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Explain to me Israeli support

9286 Views 297 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  linskyjack
Have read many articles over the past couple of years concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and understand the basics of the conflict, I think, but I do not understand why the US Government seems to want to back Israel no matter what they do.
1) If terrorist lives in this home then terrorist is killed and family home destroyed even if home is filled with other family members not involved.
2) Arbitrarily annex territory at whim taking over others lands Palestinians have homesteaded for years and use as Israel pleases.
3) The killing of a wheelchair bound, blind and deaf leader.

I assume there is some history to this backing and wish to know.

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Originally posted by Wino:
PLS - what's this "we" thingy? :D Speaking for Texas only, we warred and took land from the Mexicans and formed a Republic without the aid of the US. With immigration and birth rates, the Mexicans are slowly taking it back peacefully without firing a shot or suicide bombers. May be the Palestinians could learn something from this.;)
Give me time Wino, give me time. I was voted most likely to cause a civil war. in college.:D

Glad you found it helpful.

I think I must expand upon my earlier comment.

Perhaps correctly, I ought to have said "particularly politicians and the media"!

This comment applies equally to Brits, of a certain (younger!) age, too, Dave!

It is just a personal thing, OK, but in order to understand (and therefore debate cogently) about a subject, I believe that one has to bother to sweat the research and enjoy as much knowledge as possible about the background.


Sometimes feels like it, Moby!:D :D


:cool: :cool:
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Originally posted by infidel_kast:
Give me time Wino, give me time. I was voted most likely to cause a civil war. in college.:D
IK - you just may have a soul mate here. We should join forces and return Texas to a Republic. Three of my greatest loves were Latina's and one mateza. Have always been partial to the Mexican culture and it's sense of family, not to mention their ability to party! Having grown up in So. Texas and traveling extensively in Mexico have enjoyed my associations and friendships. I have absolutely no objections to the growth in Mexican population in Texas - just wish you guys would stay on the left side of the political spectrum!:D

Rather than state an opinion thats worth no more / or less than anyone else's, you might like to peruse these articles (divided into categories so you can see at a glace which aspect is being discussed.)

A Conflict of Cousins (and related articles) :

History of European Zionism :

History of the Stern Gang :

Jordan - is part of Palestine too :

Post WW2 & Contemporary Events Q & A - eg US Support for Israel. (And Links.)


Some of the sites linked to will certainly be partisan to one side or the other, however there are enough links to give you a (hopefully) objective view of the subject.

All the best,

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RSM123: Rather than state an opinion, I will list a URL to a website????? What is found at the website if not another opinion?

If I took MY opinion and put it on a website, then listed the link to that website here, would that make you happy?

Davey: I think your original thought was correct. It IS basically about the oil. The are many historical government documents that discuss the importance of the region and the "stupendous prize" that the oil is.

While the US gets most of its oil from Venezuela, they still want to control the oil because it represents a vast source of wealth and power. The US wants to be in a position to deny it to others if push comes to shove.

For that purpose they have Israel. Described as the "cop on the beat" (police headquarters remains in the US of course) by government officials. Also described as the largest "aircraft carrier" the US has!

Basically, it IS about the oil.

GB: About that bit that "God doesn't like people who oppose Israel" - - the US didn't seem too troubled about God when Eisenhower opposed Israel during the 1956 Suez Crisis.

P.S. But, I do not believe that post that said Israel itself is sitting on oil. It just happens to be a handy base in the area and an available thug for hire.

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Thanks from me too Paq. Amazingly I knew much of that, but I did not know Russia was behind the Egyptian Israeli war.

Have to wonder why I never thought about it! ;)
Unless Texas is even bigger then I thought some small additional lands were added in the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

Here is an entertaining presentation circa 1911

David Saville Muzzey's popular 1911 text "American History"
explained the Mexican War to school children of the early twentieth century, told why the United States seized California in 1846, and how the U.S. ended the Texas-Mexico border dispute. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which officially ended the war, was signed in 1848, just nine days after gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. Dr. Muzzey's text also gave great insight into contemporary American thinking about "Manifest Destiny." This text, and its revised editions, was still in classroom use as late as the 1940's.
The Mexican War
by David Saville Muzzey, Ph.D.
Barnard College, Columbia University, New York
Mexico refuses to recognize the Annexation of Texas.

