Monday, November 23, 2009

II. A Long-Range Disaster

18 March 1949

The establishment of the State of Israel by force with intimidation of Arab governments by the US and the USSR, with the cutting off of British arms and ammunition (the Arabs' only source of supply), with ample sources for Israel of munitions and finance, the Israeli battle-victory is complete, but it has solved nothing. If boundaries to an Israeli State, any boundaries, had been set and guaranteed by the Great Powers, peace might return to the area. On the contrary, we have actually a victorious state which is limited to no frontiers and which is determined that no narrow limits shall be set. The Near East is faced with the almost certain prospect of a profound and growing disturbance by Israel which may last for decades.

(a) Instead of restoring the boundaries of the Province of Judea as they were in 70 AD, the Israeli leaders now state freely though usually unofficially, their demand for an ever-expanding empire. Their present possessions are regarded by them as only a beachhead into the Arab and Muslim World -- a large part of which they intend to exploit. They are not prepared to live off what the and will yield as the Arabs do.

(b) The index of the cost of living in Israel has risen to 500% of what it was in that area from 1933 to 1939. Having driven out the Arabs from their homes, Israel lacks cheap labor, and without a very large per capita subsidy the economy of the state would soon collapse. This the Israeli Government intends to prevent by continuing to secure funds from Zionists and other sympathizers abroad by large loans, and as soon as possible, by the exploitation of the Arab hinterland, especially the agriculture and industries of Syria and Iraq.

(c) Alone among the Great Powers, Britain has been working on a plan to restore a balance between the forces in Palestine, but it already appears that this plan is probably doomed to fail. Zionist pressure in the USA, Anglophobia in Iraq and Egypt, and above all, Russia's determination to prolong chaos in the Near East and to complete the discrediting of British and American diplomacy, combine to work against the policy of the British Government and its collaborators -- King Abdulla of Trans-Jordan and the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri Said.

(d) The duration of the disaster is guaranteed also by the unsolved problem of 700,000 Arab refugees. Whether or not these refugees are fed, clothed, and kept alive for the time being, they remain as a primary source of resentment, distress and continuing expense. No workable plan has been proposed for their resettlement in a gainful livelihood. Israel sneers at the UN order to repatriate or compensate them. Riots have already taken place in some of the refugee camps and refugee leaders have addressed their followers in vituperative language, denouncing Americans, British, Zionists, and Arab League failures, of which they are the helpless victims. They include many intellectuals who are more than ripe for Communist propaganda, some of whom are now meeting regularly in Aleppo.

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