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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Another Broken Promise Made to Jews -- Part III

After the fierce Jewish underground struggle from 1944 to 1947, the British announced that they were going to give up the mandate and the government of the country, while arming Arab League states that clearly announced their intention to go to war against any Jewish state when the British left. The UN on 29 November 1947 recommended --on the grounds of a special commission's proposal-- to divide or partition Israel, "Palestine" in UN parlance, into a Jewish state and an Arab state with an internationally ruled enclave comprising Jerusalem and the Bethlehem area. The Partition Plan recommended taking away from the Jews parts of the land already assigned to them under international law.

Although the Partition Plan resolution [UN GA 181] was only a recommendation, it was unjust to the Jews, having just survived the Holocaust, in that it divided the internationally designated Jewish National Home and allocated part of it to an Arab state and part to international rule.
Moreover, the Arab nationalist movement generally and the Palestinian Arab leadership in particular had been pro-Nazi, pro-German from 1933 on. The chief Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni] spent most of the war years in the Nazi-fascist domain in Europe. He made radio propaganda broadcasts directed at the Arab world, helped recruit Muslims for special Muslim SS units, and took part in the Holocaust by urging Germany and its satellites not to let Jews leave the Nazi-controlled regions, thus holding them in place for mass murder. He urged that Jewish children be sent to Poland where he knew that the Nazi death camps were located. He was never prosecuted as a Nazi war criminal, as he should have been, and was acclaimed as the leader of the Palestinian Arabs again after WW2 when he was enabled to return to the Middle East.   

The Partition Plan was especially unjust in the Jerusalem regionwhereaJews had been the majority in the city of Jerusalem since the mid-19th century.  The Partition Plan was totally rejected by the Palestinian Arabs and by the Arab states at the time of the UN GA vote, although the PLO curiously referred to UN GA res. 181 as a possible expedient that could be used for Palestinian Arab political purposes, in its 1988 declaration of a state at Algiers. That declaration did not at all recognize Israel but clearly --in the Arabic text-- claimed the whole country for a Palestinian Arab state. Thus the 1988 declaration could be seen as tantamount to a declaration of war against Israel.

The Six Day War led to Security Council res. 242 which called for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces  from territories occupied in the recent conflict." However, 242 did not call for withdrawal from all"territories occupied" or specify or delineate which territories were "occupied." Israel had occupied the Sinai Peninsula, part of Egypt. Leaving Sinai was withdrawing from occupied territory. But since Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip were part of the never revoked Jewish National Home, then it can be deduced that they were not in the status of "occupied territory" in 1967, nor now. However, many world powers suffer from a convenient amnesia when it comes to obligations and commitments to the Jews.  The original Jewish National Home decision of San Remo and the League of Nations in 1922 and various supporting acts afterwards have been conveniently forgotten and it is widely assumed that Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip are "occupied" by Israel.

The same motives led to a post-1967 reinterpretation of Geneva Convention IV:49, particularly 49:6. This latter clause forbids transfer of population into an occupied territory. Whereas this clause and indeed of Article 49 were inserted into the post-WW2 Geneva IV, to prevent repetition of Nazi acts of deporting and transferring of population --chiefly Jews-- into Poland to the death camps and forced labor camps, the post-1967 reinterpretation was meant to harm Jewish rights and lives. Article 49, like Geneva IV generally is meant to protect civilians  in war from specified illegal acts, such as transfer, which Geneva IV:49:1 defines as "forced transfer and deportation" and the connotation of compulsory migration logically carries over to the whole of Article 49. Moreover, the very word "transfer" is a transitive verb and that therefore implies that transfer is something imposed on people, something involuntary.

