By Boris Shusteff
The military interference of NATO into the age-old land dispute in Yugoslavia should be a rude awakening for those who believe that Israel can rely on outside help in the matters concerning her existence. Los Angeles journalist Tony Snow wrote on March 25 that NATO's war against Serbia makes sense only if it is based on "the right of global elites to impose their tastes on lessers [sic] through the force of arms."
It appears that we live in an age when many words have lost their original meaning. This is especially true for the word "peace." One can easily draw a parallel between the Oslo "peace process" and the "peace process" that has been unleashed against the Serbs. In both cases the word "war" is replaced by the much more attractive word "peace." In both cases this "peace" is imposed on a small sovereign country by the "global elite" whose taste calls for carving off a piece of this country's territory to establish one more Muslim state.
The March 25th, Berlin European Council Declaration on the Middle East Peace Process confirms this tendency. The Declaration states that "The European Union reaffirms the continuing and unqualified Palestinian right to self-determination including the option of a state and looks forward to the early fulfillment of this right."
The European Union's generosity at Israel's expense is striking. It lavishly grants the Palestinian Arabs the primordial Jewish land and demands that Israel conclude the surrender "negotiations within a target period of one year." The declaration warns Israel that the Palestinian Arabs' option of a state "is not subject to any veto" since "the European Union is convinced that the creation of a democratic, viable and peaceful sovereign Palestinian State... would be the best guarantee of Israel's security."
Some observers have named this Declaration the "Palestinian Balfour Declaration." They are totally wrong. If the Balfour Declaration had included "the option of the Jewish state," and if Britain strove towards "early fulfillment of that right," and if "the target period" for establishing the state had been one year; and if Britain had declared that the sovereign Jewish state "would be the best guarantee of Arab security," then, today, there would have been peace between the Jews and the Arabs. There would have been only two states on the mandated territory of Palestine: Israel and Jordan, and no one would have spoken of the so-called "Palestinian people."
Instead of this, Britain did everything it could so as not to allow the Jewish state to happen. Avi Shlaim wrote in The Politics of Partition that in August 1926 Transjordan's King Abdullah "had made an impassioned plea for Jewish involvement in the development of Transjordan: Palestine is one unit. The division between Palestine and Transjordan is artificial and wasteful. ...Please come to Transjordan. I guarantee your safety. Together we will work for the benefit of the country."
Shlaim wrote that "in favoring the entry of Jews into Transjordan, Abdullah was expressing the wishes of many of his subjects..." Moreover, in May 1933, the head of the most important Bedouin tribe, shaikh Mithqal Pasha al-Faiz established a Unity Party that "openly voiced its conviction that only Jewish settlement could save the country from the scourge of starvation which have afflicted it in recent years." In obvious violation of the Mandate's provisions, which required Britain to "facilitate Jewish emigration" and "encourage close settlement by Jews on the land," the British authorities acted against "the persistent efforts of the Bedouin shaikhs to put their barren lands to some profitable use." They tried to introduce a law "restricting the sale or lease of land to foreigners." However, the Permanent Mandate Commission of the League of Nations pointed out that "the mandate could not prevent either the emir or the shaikhs from voluntarily permitting their land to be colonized, and the Transjordan Legislative Council rejected the draft law and affirmed its support for an 'open door' policy for the Jews." Nevertheless, the British managed to find another way to prevent Jewish settlement to the East of the Jordan River. They enacted a "nationality Law, which prohibited the leasing of land to non-citizens, thereby closing to the Jews the gateway to the Arabian peninsula."
History reminds us of certain events with unusual twists. It was also on March 25th, in 1938, that American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called together thirty-three nations to participate in an international conference on the Jewish refugee crisis. Apparently, "in the best interests of Jewish security," the European countries at this Evian Conference demonstrated that they do not need the Jews. In Witness to the Holocaust Michael Berenbaum quoted German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop's memo to Adolf Hitler, written several months after the Conference, where he described a conversation he had with French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet:
There is no need to explain what sort of "measures" where taken by the Nazis "to keep Jews from coming to France." Almost sixty years after the Holocaust, knowing that the Palestinian Arabs "want to get rid of the Jews" France puts forward a proposal "to automatically recognize a Palestinian state after one year, regardless of the state of final-status negotiations." Nazi Germany, the country that did not participate, was the victor at the Evian Conference. Learning that nobody would come to the Jews' rescue the Nazis began to implement their policy of making the Reich Judenrein - free of Jews. The Palestinian Arabs did not participate in the Berlin Council meeting either, however, they are the real winners, since they have learned that nobody will come to Israel's rescue and, hence, they can start implementing their policy of making the land of Israel Judenrein.
There is nothing new in all of this. The countries that did not care about the Jews before do not care about them now. Apparently they think that sixty years after the Holocaust is a long enough term to erase their guilt from the Jews' memory and start their anti-Jewish policy all over again. This time, however, they are acting not against individual Jews but against the Jewish state.
On March 30, in an interview with Arutz-7 radio Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We now see again the same age-old principle that we must not forget for even a second: If a people cannot defend itself, it is doubtful that others will be able to do it for them." This is not only doubtful, it is obvious, and no logical reason can be found to contradict it. [04/02/99]
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.