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Saturday, April 30, 2005


Ethnic Cleansers Trot Out Same Ol' Canards



Dear Editor:

Foreign Jews immigrated to Palestine beginning in the late nineteenth century with the express purpose of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. Problem was, with apologies to Golda Meir, it was not "a land without a people." Before, during, and after 1948, Jews ethnically cleansed the indigenous population to ensure Jewish supremacy. It's a matter of historical record that the Arabs didn't intervene until Jews started carrying out massacres to scare the Palestinians into leaving. In Lod and Ramle Jews put the Arabs on trucks and they were deported. Israeli historian Benny Morris writes about Plan Dalet, the systematic plan initiated to rid the area of its Arab inhabitants. All of this information is easily available. Providing a forum for Daniel Coultoff's pernicious propaganda merely facilitates U.S. citizens' appalling ignorance, and ensures that billions of our tax dollars will continue to pay for razing Palestinian houses, for providing bullets so that Israel soldiers can shoot kids in the head and the heart, for bombing apartment complexes with sleeping children, for uprooting olive trees thousands of years old, for humiliating Palestinians daily, and for a host of other human rights violations heaped upon the Palestinians for fifty-seven years with the sole purpose of maintaining Jewish supremacy in Palestine.


Arabs' role

Ray Hanania ultimately reaches the correct conclusion that the Palestinians have to give up the so-called right of return to Israel in order to secure a state living peacefully with the democratic, Jewish state of Israel.

However, Hanania distorts the historical record to excoriate Israel for refugees created by the 1948 War for Independence. That war started because the Arabs did not accept the U.N. Partition Plan and invaded Israel with armies from five countries to "drive the Jews into the sea." The Palestinian leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, was indicted at Nuremberg for his alliance with Hitler.

In his 1992 memoir, the former prime minister of Syria, Khalid al-Azm, squarely placed blame for the refugee problem with the Arabs: "Since 1948 it is we who have demanded return for the refugees . . . while it is we who made them leave . . . then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson, and throwing bombs upon . . . men, women and children."

Hanania also does not mention the 900,000 Jewish refugees forced to leave Arab countries after 1948, nor that Arabs remaining in Israel are citizens while despotic Arab states elect to deny Palestinians citizenship and encourage their squalor. In short, the refugee issue, especially when it is used for one-sided excoriation of Israel without acknowledgment of Arab culpability, has been used as a tactic to delegitimize Israel and scuttle any peace settlement.

Thankfully, Hanania states that the "right of return" should be dropped for the sake of peace; too bad many lives were lost due to the needs of dictators and Islamic extremists.

Daniel Coultoff
Altamonte Springs

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