Monday, January 28, 2008


posted by Lewis Lipkin.

2nd part of 2

The Alternative Of Peace

Can Israel make a peace treaty with Hamas? With Hezbollah? With Force 17? With the PLO, no matter who leads it? Can she leave the two million or so internal Arab enemies safely ensconsed within her borders, ready to reignite conflict whenever their external Arab masters so desire? The long history of negotiation and repeated Israeli gifts and retreats since 1948 show that concessions only reinforce the Arab impression that Israel is ripening fruit, soon to be ready to be plucked. This is a particular danger since as Daniel Pipes has stated on several occasions, a major factor of Israeli strength is how opponents perceive her determination and will. This is from the Christian Science Monitor in December, 2000.

"Not only have Israel's concessions not achieved the expected harmonious peace, but they have actually harmed Israel, making it less scary to its neighbors. The result has been a spike in Palestinian and Arab ambitions that culminated in the round of violence that began in September. .... Israel's perceived weakness is now an American problem: The aggressive anti-Zionist euphoria being expressed by Arabs poses a direct danger to the United States."

Israel, after her 1967 victory, quixotically failed to annex Judea, Samaria and Gaza. This leaves the country in an almost untenable geographic position. The neck between the 1967 border and Netanya on the Mediteranean coast is less than 10 miles. There is no depth to defend against external attack -- against external attackers that are supported by 5th columns that can draw on some 2 million internal enemies. Neither the geographic situation or the demographics are acceptable.

Not only is the Israeli policy of failure to annex territories necessary for her defence unusual, but the reaction of the world to her continued "occupation" verges on the preposterous.

"The principle that Israel, in May the anticipated victim of successful attack, having in June turned the tables on her would-be destroyers, should now restore to them the bases of their aggression, was accepted almost without question not only by the Arabs Soviet allies, their French friends, and their original British mentors, but also by the United States.........even the United States Goverment .....gradually evolved the formula that Israel should `restore' to the Arab states all the territory she conquered in 1967 `with insubstantial modifications.'" (Samuel Katz, ibid, p. 188.)

A Glance At The Future

Given the difficulties involved in population transfer, does a Palestinian State in the Yesha [ed note: The West Bank is the biblical Samaria and Judea. It was renamed the West Bank when Jordan conquered it in 1948 and made it Juden-rein. The Jews who resettled there after 1967 call it Yesha. See the background page for references on the history of the region.] offer a viable alternative? No. Even if the Israelis were to yield to international pressure, a Palestinian state is not a viable solution. The reason is simple. The Arab states would not permit its independent existence. As Samual Katz puts it:

"If peace is the object and the only basis for it is a Palestinian state, it must be realized that: The one certain outcome of an Israeli withdrawal and surrender of teritory is that the Arabs of Judea and Samaria would not become an independent political unit. Judea and Samaria would become the main base and the central battlefield for the final attack on Israel -- an Israel forced to fight for her very life against the massed forces of the Arab states..... For the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria there would then be no escape from death and destruction."

Some Israeli generals take the dubious position that 1967 borders (with some adjustments) are defensible. We might ask whether these judgements were reassessed after Sept 11. Until now Israel has not only had a superb citizen army and a dedicated officer corps, but it has faced enemy armies of low morale, armies whose staff work seemed much inferior. It is now clear since 9/11 that tremendously detailed and remarkably effective planning by Arab groups is to be expected by any developed country that is an Arab target. The tactics of the period from WWII through the Gulf War are now ancient history.


Since it should be obvious that the internal Arab enemy is intended to play a significant role in future Arab-Israeli conflicts, we are forced to consider the neutralization of the internal foe, no matter what the treaty boundaries may be in the future.

Israel's geographic problem is the stage on which its demographic problem is being enacted. The Russian paradigm was to transfer the inhabitants of places like the Baltic states and exchange them for other Russian nationalities. Israel does not have a Gulag. There is no equivalent to the Siberian Far East. The Middle East land situation has been subject to continuous media distortion. Most frequently, published maps show only a large Israel and several fragments of proto-Palestinian territory. (By the way, Arab maps do not show an Israel at all -- ALL of Israel, the entire area west of the Jordan, is called Palestine and is the property of the "Palestinians".)

Few are aware of the real facts. Joseph Farah ("Shattering the Myths of the Middle East", Whistleblower, June, 2002, p. 10) points out that:

"Arabs already control 99.9 percent of the Middle East Lands whereas Israel represents one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the land mass. But even that little speck is too much for the Arab potentates and powers. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today. No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough."

