, a Moslem minority continues to reside. There is no love lost between the majority and minority populations, and long history of conflict. Eventually the majority population forces large numbers of the minority Moslem population to flee to a neighboring country with a majority Moslem population.

No, this story is not about Israel and the Palestinians. It is the story of the Moslem Turks in Bulgaria. Nor is it a story from 200 years ago. It took place at the end of the 1980's. Three hundred thousand Moslems were pressured to flee Bulgaria.

If the reader has never heard of any discussion of the "right of return" of ethnic Turks to Bulgaria, or of any international organizations devoted to their plight, the explanation is simple: they are not Palestinians. Nor is the case of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria an isolated one. In the course of the last century, tens of millions of people fled their native lands in the wake of religious or ethnic conflict.

Were the world to impose a "right of return" similar to that advocated for the Palestinians to other instances of population transfer, millions of Moslems would be permitted to return to India and millions of Hindus to Pakistan. Entire populations of the Balkan states would have to be reshuffled.

Yet no international body advocates the return of Moslems to Greece or Bulgaria or ethnic Greeks to Turkey. And for a very good reason: Doing so would only reopen bitter past conflicts and lead to rivers of blood.

Only with respect to the Palestinians does the world harp on the "right of return." Different rules apply to God's little acre, which just happens to be the acre of the Jews. Rules developed for other nations that have been the subject of mass population transfers - India, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Czechoslovakia, and dozens of others - suddenly no longer apply when it comes to Israel.

Entire international organizations deal with just one group of the last century's refugees - the Palestinians. An entire international bureaucracy and a worldwide propaganda campaign is devoted not to alleviating the plight of Palestinian refugees but to perpetuating it. Some support the Palestinian "right of return" out of good-hearted naiveté. But many others have a different agenda. Their purpose is not the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the destruction of Israel. As one of Yasser Arafat's closest advisors, Sahar Habash, once commented, "The right of return is our winning lottery ticket for the destruction of Israel."

Who is a Refugee?

The "right of return" is just one example of the ways in which Palestinian refugees are treated differently from other war refugees. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than by the existence of two U.N. bodies for dealing with refugees - the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) deals exclusively with Palestinians; the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is charged with responsibility for all other refugees around the globe. The mission of the UNHCR is to assist refugees to begin a new life As a consequence of its activities tens of millions of former refugees are no longer classified as "refugees" when they gain citizenship in their new host countries.

By contrast, not a single Palestinian has ever lost his refugee status. There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees or their descendants who are citizens of Jordan. Yet as far as UNRWA is concerned they are still refugees.

Indeed the number of Palestinian refugees continues to expand rapidly. That is so because a unique definition of refugee is applied to Palestinians. Everywhere else in the world only those who fled their previous place of residence are classified as refugees, but not their descendants. With respect to Palestinians, however, refugee status is transmitted from generation to generation. Even if one's children never set foot within Israel's 1949 armistice lines and are as wealthy as Bill Gates, they are still classified as refugees.

Moreover, UNRWA applies a far more expansive definition of refugee to Palestinians than that applied by UNHCR to refugees anywhere else in the world. According to UNRWA's definition, an Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese, or Syrian citizen whose primary place of residence between June 1946 and May 1948 was within Israel's 1949 armistice lines is classified as a refugee, even if he was only temporarily in the country in search of work.

The effect of the special treatment of Palestinian refugees by the U.N. is not to solve the plight of Palestinian refugees but to perpetuate it. As the number of those classified as refugees grows year by year, the only consequence is to make any solution of the underlying Palestinian-Israeli conflict that much more difficult.

Population Exchange

The Palestinians were not the only ones to be uprooted by the fighting between Israel and invading Arab armies in 1948-49. As a result of anti-Jewish rioting in Arab countries in the wake of the war, between 600,000 and 800,000 Jews fled the Arab lands where they had lived for centuries and even millennia. Most of those refugees came to Israel, where they were absorbed without assistance from the international community. Such population exchanges are common following major religious or ethnic strife all around the world.

Any place else in the world, the exchange of populations between Arabs fleeing Israel - i.e., the area within the 1949 armistice lines - and Jews fleeing Arab lands would have been the end of story. Such exchanges have been common throughout history down to the present, as the following survey will show. Indeed they were once considered the optimal solution to such strife. Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian geographer who was awarded the 1922 Nobel Peace Prize, was the man who proposed and implemented the population transfer between Greece and Turkey.

Population Shifts in the Balkans

With the exception of the Indian subcontinent, no area of the world has experienced more widespread population shifts over the last century than the Balkan states. From the beginning of the first Balkan War in 1912 to the wars following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, between seven and ten million people were uprooted from their homes on the basis of ethnic identity.

