Tuesday, April 24, 2007


April, 1948: How the Arabs left Tiberias

In March, 1948, on the eve of Israeli independence, the Jews and Arabs of Tiberias forged a cease-fire:

Unfortunately, the truce was short-lived. Within weeks, Arabs started firing at the Jews, and the Haganah fought back:

Soon, the Jewish forces were proven superior again. And after the Jews defeated the Arabs, details emerged about what had happened earlier.

It seems that the Tiberias Arabs didn't want to fight the Jews, but Arabs from the outside infiltrated and attacked the Jews from the local Arab homes. Local Arabs even fought against the invading Arabs, but in the end they were forced to leave - by the invaders. Not for the first time, the larger Arab community cynically used the local Arabs who had no real quarrel with the Jews in order to achieve a political gain - that ended up hurting the Arabs themselves.

Evidence of this can be seen by the immediate aftermath of the Jewish victory, where the Jews themselves safeguarded the abandoned Arab homes from Arab looters. See also how the Jews, protecting the homes of their Arab neighbors, clearly want to see those neighbors return to their homes:

An opinion piece in the Palestine Post elaborated on how Tiberias' Arabs had turned into pawns as well as how the Jews, as a whole, had no interest in kicking out the Arabs from their nascent state.

In 1949, a very articulate Haifa Arab wrote a remarkable letter to the Palestine Post (2/6/49) in which he laid the greatest share of the blame for the Arab refugee crisis on the British, and he claimed that the British were the ones who forcibly moved the Tiberias Arabs to Transjordan:
The Editor, The Palestine Post
Sir, — Mr. Bevin appears to
hold the Jews responsible for
the flight of the Palestine Arabs.
Although the Israel military
forces destroyed certain Arab
villages and carried out wholesale
transportation of their occupants,
yet the primary responsibility
for the panicky
flight of the Arabs is the British
Government's. Whether intended
or not, there can be no
doubt that the mischief originat -
ed from the conduct of the
British, and not from the attitude
of the Israeli Government.

There is ample evidence
for this statement.

The sequence of occurrences
showed that the British Government
had no intention or
desire to enforce law and order,
and that Palestine Administration
was labouring to create an
atmosphere permeated with fear
and alarm. No effective measure
was adopted by the authorities,
civil and military, to ensure
safety. On the contrary, they
encouraged disorder and disobedience
of the law, and countenanced
insubordination. They
allowed a large force of armed
Arabs to infiltrate into the country,
and to roam about with
impunity. Palestine was virtually
converted into two antagonistic
armed camps under the
eyes and nose of the Mandatory
Power. Huge quantities of arms
and ammunition were openly
smuggled in, and recruiting and
drilling of combatants became
conimonplace events. ...

Secondly, the idea that the
Arabs should quit their homes
was advanced, sponsored and
propagated by the British. The
Government of Palestine granted
its officers three months' pay
in advance, and facilitated the
departure on leave of Arab of -
ficers to adjacent territories.
British companies, such as the
Iraq Petroleum Company, and
Steel Bros. & Company, unnecessarily
transferred a part
of their offices and the majority
of their Arab employees to the Lebanon.
And generally, the at -
titude of the responsible British
authorities was such as to infuse
into the minds and hearts of the
Arab population a feeling of
consternation and the belief that
their departure was a logical
necessity , or, at least, a prudent

Thirdly, it was the British, and
not the Jews, who first put into
effect the dislodgement and deportation
of the Arab popula -
tion. When conditions in Tiberias,
where the friendly relations
between Arabs and Jews formed
a bright illustration of the
possibility of the two communities
co-operating, became acute,
the British authorities forcibly
transported the Arab inhabitants
en masse to Trans-Jordan. They
did not take any action
toward pacification and restoration
of peace and order. It was
their evident duty to do so;- but
instead of discharging their obligation
with honesty and dignity
they discarded it with
ignominy, and compelled the
Arabs to abandon their homes
and belongings and seek refuge
in the contiguous Arab territory.

Yours, etc.
I don't know how accurate Mr. Koussa's claims are, but they make a certain amount of sense. Even so, the British didn't act in a vacuum, and they were almost certainly acting in ways that their Arab allies wanted them to.