Often, the idea of population transfer is summarily rejected as a racist and reactionary solution to a problem that could be solved by goodwill. However, opinion on the possibility of transfer seems to be changing. This editorial is from the New Statesman (, which is usually left of center:

"............. The West must therefore do one of two things: police the region indefinitely, or preside over a series of partitions and population exchanges. And if humanitarian intervention is to become the norm, as Tony Blair suggests, the West is likely to face similar choices in parts of Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and south Asia. Yet the western liberal mind will not be comfortable with either alternative."

The only alternative to population exchange as seen by this article:

"........ If policing is to be effective in areas of ethnic division, it must be armed and it must be ruthless. Otherwise, the population will continue to fear the local police and the ethnically based gangs more than they fear the outside authorities, so that hatreds continue to build. The security must also be offered without any fixed time limit; local police officers will not act against their own ethnic group if they think they would be left unprotected from revenge a year later. These lessons, in different ways, can be learnt from both Bosnia and Ulster."

Why apply this just to Bosnia and Ulster? An irretrievably deep division exists between the Palestinians Arabs and the Israelis.

The New Statesman continues:

"The second alternative -- partition and population exchange -- was most famously adopted by the British in India. It was clumsily done, with horrific short-term results, yet the Indian subcontinent, by international standards, has stayed mercifully free of serious ethnic conflict. Population exchange has happened in Europe, too, notably between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s. Though never officially recognised, partition has been the solution for Cyprus........."

This omission of the possibility of a Arab-Israeli population exchange is only a further indication that Israel is treated differently than other nations.

Farah in his Whistleblower article says:

"Keep in mind that most Palestinian refugees today were born well after 1948. They never lived in the land called Palestine. And the reason is that their Arab neighbors have been so inhospitable to them. They have not allowed them to resettle because Arab leaders are determined to fan the flames of hate toward Israel. They want to keep this scapegoat issue of a Palestinian homeland alive so that the Arab people don't turn their enmity toward their own leadership and begin questioning why they are deprived of their own human rights."

An Israeli-Arab Population Exchange

Public discussion of an Israeli-Arab population exchange has only recently resurfaced but the proposition as a solution for the Middle East conflict has a long history, as shown in Transfer of Arabs from Palestine: A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895-1947 by Dr. Chaim Simon. This remarkable web-browsable book ( contains a wealth of detailed accounts of the views and activities of Chaim Weizmann, Herzl, Zangwill, Jabotinsky and more than a score of other prominent Jews. Non-Jews, such as Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt, Senator Claude Pepper, and several British Foreign Office officials such as Col. Meinartzhagen, are noted. There were also some pro-Arab non-Jews such as Harry St.John Philby who were in favor of population exchange. Philby felt it would be favorable for the Arabs to be outside of a Jewish State. Dr Simon's book is a work in progress, of which 59 "fascicles" are available. It also treats in extensive detail the Norman Plan(s) of the mid 1930's and the Peel Report, which advocated a population exchange in 1939.

WWII put a temporary hold on considerations of a population exchange. The British mandate was renewed by the United Nations. However, it soon became clear that conflict between the British pro-Arab policy and the Jewish resistance to the British curtailment of Jewish immigration and land holding would, sooner or later, force the end of the Mandate. But even before its end, many of the Arab states instituted Nazi-like anti-Semitic laws and began the process of forcible ejection of their Jewish population.

Details of the history of the Jewish phase of the transfer are available on the internet. The material on The Wings of Eagles Exodus from Yemen is more familiar, but the Iraqi transfer is also of interest because, though less well known, it proves the earlier Arab agreement with the principle of exchange. This quotation, taken from "Progressive News and Views, PNEWS-L, Population Exchange", href=", clearly asserts that the Population Exchange is a fait accompli, at least from the Jewish side. The full posting includes conclusive evidence of the fate of Syrian, Lybian Egyptian and Yemeni Jews, particularly on their forced evacuation.

