by Alex Rose

"The fate of the Jews is being settled today by political events in the Near East and by decrees issued by Britain's Colonial Office.----It is not a happy or inspiring sight." [Pierre Van Paassen]

This paper sets out the roles played by the British Colonial Office, the French Quai d'Orsay and the US State Department in frustrating Jewish efforts in pursuing claims to statehood in Palestine.

Palestine Was Unambiguously Predestined As The Jewish State Even In Embryo

On December 9, 1917, five weeks after the Balfour Declaration, British forces took Jerusalem from the Turks. The total population of Palestine fell from around 800,000 in 1914 to approximately 640,000 at the end of WW1 [1918]. The composition of the population by December 1918 was as follows: Muslims 512,000; Christians 61,000; Jews 66,000.[1]

Of the 66,000 Jews, 25,000 had immigrated from Russia, Romania, Kurdistan, and Yemen following pogroms; this period is designated as the 1st Aliyah from 1882-1903. They were pre-Zionist socialists and religious Jews who wanted to escape persecution and/or to rebuild a homeland. During the 2nd Aliyah, from 1904-1914, 40,000 immigrants mostly from Czarist Russia and Poland made their way to Palestine as a result of violent pogroms in Kishinev, Russia. They desired to escape further pogroms and persecution while seeking to restore nationhood, dignity and to realize socialist ideals. The 3rd Aliyah from 1919-1923, numbering 35,000, were mostly from Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Western and Central Europe. They wanted to escape persecution and impoverishment, restore nationhood, dignity, and to utilize socialist ideals. The 4th Aliyah 1924-1928 primarily from Poland sought to escape persecution and impoverishment. The 5th Aliyah dating from 1929-1939 brought 250,000 Jews mostly from Germany and Austria seeking to escape persecution and anti-Semitism.

As we shall see, the British by the 1930s had by their actions violated the trust to help the Jews develop the infrastructure for a state, a responsibility they had solemnly taken on just a few years earlier.

One great Englishman recognized the implications of British policy in the 1930's. At a dinner held in his honor at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London months before the Nuremberg Laws, Josiah Wedgwood boldly brought the policy in Palestine into juxtaposition with the Nazi persecution.

"When we think of the treatment of little Jewish children in German schools and of the returned vanquished exiles sent to concentration camps to be 'taught' German virtues, the very stomach rebels. When I think of these poor Jews fleeing to Palestine from starvation and persecution in the hell of Europe only to be consigned to prison there under the English laws - of men and women all inoffensive and helpless, hunger striking to get through the walls to freedom, with English jailors looking on, there surely we see a double crime, a crime against G-d and a crime against our good name."[2]

Van Paasen's book The Forgotten Ally, is perhaps the most exhaustive expose on British attitudes towards the Jews vis-à-vis Jewish attempts at securing sovereignty in Palestine.

At the outset, as stated by this renowned international journalist, the widely established notion imputed to the British government that Palestine was a "twice promised land" is a totally erroneous interpretation of historical fact. To be true, there were certain promises made to both the Jews and the Arabs, but promises do not constitute international law. As stated by Van Paassen, the promises made to the Arabs were nearly all carried out in spite of enormous difficulties in their complete fulfillment. On the other hand, in so far as Palestine was concerned, that country was promised only once and to one people only: the Jews.[3]

The British offered incentives to the Arabs in the Arabian quadrangle as inducements to encourage them to participate in the war against Turkey; but Palestine and its future were not under consideration. Presumably, the reference to promises largely constitute those prescribed by the McMahon correspondence and Sykes-Picon Agreement.

According to the Palestine Royal Report of July 1937, Chapter 11, p20:

"It was in the highest degree unfortunate that, in the exigencies of war, the British Government was unable to make their intention clear to the Sherif. Palestine, it will have been noticed, was not expressly mentioned in Sir Henry McMahon's letter of the 24th October, 1915. Nor was any later reference made to it. In the further correspondence between Sir Henry McMahon and the Sherif the only areas relevant to the present discussion which were mentioned were the Vilayets of Aleppo and Beirut. The Sherif asserted that these Vilayets were purely Arab; and, when Sir Henry McMahon pointed out that French interests were involved, he replied that, while he did not recede from his full claims in the north, he did not wish to injure the alliance between Britain and France and would not ask 'for what we now leave to France in Beirut and its coasts' till after the War."

McMahon wrote a letter to The Times [of London] on July 23, 1937, confirming that Palestine was excluded from the area in which Arab independence was promised and that this was well understood by King Hussein. [Memorandum on the British Pledges to the Arabs Report, March 16, 1939]. In his words:

"I feel it my duty to state, and I do so definitely and emphatically, that it was not intended by me in giving this pledge to King Hussein to include Palestine in the area in which Arab independence was promised. I also had every reason to believe at the time that the fact that Palestine was not included in my pledge was well understood by King Hussein."

From the foregoing, it is readily understood that the Hussein-MacMahon correspondence conspicuously fails to mention Palestine. The British argued the omission had been intentional, thereby justifying their refusal to grant the Arabs independence in Palestine after the war. This is supported by 2 eminent historians, Elie Kedourie and Ephraim Karsh.

"The division into areas to be annexed or to be protected by England and France respectively, the stipulations about economic activities and administrative supervision were all arranged to fit in with the preferences and desires of the Arab leaders, as far as these could be ascertained." [Kedourie's 1987 book, England and the Middle East: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire, 1914-1921.

"If the Anglo-Hashemite negotiations involved 'a startling piece of double-dealing,' as indeed they did, it was on the part of Hussein and his sons rather than their British interlocutors. By providing for the establishment of a large independent Arab State or Confederation, the Sykes-Picot Agreement acted as a catalyst for Arab unification rather than fragmentation. There was no fundamental contradiction between the territorial provisions of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and those of the Hussein-McMahon correspondence---" [Karsh's 1999 book, Empires of the Sand].

From Pierre Van Paassen's works, one is given the distinct impression that the Arab-Israeli conflict derived its origins from the ill-disposed attitude of the British directed at the Jews. It can be demonstrated that this is not so, but the conflict was exacerbated to a considerable extent by the British prior to and following the Mandate for Palestine. As early as 1891, history records the first Arab protest against Zionist aims.At this time, approximately nine years following the First Aliyah, there were complaints about the Jews being accorded special rights, enjoying freedom from most of the taxes and heavy impositions on Ottoman subjects. Further, it was stated that the "local population" could not stand up to their competition or the corruption and treachery of the local administration.

By 1908, news media was introduced to Palestine by way of an Arabic press in Jaffa. Concurrent with its appearance was an attack on Jews. It not only registered a protest against Jewish immigration, but an accurate warning about the comprehensive nature of the Zionist grand design. Through an "open letter" in 1910, by an eminent nationalist from Damascus, Shurki al-Asali, one is treated to established anti-Semitic rhetoric associated with the "longest hatred". Jews own the Anglo-Palestine Bank, from which they gain preferential treatment. They do not mix with Ottomans, nor do they purchase anything from them.

On the one hand, there was fear that growing Jewish immigration would have Palestine become the "property of the Zionist Organization or the Jews, there was some feeling that some kind of entente between Arabs and Jews might be possible. The latter thought was predicated on the creation of an Arab state, but this soon dead ended. It readily became apparent that the Jews making Aliyah at that time were not just immigrants, but Jewish nationalists. With the outbreak of WW1, Arab nationalism was already a force in Palestine and introducing the word "Palestinian". It needs to be understood that Palestinian nationalism was a consequence of Jewish nationalism.[4]

In this period, the lack of symmetry prevailed. The Jewish nation in Palestine was made up of people who volunteered to be a nation, returning to its native soil. Great hardships were involved, the motivation being animated by a common, conscious passionate purpose. Nothing in any way of an equivalence was observable on the Arab side, certainly not for a very long time. No Arab nation existed then and it only came into existence, as already stated, with the advent of the Jewish nation per se.

