Copyright © 2012 by Martin M. van Brauman
. . the wicked walk on every side, when baseness is exalted among the sons of men. Psalms 12:9.
In The Drowned and the Saved, Primo Levi wrote “the further events fade into the past, the more the construction of convenient truth grows and is perfected.”1 The so-called “occupation” of Judea, Samaria and part of Jerusalem by the Jewish people represents an Orwellian falsification of memory and reality perpetrated by the Arab world, mainline religions and western appeasing governments to the Muslim threat. As quoted by Levi, “human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument.”2 The international community, including the US State Department, has considered Israel an “occupier” based upon the premise that it captured this land from Jordan after the Six-Day War in 1967.
A panel headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, former Foreign Minister legal adviser Alan Baker and former deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court Tehiya Shapira recently produced the Levi Report setting out the truth that the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Eastern part of Jerusalem are not illegal “occupations” prohibited by international law.
The Israel haters, who promote the false Palestinian narrative of illegal occupation and whose goal is to delegitimize the Jewish State, are incensed over the Levi Report. If those enlightened intellectuals were actually interested in promoting peace and human rights, they would focus on real atrocities in Syria, Gaza, Iran and most of the Muslim countries that persecute Christians and other minority groups and deny rights to women.
However, the inconvenient truth is that Jordan’s presumed sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and part of Jerusalem was never legally recognized by the international community as Jordan’s action was of conquest during the 1948 War for Independence. The British Mandate never recognized Jordan’s right to occupy the land west of the Jordan River. Jordan was the illegal occupying aggressor, whose army invaded the British Mandate of Palestine following the creation of the Jewish State.
The British Mandate was responsible for the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people” in the land west of the Jordan River with Trans-Jordan created east of the Jordan River for the Arabs. The 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine never replaced the British Mandate and the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee and the Arab 2
League refused to recognize the UN Partition Plan and Israel’s right to exist and invaded with the intent of driving the Jews into the sea.
Although the principles of England’s Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, the League of Nations Mandate to Britain to oversee the Jewish national home was finalized at the Allied conference in San Remo, Italy.3 The Balfour Declaration was adopted by the San Remo Conference as a “declaration of sympathy for Jewish Zionist aspirations” and Great Britain was granted a Mandate over Palestine, which was confirmed and defined by the League of Nations.4
The San Remo Conference on April 25, 1920 incorporated the Balfour Declaration into the peace treaty with Turkey (the former Ottoman Empire) at Sèvres and to grant the Palestine mandate to Britain.5 Article 2 of the San Remo resolution, which was ratified by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, provided the international legal support for the British promise to create a Jewish homeland.6 The League of Nations approved three mandates carved out of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine and Mesopotamia as British mandates and Syria as a French mandate, and approved Arabia as independent under pro-British monarchs.7
Although the U.N. Partition Plan was adopted by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947, it was never accepted by the Arabs, who violently opposed it and appealed to Arabs to flee the British Mandate of Palestine before the coming invasion of the Arab armies.8 The Partition Resolution gave the Arabs 82.5 percent of the Mandate, in addition to their vast holdings all over the Middle East.9
On May 15, 1948, Israel was simultaneously invaded by armies from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, which were launched by the Arabs in rejection to the UN decision for partition. After more than 5 months of fighting the Palestine irregulars (the Arab Liberation Army) of 2,500 before the Declaration of the Jewish state, the Jewish force was met with 6 professional armies of overwhelming superiority in weapons, artillery and air power, consisting of an Egyptian army of 10,000 plus 2,500 of the Moslem Brotherhood, the Transjordan Arab Legion of 4,500 plus 1,500 of the Frontier Corps, a Syrian army of 5,500, an Iraqi army of 4,000, a Lebanese army of 1,500 and a Saudi Arabian army of around 300.10
Trained and led by 40 British officers and armed with British equipment, the Arab Legion opened artillery fire on the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and several hundred Jews were killed when the Jewish Quarter was overrun.11 During the low point of the invasion, Jerusalem was cut off and the Transjordanian army was within 15 miles of Tel Aviv.12 The Arabs’ purpose was the extermination of the Jewish people and this Arab invasion was considered the last campaign of Hitler’s “Final Solution” of World War II.133
With Jordanian control over the Old City and eastern Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, Jordan destroyed 55 synagogues and reduced the Western Wall area to a slum.14 Jerusalem was divided by barbed wire, minefields and concrete walls with innocent Jewish civilians subject to sporadic shooting by Arabs from the Jordanian sector.15
Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan violated Article Eight of the armistice agreement in denying access to the Jewish holy sites and cultural institutions under its control.16 All Jews in the world were barred from the Western Wall, the Mount of Olives Cemetery, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron by the Jordanian government in violation of the armistice agreement.17
In spring of 1967, Syria was trying to divert half of the water of the Jordan River from Israel, while shelling Jewish villages in the Hula Valley from the Golan Heights, and President Nasser was moving the Egyptian army and air force into the Sinai, while ousting the U.N peacekeepers and blockading Israel’s Red Sea port Eilat.18 President Nasser signed a war pack with King Hussein, placing the Jordanian Army under Egyptian control, and the other Arab states joined the alliance to totally annihilate the Jewish state.19
On June 4, 1967, the Arab leaders were predicting Israel’s destruction and promising their subjects the spoils of Jewish property to undo the defeat in 1948.20 On June 5th, Nasser prophesied that “the battle will be total and our basic aim will be the destruction of Israel.”21 The Six-Day War of 1967 was the second Arab attempt to destroy Israel with Egypt, Syria and Jordan leading the attack.
