Monday, December 19, 2011

1947 Arab threat of genocide confirmed

From Hudson New York, December 16, 2011, by Efraim Karsh*:

Of the countless threats of Arab violence in the run-up to the November 29, 1947 Partition Resolution and in its wake, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League's first secretary-general, that
the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."
Unfortunately, the longstanding failure to trace the original document in which the threat was made has given rise to doubts regarding its veracity, and by implication - the murderous Arab intentions: not least since the historical truth has been erased from public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda.
... the missing document was recently found, with an annotated full translation published in the Middle East Quarterly, which I edit...

From the Middle East Quarterly article:
...David Barnett found a Jewish Agency memorandum, submitted on February 2, 1948, to the U.N. Palestine Commission, tasked with the implementation of the partition resolution, and yet again to the U.N. secretary-general on March 29, 1948.
Describing the panoply of Arab threats of war and actual acts of violence aimed at aborting the partition resolution, the memorandum read:
 …  the Secretary-General of the Arab League was thinking in terms which are quite remote from the lofty sentiments of San Francisco. "This war," he said, "will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades."
The Jewish Agency memorandum cites an October 11, 1947 article in the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar al-Yom as the quote's source. An examination of the original article readily confirms the quote's authenticity, laying to rest one of the longest running historiographical debates attending the 1948 war.
*Efraim Karsh is director of the Middle East Forum, research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed.
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