However, the post-1967 reinterpretation is changed to mean migration of any sort.  Hence, the new interpretation, promoted not only by Arabs but by the International Committee of the Red Cross, a semi-official Swiss government agency, entrusted with interpreting the Geneva conventions, forbids even voluntary and eager migration into territory designated "occupied". Rather than protecting the persons upon whom transfer is imposed, the new interpretation pretends to protect existing residents of allegedly "occupied" territory. Which is not the same thing as Geneva IV:49:6 originally meant to do. Hence, even if Judea, Samaria & the Gaza Strip were "occupied" by Israel, international law would not forbid voluntary Jewish migration to those areas except under malicious, tendentious and partisan reinterpretations of Geneva IV:49:6.

There is no reason not to see this reinterpretation as an anti-Jewish act, meant to prevent Jews from voluntarily, even eagerly coming to live in parts of the ancient Jewish homeland designated by international law as parts of the Jewish National Home. Moreover, Jews were living in the Gaza Strip and in Judea-Samaria before the UN partition recommendation of November 1947 and the first refugees in the ensuing war, started by the Arab side, were Jews driven out of their homes in south Tel Aviv and parts of Haifa as well as parts of Jerusalem. occupied by Transjordan [later Jordan] in the Israeli War of Independence. The new interpretation of Geneva IV:49:6 forbids Jews from going to live in places inhabited by Jews up to 29 November 1947 or, in the case of Hebron, up to August 1929.

The above is part of the background to the 1993 Oslo accords. These ill-fated agreements provided that certain issues in dispute between Israel and the PLO were to be left for "final status negotiations." These issues included settlements, Jerusalem and borders. The Oslo 2 Accords of 1995 ruled out any unilateral acts to change the status --implicitly the legal status-- 
of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Obviously, by declaring itself a state without the agreement of Israel and by setting as a precondition for negotiation on final status issues, that Israel prevent and forbid and stop all "settlement activity," the PLO/PA has violated the Oslo Accords. Likewise, by going to the UN, whether the General Assembly or the Security Council, and asking for recognition as a state, the Palestinian Authority/PLO is violating the accords. There is more to be said about the latest violations, encompassing not only the Judeophobic and mendacious Palestinian Authority/PLO but many Western states and other countries. For that wait for Part IV of this article.

Sources:
F-J Armorin, Des Juifs Quittent l'Europe, preface de David Rousset [Paris: La Jeune Parque 1948] 
Menahem Begin, The Revolt 
Jacques Derogy, 100,000 Juifs a la mer [Paris: Stock 1973]
Ernst Frankenstein, Justice for My People [New York: Dial Press 1944]
Frank Gervasi, To Whom Palestine [New York: Appleton-Century 1946]
Louis Golding, The Jewish Problem [Harmondsworth: Penguin 1938]
Alex Grobman, The Palestinian Right to Israel [Noble, OK: Balfour Books 2010]
Itzhak Gurion, Triumph on the Gallows [Brooklyn, NY: 1950] 

Ira A Hirschmann, Life Line to a Promised Land [New York: Vanguard 1946]
Samuel Katz, Days of Fire [London: W H Allen 1968]
Jon & David Kimche, The Secret RoadsThe "Illegal" Migration of a People [New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy 1955]
Albert Londres, Le Juif errant est arrive [Paris: Albin Michel 1930]
Leo W Schwarz, The Redeemers, A Saga of the Years 1945-1952[New York: Farrar Straus and Young1953]
Pierre van  Paassen, Forgotten Ally [New York: Dial Press 1943]
--sources also include books by Gilbert, Wasserstein, and Ziff listed in Part I.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Another Broken Promise Made to Jews -- Part II

The "peace" in "peace process" is
peace of mind for antisemites 
-- Eliyahu m'Tsiyon

How many Jews could have been saved from Nazi murder by fleeing to Israel if the United Kingdom had fulfilled its duty under the Mandate that it had accepted from the League of Nations to make the Land of Israel ["palestine" in international lingo] the  Jewish National Home where Jews could find refuge? I think that one or two million could have been saved by coming to Israel, which they would have done if the British had allowed it. Moreover, given Britain's role as the world's leading power, the most powerful empire which was also looked up to for moral guidance, then other powers used to looking up to Britain might have also opened their gates to Jewish refugees from the Nazis.

