Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“A Plea for Justice: A Historical Analysis:” false beginnings, twisted thoughts- part 1

A Review

The paper A Plea for Justice: A Historical Analysis, offered among other papers by the Presbyterian Middle East Study Committee was written by two members, Professor Nahida Gordon and Professor Fredric W. Bush. They state in their opening paragraph that they take “sole responsibility” for the contents of the paper. However in the recommendation paper all of the members ask the 219th Presbyterian General Assembly under VIII to receive “A Plea for Justice.”

Additionally in the paper “Human Rights Update 2010 Recommendation,” produced by the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, the members of that committee answer a request from the 218th GA to “Identify Violations of the Civil Rights of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the United States and Other Areas of the World, Along with Other Incidents of Violation of Religious Freedoms” by pointing to “A Plea for Justice.” So not only are the two members of the MESC responsible for the paper two whole committees, the MESC and the ACSWP, are responsible. And this is a horrific paper.[1]

The paper begins by referring to the Armenian genocide and focuses on those refugees who fled to Palestine. They are contrasted with the Jewish refugees who fled Europe after the Holocaust. According to the paper while the earlier Armenians lived peacefully beside their Arab neighbors the new Jewish immigrants “took the land of Palestine from a majority of its inhabitants at gunpoint.” (emphasis mine)

And while the author’s acknowledge that some Jewish people had lived in Palestine continually and paint a picture of constant peaceful relations among all of the peoples until the “European immigrants arrived,” as usual, the story is not so simple.

An example of part of the true story includes the town of Hebron where Jews had lived for hundreds of years. As new immigrants, probably from Eastern Europe, became a part of that community in 1929 a horrible massacre of at least sixty-seven members of the Jewish community occurred. The whole Jewish community was forced to leave and was unable to return until after the 1967 war.[2]

Another example that cannot be so simply put:

“In February of 1920 a party of Arab raiders suddenly attacked the Jewish Settlements of Tel Hai and Metullah in the extreme north of the country. … This sent a shock through the Palestine Jewish community, but it was only a foreshadowing of things to come. On April 4, an Arab procession for the festival of Nebi Musa—the Prophet Moses—in Jerusalem deteriorated into an anti-Jewish riot that lasted three days. Synagogues were desecrated and burned, property destroyed, six persons killed, and two hundred wounded.”[3]

Ronald Sanders, author of The High Walls of Jerusalem: A History of the Balfour Declaration and the Birth of the British Mandate for Palestine, goes on to tell of the secret Jewish defense group that was then formed. And some of these kinds of defense forces would commit their own atrocities. But it cannot all be laid at the feet of “European immigrants.”[4]

The authors of “A Plea for justice: A Historical Analysis “go on to write about the Balfour Declaration and the mandate of Palestine insisting that Britain and the United States violated international laws. Among other things they point to article 22 of the League of Nations and point V of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations fourteen points.

They also point to the General Assembly’s Declaration on the principles of International Law. Using this complaint they go on to refer to the Israeli ‘occupation’ in terms of the whole of Palestine, inferring that the occupation they are concerned about includes the State of Israel.[5] They write:

“The occupation of Palestine began in 1922 by the British and continued in May 14, 1948, to the present time by Israel when unilaterally, it declared itself a state.”

The paper hardly commences, but by page three has already given a false history of Israel’s beginnings and declared that the occupation includes all of what is the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. There is no footnote here as in another paper. This is in your face anti-Zionism, the kind that can be equated with anti-Semitism. The authors do not agree with the idea that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state.

This is part 1 of a series I am writing; I will next look at the author’s views of the 1948 war, the 1967 war and what they believe about the true identity of Jewish immigrants from Europe!

[1] I have a posting on this paper at, The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy: Ignoring Christian persecution, maligning Israel

[2] For a very good over view of this incident, which includes some kind and caring Arab citizens go to the Jewish virtual Library at

[3] Ronald Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem: A History of the Balfour Declaration and the Birth of the British Mandate for Palestine, (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1983), 653.

[4] Ibid.654.

[5] Most of the references used in this section are taken from books by anti-Zionist and anti-Israel Arabs and Jews. One author in particular, Alfred Lilienthal, who is a Jewish man, is an interesting person who has even been cited by David Duke. To read an eye opening exchange in the Senate about an Arab boycott, in 1965, of all Israel products and businesses and any company that had a Jewish person on staff with references to Lilienthal go to A foot note to him is, "The American-Arab Association for Commerce and Industry [part of the boycott] has about 100 company members, many of whom do business in both Israel and the Arab States. Alfred M. Lilienthal, the association's secretary and counsel, is a lecturer and journalist whose vehemently anti-Israel views are well known."

1 comment:

Dexter Van Zile said...

Good stuff, Viola.

This might be interesting: