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I've got to stop letting history and the truth get in the way of my critical reasoning.

Israel, The Left, And History Don’t Mix

Well, I've done it now; I've gone and screwed up so badly that it looks they're going to have to tear up my leftist/liberal secret identity card. I just can't seem to get my knee to jerk the right way anymore to be in step with the times. I'd better be careful or people are going to start thinking I'm some sort of closet fascist.

I guess I should have known better than to try and say anything impartial or that didn't paint Israel as a horrible villain considering the recent crises. I had the absolute gall to recite historical facts and just because it wasn't convenient to today's accepted left approved truth it hurt people's feelings.

It's not like I condoned what Israel is doing right now, because I don't, but I didn't compare them to Nazis or say how heroic the Palestinians are so that immediately put me in the camp of the enemy. Even worse was that I happened to say something critical about the Arab nations in regards to the current circumstances of the people on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

How could I have been so insensitive, what an unmitigated cad I am for even suggesting that it served the purpose of the Arab league forty years ago to have a bunch of people living on the border of Israel who would hate the Israelis. In fact I went so far as to say that the Arab countries refused to allow the Palestinians into their countries because they were afraid that they would start demanding they be allowed to govern the land that Britain had ceded to them on Partition.

No, Jordan and Egypt would never have occupied the land that was supposed to have been for the Arab people of Palestine, would they? Then who was ruling West Jerusalem and the West Bank prior to 1967? Who was ruling the Gaza strip prior the six-day war? It wasn't Israel, because they didn't occupy those territories until after 1967 and it wasn't the Palestinian Arabs because they didn't have any land or a country to live in.

If they had had a country or land to make a country out of than they wouldn't have been refugees would they. Like in India where the Muslims made Pakistan and the Hindus made India after partition, the Jewish people were given parts of the former British territory of Palestine for their country and the Arabs, the other parts. At the conclusion of the war that followed the formation of Israel in 1948 the borders remained pretty much the same as the British had designated, except for Israel taking a little bit of the Gaza strip.

When the five Arab armies decided that they weren't going to drive the Jews into the sea quite yet did they retreat back behind their own borders? Not quite. Egypt occupied the Gaza strip territory, which was supposed to have been for the Palestinian Arabs, and Jordan took the West Bank including half of Jerusalem.

Of course they couldn't risk the Israelis invading them so they had to occupy those territories as security buffers against a dangerous enemy. (Does that sound like a familiar excuse that everyone dismisses out of hand today?) Maybe, if and when the danger of an Israeli invasion passed they would let the Palestinians have some form of self government, but it wouldn't do right now. In the mean time they could just live in camps under their control, ah – protection.

Sure enough it was a good thing they did that, because for the next twenty-eight years Israel set about turning themselves into a country. Building desalinization plants to ensure a water supply, irrigating the desert to create farmland, and generally trying to create something out of nothing. In the meantime Jordan and Egypt made sure the Palestinian Arabs lived in squalid camps and cut them off from Western aid by continuing a policy of threatening to destroy Israel.

In 1967 when the Arab armies starting massing on the borders of Israel they staged a pre-emptive strike that drove them back, and allowed the Israeli armies to march into the West Bank and far out into the Sinai Desert including the Gaza strip. Almost overnight the people of the West Bank and the refugees in Jordan became oppressed, stateless individuals.

Somehow nobody had cared about them for twenty-eight years, but now they were a cause celebre for leftists the world over. Yes the Israelis have treated them, and still do treat them like second-class citizens and have made serious errors in judgement (in my opinion) with their policies towards these people. Just because others had treated them like dirt didn't mean they had the right to.

If Israel and the West had put an iota of the energy into helping the people of the West Bank and the camps that they had put into Israel, over the last twenty-eight years things might be different, but that's impossible to tell. By the time 1967 has rolled around and Israel took control of those territories they were inheriting a mess created by someone else. They could have dealt with it better, of that there is not doubt, but they were nor responsible for its creation.

Oops, I'm doing it again aren't I; I'm not blaming Israel for all the problems in the Mid East. Damn I'm going to get in so much trouble again. I've got to stop letting history and the truth get in the way of my critical reasoning; I never learn.

About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.

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