It is estimated that in the two Balkan Wars between 1912 and 1915, 250,000 Bulgarians, 150,000 Greeks and 200,000 ethnic Turks were uprooted and returned to their ancestral homelands.

World War II brought about even more significant population flux. Three-quarters of a million Serbs fled their homes in the course of the war, and another quarter million were forced into labor brigades in Bulgaria and Hungary. After the conclusion of the war, 300,000 Bulgarian nationals returned to Bulgaria from areas which had been under Bulgarian rule prior to the war. At the same time, 200,000 Hungarians emigrated from Transylvania to Hungary. A similar number of Hungarian nationals were forced to leave their homes in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

The 1920's brought another significant wave of population transfers between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, pursuant to the signing of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne between Turkey and the Entente Powers. The major transfer was that of 1.5 million ethnic Greeks from Turkey to Greece, and 500,000 ethnic Turks from Greece to Turkey. In addition, 80,000 Bulgarians were transferred to Greece.

Not all ethnic Greeks (who were Christians) left Turkey for Greece, and not all ethnic Turks (who were Moslems) left Greece for Turkey. But the stated purpose of the population exchange was the creation of religious and ethnic homogeneity. It was Fridtjof Nansen, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, who initiated, planned and implemented the transfer.

Events connected to World War II brought further population transfers to the Balkans. After a pro-Nazi government took power in Croatia, thousands of Serbs fled the country. In addition, after Hungary took control of Transylvania, 200,000 Rumanians fled Transylvania for Rumania.

The next major wave of population shifts in the Balkans came about as a result of the ten years of warfare that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, after Tito's death in 1991. Following fighting between Croatia and Serbia, 250,000 Serbs were expelled from regions that remained in Croatian hands. According to the peace treaty signed between Croatia and Serbia, a procedure was established for Serbs to reclaim their former homes.

In practice, however, few Serbs have successfully exercised their rights to reclaim their former homes. Serbs returning to Croatia have encountered job discrimination and various forms of harassment. Most have found their homes occupied, and even when they have successfully asserted their rights in Croat courts, the courts' orders have rarely been executed.

In short, whatever sort of "right of return" exists for Serbs, it has proven largely ineffectual. And that is so, even though historic tensions between Serbians and Croats are far lower than those between Palestinians and Israelis. Moreover, 200,000 ethnic Serbs pose no demographic threat to Croatia, with a population of 4.4 million people. Nor have Serbs been subjected to a massive propaganda campaign since 1995 calling for the elimination of Croatia, as Palestinians have been vis-à-vis Israel almost since the outset of the Oslo process.

A survey of Western newspapers at the conclusion of the fighting between Serbia and Croatia reveals a general acceptance of the need to create ethnically homogeneous states by means of an exchange of Serbs and Croats. That was more or less the leading position of the New York Times on the issue.

In renewed fighting in 1999, 800,000 ethnic Albanians were expelled from the Serbian province of Kosovo. Most of those were subsequently returned to their homes after NATO's military intervention. In the meantime, 150,000 Serbs, fearing Albanian retribution, fled Albania. An equal number of Serbs fled Kosovo, after NATO's intervention, for the same reason.

Hundreds of thousands more people became refugees over the course of a decade of fighting in the former Yugoslavia, including an estimated 170,000 Croats who fled Serbia. Some of those refugees fled from one newly created country to another; others fled from one region to another within a single country like Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Of the 7-10 million Balkan refugees over the course of less than a century, some became refugees as a result of deliberate efforts at ethnic cleansing, some as a consequence of military action, and others pursuant to treaty. The common denominator of these population shifts, however, is that they all led to increased religious and ethnic homogeneity. And that process was accepted by the international community as necessary in order to prevent far greater bloodletting. Only in the case of the Serbs, who were allowed to return to Croatia, was there any recognition of a right of return. And even in that case, that recognition remained almost purely theoretical.

Poland - Ukraine

After World War II, Poland's eastern border was set at the so-called Curzon Line, which had first been proposed as the border between Poland and the USSR in 1919 by British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon. At that time, however, Poland, succeeded in pressing further demands, and under the Treaty of Riga signed in 1921, its eastern border was set on average 200 kilometers to the east of the Curzon Line. The movement of Poland's border westward after World War II led to a total of 1.4 million Poles and Ukrainians crossing the border in opposite directions: ethnic Poles returning westward to Poland and ethnic Ukrainians moving eastward to Ukraine. Just as in the Balkans, the basis of that transfer was the preservation of ethnic and religious homogeneity.

