Maurice Ostroff's reply.
March 8, 2008
Dear Tam T,
Thank you for your comments. As I am interested
in learning the facts, as opposed to unsupported claims that have been accepted as conventional wisdom by much of the media,
I would appreciate your clarification of the following statements in your letter.
1. You refer to the “main rejectionist
policy which has informed Israeli political thinking since Israel's creation in 1948”.
To my knowledge,
Israel has consistently reached out for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. Sadly, there is no counterpart in the Palestinian
territories of the huge Peace Now and Gush Shalom movements in Israel and the unhindered activities of human rights organizations
like B’Tselem. Realistically, the Arab response as reiterated to this day
by Hamas, reflects the infamous “Three Noes” resolution of September 1, 1967 by
leaders of eight Arab countries who met in Khartoum and publicly committed themselves to :
No peace with Israel
No recognition of Israel
No negotiations with Israel
2. You wrote of “the Palestinian dream
of statehood on 22% of former Palestine. This 22% figure is another example of fallacious conventional wisdom accepted
uncritically by media worldwide.
The facts are that in the Mandate conferred on
Britain in 1922 by the League of Nations, the objective was to facilitate the "reconstitution" of a Jewish National Home in
Palestine, which at the time included both sides of the Jordan River, an area of approximately 116,500 square kilometers.
However, in 1922-23, contradicting the terms
of its mandate and ignoring Jewish protests, the British excised 80% of the area intended for the Jewish National Home. In
the almost-empty area east of the Jordan River, it created a new state named Transjordan, which has since been renamed the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
These facts are
confirmed on the Jordanian web site http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_transjordan.html in the following words.
May 15, 1923, Britain formally recognized the Emirate of Transjordan as a state under the leadership of Emir Abdullah. This
angered the Zionists, as it effectively severed Transjordan from Palestine and so reduced the area of any future Jewish national
home in the region”.
Since WW1 an additional 11 independent Arab states
were created, namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan,
Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco, covering over 9 million square kilometers.
By comparison the total area of Israel excluding the West Bank covers a puny 20,770 sq km.
The UN adopted the Mandate complete with
its obligation to promote Jewish settlement and in 1947 it passed Resolution
181 by a vote of 33 to13 with 10 abstentions, partitioning the area west of the Jordan between Jews and Arabs. This resolution
affirming the creation of a Jewish state, was one of the few issues on which the US and Soviet Russia voted together.
The Jews accepted the resolution, despite the
huge reduction in the area allocated for the promised homeland. Unfortunately, all the Arab states rejected the resolution
and this great opportunity for a two state solution was lost, as have many opportunities been lost since then.
Had the Arab states accepted the partition
resolution, there would be no Palestinian refugee problem today. Unfortunately the moment Israel was established in its reduced
area, five Arab armies immediately invaded, publicly declaring their intention to slaughter all the Jews and leading
to the very sad state of affairs that continues to this day.
3. You refer to “violent Israeli actions
such as we have witnessed over the last few days”. In all earnestness, I ask what measures you would suggest to
halt the daily barrage of rockets aimed from civilian areas in Gaza deliberately into civilian areas in Israel, (a double
war crime) bearing in mind that every one of the thousands of rockets that have been fired was intended to kill and maim as
many as possible. And bearing in mind too, that Israel refrained from responding for more than a year before taking the present
Tam T, I believe I have related facts accurately,
but I will willingly consider carefully any factual information you may offer that differs from the above.