Connor Cruise O'Brien's view is close to what Arthur Balfour wrote in 1919:

'In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country ... Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, offers profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land,'

The British Mandate for Palestine dates from 1922 through 1948. Pierre Van Paassen on his first visit to Palestine in 1926 documents his observations, with amazement, on how Jewish pioneers had transformed Palestine. He considered the development as one of the wonders of the age. In that same year, he recorded attention to the myth of the Arab Revolt as published by Lawrence in "The Revolt in the Desert" as an extract from "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom". At that time, the Turkish military governors, who ruled in Bagdad and Damascus, were iron disciplinarians. They had learned the lessons of massacring civilians in Armenia and Kurdistan. The British strategy was one of encouraging the Palestinian Arabs to engage in riots against the Turks. Contrary to British expectations, not only did the Palestinian Arabs not rise in revolt but they assisted the Turks to the extent of waylaying and murdering British patrols and individual soldiers who strayed of the main line of march. The conquest of Palestine was one of the main political objectives in the British war against Turkey.

During his travels through Palestine, Van Paassen sought opportunities for interviews with key British and Arab officials. He describes Sir Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem as a British functionary and a fanatical arabist who had a great deal to do with the shaping of British policy in the early days of the British occupation of Palestine. Further, he asserts that Storrs more than anyone else was responsible for laying the foundation of the anti-Zionist policy of the successive British administrations in Palestine.[5]

How The British Trustees Of The Expected Jewish State Attempted To Abort It

The appointment of Sir Herbert Samuel as the first High Commissioner in Palestine was seen by Van Paassen as one of the shrewdest moves by the imperialists of the Colonial Office. It displayed a full understanding of assimilationist Jews inclined towards "being partial, extra neutral tendencies, and 125% loyal to British interests."[6]

Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, Chief Political Officer for Palestine and Syria wrote in his diary that British officials "incline towards the exclusion of Zionism in Palestine" and in fact encouraged the Arabs to attack the Jews. He also noted the meeting between the notorious Haj Amin and Col. Waters Taylor, financial advisor to the Military Administration in Palestine 1919-1923, where Taylor informed Haj Amin of the opportunity to show the world that Zionism was not only unpopular with the Palestinian Administration and that if disturbances of sufficient violence occurred, Whitehall could be influenced into abandoning the Jewish Home commitment. Waters Taylor explained that freedom could only be obtained through violence.[7]

Prior to Samuel's appointment on June 30, 1920, the WW1 Allies had convened in San Remo for discussions on the future of the Middle East. At that time, the Arab nationalists were unsure how to react to British Authority. The two preeminent Jerusalem clans, the el-Hussienis [anti-British] and the Nashashibis [conciliatory pro-British] competed in promoting their policies throughout the British Mandate territory The Nashashibi family had a strong influence in Palestine during the British Mandate period from 1920 until 1948. Throughout this period, they competed with the Husaynis, the other prominent Arab Jerusalem family, for the leadership of the Arab political scene in Palestine. The views of these two families largely shaped the divergent political positions of all Arabs in Palestine at the time.[8]

The consequence was a series of riots, the first significant event occurred in Jerusalem during the intermediate days of Passover, April 1920 and ended in 1921. This, despite assurances at an April 11,1921 meeting between Samuels and the Mufti.[9]

Many, both Jews and Arabs were killed or wounded. In May 1921 Arab nationalists attacked Jews in the port city of Jaffa, and soon the violence spread to other parts of the country, with several Jewish farming communities coming under attack. After a week of fighting, 47 Jews were killed and almost 150 wounded. Many Arabs were also killed and wounded, mostly in clashes with the British troops that quelled the uprising.[10]

After the riots, the British arrested both Arabs and Jews. Among those arrested was Ze'ev [Vladimir] Jabotinsky together with 19 of his associates, on a charge of illegal possession of weapons. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, 15 years hard labor and deportation from the country after completion of sentence. Haj Amin was also included, but escaped to Jordan and accordingly was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in absentia.[11]

With the arrival in Jerusalem of the first High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, British military government was superseded by a civilian administration. As a gesture toward the civilian population, the High Commissioner proclaimed a general amnesty for both Jews and Arabs who had been involved in the April 1920 riots. Jabotinsky insisted that the sentence passed against them be revoked entirely, arguing that the defender should not be placed on trial with the aggressor. British Arabists convinced Samuels to pardon Haj Amin and appoint him Grand Mufti. Several months passed before the British War Office revoked the sentences.[12]

The October 1921 Haycroft Commission's evaluation of the cause of riots, stated:

"The fundamental cause of the Jaffa riots and subsequent acts of violence was a feeling among the Arabs of discontent with, and hostility to the Jews, due to political and economic causes, and connected with Jewish immigration, and with their concept of Zionist policy as derived from Jewish exponents -------the Arab majority, who were generally the aggressors, inflicted most of the casualties."[13][14]

The Mufti wrote to Churchill during 1921 demanding that restrictions be placed on Jewish immigration and that Palestine be reunited with Syria and Transjordan. Consequently, despite the recognition of the Arab violence, the British administration tightened the rules of Jewish immigration to Palestine and issued the White Paper of 1922 to allay Arab fears concerning the Balfour Declaration.[15]

1929 witnessed renewed Arab attacks on Jews. The Mufti initiated a campaign of false rumors about Jewish threats against Muslim holy places, followed by calls for attacks on Jews. Soon thereafter Jewish communities all over Palestine were under attack. In some cities Jews succeeded in defending themselves, but in other areas massacres of Jews took place. In Hebron, 67 Jews were murdered, and the rest of the Jewish inhabitants driven out, ending two thousand years of uninterrupted Jewish presence in the town.[16]

The most expressive description of the Hebron riot is to be found in the account by Van Paassen. A brief commentary of questions and answers between him and Harry Luke, British Acting High Commissioner follows:

Luke: '----but you must keep in mind that the government is neutral, must be impartial in this quarrel between the Jews and Arabs. We are the watchdog.'

Van Paassen: Neutral and impartial, when it is a question of barbarism verses civilization, when it is a case of gangsters attacking peaceful, innocent citizens as those whose bodies I just saw piled up in a house in Hebron?'

Luke: 'By the way are you a Jew?'

Van Paassen: 'No, must one be a Jew to want fair play?'

Luke: 'We arrested some of the attackers',

Van Paassen: 'You arrested first and foremost in every case that I investigated the Jews who successfully defended themselves.'

Luke: '------mistakes are unavoidable ----------this outbreak, took the government completely by surprise.'

Van Paassen: '-----how is it then that three weeks ago the government warned the authorities of the Rothschild Hospital here in Jerusalem to have two hundred beds in readiness for an emergency?'

Luke: "But you overlook our obligations also to the Arabs. The Mandate charges us specifically that 'nothing shall be undertaken-----interfere with the religious or civic rights of the existing population.'"

Van Paassen: 'Did the Jews impinge upon these rights then? Are they impinging on these rights, by building roads laying out plantations, building cities, hospitals, schools, banks, and all the other things?'[17]

Luke: 'You will realize now how difficult it is for us to maintain a balance between Jews and Arabs'.

Van Paassen: 'It does not look to me sir, that this is fundamentally a quarrel between Jews and Arabs.'[18]

Pierre Van Paasen's account of the Hebron massacre speaks volumes to the hatred of the Arab masses when inspired by leadership in the hands of ill-disposed leadership, typical of which was the Grand Mufti. During his visit to Palestine he was among the few witnesses to the subject atrocities. In his mind, the British were entirely responsible given their actions of Arab appeasement and manipulation. He recognized the use of falsified photographs showing the Omar mosque in Jerusalem in ruins, with an inscription that the edifice had been bombed by the Zionists, which were handed out to the Arabs of Hebron as they were leaving their place of worship without police interference. Add to this the callousness of Keith Roach, governor of Jaffa accompanied by a colonel of the Green Hounds battalion on visiting the horrendous scene of slaughter, "Shall we have lunch now or drive to Jerusalem first." In response to the British refutation that the Hebron Jews had been tortured prior to having their throats slit, Van Paassen subsequently returned to the site accompanied by two medical professionals, Drs. Dantziger and Ticho in order to gather several sexual organs ant the cut-off women's breasts they had observed lying in the beds and scattered over the floor. As should have been anticipated, their access was barred by a heavy guard. On the same day, the Arabs had rioted in Jerusalem, crying, "Death to the Jews! The government is with us".

During this period, Pierre Van Paassen was able to interview the Grand Mufti. Some excerpts:

Grand Mufti: 'Who is held responsible for these horrible outbreaks? The French people do understand, I trust!'