What is clear, though, is that (as in Haifa,) the Jews did not drive out the Arabs of Tiberias and the people who claim a pre-meditated ethnic cleansing are simply liars.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Palestinian Arabs killing each other - in 1938

The hundreds of murders of Palestinian Arabs by other Palestinian Arabs that I have been documenting for the past six months is nothing new. A very similar situation occurred from 1936-39.

The Arabs of Palestine tried on a few occasions in the 1920s and 1930s to rise up and destroy the Jews of Palestine, and things were very bad in 1936. Yet no matter what they did, the Jewish influence on the area kept increasing, Jews kept arriving and Jewish institutions thrived.
They then started killing each other in earnest. I'm not sure why - perhaps it was frustration at their impotence, perhaps because an entire generation had been raised to praise Arab murderers as heroes and therefore bloodshed itself became considered desirable, or maybe they simply started misplacing their hatred for Jews and the British onto any Arab that was too Western for their tastes. Nationalism and religion seems to have played a part but more as excuses rather than as root causes.

Either way, the amount of lawlessness that ensued looks very familiar to those of us who have been following "clan clashes" and the Fatah/Hamas civil war. Especially notice how many Arabs were killed for not wanting to join in with the terrorists, or for speaking out against the terrorists. Also note the left column, dealing only with the terror crimes of the previous day.

There are three more columns of dead Arab victims of Arab violence I didn't reproduce.

Whatever psychological reason one wants to hypothesize, one thing is the same then as now: the most extreme elements of Arab society are not dealt with adequately by more moderate Arabs (either out of fear or out of ideology.) This apathy is treated as carte blanche to accelerate the terror.

This could explain why so many Arab societies are either chaotic messes or autocratic dictatorships. There seems to be no real internal mechanism within Islam or Arab thinking to limit the influence of the terrorists, so either go the route of Egypt/Syria and repress everybody, or go the route of the PA and Somalia and let the foxes run the henhouse.


New Year 1937 Eve: Toscanini and the Palestine Orchestra

1936 was a rough year for the Jews of Palestine. There were Arab riots, strikes and many terror attacks.

But the Jews did not whine nor did they quit. They fought mightily to live their lives to be as normal as possible even in situations where a bullet could come from anywhere and end any of their lives.

In one representative article in the Palestine Post, we see that Hebrew University was going forward with plans to expand even though students and faculty had been murdered by Arabs that year (All articles here are from the December 31, 1936 Palestine Post):

In the end of the year, the famed conductor Arturo Toscanini came to Jerusalem (at his own expense) to conduct in what was considered a hugely important cultural event to the Palestinian Jews as the coming out of the Palestine Orchestra. (Notice thatneither the ads nor the articles even mention Toscanini's first name; he was that well-known and revered that it was simply not necessary.)

Sadly, the bulk of the article is not available in the Palestine Post archives, but it is clear that the concert series was a smashing success. (One letter writer to the Post did complain about the actions of the press photographers at the previous week's concert, though.)

The Haifa concert on New Year's Eve was sold out:

Haifa residents could enjoy a traditional New Year's party afterwards:

And due to popular demand, an additional concert was scheduled for Jerusalem:

TIME magazine described one concert:
As a full Palestine moon rode one evening last week over Tel Aviv, exclusively Jewish city, the Hebrew Sabbath ended and thousands of Jews began to move toward the Levant Fair Grounds. There they packed the Italian Pavilion to capacity to hear great Arturo Toscanini lead Palestine's first civic orchestra through its first performance. Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the British High Commissioner, brought with him a party of notables. Open-shirted German immigrants gathered in rowboats on the adjacent Yarkon River. A few Arab fishermen paddled quietly toward shore, listened respectfully outside the pavilion walls which are still pitted by Arab bullets.

Inside those walls Arturo Toscanini was proving again his art, and allaying the fears of those who had heard the orchestra rehearse. A week prior it had been ragged, particularly in winds & strings. But the great master made the Brahms Second come out so clear and controlled. Schubert's Unfinished Symphony sing with such freshness that the audience could forget the flocks of frightened sparrows which swooped and twittered above their heads. There was no raggedness when, partly as a taunt to Nazi Germany, he led them through a scherzo by Jewish Felix Mendelssohn.

