Friday, June 17, 2011

A Few Interesting Facts

Joseph Farah, an Arab-American journalist, has a column in the Washington Times that presents an interesting picture of the history of the plight of the Palestinian people. If Farah is correct then perhaps a lot of what we believe about this troubled region may not be historically accurate. He makes the following claims, for example:
The idea of giving the Palestinians their own state is not new. The plan actually dates back to 1948 when Israel was re-created. At that time, so-called "Palestinian" Arabs got their own state – but they rejected it along with the rest of the Arab world.

Prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, there was no serious movement for a "Palestinian" homeland. In the Six-Day War, Israel captured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. But they didn't capture these territories from the "Palestinian Authority" or Hamas. They captured them from Jordan's King Hussein.

The name Palestine was assigned to the region by the Romans in 70 A.D. after they committed genocide against the Jews, smashed the Temple and declared the land of Israel would be no more. From then on, the Romans promised, it would be known as 'Palestine.' The name was derived from the Philistines, a Goliathian people conquered by the Jews centuries earlier. It was a way for the Romans to add insult to injury.

"Palestine" has never existed – before or since – as an autonomous entity.

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass.
Farah also argues that Jerusalem's status as Islam's third most holy site has no basis, at least not in the Koran.
[T]he Quran says nothing about Jerusalem. It mentions Mecca hundreds of times. It mentions Medina countless times. It never mentions Jerusalem. With good reason. There is no historical evidence to suggest Muhammad ever visited Jerusalem.
Whatever the degree of agreement among scholars over the points Farah makes it's a fascinating fact that modern Israel occupies a land area about the size of Belize and yet it has been the focus of the world's attention and Arab animosity ever since it was carved out of Jordan in 1948. Why? What makes Israel different from all the other countries in the world, almost all of which were created by displacing and/or assimilating far more people over far more territory than was Israel?

Moreover, why is it that Arab nations have so much land at their disposal, yet they refuse to assimilate the original Palestinian refugees and their descendents, instead keeping them confined in miserable refugee camps? Moreover, why is it that Arabs are better off living in Israel as Israeli citizens than they are in almost any majority-Arab country?

One last question: Does anyone really believe that there would be peace between Israelis and Palestinians if the Palestinians had their own state?

More on Fast and Furious

Bob Owens at Pajamas Media lays out the details of Project Fast and Furious (also called Gun-Runner) that we talked about yesterday. After explaining what the Iran-Contra scandal was about back in the 80s, Owens outlines the basic contours of Gun-Runner, a scandal he concludes, with very good reason, to be far worse than Iran-Contra.

Owens takes the following from a 51-page report based on testimony of ATF field agents released by Darrell Issa's congressional oversight committee Tuesday. The report consists of testimony from ATF field agents, states Owens, who objected to orders from their supervisors that directly conflicted with their primary order: to always follow the suspect with the gun and always interdict to keep the weapon from being used in a crime. Here's owens' summary of the report's findings:
  • DOJ and ATF inappropriately and recklessly relied on a 20-year-old ATF order to allow guns to walk.” The agencies misrepresented the intention of the order to justify their actions.
  • Supervisors told the agents to ‘get with the program’ because senior ATF officials had sanctioned the operation.” At least one agent was cautioned that if he didn’t stop complaining about the dangerous nature of the operation, he would find himself out of a job, and lucky to be working in a prison.
  • Operation Fast and Furious contributed to the increasing violence and deaths in Mexico. This result was regarded with giddy optimism by ATF supervisors hoping that guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico would provide the nexus to straw purchasers in Phoenix. ATF officials were seemingly unconcerned over the deaths of Mexican law enforcement officers, soldiers, and innocent civilians, noting that you had to “scramble a few eggs” to make an omelette, in a callous disregard of human life.
  • Senior ATF personnel including Acting Director Ken Melson, and senior Department of Justice officials at least up to an assistant attorney general, were well aware of and supported the operation.
  • Department of Justice officials hid behind semantics to lie and deny that they allowed guns to be walked across the border.
  • When asked by the Oversight Committee how many of 1,750 specific weapons that “walked” under orders of the ATF and DOJ could have been interdicted if agents were allowed to act as they were trained, the agents answered they could have stopped every single one.
  • The more than 2,000 weapons that the Obama Justice Department allowed to be delivered to Mexican narco-terrorist cartels are thought to have been used in the shooting of an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers battling the cartels. Two American law enforcement officers have also presumably fallen prey to these weapons, along with an unknown number of civilians on both sides of the border.
  • President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice has purposefully armed narco-terrorist drug cartels that have been accused of bombings, ambushes, mass murders, public executions, and the assassination of police, politicians, and civic leaders.
  • Obama’s Justice Department armed the enemy of our neighbor and ally, providing enough arms to equip ten infantry companies, or two battalions, of violent drug dealers.
So when will our media stop talking about the Anthonys (Weiner and Casey) and start talking about this?