Turks, Arabs, Jews, and Kurds: The Pot & The Kettle Calling The Coal Black…
by Gerald A. Honigman
Dr. Aaron Klieman's book, Foundations of British Policy In The Arab World: The Cairo Conference of 1921 (Johns Hopkins Press, 1970), should be "must reading" for those who truly want to make sense out of the conflict between Arab and Jew in the Middle East today. It's one of those references that other scholars formerly frequently cited in their own works.
Nowadays, with much of this field largely being hijacked by a blatantly anti-American and anti-Israel fraternity and sorority, things have changed.
Many Middle East specialists currently manage to teach entire courses on the formative Mandatory period after World War I without ever bothering to mention either Klieman's book or the facts which you'll read below.
Speaking at a news conference in Jordan on October 27, 2011,Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, in the company of his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, and King Abdullah II, that--despite Israeli humanitarian aid to Turkey in response to the recent devastating earthquake which hit the Kurdish areas of that nation--political conditions between the two countries remain unchanged, and that Turkey's views on the Middle East remained "principled." Addressing the Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiating process, Judeh stated that both Jordan and Turkey agreed on the need to establish an Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem--the "two state solution" - as the basis of Middle East peace.
Memories…there are many of them regarding such chutzpa coming out of "Jordanian" Arab mouths. Not to mention the gall of a Turk speaking about "principles" when his own country denies the right of one fifth of its population--native, pre-Turkish Kurds (some fifteen million people)--to even speak their own language and practice their own culture.
What's that saying about folks living in glass houses not throwing stones ? And did I hear someone else whisper the "A"-word (Armenian) or the "C-" word (Cyprus)?
Brittle Turkish glass, indeed.
For now, however, let's return to Arab memories in light of the October 27th news conference…
The AP report back on February 25, 2004 read as follows: "Jordan Joins Chorus Against Israeli Wall."
It was once again Jordan's turn to lay it on the Jews. Prince Zeid al Hussein complained that the barrier might send Palestinian Arabs fleeing into his own kingdom. He also justified Arab suicide/homicide bombings by blaming them on the decades' old Israeli occupation.
Now, dear friends, for a reality check--one I repeatedly utilize. It is that important…
Indeed, Jordanian Hashemite Arabs would do themselves a favor by not addressing this issue to anyone with knowledge of the actual facts and history involved.
Nevertheless, as we've seen yet again at this recent news conference, since many folks do not possess such background knowledge, Jordanians feel free to rant and pontificate--as the late King Hussein's widow also did in her own book.
To appreciate what comes next, it would help to first find a map of the Middle East. One of the world will do, but everything will be much smaller. Find Jordan and then find Israel to its west. Now hold onto your seats...unless, of course, you've read my work before. And given what the Arabs claim, such crucial facts simply can't be reiterated too often.
Close to a century ago, in 1922, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, to reward Arab allies in World War I (remember the movie, Lawrence of Arabia?), chopped off roughly 80% of the original Palestinian Mandate issued to Great Britain on April 25, 1920--all the land east of the Jordan River--and created the purely Arab "Emirate of Transjordan"...today's Jordan. This was engineered by Churchill a year earlier at the Cairo Conference.
Emir Abdullah, who received the land on behalf of the Hashemites of the Arabian Peninsula (just before getting their derrieres booted out by the rival clan of Ibn Saud--hence, Saudi Arabia today), attributed this gift to an "act of Allah" in his memoirs. Sir Alec Kirkbride, Britain's East Bank representative, also had much to say about this handing over of the lion's share of the Palestinian Mandate to Arab nationalism commenting that…
in due course the remarkable discovery was made that the clauses of the mandate relating to the establishment of a National Home for the Jews had never been intended to apply to the mandated territory east of the river (A Crackle of Thorns, page 27).
So, right from the getgo, Arab nationalism was awarded the bulk of the Palestinian Mandate. Funny, I never hear the Jordanians (or any other Arabs and their assorted mouthpieces--Turks, college professors, and so forth) ever mention anything about this. Geez, I wonder (not) why?
While it too officially remained tied to the whole Mandate of Palestine until 1946, Jordan, nonetheless, became a virtually separate entity. So, from 1922 onwards--after already receiving most of the territory--Arabs would next point to what was left of "Palestine" ( the name conquering Romans renamed Judea after the Jews' costly second major revolt for freedom) to make yet further claims on the roughly 20% of the territory left. The issue today is about creating a second state for Arabs in "Palestine"--not a first. And while Turks and Arabs jointly lecture Jews on such issues at news conferences, remember the ongoing plight of tens of millions of Kurds in both Turkey and Arab Syria and Arab Iraq.
Arabs answer this by citing geographical and other differences between some Arabs and others. Using this logic, however, since there are Jews in Israel from over a hundred different countries (including one half who were refugees from "Arab" lands and some whose families never left Israel since the days of the Roman conquest), then Jews are therefore entitled to multiple states as well. Think of it. Less than one half million Arabs were entitled to a state in Kuwait. Over three million Jews can thus stake a claim to parts of Morocco, Iraq, and so forth.