The Palestine symphony was grateful to Toscanini for coming all the way to make its debut a success. But all Tel Aviv knew and did not forget that Violinist Bronislaw Huberman was the man who made its debut a possibility. Touring Palestine in December 1935. Huberman, a Polish Jew, was impressed by the attendance and enthusiasm of natives & exiles who came to hear his violin concerts. He determined to build for them an orchestra at Tel Aviv, their brave new cultural capital, and resigned his Vienna teaching post to do so. Already in Palestine, or easily available all over Europe, were scores of refugee Jewish musicians. It was easy to get, as permanent administrators of the new orchestra's trust fund, such influential Jews as Financier Israel Sieff of London, Belgian Industrialist Dannie Heineman. Palestine's Lieut. Col. Frederick Hermann Kisch. Palestine's top-notch lawyer, Solomon Horowitz. Dr. Albert Einstein took the honorary presidency of the U. S. branch of the organization.

The Palestine Symphony Orchestra now numbers 72. Germans make up about half the number, the rest are Poles and Russians. Six are natives of Palestine which has several competent music schools but welcomes the new orchestra as its only permanent symphony. So many first-desk musicians are playing in it that critics expect the Palestine Symphony to rank soon among the first four orchestras in the world. Impresario Huberman is proud to have engaged for the forthcoming season such guest artists as Violinist Adolf Busch and Cellist Pablo Casals. After Toscanini takes the orchestra to Jerusalem, Haifa, Cairo and Alexandria this season, Issay Dobrowen, former conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, Hans Wilhelm Steinberg, onetime director of the Frankfort Opera, and Michael Taube, former leader of famed German ensembles, will replace him on Jewry's proudest podium.

For a people who desire and celebrate life, a few terror attacks will not break their will. In many ways, it makes them more determined than ever to live their lives exactly the way they want to.

For people who are raised in a culture of death, however, one will be hard-pressed to find any similar stories.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Lebanon, 1946

Here is an article from the Palestine Post in 1946 that shows how far Lebanon has fallen since its early days of independence.

Monday, June 19, 2006


A Christian's arguments for a Jewish state, 1946

A fantastic and very long article, from the February 22, 1946 Palestine Post, that could have been written today. It was written by Raimondo de Ovies, "Dean of Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia" but I have not found out anything else about him. It is well worth reading in its entirety.

The author lays out the moral, logical, legal and historic reasons why a Jewish state should be established in Palestine, including how such a state helps the Arabs themselves. It shows how even in 1946, some of the most clearheaded and passionate Zionists were Christians.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


The Refugees of Zer'in

During Israel's War of Independence, the Palestine Post published occasional dispatches from Dorothy Bar-Adon called "Emek Diary" showing the human side of the war from her perspective.

In this amazing article, Bar-Adon describes the close relationships between her village's Jews and the Arabs of Zer'in (now Jezreel), who lived in a town overlooking much of the valley. The town's strategic position made it ideal for shelling and sniping at the Jewish villages below, and for months the Jews lived in fear of being shot in their houses or fields.

An Iraqi general and his troops arrived in Zer'in and built up fortified positions to attack from. It is unclear when exactly the residents of Zer'in left the town; most of them apparently left when the Iraqis arrived and before the Jews conquered the hill. But as this article makes clear, the Israeli soldiers could hear the Arab women of the village - neighbors and friends of the Jews in years past - shout out war cries during the first unsuccessful attempt to take the town.

Bar-Adon shows that she is in a position to be far more sympathetic to the Palestinian Arab refugees of Zer'in than the international community who were (and still are) insisting on allowing the Arabs to return: she knew them intimately, she celebrated happy times with them, she ate with them. But, as she explains, to allow Arabs to go back to Zer'in is unthinkable, knowing that they chose their sides, they waxed lyrically hoping and expecting the deaths of hundreds of Jews around Zer'in, and that they would choose sides again against the Jews if they are given a chance.

