1948: Palestine Betrayed

(Jewish Ideas Daily) Elliot Jager interviews Efraim Karsh - Zionist Jews were not interlopers in Palestine. The tragic flight of the Palestinian refugees was overwhelmingly not the fault of the Zionists. To the contrary, at every junction the Zionists opted for compromise and peace, the Arabs for intransigence and belligerency. In Palestine Betrayed, Efraim Karsh, head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program at King's College, University of London, zeroes in on the 1948-49 war, its background, and its consequences. "Palestine was betrayed by its corrupt and extremist Arab leadership, headed by Hajj Amin Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem. From the early 1920s onward, and very much against the wishes of their own constituents, these leaders launched a relentless campaign to obliterate the Jewish national revival, culminating in the violent attempt to abort the UN partition resolution of November 1947." The book is dedicated to Elias Katz and Sami Taha. "Katz won two Olympic medals in the 1924 Paris games before immigrating to Mandatory Palestine and becoming coach of the prospective Jewish state's athletic team for the 1948 games. A firm believer in peaceful coexistence, he was murdered in December 1947 by Arab co-workers in a British military base in Gaza. Sami Taha, scion of a distinguished Haifa family, was a prominent Palestinian Arab trade unionist and a foremost proponent of Arab-Jewish coexistence. He was gunned down by a mufti henchman in September 1947." After Israel declared independence, "immediately the country was invaded by the regular armies of the neighboring Arab states....It was common knowledge at the time that the pan-Arab invasion was more of a geopolitical scramble for Palestine than an attempt to secure the Palestinians' national rights. After 1948-49, neither Egypt nor Transjordan moved to establish an independent Palestinian entity in Gaza and the West Bank."

2012-05-01 00:00:00

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