Arab and pro-Arab professors typically ignore all of this when teaching this topic. The main starting date for them is not 1920, but 1947...the proposed partition of "Palestine." Of course they conveniently omit telling their students that this was the second partition of the land (which the Arabs rejected) and pretend that Jordan was always a separate state. And the students take it all in…along with most of the rest of a naïve world as well.
Regardless, the Jordan-Palestine connection is just one of many well-documented facts (not "Zionist propaganda") completely ignored or distorted by Arab spokesmen and again, unfortunately, little known by the rest of the world. Arabs typically claim that Jews got 78% or more of the land, and leading newspapers and too many college professors typically prepare segments and courses on the Middle East ignoring this crucial Jordan-Palestine connection as well.
While the Turkish and Jordanian foreign ministers and others discuss a "two state" solution to the conflict between Jews and Arabs, the reality is that Jordan is historically and demographically "Palestinian." So there is a third solution...though it's kept hushed up these days. Nevertheless, Jordan, indeed, is the state created for Arabs in Palestine. But the current twist to this reality is that the world now actually demands not a "two state' solution, but a three state solution--where assorted Arabs get two states themselves created within the original 1920 Mandate's territory.
Jordan has been a reasonable neighbor of late, relatively speaking at least, so Israel hasn't made an issue of this. Indeed, it was Israel which saved the Jordanians in 1970 when Arafat's PLO decided to cash in on this third alternative. Palestinian Arabs "fleeing into Jordan," a la Prince Zeid's above 2004 remarks, would, in reality, be simply moving to another part of Palestine. And did anyone ask him why Israel is obliged to provide work for the butchers of its innocents? That supposedly would be one of the main reasons for the Arab flight into Jordan. Arab workers have killed their Jewish employers. Yet Israel has taken pains to create passage ways for these people through the security fence he was complaining about.
Some more Jordanian Arab memories…
Back in 1967, when Egypt's Nasser decided it was time to once again try to drive the Jews into the sea, he contacted Jordan's King Hussein (his calls were intercepted and taped) and convinced His (late) Majesty to join in the proposed massacre.
Israel, through the United Nations, begged Hussein to distance himself from Nasser's plans. The King didn't listen and instead launched an attack on the Jewish half of Jerusalem instead. The rest, as they say, is history. And that's how Jordan lost the West Bank (which it seized in the 1948 fighting) in the first place. Transjordan, led by British officers, joined other Arab countries in attacking a reborn Israel in 1948, trying to nip it in the bud. So the Prince would be better off not bringing this subject up...at least not to those with any sense of fair play. When you launch a war and lose, there's a price to pay...especially if the land you launched your attack from was not yours in the first place.
Whatever will or won't become of the land in question, it must be noted that this is disputed territory, not "purely Arab" land. Jews have thousands of years of history and have lived and owned property there until their slaughter in the 1920s and 1930s.
Judea and Samaria, only in this century known as the "West Bank" (largely as a result of British imperialism and Transjordan's later annexation), were non-apportioned parts of the Mandate, and leading authorities such as Eugene Rostow, William O'Brien, and others have stressed that these areas were open to settlement by Jew, Arab, and other residents alike. Indeed, solid documentation recorded hundreds of thousands of Arabs pouring into the area from all over the Middle East during the Mandatory period to take advantage of the economic development going on due to the Jews.
The Minutes of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission documented scores of thousands of Arabs entering into Palestine from just Syria alone in just a several month period.
"Palestinian" Hamas's own patron saint, Sheikh Izzedine al-Qassam (for whom the rockets and such are named), was from Latakia. Furthermore, it's estimated that many more Arabs entered the Mandate under cover of darkness and were never recorded…more Arab settlers setting up more Arab settlements in Palestine. Why are those considered "legal" and those of the Jews not?
Whatever will or won't happen in the days which lie ahead regarding the creation of the Arabs' 22nd state (and second, not first, in Palestine),it must be remembered that, in the wake of the June '67 War, the final draft of UNSC Resolution #242 expressly did not call for Israel to return to the status quo ante and the suicidal armistice lines imposed upon it at the close of hostilities in 1949.
Among other things, those lines made Israel a mere 9 to 15 miles wide at its waist. What #242 did call for was the creation of secure, more defensible, and real political borders to replace those vulnerable Auschwitz lines.
Regardless of the duplicity and such coming out of the mouths of Turks, Arabs, Iranians, and others on anything having to do with Israel; and, despite outside pressure increasingly being applied (especially by the Obama Administration), Israel must not cave in on this crucial issue. It must insist, instead, on Resolution 242's envisioned territorial compromise to create an effective, protective buffer in strategically important areas on the West Bank and the Golan Heights--which is precisely in the spirit of the Resolution. The architects of the final draft of 242 (Lord Caradon, Rostow, Goldberg, etc.) have stated this themselves.
What the Arabs subsequently do with what's left after this is achieved is up to them…confederation with Jordan (the main Arab state in Palestine), another mini-state, or whatever.
But the bottom line must be that the sole, tiny, resurrected nation of the Jews must not be expected to allow itself to be sacrificed on the petroleum-greased altar of international hypocrisy so that yet another state for Arabs can be born.