See Palestine Post-ings for a larger version of the article.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


United Press on the Palestinian Arab refugee problem, 1948

I have written previously about the origins of the Palestinian Arab refugee problem, talking specifically about the Arabs of Haifa and the Mufti's interest in creating and perpetuating the problem. I started tackling the Palestine Post sources on the birth of the Palestinian Arab refugee problem of 1948. It is actually a huge amount of research, but I found today an interesting article that was published in the Palestine Post but was written for United Press (now UPI).

The author's thesis is that Israel was using the Arab refugees as a bargaining chip in getting Jews out of Arab countries. Of course, this never happened, so the author's analysis is wrong, but the facts that he mentions surrounding the Arab refugees seem to be on target.

United Press' Robert Miller says explicitly that the Jews bent over backwards to stop the Arabs from fleeing ("the greatest concessions were made to the Arabs if they would remain in Jewish territory...The Arabs refused to listen.")

And then, he says that Israel started encouraging the Arabs to flee (he got the reasons wrong, as mentioned above.) But what is the worst that the Jews did?

"They pointed out that the Arabs were welcome to remain, but that the Jews couldn't furnish food. The Jews offered to provide trucks to take the Arabs to the front lines."
Here is the Israeli crime, as of August 1948: telling Arabs that if they wanted to leave, they would help them.

The article does not spell out why the Arabs left, whether it was out of fear or because they were encouraged to, but it does say explicitly that Jews did not force Arabs out of their homes. Not that this never happened - in the course of a war bad things happen and things are always a lot more muddled while they are happening. But so far I have found no contemporaneous evidence of it, although there were plenty of accusations to that effect by the Arab leaders at the time as they tried to demonize the Jews while they grappled with the undeniably huge refugee problem that was dropped on the doorsteps of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

Interestingly, Saudi Arabia refused to accept any Arab refugees, claiming that they had no money for them, but offered to pay for fighting Jews:

See also Palestinian Media Watch where real Palestinian Arabs admit what happened in 1948.


May 29, 1939: Palestine at the World's Fair

In May, 1939, Britain issued the infamous White Paper which overturned previous British policies of partitioning Palestine into two separate Jewish and Arab states. The White Paper itself is a remarkable read, as it shows the mindset of capitulating to Arab terror clearly, as well as the implicit idea that since Jews don't make as much trouble as Arabs, it is better to capitulate to Arab demands at the expense of Jewish lives.

The White Paper limited Jewish immigration for the entirely absurd reason that Palestine could not possibly economically support so many people without impacting the existing population - even as it admits that the Jews that immigrated so far has had no problems integrating and growing the economy. It is a wonder that the population of the area is increased many times over since then and yet somehow Israel hs a better economy than its more-roomy neighbors. Imagine that.

The White Paper also infamously capitulated to the Arab demands that Arab land sales to Jews be limited, in an amazing bit of enshrined political bigotry.

Unsurprisingly, the White Paper does not address the huge amount of illegal Arab immigration into the country. Only Jews are deemed a threat to the area.

In reality, of course, the reason is more clearly indicated here:
The lamentable disturbances of the past three years are only the latest and most sustained manifestation of this intense Arab apprehension [...] it cannot be denied that fear of indefinite Jewish immigration is widespread amongst the Arab population and that this fear has made possible disturbances which have given a serious setback to economic progress, depleted the Palestine exchequer, rendered life and property insecure, and produced a bitterness between the Arab and Jewish populations which is deplorable between citizens of the same country. If in these circumstances immigration is continued up to the economic absorptive capacity of the country, regardless of all other considerations, a fatal enmity between the two peoples will be perpetuated, and the situation in Palestine may become a permanent source of friction amongst all peoples in the Near and Middle East.
In other words, Arabs riot and murder and rampage when Jews move in, so if we have a choice of saving millions of Jews from certain death in Europe or upsetting Arabs who are quick to riot, it is much better to let the Jews die. Jews don't make as much trouble.

The fact that Palestine's economy was almost entirely the result of Jewish immigration is ignored. Economic reasons are the fig leaf of British fears of Arab terror, and Arabs then as now used terror to manipulate Western fears and policies, something I recently called the diplomacy of fear.

