Twice in the past few days, Mr Fleming has told his readers that he and I will never see eye to eye on Middle East matters. This implies that I am in a state of argument with him. I am not. As I have grown older, I have learnt that there is little point in arguing with anyone unless he is taking a position that is at least intellectually sustainable. I therefore have no wish to join argument with the likes of Mr Fleming who has stated that the bestial horrific crimes against Israeli men, women, boys and girls and even babies are not crimes at all but only socalled terrorist acts and, even more bizarrely that Ariel Sharon is the most powerful man in the world, even more powerful than President Bush! My aim is simply to point out to your readers where the actual truth lies. Arabists and possible antiSemites like Mr Fleming insist that a return to the 1967 lines of demarcation is all that is needed to bring peace to the Middle East. Prior to 1967 the area now proclaimed to be the sacred lands of Palestine were in Jordanian hands.
Search though I might, I can find no instances of Arafat or anyone else demanding that Jordan get out of Palestine. Where were the intifadas and the terrorist attacks on the Jordanians by the Palestinians then? In 1963 when Arafat formed his Palestine Liberation Organisation, the records made it quite clear: the aims and objectives of this organisation were directed not at Jordan but at the tiny enclave that was at that time Israel. A couple of other points your readers may wish to know: there never has been a free independent Palestine. Ever since the Jews were expelled by the marauding Babylonian armies, Israel or Palestine if you will has been dominated by an external power. During the biblical period when it was controlled by Jews, Israel flourished. Its buildings were comparable with those of Alexandria and its educational facilities were second to none. It was also hugely wealthy.
Much later, after the second Maccabian rising had been crushed by their Roman overlords, they decreed as a final insult to their beaten foe, that Israel be renamed after its most bitter and traditional enemy, the Philistines. Thus it was named Philistinia. Because in those days the aspirant was silent, it was pronounced Pilistinia. This name died out after a couple of hundred years. Later it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. It is interesting to note that in the 1'200 years that the area was under Arab control the entire infrastructure was allowed to fall into total disrepair. As a result when the Jews started returning to their biblical homeland, they found it to be a malariainfested wasteland. After the 191418 war, the terms of the Balfour Declaration were made legal by the League of Nations.
Under the terms of this legal mandate the Jews were promised all of the land of Israel east of the Jordan river (which includes the entire West bank). Further, in 1901 the Golan Heights now claimed by Syria were bought by Jewish returnees from the Syrian government for hard cash. Eightythree percent of the land of Israel (or Palestine, if you prefer), was quite literally stolen by the British and renamed TransJordan. Clearly then if the Palestinians have any claim to a land of their own they should be looking to Jordan and not Israel. Two last points: there is probably no chance of full peace between Israel and the Palestinians for the following reasons:
1. The USA wishes to destroy the person and regime of Sadam Hussein.
2. the Arab nations are dead set against any American interference in Arab affairs. So, in order to keep President Bush from carrying out his stated intentions, Saudi Arabia has let it be known that it will permit the Americans to use their five billion dollar military base there (absolutely essential as the main getoff point of attack), only if they resolve the Israel/Palestine affair first.
Thus, 3. Saddam's future depends on ensuring that this Israel/Palestine resolution never takes place, and he has the full support of the other Arab nations in this endeavour. This is why he is giving 10'000 dollars to every family who allows its child to be blown up. It is why he is illegally supplying Arafat with all kinds of weaponry, and it is also why Egypt is turning a blind eye to all the arms being funnelled through its land into Palestine.
And lastly, the Koran explicitly states that it is a mortal sin for a Moslem to commit suicide. So, rather than the 72 eager virgins awaiting the selfmurderer, the Koran says that he/she will be doomed forever to relive the moment of death continually and for eternity. One wonders why this portion of their Sacred Book is not being taught to Arab students in the Middle East at present. O.K. I am done. Time for you Mr Fleming to continue with your Middle East tinsel and fluff. Yours faithfully