"In 1948 Iraq added an amendment to the Penal Code of Baghdad which made Zionism equal to the behavior of Communism, Anarchism, and Immorality, all punishable offenses. Laws in 1950 and 1951 deprived Jews of their Iraqi nationality and their property in Iraq, respectively. [Cohen, Jews of the Middle East, 1860-1972 (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1973) pp. 29-35: Hillel, Ruah Kadim, (Jerusalem: 'Idanim, 1985) p. 244. This book is available in English as Operation Babylon, trans. Ina Friedman (New York: Doubleday, 1987) pp. 135-42]. In 1949 on September 29th a member of the British embassy in Baghdad reported the Iraqi's government wish `to force an exchange of population under U.N. supervision and the transfer of 100,000 Jews beyond Iraq in exchange for the Arab refugees who had already left the territory in Israeli hands.' [Ruah Kadim (Jerusalem: 'Idanim, 1985) p. 244. This book is available in English as Operation Babylon, trans. Ina Friedman (New York: Doubleday, 1987)] And on October 14, 1949, the Iraqis spoke with U.N. officials about the exchange of < `100,000 Baghdad Jews and 80,000 other Jews in Iraq for [an] equivalent number [of] urban Arab Palestinian refugees.' [Telegram from the American embassy in Baghdad to Washington, D.C., Oct. 15, 1949] And, to the Clapp Mission in 1949, the Iraqis presented that the Jewish expulsion from Iraq was part of a population exchange. [Formally, the Economic Survey Mission, a U.N. effort headed by the Tennessee Valley Authority chairman, Gordon R. Clapp, which led to the establishment of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency] Iraq expelled hundreds of thousands of Jews which Israel absorbed. The Iraqis also massacred Jews by bombing the Mas'uda Shem Tob Synagogue in Baghdad on January 14, 1951, as Jews who were being expelled were there to register."

Following a likely 2nd US-Iraqi war, especially if the US is unencumbered by so-called Arab allies, obviously necessary changes in American policy toward Israel will take place. But Israel must start planning now.

And America's cooperation is critical. As Joseph Farah says (ibid, p. 17):

"The U.S. has just one dependable ally in the Mideast. It is Israel....If Israel is neutered, if it is cut up and dismembered, if it is forced to fight an endless series of skirmishes for years to come, America's one dependable alliance will, in effect, be destroyed...... If Israel loses, the Islamic revolution goes world wide. The target is no longer Jerusalem. It's Washington...... America can take the handcuffs off Israel today and let that nation fight or we can do the fighting ourselves later..... Now it's time to let Israel respond in the same way the U.S. responded to terrorist attacks Sept 11. ....It's time for the U.S to expect no more from a friend and ally than we ourselves could endure."


It hardly needs to be said that settling Arabs in decent homes in Arab lands is to their benefit.

We consider here the benefit to Israel. An Israel that completed the population exchange would gain several advantages:

  • Having the Arabs as foreign nationals allows Israel to fight, if necessary, future wars in the way she does well. Guerrilla warfare is much more difficult to fight.
  • Hostile Arabs would reside in nations other than Israel and thus are easily identifiable.
  • The numerous UN refugee camps on the West Bank and Gaza that are little more than military bases for PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah forces would be eliminated. This would allow the IDF to concentrate on Israel's borders.
  • The Settlement issue would evaporate. The Left would have to find some other justification for its anti-orthodox bias.
  • Jewish holy sites such as Hebron would be accessible. And the destruction of Jewish Holy sites by the Arabs would be at an end.
  • Israel could again resume its role as the leading industrial nation of the Middle East.

Historical Footnote

An enforced population transfer was fairly standard policy of the Babylonians and Assyrians -- they would enslave the conquered, transfer most of them to a distant point in the empire and replace the population with another group, usually those with a longer history of loyalty. The classic example is the so-called Babylonian exile of the Jews.

In ancient times conquest of a city during war between states usually resulted in either mass enslavement or, after sieges of long duration, in wholesale slaughter. A multitude of cases are well documented (c.f. A.E. Zimmern, The Greek Commonwealth, Oxford 1925). The Romans tended to be even more draconian, except in those cases where political expediency prevailed.

In the Middle Ages and early Rennaisance, the treatment of warring populations in defeat was so varied and conditioned by so many religious and economic factors that it is impossible to see very many clear patterns. Certainly the early Crusades were savagely destructive of the vanquished with enslavement of survivors as a particularly Moslem favored option (cf Steven Runciman A History of the Crusades, 3 vols, Harper Torchbook edition, 1964), but perhaps most significantly for Modern Europe was the state in which the Renaissance found it -- Germany and Italy jigsaw puzzles of fragmented church and secular states, the eastern frontier fluid and the southern frontiers Ottoman occupied. The century and a half of warfare from 1680 to 1815 saw the games of political chess played by the Great Powers (England, France, Austria, Russia and later, Prussia) change and remake the network of petty states of central and eastern Europe. The fruits of these changes would be seen a century later in terms of enforced population exchanges and territorial annexations.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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