Monday, October 13, 2003

Twenty Facts...

Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp & Jeane Kirkpatrick note 20 facts about Israel and the Middle East.

Of particular note:

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964—three years before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO’s declared purpose was to eliminate the State of Israel by means of armed struggle. To this day, the Web site of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that the entirety of Israel is "occupied" territory. It is impossible to square this with the PLO and PA assertions to Western audiences that the root of the conflict is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

The West Bank and Gaza (controlled by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967) came under Israeli control during the Six Day War of 1967 that started when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and Arab armies amassed on Israel’s borders to invade and liquidate the state. It is important to note that during their 19-year rule, neither Jordan nor Egypt had made any effort to establish a Palestinian state on those lands. Just before the Arab nations launched their war of aggression against the State of Israel in 1967, Syrian Defense Minister (later President) Hafez Assad stated, "Our forces are now entirely ready . . . to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland . . . the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." On the brink of the 1967 war, Egyptian President Gamal Nassar declared, "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel."

. . . .

Israel is smaller than the state of New Hampshire and is surrounded by nations hostile to her existence. Some peace proposals—including the recent Saudi proposal—demand withdrawal from the entire West Bank, which would leave Israel 9 miles wide at its most vulnerable point.



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