A RESPONSE TO THE MUIR ARTICLE
By Mel Goldberg
“Se atrapan en una prisión
de su propia fabricación”
Jim Muir’s article (“The Microcosm of a Nation,” Ojo del Lago, September 2009, page 70),condemns Elie Wiesel’s silence as hypocritical and berates Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Mr. Muir is either ignorant of history or chooses to ignore it to support his mistaken comments. Nor does he understand the terms he uses. Perhaps Elie Wiesel does not condemn Israel because the country is not guilty of the Mr. Muir’s erroneous charges.
Mr. Muir’s first charge is ethnic cleansing. The term means the mass expulsion and killing of one ethnic or religious group by another, such as what happened in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. But Israel did not remove the Arabs. The Arabs fled because other Arab governments told them to evacuate while the Arab armies “drive the Jews into the sea.” Arab refugee status has been caused by Arab governments who failed in their genocidal war against the Jews. If Arab Palestinians admit they fled voluntarily, their claim to be victims of Israel becomes an invention.
Mahmoud Abbas (President of the Palestinian National Authority), wrote, “The Arab armies…forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.” Khaled al’Azm (Prime Minister of Syria in 1949), wrote, “We have brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees, by calling upon them…to leave their land, their homes, their work and business…”
Had there been no invasion by Arab armies against the Jews, there would be no Arab refugees and the problems of the region since would not have occurred. The U.N. Resolution 181 divided Palestine into a Jewish Palestinian State and an Arab Palestinian State. The Jewish Palestinians accepted the proposal, but the Arab Palestinians rejected it, maintaining their desire to obliterate the state of Israel.
During the Rhodes Armistice talks and Lausanne conference in 1949, Israel offered to return captured land in exchange for a formal peace. Israel allowed Arab refugees to re-settle in Israel provided they renounce violence and swear allegiance to the state of Israel. More than 150,000 Arab refugees accepted and now lead productive lives in Israel. And there have always been Israeli Arab members of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament).
These charges of dispossession, torture, economic deprivation, and humiliation of the Palestinian People are fatuous. They are imaginary cudgels with which to beat Israel. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Mr. Muir refers to it as an ethnocracy, another example of his failure to understand his terms.
An ethnocracy is characterized by legal, institutional, and physical control when the dominant group constitutes a minority of the population, like South Africa, where democratic participation was for the dominant group only.
Such is not the case in Israel. As one example, when the Central Elections Committee attempted to ban the participation of the two Arab parties, United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad, for alleged support of Israel’s enemies, the ban was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court by a vote of 8 to 1.
Are we now to feel sympathy for the Arabs who call them selves Palestinians? Their suffering could have ended, but their leaders refused, and contributed to their destitution by stealing millions and fighting among themselves. Imagine this scenario. A Jewish family and an Arab family share a dwelling owned by a Christian, who abandons the house. The Arab neighbors threaten to kill the Jewish family, and tell the Arab family to leave and to return after the Jewish family has been annihilated. But the Arab neighbors fail in their numerous attempts, and leave the poor Arab family homeless.
Apparently Mr. Muir expects the Jewish family to be compassionate to the people who have sworn to wipe them from the face of the earth every day for the past sixty years. Would you?
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