The annexation of Texas was a perfectly fair transaction. For nine years, since the victory of San Jacinto in 1836, Texas had been an independent republic, whose reconquest Mexico had not the slightest chance of effecting. In fact, at the very moment of annexation, the Mexican government, at the suggestion of England, had agreed to recognize the independence of Texas, on condition that the republic should not join itself to the United States. We were not taking Mexican territory, then, in annexing Texas. The new state had come into the Union claiming the Rio Grande as her southern and western boundary. By the terms of annexation all boundary disputes with Mexico were referred by Texas to the government of the United States. President Polk sent John Slidell of Louisiana to Mexico in the autumn of 1845 to adjust any differences over the Texan claims. But though Slidell labored for months to get a hearing, two successive presidents of revolution-torn Mexico refused to recognize him, and he was dismissed from the country in August, 1846.

Taylor attacked on the Rio Grande.

The massing of Mexican troops on the southern bank of the Rio Grande, coupled with the refusal of the Mexican government to receive Slidell, led President Polk to order General Zachary Taylor to move to the borders. Taylor marched to the Rio Grande and fortified a position on the northern bank. The Mexican and the American troops were thus facing each other across the river. When Taylor refused to retreat to the Nueces, the Mexican commander crossed the Rio Grande, ambushed a scouting force of 63 Americans, and killed or wounded 16 of them (April 24, 1846).

The United States accepts War with Mexico.

When the news of the attack reached Washington early in May, Polk sent a special message to Congress, concluding with these words:

"We have tried every effort at reconciliation...But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States [the Rio Grande], has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil. She has proclaimed that hostilities have commenced, and that the two nations are at war. As war exists, and, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country."

The House and Senate, by very large majorities (174 to 14, and 40 to 2), voted 50,000 men and $10,000,000 for the prosecution of the war.

Taylor invades Mexico.

Meanwhile, General Taylor had driven the Mexicans back to the south bank of the Rio Grande in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. Six days after the vote of Congress sanctioning the war, he crossed the Rio Grande and occupied the Mexican frontier town of Matamoros, whence he proceeded during the summer and autumn of 1846 to capture the capitals of three of the Mexican provinces.

The Occupation of California and New Mexico.

As soon as hostilities began, Commodore Sloat, in command of our squadron in the Pacific, was ordered to seize California, and General [Stephen Watts] Kearny was sent to invade New Mexico. The occupation of California was practically undisputed. Mexico had only the faintest shadow of authority in the province, and the 6000 white inhabitants made no objection to seeing the flag of the United States raised over their forts. Kearny started with 1800 men from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in June, and on the eighteenth of August defeated the force of 4000 Mexicans and Indians which disputed his occupation of Santa Fé. After garrisoning this important post he detached Colonel Doliphan with 850 men to march through the northern provinces of Mexico and effect a juncture with General Taylor at Monterey, while he himself with only 100 men continued his long journey of 1500 miles to San Diego, California, where he joined Sloat's successor, Stockton.

Taylor's Victory at Buena Vista.

After these decided victories and uninterrupted marches of Taylor, Kearny, Sloat, Stockton, and Doniphan, the Mexican government was offered a fair chance to treat for peace, which it refused. Then President Polk decided, with the unanimous consent of his cabinet, to strike at the heart of Mexico. General Winfield Scott, a hero of the War of 1812, was put in command of an army of about 12,000 men, to land at Vera Cruz and fight his way up the mountains to the capital city of Mexico. Santa Anna, who, by the rapid shift of revolutions, was again dictator in Mexico, heard of this plan to attack the capital and hastened north with 20,000 troops to surprise and destroy Taylor's army before Scott should have time to take Vera Cruz. But Taylor, with an army one-fourth the size of Santa Anna's, drove the Mexicans back in the hotly contested battle of Buena Vista (February 23, 1847), securing the Californian and New Mexican conquests. Santa Anna hastened southward to the defense of the city of Mexico.

Scott take the city of Mexico.

Scott took Vera Cruz in March and worked his way slowly but surely, against forces always superior to his own, up to the very gates of Mexico (August, 1847). Here he paused, by the President's orders, to allow the Mexicans another chance to accept the terms of peace which the United States offered,-the cession by Mexico of New Mexico and California in return for a large payment of money. The Mexican commissioners, however, insisted on having both banks of the Rio Grande and all of California up to the neighborhood of San Francisco, besides receiving damages for injuries inflicted by the American troops in their invasions. These claims were preposterous, coming from a conquered country, and there was nothing left for Scott to do but to resume military operations. Santa Anna defended the capital with a force of 30,000 men, but the Mexicans were no match for the American soldiers. Scott stormed the fortified hill of Chapultepec and advanced to the gates of the city. On the thirteenth of September his troops entered the Mexican capital and raised the Stars and Strips over "the palace of the Montezumas."