Germany - Eastern Europe

At the Potsdam Conference after World War II, the Allies met to discuss the post-War administration of Germany, including the fate of ethnic Germans who had settled throughout Eastern Europe and southern Russia over several centuries. The German majority in the Sudetenland had been the pretext for Hitler's demand, at the Munich Conference, for German annexation of the Sudetenland at the expense of Czechoslovakia. After World War II, the Allies were eager to remove any future pretexts for further German expansionism.

As a consequence, it was decided that millions of ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland, Romania, Hungary and Poland - many of whom had never been Nazi supporters - be repatriated to Germany "in an orderly fashion." Between 12-16 million ethnic Germans were moved against their will. Some of the ferries carrying the refugees back to Germany were torpedoed. According to some German sources, many Germans were killed in the process of transfer to Germany.

Yet just a few years after this mass exodus, there was not one German refugee still in a refugee camp or with refugee status. The fate of those repatriated is nowhere to be found on the public agenda today in Germany, with the exception of one fringe group BdV (Federation of Expellees) that concerns itself with the issue. The consensus in Germany today is that the refugees have no rights - not to restitution and not to return to those areas in which their ancestors lived for centuries.


Though Moslems and Hindus joined together to secure India's independence from Great Britain, as independence drew near religious tensions between Moslems and Hindus flared, though religion was only one of the many dividing lines between different sectors of the population. Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the struggle for Indian independence, envisioned a single state composed of Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs. The British, however, opted for the creation of two states - one majority Hindu and the other overwhelmingly Moslem - to avoid a bloody war between Hindus and Moslems. As a result, British sovereignty over the Indian subcontinent ended in August 1947 with the creation of two states: India and Pakistan.

The creation of two states - one overwhelmingly Moslem and the other predominantly Hindu - resulted in a massive population transfer. More than seven million Hindus and Sikhs transferred from Pakistan to India and a similar number of Moslems left India for Pakistan. Many massacres were perpetrated in the process of these population exchanges. Estimates of the number of those killed range from 200,000 to 1,000,000.

Today Pakistan is almost entirely Moslem, while India, with almost a billion people, is home to roughly 160,000,000 Moslems. The two countries have lived in a constant state of tension almost since their creation. Much of that tension is focused today on the Kashmir region of India, which abuts Pakistan, and which has a majority Moslem population.

Though the creation of India and Pakistan resulted in over 14 million refugees, the absorption of whom placed enormous burdens of the fledgling states that took them in, today not one person still classified as a refugee as a result of that massive population transfer.

Armenia- Azerbaijan

The break-up of the Soviet Union brought about the formation of new countries and rekindled old ethnic and religious tensions. Chechnyan Moslems, who were sent to other regions of the former Soviet Union during the Stalin era, suddenly returned to Chechnya, and ignited a movement seeking independence from Russia.

More closely related to our topic is the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The majority of Azerbaijan is Moslem, but within Nagorno-Karabakh, the majority of the people are Armenian Christians. In 1988, this semi-autonomous region sought to be joined to Armenia. That request triggered widespread killings of Moslems in Armenia and Armenians in Azerbaijan. Fighting ended with a ceasefire in 1994, but the conflict gave rise to one million new refugees: 740,000 Moslems fled Armenia for Azerbaijan, and 360,000 Armenian Christians fled Azerbaijan for Armenia.

One other interesting detail. Armenia made an effort, in conjunction with UNHCR to absorb its Christian brethren seeking refuge in Armenia. By contrast, the Moslem refugees to Azerbaijan still langusih in refugee camps, unabsorbed and unintegrated into Azerbaijan. In that way, the Moslem refugees resemble the Palestinian refugees, many of whom still live in fetid refugee camps nearly sixty years after they became refugees.


As a consequence of warfare between non-Moslem blacks and Arab Moslems in Mauritania, 75,000 blacks were exiled to the neighboring states of Senegal and Mali, and an equal number of Arabs sought refuge in Mauritania in the late '80s and early '90s.


Sudan has been plagued in recent years by a series of vicious ethnic conflicts: between Moslem Arabs and black animists in the South; and between Moslem Arabs and black Moslems in the Darfur Province. Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed are making a concerted effort to rid Darfur of its black population. So far they have killed between 200,000 and 400,000 blacks in Darfur and forced three to four million black farmers and their families to flee their homes, some into neighboring Chad. Though both the victims and the perpetrators in Darfur are Moslems, to date there have been no protests in the Arab world against the ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies being pursued by the Janjaweed against black Darfurians. The Arab-dominated government in Khartoum continues to resist intervention by the U.N. and African peacekeepers, and to do everything possible to prevent them from stopping the ethnic cleansing in Darfur.


