KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
Response to "Israel must halt attacks on Gaza and begin talks"
In the Scottish newspaper, The Herald of March 5, a group of Scottish
Jews condemned Israel's attacks in the Gaza Strip and called for
negotiating with Hamas. Their letter and my on-line reply can be read
Tam T. of Glasgow responded with his interpretation of Israel's
history. Below is my response.
Tam's letter and a link to the earlier correspondence maybe viewed
Jews demand Israel halt actions in Gaza (
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
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
in the following words. "On 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
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 actions.
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.
Maurice Ostroff's Website:
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