Jewish World Review April 25, 2002 /14 Iyar, 5762

Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

In search of Arab dignity

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Nothing sums up the history of the Middle East conflict better than Aldous Huxley's observation that, "The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different." What hasn't changed is that from its very beginning, Israel has been willing to live within secure borders side by side with an Arab state that reciprocated in its recognition of Israel. What's different is the rationale of Arab regimes still hostile to a Jewish state for why that's not possible.

The victims of the Middle East conflict are not just the Israelis who have been fighting a 50-year war of survival against hostile Arab states; the victims are also Arab Muslims and Christians living in the territory under the British mandate at the end of World War II and today, now commonly referred to as "the Palestinian people," who have been oppressed, manipulated and betrayed by radical Arab countries, including their own "Palestinian" leaders, particularly Yasser Arafat, who happens to be Egyptian.

In 1947, Jews living in the region agreed to a U.N. proposal to establish an Arab state alongside and interspersed with a Jewish state. Arabs, however, would not tolerate a Jewish state, nor would they allow the Arabs in the region to have their own state because it would violate the Arab Covenant of 1919: "The Arab lands are a complete and indivisible whole, and the divisions of whatever nature to which they have been subjected are not approved nor recognized by the Arab nation."

In 1948, five Arab nations invaded the newly declared state of Israel. Jordan took over the West Bank, and Egypt took over the Gaza Strip, and for the next 19 years they controlled this territory yet never lifted a finger to give the "Palestinian people" their state. Arab regimes also refused to allow Arab refugees from Israel to become citizens of their respective states and herded them into "refugee camps," really Palestinian ghettos, where they were stripped of their dignity, deprived of every opportunity to prosper and made to believe that world Jewry was to blame.

Historian Joan Peters shows in ""From Time Immemorial,"" how the "Palestinian people" were used as pawns by the Arab world. She quotes Jordan's late King Hussein: "Arab leaders ... have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous ... even criminal." She quotes Syria's former Prime Minister Khaled Al-Axm: "Since 1948, it is we who demanded the return of the refugees ... while it is we who made them leave. ... We brought disaster upon ... Arab refugees. ... We have rendered them dispossessed. ... We have accustomed them to begging. ... We have participated in lowering their moral and social level. ... Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson and throwing bombs upon ... men, women and children -- all this in the service of political purposes."

During the 1967 war, Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza and all of Jerusalem. Thereafter, according to Peters, the Arab world abandoned its insistence on one Arabia, whole and undivided, and began to blame the Palestinian "refugee problem" on Israel. Only then did it concoct the convenient myth of a separate "Palestinian people" with "legitimate aspirations" who are "emotionally tied" to a plot of land historically identifiable as the "homeland" of a people that supposedly existed there "from time immemorial."

Zuheir Muhsin, a member of the PLO's Executive Council, admitted to the Palestinian myth: "The existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel." This fact was confirmed in 1970, when King Hussein killed thousands of Palestinians to prevent Arafat from establishing a Palestinian state in Jordan.

Peace will come to the Middle East only when the oppression and manipulation of the Palestinian people by Arab and Palestinian leaders ceases. All the states of the region must become imbued with the democratic values of individual liberty, equality of opportunity and religious tolerance. People must be given their fundamental rights of life, liberty, private property, equality under the law, religious freedom, free speech, freedom to organize politically and the right to emigrate at will.

The United States can assist in the political and economic transformation of the region once both sides compromise and peace is established by extending financial assistance to rebuild the West Bank and Gaza, by creating a regional free-trade zone and by preventing the International Monetary Fund and World Bank from imposing austerity, high taxes and floating currencies on an infant Palestinian state.

For a region that has been mired in violence and despair for so long, it may sound simplistic to say that free markets, free trade and free people are all that's required, but Adam Smith was right: "Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice."

President George W. Bush is correct to discuss a "Marshall Plan" for Afghanistan, and I would add for Palestine, as well, but more about that in a later column.


Jack Kemp is co-director of Empower America and Distinguished Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Comment by clicking here.