Polk's Efforts to secure Peace.

From the beginning of the war Polk had been negotiating for peace. He had kept Slidell in Mexico long after the opening of hostilities and had sent Nicholas Trist as special peace commissioner to join Scott's army at Vera Cruz and to offer Mexico terms of peace at the earliest possible moment. He had allowed Santa Anna to return to Mexico from his exile in Cuba in the summer of 1846, because the wily and treacherous dictator held out false promises of effecting a reconciliation between Mexico and the United States. He had asked Congress for an appropriation of $2,000,000 for peace negotiations when General Taylor was still near the Rio Grande, ten days before General Kearny had taken Santa Fé and the province of New Mexico, and before General Scott's campaign had been thought of.

The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.

When the Mexican commissioners made advances for peace at the beginning of the year 1848, they were given terms almost as liberal as those offered them before Scott had stormed and occupied their capital. By the treaty concluded at Guadalupe-Hidalgo, February 2, 1848, Mexico was required to cede California and New Mexico to the United States and to recognize the Rio Grande as the southern and western boundary of Texas. In return, the United States paid Mexico $15,000,000 cash and assumed some $3,250,000 more in claims of American citizens on the Mexican government. Considering the facts that California was scarcely under Mexican control at all and might have been taken at any moment by Great Britain, France, or Russia; that New Mexico was still the almost undisturbed home of Indian tribes; that the land from the Nueces to the Rio Grande was almost a desert; and that the American troops were in possession of the Mexican capital, the terms offered Mexico were very generous. Polk was urged by many to annex the whole country of Mexico to the United States, but he refused to consider such a proposal.

The Justice of the Mexican War.

The Mexican War has generally been condemned by American historians as "the foulest blot on our national honor," a war forced upon Mexico by slaveholders greedy for new territory, a perfect illustration of La Fontaine's fable of the wolf picking a quarrel with the lamb solely for an excuse to devour him. But Mexico had insulted our flag, plundered our commerce, imprisoned our citizens, lied to our representatives, and spurned our envoys. As early as 1837 President Jackson said that Mexico's offenses "would justify in the eyes of all nations immediate war." To be sure we were a strong nation and Mexico a weak one. But weakness should not give immunity to continued and open insolence. We had a right to annex Texas after that republic had maintained its independence for nine years; yet Mexico made annexation a cause of war. We were willing to discuss the boundaries of Texas with Mexico; but our accredited envoy was rejected by two successive Mexican presidents, who were afraid to oppose the war spirit of their country. We even refrained from taking Texas into the Union until Great Britain had interfered so far as to persuade Mexico to recognize the independence of Texas if she would refuse to join the United States.

The Moral Aspect of the Annexation of Texas.

If there was anything disgraceful in the expansionist program of the decade 1840-1850, it was not the Mexican War, but the annexation of Texas. The position of the abolitionists on this question was clear and logical. They condemned the annexation of Texas as a wicked extension of the slavery area, notwithstanding all arguments about "fulfilling our manifest destiny" or "attaining our natural boundaries." To annex Texas might be legally right, they said, but it was morally wrong. James Russell Lowell, in his magnificent poem "The Present Crisis" (1844), warned the annexationists that "They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin." We certainly assumed a great moral responsibility when we annexed Texas. However, it was not to Mexico that we were answerable, but to the enlightened conscience of the nation.

Completion of the Program of Expansion.

With our acquisition of the Oregon territory to the forty-ninth parallel by the treaty of 1846 with Great Britain, and the cession of California and New Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, the boundaries of the United States reached practically their present limits. The work of westward extension was done. Expansion, the watchword of the decade 1840-1850, was dropped from our vocabulary for fifty years, and the immense energies of the nation were directed toward finding a plan on which the new territory could be organized in harmony with the conflicting interests of the free and slave sections of our country.
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Originally posted by gbrumb:
Consider this, the Torah provides and I'm paraphrasing, that any nation which turns its back on the Jews shall perish. Just thought I'd through that out for consideration.
Glad you put that one in, GB.

It was a central plank of Christianity as taught to me, many years ago.

Also, that the Jewish nation would one day rise up and rebuild Solomans Temple on its original site.

