Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Children of a Lesser God 3

The Spectator correspondence which followed the publication of Tweedy's 1949 essay on the plight of the Palestinian refugees is also of great interest.

Here, for example, is the usual slick Zionist propaganda, all bedside manner and sweet reason - until, that is, you reach the final paragraph, which is chilling in its implications:

"Mr Owen Tweedy's eloquent plea on behalf of Arab refugees in their terrible plight performs a valued service at this time when both parties are at last seated around the same table to discuss their common destiny. It was probably not his intention to do so, but he does leave an impression of Israeli intractability on this issue, as if the Jews had callously washed their hands of this vast human tragedy in order the better to solve their own. This is not strictly in accordance with the facts.

"Jewish leaders have not denied that the problem of Arab refugees could be included in the final peace settlement, and in this connection your readers may be interested in the following extract from the New York Times of January 17th, 1949: 'The attitude of Israel towards the Arab refugees who fled the territory occupied by Israel was discussed yesterday by Foreign Minister Shertok. He expressed the view that Israel should compensate the refugees for their property on condition that the money be used constructively to settle them in new homes and not 'frittered away' in temporary relief measures... In declaring that the refugees should receive compensation for property they left behind, Mr Shertok was careful to make clear that he was stating his own view. Official policy on the subject has not yet been decided, he said. Obviously, however, the question is up for consideration as Arabs and Israelis sit down to negotiate for the first time in the history of the long conflict over Palestine... We are prepared to do our share in resettlement of the refugees. It has become an international problem and we are ready to help solve it, not only in planning but in contributing funds for the relocating of these people.'  

"Would it be unreasonable to suggest a solution on the basis of an exchange of population? All the Arab States contain Jewish populations whose existence must be a cause at present of mutual discomfort, and here perhaps would be an opportunity for constructive U.N. leadership in an area where that authority has not proved an invariable failure." Barnet Litvinoff, 11/3/49

Would it be unreasonable? Would it what!

 Litvinoff's letter drew the following devastating riposte:

"Your correspondent, Mr Litvinoff, is clearly more accustomed to living in a house rather than a home. Presumably he would not mind being expelled from that house, and being told to go and live in, say, Australia, where there is plenty of room. In the same way he expects Arabs, who have been expelled from their homes, to go elsewhere. But Dr Gruber has reminded us lately that we are dealing with human beings, not pawns on a chessboard. Mr Litvinoff naively quotes the report in an American newspaper of Mr Shertok's intentions. He would do better to read Mr Shertok's own words in Count Bernadotte's last report, published by H.M. Stationery Office.* It would satisfy even Hitler that might is right, and its brutality is staggering." Elinor Moore, 18/3/49

[*Moore was reacting to such words as: "[T]he return during the truce of thousands of displaced Arabs to the State of Israel... would most seriously handicap the war effort and war-readiness of Israel by bringing into its territory a politically explosive and economically destitute element and by saddling its Government with responsibility for all the ensuing complications." Shertok also spins the expulsion as "a mass exodus, mostly spontaneous." (Annex II)]

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