Friday, May 9, 2008

Palestinians are Destroying Lebanon. Again!

By Alan Caruba

The difficulties encountered by the nations of the Middle East to integrate the so-called Palestinians, a group of Arab refugees that did not exist when Israel came into existence, have their origins in the first attack on the new nation of Israel in 1948.

They were told by the invading Arab nations to abandon their homes and farms with the assurance that they would be restored once the Israelis were defeated. Sixty years later Israel is thriving and succeeding generations of the largest and oldest refugee group in the world continues to wreak havoc on Israel and neighboring nations.

The Palestinians have become a human pestilence. Wherever they gather in sufficient numbers their only export is death. When not at war with the Israelis, they make war among themselves.

That’s why the May 9th headline, “Hezbollah overruns west Beirut as Lebanon on brink”, is a reminder of how the Palestinians living in Lebanon continue to repay the hospitality of their host nation by seeking to overthrow it. Indeed, earlier when they attempted to overthrow the monarchy of Jordan, the father of the present king drove out large numbers of Palestinians who then fled to Lebanon.

This is not to say that Lebanon, though a nation with a history as old as Israel’s, had not been a political patchwork quilt since its modern reincarnation following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Lebanon was ceded to France along with Syria, while the British took control of Iraq, Jordan, and the protectorate of Palestine. The protectorate was understood to precede the founding of a Jewish state. The Arab states were pure invention for colonial purposes.

Lebanon, launched on September 1, 1920, joined together a population of Christian Maronites, a Muslim sect called the Druze, and Sunni Muslims. In 1943 a National Pact would establish a government of sorts that would have a Christian as president, a Sunni Muslim as prime minister, and a Shia Muslim as speaker of its Assembly.

As Sandra Mackey, author of “Mirror of the Arab World”, put it, “The whole elaborate system worked because the Lebanese, largely a product of Arab culture, possessed no clear sense of institutions.”

As Muslims gained in population, swelled by the Palestinians fleeing Jordan, the delicate political balance that had brought modernity and prosperity to Lebanon fell apart. From 1975 to 1990, the nation remained in a state of civil war.

Why the “pearl of the east” did not completely disappear as a nation is a mystery. Why it engaged in a civil war for fifteen years is not. The answer lies in the Palestinian inability to live in peace with any host nation. They are a cancer in the body politic of the Middle East.

Mackay writes, “The Lebanese civil war had proved neither heroic nor redemptive. Nor had the terrible bloodshed enabled the Lebanese state to establish its integrity. Nor had it advanced the process of transforming a fragile state into an authentic nation.”

Neither the Syrians who have always coveted Lebanon and occupied it militarily for a decade after the civil war, nor the Palestinians in the form of Hezbollah, an Iranian satanic spawn, want to permit a free, democratic, and independent Lebanon.

Those that keep telling Israel it must make peace with the Palestinians need to take a look at what is occurring in Lebanon again.

No doubt the Israeli army will return again in response to yet another attack by Palestinians from Lebanon. The world will send up a hue and cry about the horrid Israelis forced to defend themselves. Wiser heads will be rooting for them.


Alan Caruba said...

Sorry, John, but you are mistaken about Hezbollah (and Hamas)because both are composed of Palestinians.

Indeed, for me to have written that Jordan chased out the palestinians is not entirely accurate since what we now call Palestinians were in fact Jordanians for many decades. The faction that were driven out were rebelling against the government at the time.

The are not only the victims of Middle East politics, they are the cause of much of it. The hypocrisy is that Arabs have kept them in a refugee status. In this, they have been aided by a UN program devoted entirely to them and, of course, funded in part by US dollars as a major contributor to the UN.

If they dropped their insistance on destroying Israel, the
"Palestinian" problem would go away. As to not having a choice but to fight Israel, that's just idiotic. Of course they have a choice. It's called peace.

Saildog said...

"The difficulties encountered by the nations of the Middle East to integrate the so-called Palestinians, a group of Arab refugees that did not exist when Israel came into existence, have their origins in the first attack on the new nation of Israel in 1948."

Wow Alan! That is breathtaking in its deceit.

Palestine: The name of the country prior to much of it being called Israel.

Palestinians: The people of the afore-mentioned country Palestine, or their descendants.

Refugees: Correct, they were not refugees when Isarel came into existence because they had their own country.

Integration: They do not want to integrate with other (different) Arabs, they want their own country back.

The UK; and especially the US had no right to give in to Jewish terrorism and sanction the creation of the state of Israel, even if they were feeling guilty about the holocaust.

The old adage that you can put a wrong right with another wrong has proven spectacularly true in the case of Palestine.

Alan Caruba said...

Saildog, you are so seriously wrong that corrections are in order:

There never was a "nation" called Palestine. Following WWI, there was a British protectorate called Palestine for the sole purpose of it becoming a Jewish state.