Van Paassen: 'As to the responsibility -------- I am sorry to say, points directly to yourself. And not only in those distant countries; the most influential newspaper in Egypt ----- in one of its latest issues to arrive here in Jerusalem, declares that " the murder of the Palestinian Jews is an echo of the Mufti's inflammatory exhortations in the mosque"'.

Grand Mufti: 'The Arab is a kind and loyal creature. We are not murderers or fiends ------. Why do you say Arabs are responsible for this slaughter?'

Van Paassen: 'Did those Jewish women and children and old men in Hebron and Lifta and Safed commit suicide?'

Grand Mufti: 'No, we were provoked. ---- The Jews are stealing our land. They want everything we have. --------- My country is being ruined by the Jews. ----- just when we had shaken off the Turkish yoke and turned up the road of freedom.'[19]

It is clear that the Mandate Government did not fulfill its duty to provide protection for the defenseless and peaceful Jews. The Governor, Abdullah Kardos, and the Commander, Cafferata, deprived the Jews the means of appealing for assistance and defense, but only offered empty promises thus facilitating murder and robbery of Jews. The police were guilty of total indifference to the helpless Jews. The emissaries of the Mufti and Muslim Council, particularly Sheikh Talib Narka and his colleagues encouraged and permitted murder and rape. With the exception of some families, the Hebron Arab residents, did not assist their neighbors as prescribed in the Koran.[20]

With each and every riot, the British would appoint a Royal Commission, not an independent party, to investigate a typical scenario of Jewish colonies attacked, individual Jews waylaid and ambushed, synagogues ransacked and set on fire, bombs tossed in the dark, buses fired upon, automobiles wrecked, farmhouses destroyed and young orange trees uprooted. The Palestinian administration and the Colonial Office operated in an aura of intrigues, manipulation and anti-Semitism where the "poor Arab" arguments would very often be present. Dr. Hendrick Van Rees, a member of the Mandates Commission in Geneva [1938] from Holland was given to accusing the British of being themselves "the conscious and deliberate formentors of trouble in Palestine." Miss Dannewig, the Norwegian delegate stated that not the Arabs but Britain herself was betraying the Jews and that to say otherwise was "insulting the intelligence of the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission." Yet another member, Professor Rappard from Switzerland, a renowned authority on mandates, accused Britain of "turning the Mandate upside down" by inhibiting a Jewish majority in Palestine which "in the Commissioner's opinion is the major element in the Mandate."

After every Royal Commission's investigation in Palestine, the position of the Jews worsened characterized by more immigration restrictions ultimately leading to Chamberlain's 1939 White Paper Arab appeasement policy. The era of what the British termed "illegal immigration" is surely one of the most blatant examples of British betrayal enacted against the Jews. As a desperate move to counter the British limitations on immigration, the Zionists engaged in chartering ships to bring Jews to Palestine from various locations in Europe, where possible. The British "fought tooth and nail against the admission into Palestine of individuals who by almost superhuman efforts managed to escape-----". In the case of the Turkish steamer Sakarya, at least 2400 Jewish refugees without passports or visas succeeded albeit that they were regarded as illegal immigrants. Those on the Patria were not that fortunate and were destined for exile to Mauritius despite protests and strikes. However, they" decided to remain in Palestine, dead or alive". When the ship was about to sail, an explosion occurred, resulting in the ship sinking and 150 of the 1900 passengers perished. The survivors were permitted to remain in country. This was time when the British patrolled the beaches, shot at boats, arresting and interning those who managed to reach the shore.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy was that of the sinking of the Struma, a 180 ton cattle boat with 769 passengers of whom 70 were children under the age of 13 and 250 women. The conditions aboard were extremely tenuous, there being no electricity, heating, water supply, medical supplies and inadequate sanitary arrangements. After 4 days, the boat arrived in Istanbul, where the passengers were not permitted to disembark. Lord Moyne having rejected the visa applications resulted in the ship being turned back into the Black Sea, cast adrift and sinking. Only 2 passengers survived, admitted to Palestine "as an act of mercy".

While restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine, the British policy towards the Arabs was quite different. Arieh Avneri in his well researched book, Claims of Dispossession, has shown quite conclusively that a large proportion of present day Palestinians are undoubtedly fairly recent immigrants descended from Egyptian, Algerian, Circassian, Algerian, Yemeni, Bedouin and other refugees and immigrants — both legal and illegal, who entered the country during the past 100 years. Joan Peters devotes an entire chapter of her book, From Time Immemorial to this subject, entitled "Official Disregard of Arab immigration" [P 296-325].

When the Colonial Office took over from the War Office and the Foreign Office, "It instituted a definite policy of obstruction." "The history of the 17 years of mandatory regime in Palestine reveals an unbroken succession of restrictive measures, acts of pettifogging chicanery, scriminess and outright opposition on the part of the Administration to the Jewish National enterprise." Lord Wedgewood declared in the House of Lords that the British administration was in the hands of anti-Semites pure and simple; it all leaves the Colonial Office indifferent. Also commenting on the 1939 White Paper, Winston Churchill called it a "plain breach of promise, a repudiation of the Mandate."[21]

Concerning Transjordan and the British "revision" to the Balfour Declaration, Chapter 46 of Shmuel Katz's Lone Wolf covers the subject entirely and spills over to Chapter 47. The introduction to Chapter 46 reads:

"The removal of Eastern Palestine from the scope of the Balfour Declaration, of which the injection of Article 25 into the Mandate was the first formal step, represented a breach of trust carried out in deceit towards the Jewish people. Its enormity is not mitigated by the fact that in 1922 it sat well with the gradual process of Britain's dilution of the Balfour Declaration. To what had been a qualitative erosion of the promise of the Declaration culminating in the White Paper of June 1922, was now added — by stages — a quantitative dimension".[22]

The French Attitude in Pre-State Days And Currently

In the preface to his Betrayal - France, the Arabs, and the Jews [2006], David Pryce-Jones makes the cardinal statement, "The test for much of the world today comes from political Islam". He also notes that France's record shows how its policies towards Arabs and Jews has been consistently misguided as well as untrue to the values France once claimed to exemplify in the name of enlightenment.

During December 1789, the Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre, a liberal aristocrat, declared in the Constituent Assembly, "Everything must be refused to the Jews as a nation, and everything granted to the Jews as individuals". While it is a given that nations have interests, it would seem from what follows that in France, anti-Semitism dictated foreign policy more so than politics. Yet another observation is how French Jews have generally accepted the state's position towards them, despite the revealed anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus Affair and the French participation in the Nazi mass-murder of WW2.[23]

Tsilla Hershco, Ph.D., observed that the selection of French ambassadors was an expression of Jew hatred by the Quai d'Orsay in reaction to the rise of Jewish statehood in 1948. Hershco is a well-known Israeli historian and political scientist, specializing in France-Israel relations. Tying recognition of Israel to French rights in the country was, in her judgment, the Quai d'Orsay's "unique initiative" and the sum total of its achievements during the pre-state period, though they did carry out an exhaustive campaign for internationalization of Jerusalem.

The role played by French governments in dealings with Arabs and Jews can be shown to be consistently one-sided. In her "Entre Paris et Jerusalem", an archival study of the French position in the crucial years leading to the inauguration of Israel, Hershco demonstrates how it was "frequently inspired by the desire to please the Arabs". Further, she draws attention to the Quai d 'Orsay's traditional hostility to Zionism as a danger to French interests, in particular to the holy sites the French claimed to be protecting. Rene Neuville, an experienced archeologist, was the French consul general in Jerusalem from 1946 to 1952. His inability to come to terms with the idea of a Jewish state had much to do with the formation of policy within the Quai d'Orsay. In an April 12, 1947 lengthy dispatch he described Jews as "racist through and through ----- quite as much so as their German persecutors and in spite of their democratic pretensions."[24]

France's romance with Haj Amin, the Grand Mufti speaks volumes when considering her attitude towards Jews and Jewish claims to the Land of Israel. In 1943, the French decided that the Mufti was "the brains of German espionage in all Muslim countries" and held the future of Palestine in his hands, a religious leader who could impose his will on the newly formed Arab League. This man who in 1920 was sentenced to 7 years of hard labor by the British for sedition — but never served a single day in prison and was amnestied by Sir Herbert Samuel, no less — fled to freedom in Beirut with French connivance. He was able to extend his "credentials" by befriending Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler and Eichmann following his participation in the 1941 anti-British/pro-Nazi coup in Iraq. His particular contribution to recruit a Bosnian Muslim division for the SS apparently did not deter the French from hosting him and even installing him in a magnificent setting in Bougival. Haj Amin described as "the brains of German espionage in all Muslim countries" on October 11, 1946, made an official declaration of thanks to the French government for the hospitality and the tacit approval of his escape. And so he should have, given that they had rescued him.[25]

A short review of the French President's and Prime Minister's attitudes clearly reflect their positions relative to the Arab-Israel conflict.[26]

General de Gaulle: Prime Minister 1944-1946, President 1958-1969.

