Tuesday, December 04, 2007

LETTER OF THE WEEK

This letter was written to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to an article on the issue of the so-called Palestinian Right of Return to Israel rather than to a future Palestinian State.

Hugh Macleod's "Right of Return, an unbending Faith" (SF Chron, 11/28/07) omits from his otherwise comprehensive article the simple historical fact that there is no "right of return" for the six million or more Arabs who proffer the bogus claim to be refugees from British Mandatory Palestine following the 1947-9 Israel-Arab war.

Of the c. 9,000,000 Arabs who call themselves Palestinians in the world today, less than one-third reside in refugee camps. The remaining 6,000,000 are scattered around the world in what they call the Palestinian Diaspora, living and working and raising families and successfully integrating into dozens of countries. International law is clear. The descendents of refugees who have integrated in to their host countries, have jobs, homes, families, etc. cannot claim the status of refugees. Since the original refugees, who numbered c. 750,000 in 1949, are now either dead or in their dotage, their putative 6,000,000 descendents who do not live in refugee camps are not refugees.

Moreover, contrary to the rabid claims of Arab propagandists, Israel did not cause the refugee problem; and thus Israel bears no responsibility in solving it. I document in my books "Big Lies" (Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 2005) and "History upside Down" (Encounter Press, 2007) the obvious and undeniable historical fact that Israel accepted the UN's 1947 partition resolution (UNSCR #181) and extended offers of friendship, co-existence, and peace to all of its Arab neighbors. Arab leaders rejected the UN resolution and sneered at Israel's peace offers. Armies from seven Arab countries and a host of para-military gunmen invaded with the vociferously ballyhooed intent to utterly wipe out the new state and genocide its Jews. During the course of this war of genocidal aggression against Israel, Arab leaders, including the Hajj Amin el-Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler's ally in World War 2), encouraged or forced Arab peasants to flee. During the Rhodes armistice talks in 1949, Israel offered peace and a just resolution for the plight of these refugees. Israel's offers were turned down by every Arab state, and these states forced the refugees to remain, hostage-like, in their camps. Had the Arabs accepted the UN resolution, been willing to live in peace with Israel, or even belatedly accepted Israel's post-war offers of peace and co-existence, not only would there have been no refugee problem, but there would have been a state, almost half the size of today's Israel, for the Palestinians sixty years ago.

Therefore, the full onus of culpability for the plight of the Arabs living in refugee camps today rests exclusively upon the Arab states who caused the war and refused peaceful resolution after the war. The continued existence of the Arab refugee problem today is a function solely of Arab governments' Machiavelian exploitation of their Palestinian brethren to advance their on-going genocidal war against Israel ... no matter what the human cost.

Ignoring this reality rewards Arab leadership for its duplicity and inhumanity.

David Meir-Levi

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