The History Channel Rewrites Middle East History

The History Channel posts a reminder, Nov 29,1947. U.N. votes for partition of Palestine but their article is pure Arab propaganda and gives the lie to history.

"Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state.

"The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s, when both groups laid claim to the British-controlled territory. The Jews were Zionists, recent emigrants from Europe and Russia who came to the ancient homeland of the Jews to establish a Jewish national state. The native Palestinian Arabs sought to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state."

This is wrong historically on so many levels. At that time, the Arabs in Palestine were referred to as Arabs and not Palestinian Arabs. A huge percentage of the Arabs that were there had emigrated to the province known as Palestine because of the commercial activity of the Jews. They had no intention of setting up a "secular Palestinian state." This was the invention of Arafat.

"Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine, and Britain attempted to limit Jewish immigration as a means of appeasing the Arabs."

How the History Channel in writing the history of the conflict, can leave out the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Resolution of 1920 giving all the land, including Jordan, to the Jews and the Palestine Mandate passed by the League of Nations in 1922 reaffirming the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Resolution, is beyond me. The Mandate obligated Great Britain to enable close settlement of the land, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, by Jews and ultimately to allow independence of the Jews.

"As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. "

This sentence ignores virtually everything that led to Jewish emigration. The first blame goes to the Nazis who rounded up seven million European Jews and put them in Ghettos. The second blame goes to Britain and the US who wouldn't let the Jews emigrate to their countries or Palestine with or without visas. This policy lead to the destruction of six million Jews by the Nazis. The small remnant who survived had to wait until 1947 to be allowed into Israel. A small number of Jews came to Palestine during the war. Such entry was legal according to the Palestine Mandate.  Great Britain in 1937 instituted a policy in contravention of the Mandate to limit the number of Jews entering. Only in this sense was their entry "illegal."

At the same time, also in contravention of the Mandate, Great Britain facilitated enormous Arab immigration from surrounding lands

"Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause."

It is not a matter of what they thought. It is a fact. Britain violated international law and their obligations under the Mandate. Thus the Jews fought to chase them out of Palestine.

"At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which on November 29, 1947, voted to partition Palestine. The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, though they made up less than half of Palestine's population."

Wrong again. The US did not take up the Zionist cause after or before 1945. The US was not in favor of creating a Jewish state at all and intended to vote against it. Fortunately, Pres Truman overruled the State Dept and ordered that the US vote in favor. Even so, the US maintained an arms embargo on Israel throughout the War of Independence and expected Israel to be destroyed. To everyone's surprise, Israel was victorious and gained more land as a result.

Had Britain not prevented Jewish immigration and favored Arab immigration, both contrary to her mandate, the Jews would have been in majority and would have been entitled to the entire country.

"The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but the Jews secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, 1948, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed by Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded."

The Mandate didn't expire. Just Britain's role did. Jewish rights pursuant to the Mandate continued.

"The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territories, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of those conquered areas. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority."

Another thing that the History Channel fails to mention is that during and after the war, 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries and their land holdings and wealth accumulated over many hundreds of years, was confiscated. Most of these Jews went to Israel and were absorbed.

Ted Belman is the editor of Israpundit and a retired lawyer.  Last year, he made aliya and is now living in Jerusalem
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