Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lies and Broken Promises in the Israel-Palestine War

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   

Emir Feisal spoke at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1918.  He told his audience about the few train wreckings by his Bedouins but turned the story into an "advance of 800 miles by the Arab army of 100,000 men."  The actual truth was that his army of 600 men did move about 800 miles northward, but most of the advance took place only after the British, Australian and French forces, and later  the Jewish force, when they had already driven out the Turks.  He said they had 20,000 casualties but had taken 40,000 prisoners.  

As it turned out, Arab casualties and Turkish prisoners were only in the hundreds.  
Paris Peace Conference 1918

Most people do not realize that not all people on earth have been raised to tell the truth.  This seems to be one of the differences between the West and the East.  In this case, it was the West, the British, who encouraged and exploited the Eastern ways for their own ends when the occasion rose.

The Sherifian Arabs in the WWI and afterwards were allied with a British agent interested in the fabrication  of their own culture..  T.E. Lawrence was that man and he had found partners for  his historic adventure in telling lies.

This suited the British interests very well, for they held the mandate over Palestine.  A few of them were more interested in the vast oil deposits than they were in keeping their word.  They pulled the boner of the century by promising the same land to the Jews and the Arabs, and I suspect they figured the two of them could just battle it out.  It wasn't until 18 years later that the British Prime Minster, Lloyd George,  who had been present at Feisal's speech, described his numbers as "Oriental arithmetic."   The statement had already become the accepted fable as it was disseminated by the British and accepted by the world.  This was used as facts of the scope and impact of the "Revolt in the Desert."

"Lloyd George had told Edmund Allenby, who was appointed the new commander in Egypt in June, that his objective was "Jerusalem before Christmas" and that he had only to ask for reinforcements, although the exact nature of his offensives was still undecided when he was appointed. Amidst months of argument throughout the autumn of 1917 Robertson was able to block Lloyd George's plan to make Palestine the main theatre of operations by having Allenby make the impossible demand that thirteen extra divisions be sent to him.  Allenby captured Jerusalem in December 1917.  The Allies had won the 1st World War.  Palestine had belonged to the Ottoman Empire, which was part of the opposition or Axis that was mainly Germany.  By taking Jerusalem, the Allies had attacked the Ottoman Empire.  At the time, Lloyd George knew that Britain planned on turning ALL  of Palestine into the Jewish National Home.  Then again, it was Emir Abdullah who had helped them, so they also planned to not keep their promise and would give 75%+ of the land to Abdullah in payment for his fighting forces.  Britain naturally forgot that it was Chaim Weizmann who gave them his invention of making their ammunition as such  so powerful that they naturally would win the war by using it.  Chaim's Jews would wind up with 20-25% of their promised land instead of the whole piece.  So here we see the inclination of not keeping one's word or promise.  Broken promises seems to be as much a human failure as telling lies.  Who can one trust?  it used to be that that a man's word was all that was needed; a shake of hands and you  could trust them.  Not anymore.  

This tendency to fabricate facts showed up in 1967 with the Arab view of the events.  Their report was but a minimal relation to what was really happening--with only the truth that a war was in progress and that its scene was the Middle East.  The Arab report was that American and British pilots and planes were attacking their airfields.  The fact was that the Egyptian Air Force never left the ground, but Arab reports were that they were attacking Tel Aviv, Haifa and Netanya.

The truth was that this 6th day saw the loss of 19 planes counting all fronts,  but according to Arab reports, Israel had lost 160 planes on the 1st day alone.  Arabs reported gigantic tank battles in the Sinai desert with huge Israeli losses.  Their report had come out 2 and 3 days after Israeli forces had ovewhelmed the mass of Egyptian armor.  At the same time, tens of thousands of Egyptian soldiers were giving themselves up as prisoners or fleeing toward and across the Suez canal.

Readers and TV viewers thought the war was going very well for Egypt and Jordan and badly for Israel.  They thought Haifa and Netanya were  burning down.  Most all was extreme exaggeration.  Truth was that about 20 or 30 Israeli planes had been downed, but Haifa nor Tel Aviv or any other Israeli city had been bombed or attacked by Egypt.  2 shells hit Tel Aviv from Jordan.  One bomb hit Netanya by an Iraqi plane.  Such was the Oriental imagination that has been developing over the centuries.

Arab reports were assisted by foreign news media who spread their news.  The Russians, who early on in May had given Nasser "unfounded information" which I would call downright lies that Israel had massed forces for an attack on the Syrian border.  Then Russia have their own enthusiastic shpiel about Israeli disaster.  As it turned out, they were completely deceived themselves and had delayed the call for a cease-fire by the Security Council because they didn't want to prevent the complete defeat of Israel!  Such was their thoughts that Israel was being defeated.  The British Broadcasting Corporation served as the center for the Arab information services, publicly repeating even the most improbable of their reports and severely censoring the only version of the events from its reporter in Jerusalem that was the truth.  Many hours after the officer commanding the Israeli Air Force told of the destruction of the Egyptian Air Force, British newspapers were still debating whether Britain could stand aside and see Israel destroyed.

When Egypt's President Nasser claimed that British and American planes had bombed the Egyptian airfield and that Egyptian planes had bombed Israeli cities, he was misleading the world and especially the Arabs and himself because his own military chiefs were lying to him.  He misled King Hussein of Jordan.  Hussein's decision to attack Israel and to persist in the the attack-even after the Israeli Prime Minister had begged him not to do it, was probably based on his belief in Egyptian reports of all the destruction in Israel going on.