But in fact, while British armies bravely fought the Germans in Europe and North Africa, earning the thanks of civilized humanity, British forces also fought Jewish efforts to escape and to rescue their trapped brethren. None other than Menahem Begin, leader of the Irgun [Etsel] anti-British underground in the 1940s and future Israeli prime minister, charged in his memoirs of the underground struggle, The Revolt, that Britain had locked Jews into the Nazi domain and prevented their escape. I for one agree with Begin's assessment.

There are some truly dramatic and tragic stories of Jewish refugee boats turned back by the British. The most dramatic is likely that of the Struma, a Danube river cattle boat carrying 769 Jewish refugees [December 1941-February 1942]. After British refusal to let the boat come to the Jewish National Home and Turkish refusal to let the boat stay docked at Istanbul --indeed the Turks towed it out to the Black Sea-- it was sunk by a torpedo, shot from a German or Soviet  submarine, according to various accounts. There was one survivor, David Stolyar, who told his tale of the Struma.

Another dramatic story was that of the Exodus 1947, later made into a famous movie with a script tailored for Hollywood. The real story was much worse than the movie's tale. Sailing from the small, French Mediterranean port of Sete, the Exodus was seized by the British in international waters and, after a bitter fight for the ship, its more than 4,500 passengers --Holocaust survivors-- were put on British prison ships and brought  to the French port of Port de Bouc in order to bring them back into Europe. The passengers refused to get off at Port de Bouc and the French --rather more sympathetic to Jews then than now-- refused to accept any passengers who did not debark of their own free will. Besides the very ill and elderly, only a handful did. The British, frustrated at Port de Bouc, brought the Jews to which country? Can you guess? They brought them to Hamburg in Germany, of all possible countries, Hitler's country. There the passengers were brutally forced off the prison ships by British troops and put into two prison camps, Amstau and Poppendorf, in the British occupation zone of Germany [yes, the British were quite happy to occupy another country].

These horrendous events took place because the British were maintaining their illegal --according to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission-- White Paper policy even after the war after the world had become aware of the Nazi genocide of Jews and when the survivors did not want to stay in Europe that had actively collaborated in persecuting Jews or had acquiesced in the persecutions and genocide. British policy and conduct during WW2 had denied the Jews' humanity and contributed to the deaths of Jews at the Nazis' hands, not only by preventing Jews from finding refuge in the Jewish National Home but by refusing to take possible military steps to hinder the mass murder process, such as bombing the gas chambers, crematoria [when Allied warplanes were bombing close to Auschwitz, for instance], and the railroad tracks leading to the death camps and refusing to send weapons to Jewish rebels in the Warsaw Ghetto or Jewish partisans in the forests and countryside.

That is, after WW2 the White Paper policy remained in effect and the pathetic remnant of Jews that had survived the war on the European continent were refused entry to the internationally designated Jewish National Home, the Land of Israel. 

Sources for Part II are listed at the end of Part III


Monday, December 03, 2012

Another Broken Promise Made to Jews -- Part I

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools
Eliyahu m'Tsiyon

When fascism comes to Americaq, it will be
called anti-fascism, ascribed to Huey Long

Thursday's UN General Assembly vote to recognize the Arab  political entity in Judea-Samaria as a "non-member observer state" at the UN is not "historic" in the sense of something new. Rather it is  merely the last in a long series of violations of commitments made to Jews and the Jewish state of Israel by Western and Arab and Muslim powers. This international inclination was already at work in the 19th century when various new states created by the Congress of Berlin [1878] promised to treat their Jewish populations with respect and equality. Well, that was the 19th century. Did the 20th century change this tendency to betray Jews and the promises made to them? Of course not, The Bolsheviks who took over the Russian Empire in 1917 vowed to grant Jews equal rights in their new Soviet empire and to fight antisemitism. Did they keep their word? Stalin who assumed absolute power in the state by 1930 violated his promise of course, although he was capable of denouncing antisemitism intelligently to foreign journalists and sympathizers of the Soviet Union. By the late 1930s, Stalin's rival Trotsky denounced antisemitism in the USSR itself [in an interview with the Yiddish-language Jewish Daily Forward of New York] which he still considered  a "workers state." That is, Trotsky still viewed the USSR positively from his viewpoint.

