Monday, March 05, 2007

Orson Scott Card - The Master

Orson Scott Card is a master of storytelling and one of my favorite authors. Not only does he conjure up and deliver well many original concepts and stories, he comments on current events. He has an awesome article out. Here are some good snippets:

The truth -- the well-documented historical truth -- is that the British did not arm the Israelis. They blocked all attempts by the Israelis to arm themselves. Every weapon that the Israeli army had in 1948 was smuggled in. While the "poor, unarmed Palestinians" were supported by the fully-armed military forces of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. The Arabs had the military advantage, in numbers and in weaponry.

Furthermore, while there were places where Israelis encouraged Muslims to flee, it was not a systematic effort, and many of those who fled did so at the well-documented insistence of Muslim leaders, who wanted Muslims out of the way so they could set about the business of slaughtering Jews. Only Israeli courage and audacity in combat prevented the genocidal outcome intended by the Arabs who defied the United Nations by trying to destroy Israel at the moment of its creation.

At the end of the war, the reason there was no Palestinian state is not because the Israelis prevented it. It was because the Arab nations prevented it -- Egypt took over the rule of the Gaza Strip and Jordan ruled the West Bank, declaring it to be part of their national territory and suppressing any attempt to create a Palestinian state there.

As for wholesale slaughter of Palestinian civilians by Israelis, it didn't happen. Nowhere, not in 1948, and not since then. A lot of people think it has happened because of propaganda. Like when the media was full of reports, during the intifadeh, that Israelis had massacred hundreds or thousands of Palestinians in Jenin. Later, sober investigation showed that no such thing had happened -- that, on the contrary, Israelis had suffered needless casualties on their own side because of the extraordinary lengths they went to to prevent civilian casualties on the other side.
The fact is that in 1948, Jews were a majority in large sections of the British mandate of Palestine. The proposal to divide that territory into two nations was identical to the policy that divided India into two nations -- a decision that Muslims approved of, since the minority portion was Muslim Pakistan. It was not a crime, it was a recognition of a fact on the ground. The alternative was to give all power to the Muslims who had already threatened genocide against the Jews in Palestine. It would have been a crime against humanity to allow this to happen again.

Why were there so many Jews in Palestine? Because of Zionism, absolutely. But let's remember what Zionism consisted of: Buying land and then inviting Jewish settlers in to work that land and make it prosper. Jews came to a land that was bandit-ridden impoverished desert. They drove out the bandits, and on land they had legally purchased, they created prosperous communities.

That was when Arabs started immigrating into Palestine. It was now a peaceful, prosperous place. Because of the Jews and the work they did, educational standards rose, the population boomed, and Palestine became one of the best places to live in the Arab world.

No Jew stole any Arab's land prior to 1948. True, the Arabs tried to block Jewish immigration -- their racist, hate-filled policies did not begin with Al Qaeda. But the Jews who came to Palestine did so without doing violence to any Arabs except bandits, and without stealing anything from anybody.

Then, in 1948, it was Arabs who announced their intention to destroy Israel the moment it was created. Arab armies marched. The Israeli Defense Force used their limited resources and defeated their enemies. In the process, they seized territory that was not given to them in the original UN mandate.

As soon as the Arabs were completely whipped, they begged for the UN to force a ceasefire; then they demanded that Israel retreat to the borders of the original mandate. Do you get the irony here? If the Arabs had respected that border in the first place, there would have been no war. Only after they failed in their genocide did they think those borders were a good idea.
The Palestinians elected Hamas, which is rabidly anti-Israel and an open sponsor of genocidal attacks against Jewish civilians in Israel and elsewhere. My guess is that they chose Hamas because they seemed better, for the Palestinians, than the Nazi-style thugs of Al-Fatah who had ruled them under Arafat. But there has never been a hint that Hamas is willing to compromise with Israel on anything. Indeed, the opposite is true. (And in all likelihood, any Palestinian politician who tried to run for office on a platform of living peacefully with Israel would be murdered long before the election.)

Furthermore, over the past sixty years, Israel has compromised over and over, keeping its side of agreements to an almost insane degree when you consider that Palestinians have kept none of their promises. None. Never. Do you get that? Israel is expected to keep "compromising" with an enemy that never keeps its word.

Would you keep compromising with a next-door neighbor who broke every promise while demanding that you keep all of the agreements and then make even more "compromises"?

And when Berry openly demands that the reader's heart break over Palestinian civilians killed in Israeli shellings of Gaza, it can't just be ignorance that keeps him from mentioning that these shellings are attacks on terrorist installations in direct retaliation for the massacre of Israeli civilians by Palestinian suicide bombers. There is zero evidence that Israel would ever bomb Palestinian territory if Palestinians stopped murdering Israelis; there is zero evidence that Israelis have, except for an abortive attempt at tit-for-tat terrorism in the early 1950s, ever targeted Palestinian civilians.

Terrorists deliberately hide among civilians so that any military action against them is almost guaranteed to cause civilian casualties. That is the terrorists' choice; Israel is not required to commit national suicide by refraining from striking back at their enemies for fear of killing innocent civilians.

I'm not making these things up. I don't get them from Jewish propaganda. This is information that serious historians all recognize as being factual. All the claims to the contrary have, upon investigation, turned out to be deliberately fraudulent or indefensible on scholarly grounds.

One can argue for or against many decisions of the Israeli government, but it takes a flagrant disregard for historical accuracy or standards of fairness to pin any significant part of the blame for the killings in Palestine on Israel.


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