Pierre-Etienne Gilbert, French Ambassador in Israel from 1953 to 1959 was altogether exceptional among his colleagues, the first French diplomat openly to admire Israel. He introduced the Israeli defense establishment to their counterparts in Paris. His motivation was simply driven by his concerns over growing Arab nationalism which he regarded as dangerous to all. A critical arms deal followed as did the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt's Nasser. An alliance between France, England and Israel followed to confront Nasser militarily. Secrecy was such that Israel was charged with leading the military action with subsequent support from the other two partners. On October 29, 1956 Israel moved troops across the Sinai Peninsula and occupied the Suez Canal within a week. A vast armada of British and French ships and warplanes then pounded Egypt west of the canal, landing troops in the Suez Canal zone. At that point, President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened, forcing a humiliating and ill-advised withdrawal. Israel was compelled to evacuate Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

In 1957, France agreed to build the nuclear plant at Dimona, interestingly surpassing any other previously possessed by the French themselves. However from then onwards the Franco-Israeli relationship declined as Nasser's emergence as the political victor of the Suez campaign and Arab nationalism peaked as the prime ideology of the Middle East. The Quai d'Orsay led disengagement from Israel, and the Arab boycott of Israel resulted in the 1959 cancellation of the Renault car assembly contract under license in Haifa.

Early on de Gaulle had demonstrated support for Israel, but with the turn of events, real politics suggested to him that Israel was an obstacle to French pursuits. Israel's growing appeal to the US was seen by him as a threat. He suspended further aid for the Dimona plant, and became an obstructionist to the sales of arms and aircraft. Completing a treaty with Algeria he instructed "---a more liberal attitude towards Nasser." Immediately prior to the 6 Day War, he warned Abba Eban that Israel should not engage in a war or "In any event, do not be the first to open fire." He subsequently stated that "If you were attacked one wouldn't let you be destroyed." and "I told Eban that they shouldn't shoot first ----- They didn't listen to me!"

Following Israel's blowing up of 13 French built civil aircraft as a result of Palestinian hijackers operating out of Lebanon and despite nobody being hurt, de Gaulle stated, "It's unbelievable, without any sense-----they think they can do as they like." In his classic, "De Galle and the Jews", Raymond Aron, a leading political thinker, appalled by de Gaulle's stereotyping of Jews as self-assured and domineering, held him responsible for driving Israel towards an accommodation with the US. To Aron, De Gaulle had "knowingly, voluntarily, opened a new era in Jewish and perhaps anti-Semitic history. Everything becomes possible once more, everything may start again. Granted, there is no question of persecution; only ill will. This is not a time for contempt but for suspicion."[27]

George Pompiduo: Prime Minister 1962-1968, President 1969-1974.

Pompiduo pardoned the imprisoned Paul Touvier who was responsible for murdering Jews in WW2, and who would undoubtedly have been executed had Catholic priests not hidden him, enabling him to escape justice for several decades.

He is alleged to have referred to Parisian Israeli Ambassador Asher Ben-Natan as "the perfect prototype of a Nazi officer". Also elaborated, Israelis were "mad. They don't see the world as it is, not even the Arab world. Or else they don't want peace".

Pompiduo was publicly humiliated by Israeli retaliation for withholding 5 of 12 fast patrol boats armed with missiles. Late in 1969, Israeli sailors infiltrated Cherbourg harbor, boarded the boats and brought them to Israel at full speed.

During a state visit to the US, in a speech he advocated that Israel must cease being "a racial and religious state".[28]

Valery Giscard d'Estaing: President 1974-1981.

In a study of the role of Jews in French politics, Maurice Szafran speaks of "open war" between the Jews and Giscard.

Giscard criticized the peace between Egypt and Israel sealed at Camp David in 1978.

He supported the Palestinian cause, met with Yasser Arafat and promoted the entrance of the PLO to the United Nations.

Giscard stated that France believes in the necessity of a global agreement in the Middle East which would preserve the legitimate rights of "all concerned and especially the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland of their own". He invited Arafat on his first official visit to Paris and held a grand reception for him in the Elysee during November 1979. This occasioned a reaction by the Israeli ambassador Meir Rosenne, "Would France invite Hitler?"[29]

Francois Mitterrand: President 1981-1995

His double-faced approach is exemplified by his condemnation of the destruction by Israel of the Iraq nuclear plant in 1981 and his flattering Knesset address soon thereafter.

Mitterrand salvaged Arafat from the consequences of his campaigns of violence commencing in Beirut in 1982 and continuing for the rest of the decade.

Following Saddam Husssein's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Mitterrand addressed the UN General Assembly, offering a quaint defense of some of Saddam's claims on Kuwait as being legitimate. Not surprisingly, Saddam released 327 French individuals from among the many other nationalities he had been holding hostage.[30]

Jacques Chirac: Prime Minister 1974-1976, Prime Minister 1986-1988, President 1995-2007.

Chirac is remembered as the politician who more than anyone else committed France to aid and abet Iraq, despite the known misgivings of its leaders.

He was aan admirer of Saddam Hussein who returned to France on 2 occasions during 1975 to be greeted by Chirac, "I welcome you as my personal friend. I assure you of my esteem, my consideration, and my affection". After finalizing the purchase of aircraft, Chirac accompanied his guest on a tour of a nuclear research center.

Chirac offered Hussein a nuclear reactor similar to that sold to Israel 18 years previously. He also agreed to the condition that none of the French technicians engaged in the Osirak project would be "persons of the Jewish race or Mosaic religion." His response to Washington's request for him to reconsider, was arrogant rhetoric: "We cannot let our American and European allies continue their offensive against our nuclear industry."

A further meeting between Chirac and Hussein in Bagdad resulted in signed contracts for more weaponry, an airport, desalination plants, cars worth billions of dollars, with oil concessions thrown in.

Israeli diplomatic efforts to impede finalization of the reactor failed, leaving the only option. In June, 1981, 8 Israeli aircraft reduced the reactor to a burnt out wreck.

French misjudgments resulted in the country being excluded from the Oslo accords in September 1993. At that time, Chirac was the French President and set out to restore France's position. To that end, in 1996, he visited the Middle East 5 times. All that year, PLO and Hezbollah terror escalated, suicide bombing becoming the premier medium. Israeli reaction undermined Arafat's legitimacy resulting in his appeal to Chirac.

On his visit to Israel, he was accompanied by Leila Shahid, the PLO representative in Paris. Chirac made his inner feelings outwardly visible on his walk through the Old city by refusing the protection of uniformed Israeli police. As Israeli security guards approached him, he insisted that they withdraw, even threatening to fly back to Paris. He used the opportunity to remind the Arabs of their political rights. At an evening reception which he hosted for Palestinians at the consulate-general, French citizens were invited, but not a single Israeli. The following day, he flew with Shahid to Ramallah where he became the first world leader to address the Palestinian Legislative Council. With Arafat and other PLO leaders present, Chirac declared that Palestinian democracy might serve as an example to all Arab states!

Moving on to Jordan, Chirac engaged in yet a further favorite topic i.e. denouncing Western sanctions on Saddam Hussein.

The irony of Chirac behavior is to be found in an earlier statement to the effect that there was no anti-Semitism in France followed by condemning the French role in deporting Jews to their death during WW2 and defending Jews under attack at the time. Yet, he continued unconditional support for Arafat and The PLO, thus becoming a willing accomplice to those responsible for the deaths and injuries to thousands of Jews. He also welcomed Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah at the Francophone summit. He was the only Western head of state to attend the funeral of Hafiz al-Assad, the Syrian dictator implacably opposed to peace with Israel.

