Thank you for running Sol Sanders’ column “No prosperity on the cheap” (Economy, Monday), reminding readers that in 1948, “six Arab states tried to smash a U.N.-proposed but self-proclaimed Jewish state.”
This is a history lesson worth repeating, because “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently tried to rewrite it. In a May 17 op-ed in the New York Times, Mr. Abbas disingenuously claimed that after the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition British-mandated Palestine, “Arab armies intervened” to stop “Zionist forces” from their efforts “to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel.”
In fact, it was the Arabs who tried to drive out the Jews. Arab mobs incited by the extremist Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, Yasser Arafat’s cousin and mentor, massacred Jews throughout the 1920s and 1930s and annihilated the Jewish community of Hebron in 1929. During World War II, Husseini was a personal guest of Hitler’s and, as documented in David Dalin and John Rothmann’s book “Icon of Evil,” even played a role in the Holocaust.
When the United Nations voted for partition in November 1947, the Jews accepted it while the Arabs rejected it. The day after Israel declared independence in May 1948, six Arab armies attacked Israel with the declared aim of destroying it. This wasn’t an “intervention.” It was an attempted genocide of the nascent Jewish state. Moreover, Arab states from Morocco to Egypt to Iraq expelled almost 900,000 Jews.
Mr. Abbas is no stranger to rewriting history. His book “The Other Side” called the Holocaust “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that 6 million Jews were killed.”
In his address to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu challenged Mr. Abbas to accept Israel. Mr. Netanyahu said, “President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people and I said, ‘I will accept a Palestinian state.’ It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, ‘I will accept a Jewish state.’ Those six words will change history.”
Mr. Netanyahu’s brother Jonathan was killed leading the famed 1976 mission in Entebbe, Uganda, that rescued 103 Israelis who had been kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. Yet he is willing to recognize a Palestinian state in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland. Mr. Abbas‘ refusal to respond in kind proves he isn’t ready for peace.
STEPHEN A. SILVER