There never were "Palestinians." The Arabs of that time and place considered the area to be under the control of Syria. After WWI and the creation of Jordan as the Hashamite kingdom, the Arabs were considered to be Jordanians.

They are refugees 60 years later because the Arab nations want to keep them that way as pawns in their effort to erase Israel and claim its land.

Saildog said...

It is true that prior to the state of Israel the area now known as Israel, together with the West Bank and Gaza was known as Palestine, but governed by the British under mandate.

The original Balfour declaration of 1917 stated that the British government "view with favour" the establishment in Palestine of "a national home for the Jewish people" on the conditions that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" or "the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Quite what gave the British the right to "view with favour", much less to act on such a view is beyond me. That was the way things were done then I guess, even so things haven't quite worked out as they intended have they?

Maybe I can sum the current situation up best with a quote from Ben Gurion, surely one of the most iconic Israeli leaders: "I don't understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country." – David Ben Gurion, 1956, quoted by Nahum Goldmann in The Jewish Paradox, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p.99.

Alan Caruba said...

Taking a single quote to make your case is just too easy.

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a name the Zionists invented."
-- Auni Bey Abdul-Had, local Arab leader to British Peel Commission.

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not."
--Prof. Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Community of Inquiry in 1946.

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing more but southern Syria.:"
--Ahmed Shukairy, United Nations Security Council, 1956.

Et cetera!

After putting down a revolt against Rome and exiling the Jews, the Emperor Hadrian required that Israel be known as Palestine in the hope it would erase the name. It didn't.

Saildog said...

Although I live in australia now; and carry an Australian passport, I grew up in apartheid South Africa. I am very sensitive to racism.

The legal status of Palestine/Israel is not in dispute, however it is true that many Arabs living in what is now the state of Israel have been disposessed of their lands. I would have no problem with Israel if they did not practice a de-facto apartheid against the arabs. I also resent their overt military aggressiveness and their settlement program. They have systematically attempted to drive the arabs from "biblical Israel" through these processes.

It is no wonder the arabs have been in open revolt as long as I can remember. Their situation is worse than the black peoples of South Africa during apartheid.

Alan Caruba said...

Saildog, we shall not resolve this matter here, but the use of the word "apartheid" is innappropriate and offensive. Many Arabs hold Israeli citizenship, some have served in the Knesset.

It was Islam that introduced intolerance and oppression with its concept of the "dhimmi", the citizen whose rights were limited.

It has been the refusal of Arabs to accept the sovereignty of Israel and that have attacked it in four wars and continually it some fashion since its inception that have created this problem for themselves.

Saildog said...

Apartheid: The description is appropriate, though I have no intention to offend. It is no accident that apartheid South Africa and Israel were "friends" and co-operated in many ways.

And it is true that Arabs have been dispossessed of their lands and disadvantaged in so may ways - because they are not Jewish.

To argue that they do not exist, because the term "Palestinian" does not sit comfortably with you is misleading: As PM Rabin said: "There were people in this land before us."

Far better than the tanks in Gaza that lead only to more rockets and suicide bombers, would be a program of reconciliation, inclusion and restitution of seized property (like in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand).

This may of course lead to the loss of Jewish power and the name of the country being changed to Palestine - that, I suspect is the real reason de-facto apartheid is maintained. Hardly different to South Africa really, or Zimbabwe before that. The only difference being that Israel is propped up by the US.

But you are right - this discussion cannot be settled here, or anywhere.

Things are getting interesting. The current oil price and plummeting dollar are harbingers of very difficult times for Israel (and the rest of the world). The US, already bankrupt, will be further enfeebled and its continued support levels for Israel may not be possible in a few years. Strategic planning must be interesting in Israel right now.

Unknown said...

I have noticed that some people, mostly liberals, think that the world is some how inherently fair. Those of us with common sence know that its not. Life is impermanent, and always changing. You can not bargain with it, or control it. Still though there are many utopean dreamers that think life is fair, and there lofty emotions can lead the way.

Life is not fair; when the romans concoured Isreal it was not fair, I am sure that the romans did not think it fair when the Ottomen empire took there land, and I am like wise sure the ottomans complained when the British took from them. Now Isreal has it again.

So Sea Dog can give his bleeding heart a bit of a rest knowing that there will always be suffering in the world.

Saildog said...

Funny how some people use the word "liberal" as an epithet, then turn around and argue for something like the free market. Clearly the true meaning of liberty is lost on them - freedom is indivisible.

Yes - I do support the free market, I believe in freedom, I am a liberal.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

When I see the name "Palestine" I tend to think of it as a general term, defining an unbordered territory. We have similar terms here in the U.S. "The "midwest" or perhaps "great southwest" come to mind. As to historical validity, where are the coins, stamps and similar objects of an organized society? They are not there. Hordes of Jordanians became "Palestinians" overnight in 1967. It's all a deadly P.R. scheme.