Upon Arafat's death, Chirac arranged ceremonies suitable for a head of state complete with an honor guard of French soldiers to carry the coffin to the aircraft assigned for Ramallah. At the funeral, his eyes watering, he declared, "With him disappears a man of courage and conviction----I came to bow before President Yasser Arafat and pay him final homage." How remarkable given his direct involvement in half a century of death-dealing violence and cruelty of the worst kind.[31]

The US and UN Try to Give the Jewish Right to Its Birthplace to the Arabs

Writing in 1986, Connor Cruise observed "The period from 1952 to 1956 was the most anxious and dangerous in the history of Israel to date." This assertion was based on the recognition that of the two superpowers who originally backed Israel, one was almost completely alienated while the other seemed to be increasingly perfunctory in its expression of friendship and no other Power appeared as a backer of Israel. To the policy makers in the State Department and the Pentagon, Israel was seen at best as a nuisance, at worst as a heavy liability to the interests of the US. However, as long as Truman was President, with his strong personal commitment to Israel, the influence of the opposing officials was under restraint. Notably, with the succession of Truman by Dwight D. Eisenhower, this epoch for Israel terminated.

While the US was not a member of the League of Nations and thus not a signatory to the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Middle Eastern mandates were settled, the US fully concurred with the proceedings. This took the form of a US Resolution. On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution (the Lodge Fish Resolution) of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine — anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

US interest in the Arab-Israel conflict essentially commenced with President Harry Truman's communiqué to Prime Minister Clement Attlee on July 26, 1945 expressing "the hope that the British government may find it possible without delay to take steps to lift the restrictions of the White Paper on Jewish immigration to Palestine". In August, Truman sent Attlee a report from his representative, Earl G. Harrison, on the condition of 100,000 encamped Jewish Holocaust survivors. "To anyone who has visited the concentration camps and who has talked with the despairing survivors, it is nothing short of calamitous to contemplate that the gates of Palestine should be soon closed." The response was a contemptuous negative resulting in an escalated guerilla war against the British in Palestine. The momentum by the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi was maintained until close to Israel's Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. During 1947, George Marshall, the American Secretary of State who opposed Israeli independence expressed an opinion which history has shown to be reflective of the US judgment throughout the ensuing years. He feared that backing a Jewish state would harm relations with the Muslim world, limit access to Middle Eastern oil and destabilize the region.[32][33]

What is generally forgotten is that between the Israel's War of Independence and the Six Day War, Egypt controlled Gaza, while Jordan assumed responsibility for the West Bank. Interestingly, in 1953, Abba Eban remarked, "The idea that Arabs could kill Israelis without any subsequent Israeli reaction was close to becoming an international doctrine."[34]

In 1956, Eisenhower, during the Suez crisis, threatened Ben Gurion with withholding US aid if Israel ignored the UN resolution to withdraw from the Sinai peninsula. At stake was $100 million in aid. The aggressor, Nasser had nationalized the Suez Canal while Israel's action were directed to keep a vital waterway open in the interest of all nations. Within less than a month of Eisenhower's directive, all Israeli troops withdrew.[35]

After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel was — in Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's famous phrase — "waiting for a telephone call" from Arab leaders. Israelis expected to hear that now, at last, their neighbors were ready to talk peace. Having escaped not only feared annihilation, but also winning a seemingly miraculous victory, Israel's leaders did two things: They vowed not to return to the vulnerable armistice lines of 1948 and '49 or to a divided Jerusalem, and yet to be "unbelievably generous in working out peace terms," as Foreign Minister Abba Eban put it. In direct talks with Arab countries, "everything is negotiable," he said. Finally, the leaders of thirteen Arab states gathered at a summit conference in Khartoum, Sudan from August 29 to September 1. There they pledged to continue their struggle against Israel. Influenced by Nasser, "their conditions were quite specific: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and 'maintenance of the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.' The Khartoum Declaration was the first serious warning to the Israelis that their expectation of an imminent 'phone call' from the Arab world might be a pipe dream" (Sachar).[36]

With the successful conclusion of the Six Day War, the notorious UN Resolution 242 was promulgated on November 22, 1967. This resolution represented an effort at securing a just and lasting peace between the combatants, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The Israelis supported the resolution because it called on the Arab states to accept Israel's rights "to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." Each of the Arab states eventually followed suit because Israel was required to withdraw from [some, not all] the territories conquered in 1967. The PLO rejected the resolution until 1988 as it lacked explicit references to the Palestinians. This is a moot point since the PLO was not a state.

UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967, is the cornerstone for what it calls "a just and lasting peace" that recognizes Israel's need for "secure and recognized boundaries." The resolution became the foundation for future peace negotiations. No other nation in the world, acting rationally, has relinquished territories acquired from an aggressor in an act of self-defense. In the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel fought off the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, gaining nearly 68,176 sq. km. of land. Since that time, in expectation for genuine peace, Israel relinquished a total of 61,360 sq. km. that represents 90% of the land gained in a defensive war imposed on Israel by its Arab neighbors' aggression. Given that Israel returned 90% of the territories gained in the Six Day War, it could be argued that Israel had fulfilled its commitment prescribed by the subject resolution.

The Rogers Plan was a framework proposed by US Secretary of State William P. Rogers to achieve an end to belligerence in the Arab-Israeli conflict following the Six Day War and the continuing War of Attrition. The plan was publicly proposed in a December 9, 1969 speech at an Adult Education Conference, and was formally announced on June 19, 1970. Despite eventual concessions, Egyptians rejected the plan and Israel lobbyists opposed to the proposal galvanized the American public against it. According to the August 7, 1970, "in place" cease-fire agreement, both sides were required not to change "the military status quo within zones extending 50 kilometers to the east and west of the cease-fire line." However, Egypt immediately moved anti-aircraft batteries into the zone. By October, there were about 100 SAM sites in the zone, and Rogers made no diplomatic effort to secure their removal, setting in motion the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For this reason, Secretary Rogers had little credibility in Israel.[37]

On October 6, 1973, the Egyptian army, supplied by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez Canal and initially defeated the army of Israel in the Sinai. At the same time, the Syrians assaulted Israel in the Golan Heights, so that Israel had to fight a two-front war, which at first appeared to lead to Israel's defeat. Undoubtedly, this was a desperate situation for Israel.

Henry Kissinger, a refugee from Nazi Germany, held the position of Secretary of State from September 22, 1973 to January 20, 1977. Quite contrary to the euphoric expectations of Yitzhak Rabin and Golda Meir, he began to apply quiet, sustained, and eventually effective pressure on Israel to stop escalating tensions by refusing to accept a cease fire during the Yom Kippur War; and to negotiate on the basis of UN Resolution 242. As the war progressed, he withheld essential war supplies from the US. In doing so he rationalized that making Israel "bleed a little" would make it more amenable to making concessions.

It was only when Prime Minister Golda Meir appealed directly to President Nixon that Israel obtained the necessary tanks, guns and ammunition - the largest air lift of weaponry of all times, to overcome virtual defeat into victory. It then became possible for General Ariel Sharon and his troops to cross the Suez Canal to within 50 miles of Cairo. The Israeli troops were able to surround 50,000 Egyptian infantrymen and subsequently defeated both the Egyptian and Syrian armies. Kissinger demanded that Israel lift the siege of the defeated Egyptian army and retreat from the Sinai.

There is little doubt that Kissinger turned Israel's remarkable victory into a diplomatic defeat accompanied by the loss of many Israeli lives and the subsequent loss of the Sinai. His hatred of the Jewish people was evident even prior to the Yom Kippur war. On a visit to Israel, he refused to visit Yad Vashem whereas all other diplomats did. At a later stage, he corrected this misjudgment. His "disengagement plan" was for Israel to return a "few lousy kilometers" including the conquered town of Kuneitra on the Golan Heights to Syria, notwithstanding its unprovoked sneak attack on Israel. This act of appeasement in traditional State department style was intended to encourage Palestinian Arabs to accept the assumed virtues of "land for peace".[38]

The Nixon-Kissinger politics involved in the 1973 War are a paradigm of the constant State Department hostility to Israel and the occasional defense of Israel by the Administration. Kissinger may have been a Jew, but like Herbert Samuels, he promoted the enemies of Israel.

