A Short Version of ‘Palestinian’ History
If an Arab identifies himself (or herself) as a 'Palestinian,' they are openly endorsing the 'Palestinian cause.’ The PLO Charter states what this comprises very succinctly: the 'Palestinian cause' is nothing less than the total destruction of Israel. There is no room for compromise in that document; the founding document of the PLO does not even leave room for the possibility of two states side by side!
So many people seem to be so determined to be 'fair' to both sides of the conflict that they automatically deny good things about the Jews and dismiss any distasteful information about the Arabs. They refuse to admit that both sides are NOT equally committed to Western philosophies of ‘fair play;’ in fact, the entire concept is foreign to Arab culture.
When the Jews came to Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th century, they found it as backward and neglected as every other territory of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks did not build hospitals, major roadways or sewage systems anywhere! In fact, it was the British who established these things throughout the Middle East, but the first hospitals that they built came many years after Hadassah Hospital was established.
It is not widely appreciated that when the Jews established Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, it was the first and for many years the ONLY hospital in the entire Middle East; indeed, some people have expressed outright disbelief of this historical fact. The major reasons that the Jews were welcomed in Palestine by the British AND the Arabs was that they brought money and skills -- and improved health care -- to an area that was grossly deficient in every modern aspect of those things. This was not uncommon; many rulers throughout the centuries had welcomed Jews because their money and skills were desirable (at least until later rulers expelled them).
The Arabs themselves only began to have a national identity -- separate from the Turks and Europeans -- in 1903 (please note that this was AFTER the Zionist Conference in Basle, Switzerland!). Territorial borders within the Ottoman Empire were very fluid; just as they were in Europe throughout history. For more information on changing borders, please see Historical Maps at: http://www.epsaweb.org/historic_maps.htm For example, the border between Egypt and what became the Palestine Mandate was determined when the British sent forces to occupy Taba and much of the Sinai in 1906. At that time, of course, the British were very much involved in empire building in the Middle East, as well as everywhere else. (The exact dates for that bit of Middle East history may be found at: http://www.bartleby.com/67/1347.html.)
Recitation of these basic facts about the important early Jewish contributions to the Middle East is often met with disbelief. The skeptics do not realize that their disbelief is a direct result of the Arab propaganda campaign against Israel. In fact, the Arab propaganda machine has been so successful that their enemies as well as their supporters accept many of their historical myths for both themselves and the State of Israel.
There is a strong tendency among fair and reasonable people to project their sense of fairness and reason onto others, so that when presented with shocking facts about Arab aims and intentions, they will dismiss the facts as mere interpretation. Widespread acceptance of Arab mythology also results in favorable writings about Israel often being dismissed as exaggerated Zionist propaganda.
However, no one has to 'interpret' what the Arabs’ intentions are; THEY STATE THEIR OBJECTIVES OUTRIGHT! When someone who is considered to be pro-Israel states that total destruction of Israel was the reason that the PLO was established, indeed that it is the very purpose for it existence, too many people assume that such a statement is, at best, an exaggeration made out of ‘loyalty’. Nevertheless, the PLO spells out their philosophy very clearly and succinctly in the PLO Charter as well as thousands of documented statements. It would be a good idea for everyone to read the PLO Charter -- which was 'ratified' at the Rabat Conference in 1974 -- before disregarding ‘pro-Zionist’ information; a good site for the actual document is: http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm (BTW, this might be an Israeli website site but the document was taken in its entirety from the Palestine Research Center in Beirut.)
Moreover, the ONLY reason that the other Arab rulers -- especially Jordan's King Hussein -- agreed at the Rabat Conference to give over the West Bank to Arafat and the PLO was to have a base to destroy Israel, and Arafat convinced them that he could do it through the use of 'negotiations' and pretending to want peace. The collective Arab armies had failed to do so just the previous year, when they attacked Israel on Yom Kippur. (See the transcript of the Rabat Conference at: http://countrystudies.us/jordan/16.htm) That is why the PLO charter is written the way it is; to convince the Arab rulers of the PLO's potential force to eradicate Israel once and for all. (It didn't need or receive the approval of the Arab people themselves as the Arab countries are not democracies.) For more statements by the PLO and its followers, please see: http://www.iris.org.il/quotes.htm. Two excellent sites where one can learn exactly what the Arabs are teaching their children are: http://www.serve.com/lordgovernor/children/ and http://www.pmw.org.il/. An important contrast to these sites would be one which contains a poll of what Israeli teenagers want out of life that is found at: http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/jewishsociety/The_True_Face_of_Israeli_Youth.asp
The Arab rulers have NEVER been interested in the fate of the masses of Arab people! (For that matter, most of the world is not interested in what happens anywhere when Jews are not involved.) Yet people all over the world accept the improbable notion that the Arab rulers were suddenly so concerned with the most despised Arabs of all -- those who lived in 'Palestine' -- that they decided to establish a new country just so the ‘Palestinians’ could be ‘liberated.’ These rulers did not even make that claim at the Rabat Conference; it was not until they put the idea before the UN that they dressed up their plan in pretty-sounding words. Unfortunately for Israeli victims of continued ‘suicide bombings,’ the fact that the words that they give to the Western media are directly contradicted by their continued terrorist actions – as well as their own documented statements -- makes no difference in people's willingness to believe the Arab propaganda and to reject any contradictory statements if they are perceived to be ‘pro-Zionist!’
It is not as if any 'Palestinian' leader has been looking out for the welfare of the Arabs in the disputed territories. In fact, part of the Rabat Conference 'deal' was that Jordan would continue to pay for municipal works and civil servants; this went on until 1988 when ISRAEL AND THE UN took over the expenses of keeping up the infrastructure. (Unfortunately, Arafat and his cronies have pocketed most of the money; what they haven't hidden away has been used to buy arms.)
In the early 70's, the 'refugee camps' still resembled other small communities in Israel (although they are like slums -- not concentration camps -- today). Residents did NOT live behind barbed wire and no one needed to get permission to go in or out (this was true until three years ago when the latest intifada started.) In fact, they were a lot better than the Jewish refugee settlements (a great many Russian Jews were arriving then) because the Arab administrators of the camps received outside money -- a LOT of money -- from the UN to keep them going. In fact, they were a lot better than many American slum neighborhoods.
Instead of the money being spent on infrastructure, though, the money was and is spent on hate indoctrination of their young people. That is the reason that the Arabs in the disputed territories live in such miserable conditions; their own leaders are cheating them! It is NOT because of the Israeli ‘occupation’ or the building of Jewish 'settlements!' Both of those commonly given (and too often accepted) reasons for Arab violence are as much a part of the deliberate Arab propaganda campaign against Israel as the rest of their 'history.'
I will be glad to provide further corroborating evidence for any of my statements both in this article or any other of my writings. All anyone has to do is ask. However, please do not assume that I am just saying these things out of 'loyalty to the Zionist cause;' I find that assumption highly insulting both to the quality of my research and the integrity of my scholarship.