Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"The Jews have always paid the full price in blood for their tiny promised portion of the Earth's surface."

A female officer in charge of the range at the Hen women’s corps camp near Tel Aviv, Palestine, gives a demonstration in the handling of a Sten gun on June 15, 1948 in the Arab-Israeli War. Although non-combatants, members the new women’s Army in Israel are taught to use guns for defense. (AP Photo)

Expanding on the EoZ/Daphne Anson article, "Britain, 1973: That Was the Support That Was", citing Times of London letters pro-Israel and anti-Israel in response to the Arabs' attacking in the War of Atonement:

"There was the army major who, in a letter to The Times (30 October 1973) recalled that serving under General Sir Horatius Murray in Palestine during 1948 was “the period of my army service of which I am least proud”. Murray, in a letter to the same newspaper (26 October 1973) had written that back then he was “forced to shell Tel Aviv with 25-pounders and to attack with tanks -"
I checked the Times' archive. Gen'l Murray's letter is on p.21 of 10/26/73 and the major's response to his ex-commander is on page 17 of 10/30/73. I think this exchange is worth quoting in full to see the wildly different narratives between British military leader and their subordinate field commanders - and thus between ideology (that "the Jews" planned terror) and reality - that the Brits wantonly killed Jewish women and children in response to what were isolated "scare" attacks against property, probably by the soon-to-be-dissolved Irgun:
From General Sir Horatius Murray
Sir, As regards the exodus of Arabs from Palestine in 1948, I think David Lazar [writer of a 10/23 letter presenting the Zionist version of events] is unaware of the true position in that country during the weeks preceding and following the relinquishment of the mandate.
   I was commanding the 1st Division in Palestine from 1947 to 1948, covering the southern half of the country from about the line of Nathaniah. We were due to leave early in May 1948, and the British garrison was being steadily reduced from March onwards. Consequently we were, during this period, not in a position to provide the overall protection in the country as a whole on the scale we could have wished.
   The Jews seized this opportunity to launch a ruthless and sustained terrorist campaign against the Arabs. They commenced by dropping a few mortar bombs on isolated Arab villages at night and were sufficiently emboldened by their successes to launch, in April, a full-scale attack on Jaffa from Tel Aviv. I warned them that if they persisted in this I would be forced to intervene. They saw fit to ignore this warning, which forced me to deploy a battery of 25-pounders and shell Tel Aviv. I followed this up with a ground attack supported by a squadron of tanks. This action proved successful, and the Jews called it off.
   Nevertheless, by carrying out this operation, the Jews achieved their aim. So long as the British were there, the Arabs had the protection they needed, but when the mandate was given up they knew they would be defenceless, and therefore fled in terror. Within 48 hours Jaffa, which then, I believe, had a population of 30,000 became a city of the dead, and we had to send in patrols to prevent looting. The scenes on the road souut from Jaffa and elsewhere were heartrending.
The neighboring Arab states did, at some time, make announcements tot he effect that they had ordered the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes. However, those of us who were there realized that this was a face-saving device for the benefit of the Arab world as a whole. They could not possibly make any impact upon the intended hearers who by this time were in full flight either for Gaza or the West bank of the River Jordan. They could not get away quick enoug, being terrified. The residual Palestinian Arabs were similarly dealt with as soon as we left the country.
None of us who were there at the time were in any doubt that the Jews organized a campaign covering the last few weeks of the mandate, and the period following our departure to ensure that they were in possession of as much of the soil of Palestine as possible. This was very easy for a well trained, well organized, and well equipped Jewish field army against defenceless, unarmed Arabs.
   It was not therefore surprising that, in these circumstances, the neighboring Arab states intervened as soon as we left.
Yours sincerely,
October 23.
From Major Hary Mackinnon:
Sir, I served as a junior officer under General Sir Horatius Murray in the Middle East in 1948 and it is the period of my army service of which I am least proud.
   The General writes that he was "forced to shell Tel Aviv with 25-pounders and to attack with tanks" and that "this action proved successful".
   So it should! We found that to a large extent Tel Aviv was defended by women, children, and old men, and the sight of their sacrificed bodies sickened the most hardened British troops.
The Jews have always paid the full price in blood for their tiny promised portion of the Earth's surface.
Yours sincerely,
Torquay, Devon
So how did the General get such a warped perspective? Perhaps it was like this: in Robert St. John's biography of Abba Eban he describes how Eban discovered that during WWII "the real molders of British policy in that area of the world" were his superior the chief of British military intelligence and two "die-hard" British ambassadors. Captain Eban's job was "supposed to keep his eye on the Arabs" while his partner, Arab nationalist (and decades later best-selling writer) Albert Hourani, was "supposed to keep his eye on the Jews". 

After WWII Hourani remained in the Arab Office in Jerusalem and "put into the record Arab opposition to any partition scheme and warned that any solution would provoke conflict" before moving to London to work at Chatham House on anti-Zionist activities. The job of Chatham House was to provide analyses for the British Foreign Office.
With an ardent anti-Zionist Arab providing "perspective" - we'd say "narrative", nowadays - to both the British foreign office and the British military, and other voices absent (in the military) or disregarded (in the Foreign Office) is it any wonder that British generals and diplomats were primed to perceive Zionists as aggressors, rather than the Arabs?