Charles Moore wrote in Telegraph .... As a boy, I loved this narrative. I cheered as Israeli courage swept away the outnumbering Arabs who tried to destroy it again and again. I bought books about the Six-Day War, many of which carried pictures of glamorous female Israeli soldiers.
But then a different narrative supervened. People called "the Palestinians" began to be mentioned. Once upon a time, the word "Palestinian" had no national meaning; it was simply the description on any passport of a person living in British-mandated Palestine. During the 19 years to 1967 when Jordan governed the West Bank, the people there had no self-rule, and no real name.
And although they had no self rule, there were no demands for a separate Palestinian state. The people were ruled by Jordan, and they had no problem being Jordanians (although Jordan really did not want them). Jordan and other Arab countries attacked Israel(unprevoked_, and Israel fought back and took all of their land, plus the Suez Canal and some of Egyptian land. Israel traded the Suez and the Egyptian land back to Egypt for a peace treaty. Egypt could have had the Gaza Strip, which it owned before the war, but it did not want it. And Jordan was willing to make peace with Israel, but they did not want the land west of the Jordan river. Both Egypt and Jordan recognized that the people there were trouble, and they did not want them in their countries. Now these unwanted Arab troublemakers want a country of their own. They don't know what a country is. Those in Gaza should become part of Egypt, those in the West Bank should become part of Jordan, and if there are any that cant live with that, Egypt and Jordan should deal with them.UN Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to leave territories it occupied in 1967, does not mention Palestinians; it speaks only of "Arab refugees". Palestinian nationality came along, as it were, after the fact, a nationality largely based on grievance.
Since then, the story has grown and grown. Israel, which was attacked, has come to be seen as the aggressor. Israel, which has elections that throw governments out and independent commissions that investigate people like Sharon and condemn him, became regarded as the oppressive monster. In a rhetoric that tried to play back upon Jews their own experience of suffering, supporters of the Palestinian cause began to call Israelis Nazis. Holocaust Memorial Day is disapproved of by many Muslims because it ignores the supposedly comparable "genocide" of the Palestinians.
There is no comparable "genocide" of the "Palestinians". Genocide is not a solution, but if there had been a genocide, then Israel's problems would have been solved, because it would have cleaned out the Arabs from Gaza and the West Bank, and Israel could have all of that land, which is very defensable.Western children of the Sixties like this sort of talk. They look for a narrative based on the American civil rights movement or the struggle against apartheid. They care little for economic achievement or political pluralism. They are suspicious of any society with a Western appearance, and in any contest between people with differing skin colours, they prefer the darker. They buy into the idea, now promoted by all Arab regimes and by Muslim firebrands with a permanent interest in deflecting attention from their own societies' problems, that Israel is the greatest problem of all. Well, some will say, that is the way it is: Israel has abused power, and is reaping the whirlwind. I don't want to argue today about the rights and wrongs of Israel's actions, though I think, given its difficulties, it stands up better than most before the bar of history.
I believe the worst thing Israell has done is probably better than just about anything the Arabs have done.All I want to ask my fellow Europeans is this: are you happy to help direct the world's fury at the only country in the Middle East whose civilisation even remotely resembles yours? And are you sure that the fate of Israel has no bearing on your own? In Iran, the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes the link. The battle over Palestine, he says, is "the prelude of the battle of Islam with the world of arrogance", the world of the West. He is busy building his country's nuclear bomb.