The population of Cyprus is 80% Greek and 20% Turkish. In response to a threat by the majority Greek population to unite the island with Greece in 1974, Turkish forces invaded the island. As a result of the invasion, Cyprus was divided into two halves: one Greek and the other Turkish. Two hundred thousand ethnic Greeks moved to the Greek-controlled half of the island, and 50,000 Turkish Moslems moved to the Turkish part of the island.

From the time of the partition of the island, the Greek half has flourished - there are no refugee camps, no terror, and no incitement of terror against the Turks, despite the fact that Turkey settled 100,000 more Turks on the Turkish-controlled half of the island (in contravention of international law) and brought in tens of thousands of soldiers to maintain its military regime. In contrast to the Greek half of the island, the Turkish half has experienced severe unemployment and a stagnant economy.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan devised a far-reaching proposal to reunite the island in 2004, but in a national referendum, the Greek half of the island rejected the plan. Nevertheless, the U.N. plan does provide an interesting insight into the international community's view of the "right of return" in general. The plan did not hint at a general right of return of those who had fled their homes upon partition of the island. Only Greeks over 65 years old were granted anything like a right of return, and even then, only on condition that they not constitute more than 10% of the total Turkish population, and no more than 20% in any particular area.

Had Israel accepted such a proposal, it would have had to export Palestinians rather than bring them back for the simple reason that Palestinians constitute over 10% of Israel's population.

Manipulation of the Palestinian Refugees

The number of refugees in the above survey (which is only partial) totals approximately 38 million people. Of all the tens of millions of refugees generated by religious and ethnic strife, however, only the 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes in Israel in 1948 - most of them at the urging of their leaders - remain a "problem" for the international community nearly sixty years later.

All over the world, the same pattern pertains. Those who have been expelled or forced to flee from areas in which they were part of a religious or ethnic minority to areas or countries in which their religious or ethnic group is the majority have been absorbed by their co-religionists or those of the same ethnicity. That is what happened when Israel absorbed 600,000-800,000 Jews from Arab lands after the creation of the state. And it is what has happened everywhere else in the world. The two Germanys absorbed ethnic Germans after World War II; India took in Hindus fleeing Pakistan, and Pakistan received Moslems fleeing India.

That too should be the fate of the Palestinians. They should be absorbed in an independent Arab state of Palestine to be established one day alongside Israel, not in place of Israel.

Only the Palestinians (and Moslem refugees to Azerbaijan) depart from the general pattern of absorption by those who share their religion and ethnic identity. The Palestinians were never absorbed by their Arab co-religionists in the countries bordering Israel. They faced both de facto and de jure discrimination in many of those countries. Today hundreds of thousands of those who left Israel in 1948 and their descendants still languish in refugee camps nursing their bitter historical grievances and constituting a permanent attack force to be unleashed against Israel.

The Arab states deliberately maintain the Palestinians in their pitiable state. The international community was also complicit in the process. Rather than helping the Palestinians out of their refugee status, UNRWA and international donors have frozen the Palestinians in that state. That is true not only those who fled Israel in 1948, but all their descendants in perpetuity.

In place of medicine, the Palestinians' "benefactors" have only rubbed salt in their wounds - sometimes for their own purposes and sometimes from the best of motives. The day that the international community ceases applying a double standard to the Palestinians will be a day of rejoicing for them. On that day, they will stop being political pawns and be on the way to gaining their independence.

Of the tens of millions of refugees created by World War II and the grant of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947, all lost their refugee status, as far as the international community is concerned, decades ago. And the possibility of those former refugees returning to the lands of their birth would strike the international community with horror, for an attempt to do so would only unleash old ethnic and religious conflicts. We might as well discuss the return of North America to its original native inhabitants.

Only with respect to the Palestinians does the "right of return" continued to be discussed. Not just discussed, but to be the subject of thousands of books, articles, and documentaries. That "right" is never placed in the context of comparable cases of other refugees around the world.

Sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians dwarfs that for other peoples who have suffered far worse fates, and who are far less complicit in their fate. The exodus of Palestinians from what is today Israel took place only because five Arab armies invaded Israel immediately after its declaration of statehood. And the Palestinians could long ago have had their own independent state. They have preferred instead to focus their energies on the destruction of Israel.

The black farmers of the Darfur province of Sudan constitute just the most blatant current example of the disproportionate sympathy for the Palestinians. The U.N. places the number of those killed by Arab Moslem militias at 400,000, while another two to three million people have fled their homes, as a consequence of a concerted effort at ethnic cleansing.

