Monday, June 11, 2012

Shilling for Israel: The Case of Richard Crossman 2

Here Crossman tells the sad story of how his Zionist friends just wanted to play with the Palestinian lads in their sandpit, but the Big Bad Bevin came along and ruined everything:

"When Balfour and Weizmann envisaged the National Home... it was always assumed that Palestine would be inhabited by Jews and Arabs living as intermingled communities and with the Arabs forming the majority of the population. How well I remember the occasion in 1946 when, in the presence of Ben-Gurion* and Sharett, Weizmann showed me a map, on which the partition line recommended by the Jewish Agency was sketched out. Of course it included the Negev, but on the first day of this Jewish State, as defined by Jewish leaders, the Arabs would be in a majority and Jewish immigration would have to proceed extremely rapidly in order to keep pace with the Arab birthrate. Inevitably, such a State, if created under British protection - or, after 1948, under the UN - would have been binational and very soon we should have seen the new, independent Arab-Jewish State of Palestine developing along the lines of Lebanon, where rival racial and religious groups are held together in a balance of power guaranteed by the manipulation of a complex constitution... But would the Arabs of the new binational State have stood by and permitted Jews to introduce half a million new immigrants and thereby achieve an absolute majority?... As things turned out, however, the Israeli can with perfect fairness insist that the reduction of the Arab population of Israel to this inferior status was the result not of anything they willed or did but solely of Ernest Bevin's policy. Even after he had transferred the Palestine problem to the UN and the UNSCOP majority report had been voted in the Assembly by the necessary two-thirds majority, the British Foreign Secretary refused to accept defeat. Instead of helping to divide the country along the frontiers laid down by the UN, the British soldiers and administrators in Palestine were encouraged from London to make the UN decision inoperative. It was with their connivance that hundreds of thousands of Arabs were instructed by their leaders to become temporary refugees, while the Arab armies drove the Jews into the sea. But those 'temporary refugees' have never been able to return to their homes and most of them still live in the UNRWA camps today. Instead of the new Jewish State starting, as UNSCOP intended that it should, with rather more Arab than Jewish inhabitants, Israel is now left with only an insignificant Arab minority, concentrated for the most part in the mountains of Galilee." (A Nation Reborn: The Israel of Weizmann, Bevin & Ben-Gurion, 1960, pp 93-95)

[*Unfortunately for Crossman's little fairytale, we have a letter from Yishuv bully boy, David Ben-Gurion, to his son, Amos, in October 5, 1937, in which he states that unless the Palestinian lads are   prepared to stand aside and let him and his friends take over their sandpit, he'll be kicking sand in their faces big time:

"Let us assume that the Negev will not be allotted to the Jewish state. In such event, the Negev will remain barren because the Arabs have neither the competence nor the need to develop it or make it prosper. They already have an abundance of deserts but not of manpower, financial resources, or creative initiative. It is very probable that they will agree that we undertake the development of the Negev and make it prosper in return for our financial, military, organizational, and scientific assistance. It is also possible that they will not agree. People don't always behave according to logic, common sense, or their own practical advantage. Just as you yourself are sometimes split, conflicted between your mind and your emotions, it is possible that the Arabs will follow the dictates of sterile nationalist emotions and tell us: 'We want neither your honey nor your sting. We'd rather that the Negev remain barren than that the Jews should inhabit it.' If this occurs, we will have to talk to them in a different language - and we will have a different language but such a language will not be ours without a state. This is so because we can no longer tolerate that vast territories capable of absorbing tens of thousands of Jews should remain vacant, and that Jews cannot return to their homeland because the Arabs prefer that the place [the Negev] remains neither ours nor theirs. We must expel Arabs and take their place."]

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