Up

04/16/02: Taxes and history lessons
04/09/02: Arabs must take a stand against terrorism
04/02/02: Nuevo dependencia and world government
03/26/02: Bureaucratic buffoonery at the INS
03/19/02: California's newest citizen politician
03/06/02: Peaceful relations or public relations?
02/27/02: American trade policy at war with itself
02/20/02: Three-conjecture strategy on global warming
02/14/02: Nurturing democratic capitalism in Afghanistan
02/06/02: Gephardt embraces tax cuts and tax simplification
01/30/02: Just the facts
01/22/02: 'Been down so long it looks like up to me'
01/15/02: Confronting terror wherever it occurs
01/09/02: Daschle's war on Bush
01/03/02: Prosperity policies, not partisan politics
12/27/01: Governments create calamity, markets get the blame
12/18/01: 'Tis the season for Daschle to compromise
12/12/01: Hard choices made simple
12/05/01: Straight talk on Iraq
11/28/01: Not all tax cuts are created equal
11/20/01: Words have consequences
11/15/01: Deflationary recession
11/07/01: Consider Mideast reality in the war on terrorism
10/30/01: No 'stimulus' required
10/23/01: Good out of evil
10/16/01: Watching Iraq
10/12/01: The putrid stench of evil
10/04/01: Trade, terror and truth
10/01/01: Drive this scourge from the face of the Earth
09/25/01: Bush emerges as leader for his time
09/06/01: Middle East Madness has a chief instigator
08/30/01: It's about economic growth, stupid!
08/22/01: Phlebotomizers at the IMF
08/17/01: The Greenspan Recession
08/08/01: From Kyoto to Bonn, no science equals nonsense
07/25/01: Fiddling while the world economy freezes
07/19/01: Schundler should be New Jersey's next governor
07/12/01: Second wind for the global economy
07/06/01: An interest-rate target with no bull's-eye
06/28/01: Tax harmonization --- American-style
06/21/01: Warming diplomacy --- at what price?
06/13/01: A party that stands for nothing deserves to lose
06/07/01: No peace in the Middle East
05/30/01: Jeffords' palace coup
05/24/01: A supply-side energy plan
05/16/01: Getting Lincoln right
05/10/01: A good reason to borrow
05/01/01: Supreme Court makes racial profiling the law of the land
04/26/01: Campaign finance reform: silencing the lambs
04/17/01: Right wanted might in China case
04/12/01: How minority entrepreneurs can save the tax cut
04/04/01: Whose privacy is it?
03/29/01: A letter from Seoul
03/20/01: Ignore the double talk and double the tax cuts
03/13/01: Don't give up the bully pulpit on Social Security, Mr. President
03/06/01: Another attack on the economy
02/28/01: It's time to end deflation
02/21/01: Building blocks of humanity
02/15/01: Trumping the propaganda
02/06/01: The Gipper at 90
01/30/01: Kicking off a season of economic growth
01/24/01: The Bush tax agenda
01/17/01: Debating the Clinton legacy
01/10/01: No need for another Social Security commission
01/03/01: Truly a Golden Age, if we can keep it
12/27/00: The Grinch who turned off the holiday lights
12/20/00: Forging ahead
12/13/00: A new tax system for the 21st Century
12/07/00: Global government in retreat
11/30/00: An open letter to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan
11/21/00: Don't forget the guy in charge
11/15/00: Civic virtue, civic vice
11/08/00: Memo to the president-elect
10/31/00: Scare tactics won't work
10/24/00: Prosperity in the balance
10/11/00: Al Gore's economics of fear
10/03/00: Al Gore IS debatable
09/27/00: Government should protect our online privacy
09/13/00: The most important issue
09/05/00: Defeating the Gore blitz
08/29/00: Workers of the world, rejoice
08/22/00: Just the facts, Mr. President
08/08/00: Reclaiming Lincoln's legacy
06/23/00: A renaissance for urban America?
06/16/00: Capital access can bridge 'digital divide'
06/08/00: Some friendly advice for Rick Lazio
05/26/00: Is the economy being saved or destroyed?
05/22/00: Immigration and the promise that is America
05/12/00: Stock market roulette or snobbery?
05/04/00: Is Rule of Law whatever we say it is?
05/01/00: Myths happen

© 2002, Copley News Service