And yet it is the plight of the Palestinians that continues to be portrayed as the greatest injustice perpetrated by man against his fellow in the world today. International humanitarian aid to the Palestinians is an order of magnitude greater than that directed towards any other people. (That will be the subject of our third investigation.) Meanwhile the black farmers of Darfur are left to their fate.

The international community has long acknowledged the rule that religious and ethnic homogeneity serves as a preventative to the most vicious of conflicts. For that reason, Turkish Moslems will not return to Greece nor Greeks to their former homes in Turkey. Sometimes history must be forgotten if peace is to be maintained. Judea and Samaria is the historical homeland of the Jewish people. Yet we do not advocate Jewish rule of that area today, for it is home to another people.

But just as Arabs dwelling today in Judea and Samaria have a right to national self-determination, so do Jews. And Israel is the only place in the world where Jews can exercise that right today. Those who call for the "right of return" for Palestinians would deny the right of self-determination to Jews.

Let us be clear. When we argue that Cyprus is the model for the solution of religious and ethnic conflicts, we do not mean that ethnic and religious homogeneity need not be absolute. There is room for an Arab minority in Israel, just as there is Jewish minority in Morocco. We oppose with every fiber of our being the idea of transfer - either of Arabs from what is today Israel proper or from Judea and Samaria.

Though ethnic cleansing has taken place many times in the past, and even though the results of such a policy have subsequently become part of the accepted status quo, we reject ethnic cleansing. Jews in Israel will not do to Arabs in Judea and Samaria what government-supported Arab militias are doing to their black co-religionists in the Darfur province of Sudan.

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's paper "The Israel Lobby" has received deservedly warm approbation from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and has been featured prominently on neo-Nazi and anti-Israel sites. The main thesis of the paper is that a nefarious pro-Israel lobby has subverted American foreign policy in favor of Israel, and at great cost to American interests. The paper is a virtual compendium of the most tendentious charges against Israel. Opposing facts and views are not even cited much less refuted. (For a detailed point-by-point refutation of the Mearsheimer/Walt thesis, the reader is invited to consult the posting by Professor Alan Dershowitz.) No charge is too wild to lay at Israel's doorstep. For instance, the authors claim that Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in order to bring about Hamas' ascendance to power, and thereby end the peace process.

Among the claims made by Mearsheimer/Walt is that there is strong support for transfer in Israel. Nowhere do the authors mention that no party advocating transfer has ever wielded any significant political power in Israel.

It is interesting, however, that Mearsheimer, who fulminates against Israel for the popular support for transfer, himself wrote in a New York Times op-ed in 1993 that the only solution to the chaos in the Balkans was the creation of "ethnically homogeneous states." Needless to say, as Mearsheimer wrote, "Creating homogeneous states would require transferring populations and drawing new borders".

We mention this little bit of hypocrisy only because it typifies the world's hypocrisy with respect to discussion of all aspects of the Palestinian refugee question. Had the world treated Palestinian refugees as it once treated German, Hindu, and Moslem refugees, the refugee problem would no longer exist. By treating Palestinians as a uniquely privileged class of refugees instead, through dozens of organizations supporting the Palestinian "right of return" and maintaining them as wards of the international community, they have only succeeded in perpetuating their plight.

The determination that every country has the right to maintain ethnic or religious homogeneity and that refugees who are already located in places in which they belong to the religious or ethnic majority have no right of return, applies to Israel as well. That means that even though Judea and Samaria are part of the historical homeland of the Jewish people, the Jews have no right of return there just as the Palestinians have no right of return to Israel, even though that is their historical homeland. There must be one rule for the Germans absorbed in Germany, for the Hindus absorbed in India, for the Moslems who transferred to Pakistan and, by this rule, the Jews have the right of return to Israel but not to Palestine, and the Palestinians have the right of return to Palestine but not to Israel.

The absolute rejection of the right of return is a corollary of not only the international situation but also the right to self-determination. The Palestinians have such a right and the Jews have such a right. Anyone who demands the right of return for the Palestinians, and only for them is, in effect, rejecting the Jewish right to self-determination.

It is not Israel, but rather the international community that is responsible for perpetuating the problem of the Palestinian refugees. Instead of balm, it spread salt on the wound. It utilized manipulation. The irony - and it is a very bitter irony - is that the double standard has only increased the suffering of the Palestinians. It has eternalized them in their suffering. It has prevented the resolution of their problem. The day the world abandons this double standard will be a good day for the Palestinians. It will be the first day on which the level of their suffering begins to recede. It will be the day on which they cease to be political pawns. For the sake of the Palestinians, for the sake of peace, that day should come.