Jews had ambivalent feelings about Kissinger. The Richard Nixon tapes released in 2010, from which one can hear Kissinger advising the president that "if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not American concern," triggered a round of denunciations. Indeed, just as Kissinger has long struggled with his Jewish identity, Jews have long struggled with him. Over the years it is shameful that numerous Jewish organizations, including the ADL and the United Appeal, have honored him with awards. [39]

In 1975, President Ford informed Yitzhak Rabin that he had given instructions for a "reassessment" of US ties with Israel. He also held back an Israeli request for F-15 fighter planes and froze scheduled arms deliveries. Apparently Rabin did not want to cede strategic passes in the Sinai or the oil fields. By all accounts it was on Kissinger's initiative that Ford enacted the directive for the "initiative".[40]

UN Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967 initiated the "land for peace policy. Even more so in the case of the US, it became an obsession and has formed the basis of every US Administration's policy in attempts to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict. Yet another factor which entered the equation, and indeed, a further US obsession concerned "settlements": the legality of Israeli residential building beyond the armistice line was challenged. The key events as an evolving process are these:

1978/1979 Camp David Accords: Egypt and Israel signed agreement with Israel returning Sinai to Egypt.

"Menachem Begin had read the signs and prepared for a tough struggle with a US Administration which appeared — from a Likud point of view — to be the most dangerous to have held power in Washington since Eisenhower's in 1956-1957."[41]

President Carter obtains Prime Minister Begin's commitment for "autonomy" for the Palestinian Arabs and a freeze on Israeli "settlements". Yet a further chapter of the "land for peace" saga.[42]

Carter's animosity toward Begin grew with time. He blamed Begin for refusing to negotiate over the West Bank. Not only did this deny Carter a more complete peace deal, but, Carter believed it also institutionalized itself in Israeli policy making and worsening the Palestinians' plight. Since Begin took office on May 17, 1977, ending the Labor movement's hegemony in Israeli political life, Carter has repeatedly blasted Israeli prime ministers for what he terms the creation of a "horrible" and "terrible" state of affairs for the Palestinians in areas of east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

The mistrust was mutual and began to surface before Begin's election. According to Eliyahu Ben-Elissar, then Begin's bureau chief, "Begin did not like [Carter's] March 1977 statement that the Palestinian refugees needed a homeland. None of us liked it. We resented it ... Begin considered it a major shift in U.S. policy."

Indeed, skepticism of Carter's intentions may have convinced Begin to take a harder line about the West Bank, which, in line with biblical terminology, he called Judea and Samaria. During his tenure as prime minister, Begin forbade the negotiation agenda to include the West Bank and those portions of Jerusalem that the Israeli government annexed after the 1967 Six-Day war. This refusal to negotiate became Carter's core disagreement with Begin. Carter realized that with Begin adamant against further concessions, he had no tangible item to offer to the Palestinians or other Arab leaders to reach a broader peace agreement. Carter could not initiate a conclusive Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process. He never forgave Begin.

Intertwined in the dispute over the West Bank was the issue of Israeli settlements. Samuel Lewis, U.S. ambassador to Israel at the time, explained, "Begin would never consider admitting that the [Israeli] right to settle wasn't a right, and Carter, basically, was asking him [Begin] to agree that settlements were illegal." Begin refused. The subsequent expansion of settlements has further embittered Carter's relations with Israeli leaders and with Israel's supporters in the United States, whom he believes are willfully silent on the subject.[43]

On the surface, without knowledge of the demands made by Carter, Begin would appear intransigent. A listing of these demands proves instructive:

Kenneth W. Stein, who collaborated with Jimmy Carter on his book, wrote this:

While Carter lauds Begin for his intelligence, a point he has repeatedly made when speaking to my students, his animus toward the late Israeli leader is limitless. This became evident when we were writing The Blood of Abraham, and Carter insisted on asserting that Begin 'wanted to expand Israeli borders to both sides of the Jordan River'. In fact, this is anachronistic. True, this had been Begin's view prior to Israel's independence in 1948, but it was not, as Carter implied, Begin's position after his twenty-nine years in the Knesset (parliament) or during his premiership. During the difficult negotiations between Egypt and Israel, Carter and his advisers tried to get Sadat to engage in a collusive scheme: They would encourage Sadat to make 'deliberately exaggerated' demands. The White House would then intervene to 'compel' Cairo to scale back its demands in exchange for Israeli concessions. Then-national security advisor Brzezinski explained that Washington would 'apply maximum leverage on Israel to accommodate', by keeping the West Bank's political future on the table for future negotiations. That Carter risked possible Israeli-Egyptian peace in an effort to extract greater concessions from Begin underscores the tension in their relationship.

The outward animosity displayed by Jimmy Carter towards Menachem Begin cannot be demonstrated more than what was revealed at Blair House during the latter's visit to Washington DC. After a welcoming introduction and lauding of Begin's ethics while drawing attention to their mutual involvement in theology, Carter exhibited outright condemnation for Begin's inflexibility as regards a full blown peace agreement and, in particular, "settlements". The center piece response from Begin was attained by his inclusion of Shmuel Katz for the purpose of providing contextual background history. It is to Begin's credit to have selected an individual of Katz's caliber for the erudite presentation on history. Using a map, Katz commenced his address while pointing at the map, "Every child in every one of these twenty-two Arab states is taught from an early age that it is a patriotic duty and a moral imperative that this tiny state be eliminated from the face of the earth, as a divisive and immoral element intruding into the Arab world."[45]

1981- Israeli strike on Iraq Osirak reactor.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin, leader of the Likud Party, disagreed completely with those opposed to destroying the reactor. He did not trust leaving this matter to the French or to fate. He certainly had no reason to trust in the reasonableness of Saddam Hussein. He felt military action was the only remedy.

As Barry R. Schneider wrote in Radical Responses to Radical Regimes:

"For Begin, the prospect of an Iraqi nuclear capability, indeed, any Arab nuclear capability, was totally and irrevocably intolerable. It was a devastating weapon that he had no doubt would be used to try and destroy the Jewish nation, a holocaust in the flick of an eye. Begin approached the issue not only in practical terms, but from a passionately emotional and ideological stance."

"For Begin, a survivor of the Holocaust, Hussein was Hitler, and the Osirak reactor was a technologically advanced version of the Final Solution ". Begin's decision told the world that there would be no nuclear holocaust involving Israel in the Twentieth Century."[46]

The Jewish Virtual Library describes Operation Opera — the raid on the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor on June 7, 1981 — this way:

"The attack was universally criticized. The United States voted for a Security Council resolution condemning Israel and, as a punishment, delayed a shipment of aircraft to Israel that had already been authorized. The destruction of the reactor helped numerous countries besides Israel. Had Iraq obtained nuclear weapons they might have been able to achieve regional hegemony. Ten years after the attack, the American government noted this. In June 1991, during a visit to Israel after the Gulf War, then-Defense Secretary Richard Cheney gave Major General David Ivry, then commander of the Israeli Air Force, a satellite photograph of the destroyed reactor. On the photograph, Cheney wrote, "For General David Ivri, with thanks and appreciation for the outstanding job he did on the Iraqi Nuclear Program in 1981 which made our job much easier in Desert Storm."

Professor Louis Rene Beres wrote that:

"Israel's citizens, together with Jews and Arabs, American, and other coalition soldiers who fought in the Gulf War may owe their lives to Israel's courage, skill, and foresight in June 1981. Had it not been for the brilliant raid at Osirak, Saddam's forces might have been equipped with atomic warheads in 1991. Ironically, the Saudis, too, are in Jerusalem's debt. Had it not been for Prime Minister Begin's resolve to protect the Israeli people in 1981, Iraq's SCUDs falling on Saudi Arabia might have spawned immense casualties and lethal irradiation."

According to Yitzhak Shamir:

"Deterrence was not attained by other countries — France and Italy — and even the United States. It was attained by the State of Israel and its Prime Minster who decided, acted and created a fact that no one in the world today — with the exception of our enemies — regrets." [47]

1991 - Madrid Peace Conference: Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and a Jordanian-Palestine delegation participate.

G.W. Bush in 1990 said: "My position is that the foreign policy of the United States says we do not believe there should be new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem."

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker invited Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians to send delegations. Because Israel, at the time, refused to meet with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian delegation was composed of individuals from the West Bank and Gaza, although they maintained constant contact with the PLO leadership in Tunis. In fact, it would be more correct to state that Baker coerced Shamir's attendance following the first Gulf War under threat of the loss of loan guarantees for the resettlement or Russian immigrants. Baker's ingenuity extended to proposing a unique distorted formula in "support" of the peace process i.e. freeze all Jewish "settlement" activity and further "land for peace" distribution.