When, in May and June 1967, it appeared that another Holocaust loomed, Christian men of God remained silent. Pope Paul VI remained silent.22 The National Council of Churches of the United States remained silent as Nasser rallied the Arab world to destroy Israel, but upon Israel’s survival the mainline Christian world found its voice and condemned Israel’s territorial expansion in unison with Arab propaganda.23 Both the National Council and the World Council of Churches have denounced Israel’s response to terrorism as only acts to further territorial gain and Israel’s alleged “occupation” is to blame for everything.24
The Christian churches were guilty again of silence against a genocidal threat against the Jewish people.25 According to Elie Wiesel, the Jew is not supposed to overcome death for the world “love[s] the Jew only on the cross; if he is not there yet, well, they can oblige.”26 From the period prior to and during the Six-Day War, there was a deafening silence of the Christian churches when Israel faced extinction by the Arab nations.27 However, when the promised Holocaust did not take place during the Six-Day War, the world begrudged Israel its victory.284
1 Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved, (1st ed. 1988), p. 27.
2 Ibid., 23.
3 Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine. (2nd ed. 1999), p. 76.
4 Abraham J. Heschel, Israel: An Echo of Eternity, (1st ed. 3rd printing 1969), p. 82.
5 Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine, (1st English ed. 2010), p. 5.
7 Michael Makovsky, Churchill’s Promised Land, Zionism and Statecraft, (1st ed. 2007), pp. 77-78.
8 Maurice Roumani, The Case of the Jews From Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue, (1st ed. 4th printing 1983), p. 44.
10 Edward O. Berkman, Cast a Giant Shadow: The Story of Mickey Marcus Who Died to Save Jerusalem, (1st ed. 1962), pp. 212-213.
11 Martin Gilbert, Churchill and the Jews, A Lifelong Friendship, (1st ed. 2007), p. 268.
12 Martin van Creveld, The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel, (1st ed. 2010), p. 66.
13 Liza M. Wiemer and Benay Katz, Waiting For Peace: How Israelis Live With Terrorism, (1st ed. 2005), p. 42.
14 James Rudin, Christians & Jews Faith to Faith: Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future, (1st ed. 2011), p. 144.
The world is stunned. The eternal victims of history, the Jews, have risen in a single generation from the ashes of the Holocaust to win, in six swift days of June 1967, the greatest military victory since the Second World War.
In the West the media stammer astonished admiration. In Communist and Arab countries they rage against aggressive Israel and claim that American carrier planes took part in the air strikes. In the United Nations the Soviet Union leads a bitter fight to reverse the victory politically and force the Israelis back behind the old armistice lines of 1949. But various withdrawal proposals worked up by the Russians and the Americans are rejected one after another by the Arab governments, who in August have met in the capital of the Sudan and issued the Khartoum Declaration, embodying irrevocable NO’s – NO negotiation with Israel, NO recognition of Israel, NO peace with Israel.29
Israel’s triumphant against four armies and some twenty nations did not conform to the image and destiny that the world desires of it, in which Israel is defeated, on its knees and humiliated.30 As Wiesel said the world was incensed because “[t]he lamb dares refuse the sacrifice,”31 the eternal Isaac did not mount the altar.
With respect to the Holocaust, Primo Levi has stated that “[i]t happened, therefore it can happen again.”32 Levi wrote to beware of the “beautiful words” of the Israel haters:
In the Third World it is endemic or epidemic. It only awaits its new buffoon (there is no dearth of candidates) to organize it, legalize it, declare it necessary and mandatory, and so contaminate the world. Few countries can be considered immune to a future tide of violence generated by intolerance, lust for power, economic difficulties, religious or political fanaticism, and racialist attritions. It is therefore necessary to sharpen our senses, distrust the prophets, the enchanters, those who speak and write “beautiful words” unsupported by intelligent reasons. 33 5
16 Ibid., p. 145.
18 Yehuda Avner, The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership, (1st ed. 2010), pp. 132, 135.
20 Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, (1st ed. 2010), p. 245.
21 Ibid., p. 246.
22 John K. Roth and Michael Berenbaum, Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications, (1st ed. 1989), p. 335.
23 Paul C. Merkley, Those That Bless You, I Will Bless: Christian Zionism in Historical Perspective, (1st ed. 2011), p. 185.
24 Ibid., pp. 185-186.
25 Harry James Cargas, When God and Man Failed: Non-Jewish Views of the Holocaust, (1st ed. 1981), p. 106.
26 Elie Wiesel, One Generation After, (1st English translation ed. 1970), p. 132.
27 Irving Greenberg, For the Sake of Heaven and Earth: The New Encounter Between Judaism and Christianity, (1st ed. 2004), p. 36.
28 Wiesel, One Generation After, p. 132.
29 Herman Wouk, The Glory, (1st ed. 1994), p. 3 (Prologue).
30 Wiesel, One Generation After, p. 132.
32 Levi, p. 199
33 Ibid., pp. 199-200.