February 16, 2011 at 8:04 am 2 comments

Continued from The Arab Refugee Problem – 3

 Grim realities and comparative



Excerpts from his book “How to avoid Armageddon

To order book click:  type: how to avoid armageddon

Careful research indicates that during the 16 months of hostilities, about 1,000 Arab non-combatants were killed, most caught in crossfire and a few wantonly. In order to put things in perspective and proportion, especially since Israel is always automatically chastised and condemned by the rest of the world, it is sobering to compare this figure with the number of civilian casualties in time of armed conflict and war with other places.

A very brief list indicates that almost twice as many civilians have been killed in recent times in Northern Ireland by various ethno-political factions as well as the British Army, even though the killings involved good Christian folks who shared the same culture and language.

During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt in Palestine, the British Armed Forces killed a similar number of Arab civilians as Israel had done in her war of survival. The British used artillery and air force bombing, infantry and demolition experts to punish or even flatten whole Arab villages, in order to quell a rebellion that had become uncontrollable. And this most certainly wasn’t a war of survival for the British.

The U.S.A. has also played a massive part in causing civilian deaths in various parts of the world. Apart from the bombing raids mentioned earlier, as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hundreds of thousands of non-combatants were killed by American forces in the Vietnam War; similarly tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed during the two Gulf Wars. Thousands more civilians in various parts of the world have died as the result of U.S.A. attacks or active support for regimes and rebel groups.

Appallingly, hundreds of thousands of civilians have met their deaths because they were caught up in wars in Spain (1936-39), Guatemala, El Salvador and Angola. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in each of the following conflicts during the last few decades: between Ethiopia and Eritrea, civil wars in Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, Peru and in the conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India in 1947. Thousands of civilians have been killed in other conflicts in various parts of the world. In each of the cases, the killings are usually accompanied by destruction of property. Sometimes wanton atrocities and expulsion has taken place.

Among the Arab countries, the killing of hundreds and even thousands of unarmed civilians has been a fairly regular occurrence. During the 15-year civil war in Lebanon, between 130,000 to 250,000 people were killed, of which at least half were ordinary civilians. In Syria in 1980 about 10,000 civilians were killed in the city of Hama, which was a center of the Muslim Brotherhood, regarded with suspicion by the Hafez el-Assad regime. In Jordan in 1970, out of the 3,000 Palestinian refugees killed by the Army, hundreds were civilians. Apart from the slaughter that took place during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-88), when hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed on each side, thousands of Kurds were also killed by Saddam Hussein’s military. Poison gas was one of the means. Also, in almost every other Arab country not mentioned here, hundreds and thousands of Arab civilians have been killed from time to time by other Arabs. It is clear that the rate that Arabs have killed other Arabs who weren’t armed – old men, women and children – is at least a hundred-fold more than the number of non-combatant Arabs that were killed by Israel during the Nakba of 1947-49.

This brief, but terrible list of civilian casualties in wars around the world, does not include the mega-massacres, which are mentioned in future pages, regarding “ethnic cleansing,” such as those committed by Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Turkey and in half-a-dozen countries in Africa, where millions of unarmed civilians have been slaughtered.

Clearly, all this should raise the question about the proportionateness of international focus on what Israel has done in its wars of defence?

The grim fact, however, is that during the 1947-49 war about 500 Arab towns and villages were conquered by the Jews. At least 350 were emptied of their Arab inhabitants and either razed to the ground and turned into agricultural land or used to house Jewish immigrants who were pouring into the country at that time and in the years that followed.

It should be realized that as far as Israel was concerned, these events happened in the midst of a desperate war for national and individual physical survival. Arab declarations and actions had made it abundantly clear to the Jews that it was not a time for Ghandi-like passive resistance or genteel compromises. It was not a time for gestures of the weak, the meek or the kind-hearted. It was a tight roper’s nightmare for the Jews. One wrong move, one mis-step or momentary loss of balance and they were finished. Losing this war would not have meant subsequent harmonious coexistence with friendly Arab neighbors. For the Jews it would probably have meant expulsion for the lucky ones who survived. But in the time-honored manner of the Middle East, as some of the aforementioned examples show, the Jews faced a definite prospect of mass slaughter. As it happened, the wholesale exodus of Arabs from Palestine was due in no small measure, to the projection of what they themselves would have done to the Jews if the tide of war had been different.

Launching a war, which is what the Arabs did, often leads to unforeseen consequences. This war boomeranged against the Arabs. The Jews did what was the natural thing to do. They defended themselves against what could quite conceivably have been yet another genocide less than three years after the end of the Holocaust. Would any other nation have responded differently under similar circumstances? Probably yes – with far more brutality, judging by historical records of the nations.

Continued at The Arab Refugee Problem – 5

To order the book click:  type: how to avoid Armageddon

See also


Entry filed under: dangeous lies and halftruths, Solutions for Palestine, Stormier times ahead, Things not mentioned in the press. Tags: , , , , , , , , .


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