The conference achieved little by way of substantial agreement, but is more memorable for the fact that it brought together for the first time, Israeli negotiators with those mandated by the PLO. The following year, Israel and the PLO opened independent negotiations in secret, which eventually resulted in the Oslo Accords, which in turn allowed Jordan to conclude its own peace treaty with Israel in 1994. [48]

1993 - Oslo Accords: Agreement signed by Israel and The Palestinian Authority.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, US President George Bush and his secretary of state James Baker formulated the framework of objectives, and together with the Soviet Union extended a letter of invitation, dated October 30, 1991 to Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians.

The PA agreed to [a] acknowledge Israel's right to exist [b] adhere to UN resolutions 242 and 338 [c] finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [d] relinquish all forms of terror and [e] revoke the clauses in the PNC Covenant which negate Israel's right to exist. Israel agreed to recognize the PLO as the Palestinian people's official representative for any peace talks.

The Palestinian team, due to Israeli objections to independent Palestinian representation, was initially formally part of the joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation and consisted of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza without Palestinian Liberation Organization associations. These included Saeb Erekat and Haidar Abdel-Shafi, the head of the delegation. Nevertheless, the delegation was in constant communication with the PLO leadership in Tunis. Over Israeli objections, the PLO dispatched an unofficial "advisory delegation" headed by Faisal Husseini, to act as a liaison.

Arafat's unconditional promise to forever reject violence as a solution to the dispute, in time, was found to be another of his lies. He would allow no peace, no matter what or how much Israel did for peace.

The bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were upstaged and eventually replaced by initially secret and illegal (according to Israeli law at the time) negotiations that finally led to the exchange of letters of September 9 and 10, 1993 and the subsequent September 13, 1993 signing on the lawn of the White House of the Declaration of Principles. The DOP was based on terms that Madrid round Palestinian negotiators had earlier rejected.[49][50]

1994 - Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.

To date, this treaty has demonstrated a semblance of normality, but with the present "Arab Spring", it is not unreasonable to be somewhat concerned. In addition thereto, the signed agreements contain a clause regarding the delicate question of the Palestinian refugees of 1948. The majority of Jordan's population are Palestinians and this issue was postponed until the final status negotiations between Israel and the PA. The question of the return of Palestinian [displaced persons], Palestinians of the West Bank who fled to Jordan during the Six Day War - was referred to a quadripartite commission [Israel], PA, Jordan and Egypt].

1997 - Hebron Protocol - Clinton Administration Sharpens Focus on Settlements.

The Clinton administration directed more critical public attention toward Israel's settlement expansion policies than at any time since it came to power in 1992. The most noteworthy example of this development was remarks made by President Bill Clinton at a December 16 White House news conference. Referring to Israel's decision to increase benefits to settlers, Clinton said, "It just stands to reason that anything that preempts the outcome [of the negotiations] ... cannot be helpful in making peace. I don't think anything should be done that would be seen as preempting the outcome."

However, during 1995, Nablus was handed over to the PA followed by parts of Hebron in 1997. More "land for peace" in progress, as was the obsession with settlements. When Clinton was asked if he viewed the settlements as an obstacle to peace, Clinton replied, "Absolutely. Absolutely."[51]

1998 - Wye River Memorandum.

During the middle of October 1998 a summit, hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton, was held at Wye River, Maryland. The Israeli delegation was headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and included Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and Minister of Trade and Industry Natan Sharansky.

As a result of the negotiations, the Wye River Memorandum was signed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat on October 23, 1998 in a ceremony attended also by King Hussein of Jordan. The Memorandum consists of steps to facilitate implementation of the Interim agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of September 28, 1995. (the "Interim Agreement") and other related agreements, including the [Note for the record]| of January 17, 1997.

Several key provisions of the memorandum are as follows:

It will come as no surprise that the Palestinians acted for not "against all expressions or threats of violence or terror." The PLO charter was not expunged of "provisions that are inconsistent with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel on 9/10 September, 1993." From illegal building and teaching their children to hate Jews to asking the UN to create Palestine, the Palestinian Authority has done all in its power to ignore the Wye River Memorandum and all subsequent agreements.[52]

1999 - Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum.

The Story of Obama and Israel: "Barak Obama ran for president as a pro-Israel candidate - but his record tells a different story." — William Kristol on YouTube Daylight

The Memorandum provides that accelerated permanent status negotiations will commence not later than September 13, 1999, and that the goal of these negotiations is to reach a framework agreement on permanent status within five months and a comprehensive permanent status agreement within one year. The Memorandum sets out a timetable for additional redeployments of Israeli forces in the West Bank and the transfer of areas to Palestinian control in several phases, to be completed by January 20, 2000. The first phase was carried out on September 10, 1999. The Memorandum commits both sides to act immediately and effectively against any acts or threats of terrorism, violence or incitement, and arrangements for cooperation in this regard. It also sets out a series of specific security obligations of the Palestinian side under the Wye Memorandum, including the collection of illegal weapons, the apprehension of terrorist suspects and the forwarding of a list of Palestinian policemen to the Israeli side for review by the Monitoring and Steering Committee.[53]

2000 - Camp David.

On July 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and United States President Bill Clinton met at Camp David for the Middle East Peace Summit. Unlike the meetings seven years earlier, this summit failed, each side blaming the other as unwilling to compromise. The main issues which the two sides could not agree upon were Jerusalem and Temple Mount, Israel's security concerns, the Palestinian "right of return," and territorial disputes. Arafat and Barak walked out, and the lack of progress led to frustration in the Palestinian settlements.

On September 29, the Voice of Palestine, the PA's official radio station sent out calls "to all Palestinians to come and defend the al-Aksa Mosque." The PA closed its schools and bused Palestinian students to the Temple Mount to participate in the organized riots. In other words, official Palestinian Authority media exhorted the Palestinians to violence. An excerpt from an address by Sheikh Hian Al-Adrisi in the subject mosque on September 29, 2000, clearly confirms the Palestinian reaction to the ongoing meetings and procedures:

"It is not a mistake that the Koran warns us of the hatred of the Jews and puts them at the top of the list of the enemies of Islam. Today, the Jews recruit the world against the Muslims and use all kinds of weapons. They are plundering the dearest place to the Muslims, after Mecca and Medina and threaten the place---------. They want to erect their temple on that place-------The Muslims are ready to sacrifice their lives and blood to protect the Islamic nature of Jerusalem and El Aksa."

It should be understood that the ongoing riots followed unimagined concessions by the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and for which Arafat was once again importuned to eschew violence. Between September 2000 and May 2003, the Israelis were subjected to 17, 633 attacks during which 5,471 were injured and 781 died.[54]

2002 - Road Map.

On October 15, Shimon Peres in an interview with Dan Margalit on Israel TV Channel One said, "The government has announced that it accepts Bush's vision of two states for two peoples and "A third party has now joined - the Quartet."

Shmuel Katz's summary simply states, "The end of the road map chapter should thus be: President Bush breaks off the unholy liaison with his ugly bedfellows, persuades Blair to cool down the passion of British anti-Semitism, and orders Colin Powell to think afresh. The road map itself can be left by the roadside."

Elyakim Haetzni describes the event as a Road Map to Hell and remarks, "While 'Palestine' will be granted the 'privilege' of being entirely cleansed of Jews, Israel is to be inundated by millions of Arab 'refugees'." His closing remarks are particularly noteworthy:

After 2.5 years of the present intifada, Arafat can credit himself with having achieved all his war objectives. He has a Palestinian state within immediate reach, introduction of the UN and the EU into the area, military involvement by Jordan and Egypt into the area, elimination of Jewish settlements and release of Israel's effective hold on most parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Israel has paid for Arafat's achievements with over a thousand Jews murdered and many thousands more wounded in terror attacks since the Oslo Accords were drafted.[55]

2003 - The Herzliya Conference.

