Shlomo Karni’s recent letter published in Monday’s Daily Lobo, ‘History of the West Bank is worth recalling,” is a typical example of myth-making disguised as history. Its deceitful purpose is to deny documented history while sabotaging the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination.
The UN Partition Plan that Karni refers to gave approximately 56 percent of British Mandate Palestine to the Jewish people, who owned less than 7 percent of the land, and 43 percent to the Palestinians. The remaining one percent, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, was placed under the authority of the United Nations.
One of the assumptions of Karni’s shameful propaganda is that Israel would have been content to exist on 56 percent of Palestine with a divided Jerusalem. Given Israel’s decades-long and relentless confiscation of Palestinian land and its removal of hundreds of thousands of the indigenous inhabitants from their homes, it doesn’t take a professor emeritus to know that Israel has never been content to exist on the 78 percent of Palestine it has controlled since 1949.
A Jewish state based upon Partition would have had an initial 49 percent Arab minority that would quickly have become a majority. It is utterly naïve to think that Israel would have accepted such an outcome. In fact, in December 1947, as well as in the decades prior, Jewish leader Ben-Gurion pledged to his political party that the borders established by Partition were not final. In other words, acceptance of Partition was a tactical decision and prelude to further expansion.
Over the years, Israel has routinely ignored over 75 UN resolutions whose purpose has been to provide a modicum of peace and basic civil rights in the region. Is it not ironic, if not an act of hypocrisy, for Karni to cherry pick a single UN resolution to dupe himself and others into believing that his distortions override the history as documented throughout Israeli State archives, as well as by numerous Israeli historians who value truth over ignorance and denial?
Karni concludes his article with the astonishingly inhumane statement that “the rest, as the saying goes, is history.” The rest, as Karni refuses to acknowledge, is ethnic cleansing, land theft, imprisonment without trial, torture, misusing peace negotiations as a tool for further land consolidation and some of the most inhumane and cruel behavior in man’s inglorious history.
It is all made possible with the support of people like Karni, who ignore the suffering of one group of people while applauding the inhumanity of another.
Daily Lobo reader
Richard Forer has relatives who live in Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank. He is Author of Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.