Against this backdrop. the World's Fair opened up in New York. The official British government of Palestine had no interest in exhibiting there, so the Jews of Palestine created their own exhibit. It is instructive to read Chaim Weizman's radio speech to the attendees, as it lays out the Jewish reaction to the bigoted and ultimately genocide-friendly White Paper. He makes the points that while the White Paper is immoral, it will not stop the ultimate rebirth of a Jewish state, that it was Jewish sweat that built Palestine up from an ignored slum to a major player in the Middle East.

Notice also Chief Rabbi Yitzchok Herzog's address, which was written before the White Paper, emphasizing how the Jewish return to Palestine has ecomonically benefited their Arab neighbors. Rather than talking about displacement and colonization, as is commonly charged nowadays, the Jewish leadership of Palestine always and consistently spoke of a win-win situation where Arabs and Jews both prosper.

The Arab leaders always pretended that Palestine was a zero-sum game, and the British White Paper codified that thinking. The Jews and the facts bore out a completely opposite conclusion - Palestine could and did turn into an economic powerhouse, benefiting hundreds of thousands of ordinary Arabs who moved in to take advantage of the Jewish-built economy.

Then, as now, outsiders pretend that they know the best solution to the Jewish "problem", and they come up with sometimes well-meaning plans to solve this problem. And then, as now, if their ideas end up accidentally resulting in the mass murder of Jews, they can say "oops - but we meant well."

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Building an economy under fire - The Jews of 1939

The Hamas victory has put the spotlight on the Palestinian Arab-administered areas, especially how the Arabs will be able to maintain their economy when a huge percentage of their budget is in the form of welfare handed over from the West.

The Palestinian Arab economy is very interesting. It is wholly dependent on the one nation that it wants to destroy. According to the CIA World Factbook, when the second intifada started 100,000 Palestinian Arabs lost their jobs. Since they have no independent economy, the Palestinian Arabs went to the West begging for funds to pay for bogus "policemen" and pay them off to pretend to no longer be interested in terror.

No one seems to ask the question: why have the Palestinian Arabs, who have been there for decades, failed to build up any sort of decent independent infrastructure and economy on their own?

Many would answer that Israeli military actions have devastated any chance that Palestinian Arabs may have had to build such an infrastructure. This theory assumes that it is impossible to build something permanent in uncertain times, that one cannot expect people to think far ahead when they have to worry about today.

Let me introduce you to the Palestinian Jews of the 1930s.

During the 30's, the Jews (and many Arabs) of Palestine were under relentless attack by bands of Arab terrorists. I have documented this situation in many other postings here; check out this posting about a single day in 1938 and this one about 1936 Arab incitement to terror with predictable results, as well as an article on a 1936 massacre in Atarot.

And yet the Jews who were under attack, for whom going to work was dangerous in itself, continued to do what was necessary to build their land. As the Palestine Post reported in 1937:

Even as more Jews managed to move in, they had no skills in agriculture. Yet they managed to obtain jobs and pitch in despite the uncertain pre-war atmosphere, despite the constant terror attacks, despite the fact that the future was very unclear.

And without any nations contributing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Then as now, a main beneficiary of the nascent Middle East economic powerhouse was the local Arab populace. Indeed, this is the major reason that so many Arabs moved to Palestine (often illegally) during the 1920s and 30s. The Jews would make money, the Arabs would get the trickle-down benefits of jobs and markets for their own goods.

The difference between how the Palestinian Jews and Arabs acted during times of trouble is highlighted in this article from 1939. The Jews kept growing the economyduring the worst of the terror, the Arabs fled.

To be sure, the Zionists of the era had a lot of monetary help from their Jewish brethren across the world, especially the US. But a significant amount of this help was in the form of private investments - Jews who expected (and realized) financial gains from investing in the Zionist project.

One cannot help but wonder: where are the major Arab investors in a Palestinian Arab future? Why do we not see any mutual funds specializing in Palestinian Arab industry or agriculture? Where are the Palestinian Arabs who are looking ahead to building their possible future state and setting the groundwork now? Why do we see Saudi telethons for terrorist families and not for building towns and parks?

If the goal is a Palestinian state, the absence of these factors is puzzling. If the goal is the destruction of Israel, then it all makes perfect sense.

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