Prime Minister Sharon won the 2003 Israeli General Election on his reputation and the Likud's defense and security platform, with references to Israel having to make "painful concessions" - but without a Likud platform addressing them. However, he had already spoke of some of issues and the Plan, in the context of the Road Map at the Fourth Herzliya Conference in December 2003 and at a foreign press conference in January 2004. The Disengagement Plan might therefore have been unexpected, but there is a definite international context to it, with more of a domestic vacuum around its emergence, and minimal process. To a great extent, PM Ariel Sharon was playing solo, holding his cards close to his chest, and reserving the right of the political leader to develop new strategies in changing circumstances and play center stage - as have others before him. [56]

2009 - Obama - The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace

In considering Obama, every repeated derogatory coined phrase applicable to Israel takes on a life of its own. "Settlements", "occupation" and "land for peace" give full meaning to "America's Israel's obsession" in support of the US state department's foreign policy. Obama provides a living reminder of an established observation by Judith Kipper, a Middle East specialist at the Washington based Institute of World Affairs, "There has long been a divergence between the US and Israel over various issues and a recognition of the fact was overdue."

The January 2010 edition of Commentary featured Evelyn Gordon's outstanding piece, "The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace". Gordon recalls an interesting observation about Obama. Yoel Marcus, the left wing Haaretz star columnist wrote that Obama's "disregard of our historical connection to the land of Israel" was "extremely upsetting". Given his outlook, Marcus surprisingly concluded with, "as a leader who aspires to solve the problems of the world through dialog, we expect him to come to Israel and declare here courageously, before the entire world, that our connection to this land began long before the Israel-Arab conflict and the Holocaust; and that 4,000 years ago, Jews already stood on ground where he now stands [Middle East]."

To understand fully how Obama has shied away from the traditional US position on Israel's security, a synopsis on the views of several previous US leaders follows:

President Lyndon Johnson, September 1968:

"It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders."

President Ronald Reagan, September 1, 1982:

"In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel's population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again."

Secretary of State George Shultz, September 1988:

"Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders."

Barak Hussein Obama's election as President of the US in 2009 was undoubtedly viewed as a boon to the State department. What followed, did not herald peace as promised, but rather Muslim rage and Obama retreat. No American president before Obama had proclaimed such intimacy with a world that stretches from Morocco to Indonesia. From the start of his administration, Obama put forth his own biography as a bridge to those aggrieved nations. He would be a "different president", he promised, and the years he lived among Muslims would acquit him - and thus America itself. American foreign policy has been altered as never before, to fit one man's electoral needs.[57]

The June 2009 speech given by Obama in Cairo speaks volumes to what could be expected for Israel:

"At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress."

Efraim Karsh, editor of the Middle East Quarterly and Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, has concisely summarized the status of the Obama efforts on the "peace process".

The administration's approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict has been to seek Israeli concessions, even as the Palestinians demonstrate that they are not interested in peace. The administration needs to realize that there will be no peace until the Palestinians, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, recognize Israel's right to exist and cease calling for its destruction.[58]

In conclusion, none other than a former British Minister Ernest Bevin, not exactly known for his affection for the Jews, stated to the British Parliament in 1947:

"To the Jews, the essential point of principle is the creation of a sovereign Jewish State. To the Arabs, the essential point of principle is to resist to the last the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine."

History has clearly demonstrated a continuum in the efforts of England, France and the USA in trying to paint Israel into a corner. They, [at least England and France] have gone from agreeing to be honorable trustees to establish the Jewish state to refusing Jews to come into the land set aside for the Jews to present day attempts at cutting yet more land out of tiny Israel.


[1] The Siege – Connor Cruise O'Brian P1 33

[2]  Lone Wolf – Shmuel Katz P 1469-70

[3] The Forgotten Ally – Pierre Van Paassen P 74

[4] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 118-121

[5] The Forgotten Ally – Pierre Van Paassen P 86

[6] The Forgotten Ally – Pierre Van Paassen P 87

[7] Lone Wolf – Shmuel Katz – P 523, 574-576

[8] Wikipedia – Palestinian Nationalism, Groups, British Mandate periods [many references]

[9] Jewish Virtual Library – Jacqueline Shields.

[10]  Palestine Facts – Palestine Arabs Riots 1920-21

[11] CAMERA – Anti-Jewish Violence in Pre-State Palestine – Ricki Hollander.

[12] Wikipedia – List of Killings & Massacres in Mandate Palestine.

[13] Jewish Virtual Library – Haycraft Commission Of Inquiry into the 1920-21 Arab Riots

[14] Lone Wolf – Shmuel Katz P768

[15] The Untold Story of why we failed – Jon Kimche P211

[16] Jewish Virtual Library – The Muftis's Mayhem by Mitchell Bard.

[17] ] The Forgotten Ally - Pierre Van Paassen P 118-122

[18] ] Days of our Years – Pierre Van Paassen P 378

[19] Days of our Years – Pierre Van Passen P 363-392

[20] Memorial Book of the Jewish Community of Hebron.

[21] The Forgotten Ally– Pierre Van Paassen.

[22]&nbs;Lone Wolf – Shmuel Katz, Chapter 46-7. See also: Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David-Pryce Jones P 10

[23] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David-Pryce Jones P 15. See also: The Forgotten Ally – Pierre Van Paassen P 123-125, 188-191, 195-209; Claims of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs, 1982 [Transactions publication 2003 – Arieh L. Avneri; From Time Immemorial – Joan Peters, P 296-325.

[24] Jews Arabs and French Diplomacy – David Pryce-Jones P 77, 85, 88

[25] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 38

[26] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 77, 80, 84

[27] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 90-91, 94-133

[28] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 101-2

[29] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews - David Pryce-Jones P 104-105, 116

[30] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 106-107

[31] Betrayal, France, the Arabs & the Jews – David Pryce-Jones P 117 – 120, 138-145

[32] The Siege – Connor Cruise O'Brian P 259

[33] The Washington Post May 7, 2008 – Richard Holbrooke

[34] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 382

[35] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 390

[36] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 451-491

[37] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 494-498, 502

[38] Henry Kissinger & Israel – Dr. Gerhard Falk - Jewish Buffalo on the Web

[39] The Siege - Cruise O'Brian P536, 546, 548-549

[40] [Kissinger] the Influential former secretary of state - Gil Troy, Tablet Magazine May 23, 2013; What the Newest Nixon-Kissinger Tapes Reveal - Jonathan Rosenblum, Jewish Media Resources/ Yated Ne'eman December 15, 2010.

[41] The Siege – Connor Cruise 0'Brian P 567, 569, 597 & 598.

[42] Eretz Yisroel.Org - Peace Treaty with Egypt & Begin's plan for Palestinian Autonomy in 1979.

[43] Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2007 - Kenneth W. Stein - My problem with Jimmy Carter's book

[44] The Prime Ministers – Yehuda Avner P 416-419

[45] The Prime Ministers – Yehuda Avner P 474-482

[46] McNair Paper #41 – India Thwarts Israeli Destruction of Pakistan's "Islamic Bomb"

[47] Jewish Virtual Library – Israel Wars & Operation: Raid on Iraqi Nuclear reactor June 7, 1981

[48] From Cold War to New World Order: The Foreign Policy of George H. W. Bush by Meene Bose & Rose Anna Perotti P 92-136

[49] Recipe for Failure: The Impotence of the Oslo Accords: Nebula 7.3 September 2010 [Yasher Taheri – Kermati]

[50] The Failure of the Oslo Process: Inherently Flawed or Flawed Implementation? [Jonathan Rynhold, Begin-Sadat Center, Bar Ilan]

[51] Foundation for Middle East Peace: Clinton Administration Sharpens Focus on Settlements – Vol. 7 #1 January-February, 1997

[52] – Main Points on the "Wye River Memorandum, October 23, 1998

[53] New York Times – On My Mind: Sharm el-Sheik Reality by A.M. Rosenthal

[54] Foundation for Middle East Peace – For Israel, Land or Peace: The Clinton Administration & Camp David: Anatomy of a Failure, Vol. 10 #8 winter 2000

[55] AFSI Outpost June 2003 #157 – The Road Map Flawed to the Core [Shmuel Katz] & Road Map to Hell [Elyakim Haetzni].

[56] File 12898997263

[57] Jewish Political Chronicle Winter 2012-13: Muslim Rage & the Obama Retreat – Fouad Ajami

[58] Middle East Forum, August 24, 2010: Obama's Failed Middle East Policy – A briefing by Efraim Karsh

Alex Rose is an engineering consultant. He was formerly on the Executive Committee of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York. He made Aliyah in 2003 and now resides in Ashkelon, Israel. This article was submitted June 29, 2013.

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