Now let's look at the promises made and broken to Jews concerning the Land of Israel. In 1920, the San Remo Conference assigned the Land of Israel to the Jews as the Jewish National Home. The League of Nations endorsed this position in 1922, based on the historic connection of the Jews to the Land. The League also confirmed that Britain was to be the power entrusted by the League to foster development of the Jewish National Home according to the Mandate, a document of 28 articles, including "close settlement by Jews on the land" [Article 6]. It is clear that the Jewish National Home status applied to  the historic Land of Israel on both sides of the Jordan, just as the Roman Province of Judea stretched over both sides of the Jordan. Yet in that same year, 1922, the British cut off Transjordan --the area east of the Jordan-- from Jewish settlement, albeit Article 25 of the Mandate gave the UK the authority to postpone application of the Mandate's provisions east of the Jordan "with the consent of the Council of the League. . ." I am not aware that the UK ever asked for the League Council's consent. In any event, early in the history of the Mandatory government of the country, the British were restricting Jewish immigration [`aliyah] and promoting anti-Jewish Arabs --such as Haj Amin el-Husseini-- at the expense of the Jews.

The culmination of British betrayal came in 1939 with issuance of the  "Palestine White Paper." This new policy, found in violation of Britain's mandate from the League of Nations by the League's Permanent Mandates Commission, was a unilateral cancellation of the Jewish National Home, the purpose of the mandate. The White Paper limited Jewish immigration into the country to 15,000 per year for the next five years. After that the Arab majority --led by the Nazi sympathizer, Haj Amin el-Husseini-- was to govern the country and future Jewish immigration would require Arab agreement. Now 1939 was precisely a year in which tens of thousands --if not hundreds of thousands-- of Jews were trying to flee the countries already controlled or occupied by the Nazi Germans for lands of refuge. Haim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, said that the world was divided into countries where Jews could not live and countries where Jews could not enter. So Britain, with Arab approval and encouragement, was denying Jews refuge in the internationally designated Jewish National Home. Moreover, although the White Paper --on paper-- stipulated that 15,000 Jews per year could enter the country, this quota was not even filled in the war years, during the Holocaust years.  Even worse, British diplomats in southern European countries used their influence to prevent Jews from leaving those countries by ship or small boat in order to escape the Nazis. Nor did the British state radio, the BBC, even report the Holocaust until it was well under way.  Hence, when the Jews most needed a home, Britain, abetted by the Arabs, denied it to them. This justifies calling the UK "a silent partner" in the Holocaust.

Britain has never apologized for or asked forgiveness for its acting as a Holocaust "silent partner," unlike France. French presidents Jacques Chirac & Francois Hollande both apologized for the Vichy French government's role in facilitating the Holocaust in France.  Yet the apology doesn't seem to have done much good in view of France's current support for the genocidal Arab statelet or semi-state of "palestine," which just the other day was recognized by the UN General Assembly as a state, although it does not fit the criteria for a state as enunciated in the Montevideo convention. Again, the UK has never acknowledged its Holocaust role. Whereas France under Vichy was violating its ostensible principles of freedom, equality and brotherhood by betraying the Jews in France, the UK was violating its formal commitment to foster the Jewish National Home made to the League of Nations.

SOURCES -- Partial List
R. Ainsztein, "New Light on Szmul Zygelbojm's Suicide," Yad Vashem Bulletin [August 1964- Jerusalem]
Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return: The Struggle for a Jewish Homeland [Philadelphia: Lippincott 1978]
William R Perl, The Four-Front War: From the Holocaust to the Promised Land [New York: Crown 1979]
Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 [Oxford: Clarendon 1979].
David S Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews [New York:: Pantheon 1985]
William Ziff, The Rape of Palestine [1938]

To Be Continued with Part II