In telling lies, it's always the case that the inventor of the story starts to believe it himself.  An example from Arab folklore is the following story:
A man whose afternoon nap was disturbed by the noise of children playing in the courtyard below went out to the balcony and called, "Children, how foolish you are!  While you are playing here, they are giving away figs in the marketplace."  The children rushed off to collect their figs, and the man, pleased with his invention, went back to his couch.  But just as he was about to drop off, a troublesome thought aroused him:  "Here am I, lying around, when there are free figs to be had in the marketplace!"  

"A far more complex web of fiction has victimized the Jewish people."  Jews are people who have a history of telling the truth while Arabs have not.  Arab sociologist Sania Hamady wrote that lying is a widespread habit among the Arabs and they have a low idea of truth...The Arab has no scruples about lying if by it he obtains his objective...He is more interested in feeling than facts, in conveying an impression than in giving a report.  The Arab language, moreover, provides its users with the tool, for assertion (tarokid) and exaggeration (mubalong).  Then end result is that Arabs have colorful rules in communication.  Eli Shouby, Arabic scholar, wrote that "The Arabs are forced to over-assert and exaggerate in almost all types of communication, lest they be misunderstood.  If an Arab says exactly what he means without the expected exaggeration, his hearers doubt his stand or even suspect him of meaning the opposite.  Al-Ghazzali, 11th century Moslem theologian wrote:  "Know that a lie is not haram (wrong)  in itself, but only because of the evil conclusions to which it leads the hearer, making him believe something that is not really the case...If a lie is the only way of obtaining a good result, it is permissible....We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results.  
Emir Feisal wasn't told the story about Pinocchio, about how when he told a lie, his nose would grow long. "Pinocchio is a hero of the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian author Carlo Collodi. Pinocchio, an animated puppet, is punished for each lie that he tells by undergoing further growth of his nose. There are no restrictions on the length of Pinocchio's nose. It grows as he tells lies and at one point grows so long that he can not even get his nose "through the door of the room. "   It didn't seem to hurt Feisal in any way visible.  He went ahead and made use of the modern mass media.  When his people told a story, others naturally tended to accept their version.  Many people were persuaded to believe that the Arab terrorist organizations were daring bands of partisan or guerrilla fighters, springing out of the Arab population of Palestine, determined to "regain their lost homeland and suffering from an alien and cruel Jews."  They gave out the line that they fought day and night from the underground bases provided by the sponsorship of the "Palestine nation";   and that they engaged in occupying Israeli army units who always had superior numbers and  tanks and planes.  They bragged that they had destroyed so many and that many Israeli soldiers were killed.  Making people believe they were brave guerrillas who could penetrate the heart of Israel seemed to be too easy.
These terrorists who were PLO's led by Arafat had propaganda to spread. How anyone can picture Arafat as the romantic Arab fighting for his rights (he was born in Egypt) is amazing.  He's far from the 1920's Arab of romance novels.  "Oh the Sheik of Araby..."  "It was composed in response to the popularity of the Rudolph Valentino feature film The Sheik. In 1926, to go with the film The Son of the Sheik, Ted Snyder worked parts of the melody into "That Night in Araby", a related song with words by Billy Rose."                      

Well I'm the Sheik of Araby

Your love belongs to me

Well at night when you're asleep

Into your tent I'll creep.

Read more: Beatles - The Sheik Of Araby Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Europeans and Americans are brainwashed into drama on TV or in books about liberation movements, underground or open of the past 30 years.  Little Israel's true facts of having had to wait for 2,000 years to regain by legal means their ancient land of origin, land given to them originally by G-d, with their whole history spelled out in the Bible-the Old Testament, seemed to the people on this planet nothing but a big fable. They would prefer to believe in Arafat's fables.   The true heroes for many Europeans today  are the PLO terrorists- turned into Hamas terrorists.  I wonder how well they are drawing the line with ISIS.

Today we have the same problems.  Lies are told by the Palestinians about their history and current situation and what they are doing with supplies, and people gobble up every lie they say as gospel truth.  The many Arab attacks, encouraged or permitted by the British from 1920 onward, gradually squeezed the majority of the Jews out of the Old City of Jerusalem and into the New.  In 1948, when their ammunition ran out, the final remnant and the handful of Jewish defenders surrendered to the Jordanians.  That was when the city was divided.  The Arabs had never attached any importance to living in Jerusalem.  Even when the Moslems ruled, for long period the majority was Christian.  After the middle of the 19th century, soon after modern Jewish reconstruction began, the Jews attained a majority when they have never relinquished.  Jerusalem had never played any part in the Arabs' political life, either.  When Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo were famous capitals, Jerusalem stagnated as a remote provincial townlet.  It never even served as a provincial capital, or a subprovincial capital which was an honor reserved for Ramleh.  It was never a Moslem cultural center.  No great school of Islamic lore was established nor any religious message proclaimed there.  To the Moslems, Jerusalem was backwater.  The Holy Places there were Jewish ones.  They only had it in their story that Muhammad had gone there to the "farthest mosque"on his flying horse and from there ascended to heaven, came down and returned to Mecca.  The only building he could have seen was  the Roman Temple built over the Jewish 2nd Temple, for even a temporary mosque wasn't built over the Roman Temple till after he had died.

Resource:  Battleground; fact and fantasy in Palestine p. 133-137 by Samuel Katz; - 6-Lloyd George, the truth about the peace treaties p. 1041.

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