Which is where one of the most sacrosanct Islamic sites resides.

I must confess, whilst an admirer of what Israel has achieved and despite huge military aggression from such as Eqypt (twice), I am somewhat ambivalent concerning the dispossessed Palestinians.

In fact, I was with one, yesterday: his family migrated when he was about 13. He is now a very anglicised British businessman and very successful, too.

Of course, I cannot condone the violence of such as Al Fatah, Black September, Hezbollah, Hammas etc.

However, I have great sympathy with Islamic and Christian Palestinians who have been summirarily booted out of their homes and businesses.

I would feel aggrieved, too.

Don'y know the answer to this one...............................

:( :(
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I weell remember, Basset, having lunch at the Carlton Towers in about 1978/9, with a charming Irish Doctor of Philosophy.

He had been a Prof. at the School of Oriental languages in Teheran.

Since the revolution of the Fundamentalist Sh'ia was focused (as often is the case) amongst the young intellectuals, he was able to travel backwards and forwards and was trading on behalf of the Irish Dairy Marketing Board, selling essential foodstuffs, like baby milk and so on.

I asked him about the Iranian revolution.

He told me that when mounting a revolution or a coup, you always ensured that when it was over, you controlled the Army: and the first thing was to give them a pay rise!

Where Soviet Russia failed in this case, was that they didn't control the army.

I asked him then, who ruled Iran?

He replied, the guy with the Kalashnikov and the box of grenades under his bed!

He explained, this meant most "Normal" Iranian men.

In other words, it was anarchy, for a long time afterwards.

Same, it seems, now, sadly, in Iraq.


:( :(
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Hey Davey! Did you run over to Appleton today? Seriously. :confused: :D
I asked Davey the question about land taken from another and if and when and who it belongs to.
He said it depends. I would be curious to hear his and other opinions on this.
The story of the Mexican war I posted above presents obviously a centrist view c1911 as it was for schoolkids.
The similarities to the Isreali annexations are striking. Land was taken from the mexicans but texicans which was then annexed by the US Mexico refused ,massed troops on the border but lost to a more modern army and was forced to cede large areas of territory.
From that vantage the arabs fair and square lost all the lands taken by Isreal.
After WWII we sanctioned large transfers of land and encouraged that populations move and be resettled.
However we denied both the Koreans and the vietnamese the ability to reunite their countries by force.
We allowed India to take Goa and Bhutan, indonesia to take New Guinea.
We allowed the jews to take Isreal and the Syrians de facto to take Lebonon but denied the right of the Iraqis to take Kuwait .

Anybody want to hazard a definition of when annexation is OK and when it is not??
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No I did not. I had to work and cannot afford time off.
I did however listen to the broadcast of his presentation as I generally do to all candidates.
It will be interesting to here the 9-11 commissions questioning of Condoleezza Rice. A must hear or see....... drilling. I am sure the questioning will fall on party lines again but never the less it will be interesting.


PS: Lets try and stay on track of this thread though.
Originally posted by plschwartz:
I asked Davey the question about land taken from another and if and when and who it belongs to.
He said it depends. I would be curious to hear his and other opinions on this.
The story of the Mexican war I posted above presents obviously a centrist view c1911 as it was for schoolkids.
The similarities to the Isreali annexations are striking. Land was taken from the mexicans but texicans which was then annexed by the US Mexico refused ,massed troops on the border but lost to a more modern army and was forced to cede large areas of territory.
From that vantage the arabs fair and square lost all the lands taken by Isreal.
After WWII we sanctioned large transfers of land and encouraged that populations move and be resettled.
However we denied both the Koreans and the vietnamese the ability to reunite their countries by force.
We allowed India to take Goa and Bhutan, indonesia to take New Guinea.
We allowed the jews to take Isreal and the Syrians de facto to take Lebonon but denied the right of the Iraqis to take Kuwait .

Anybody want to hazard a definition of when annexation is OK and when it is not??
. OK. the Brits and France parceled out a land that had feudal leadership (mullahs) and created a NEW country, Israel, regardless of historical ownership, afterall, couldn't anyone claim that Jews abandoned it? And if we are going to claim prior ownership, then don't all Indian tribes own the uS. As far as Iraq/ Kuwait, Iraq claimed Kuwait as the 13th province, but Kuwait had a border that was internationally recognized and has a legitimate government.
I have a point of contentionnin claiming that Texas was annexed in a literal sense. Texas JOINED the union, if we are claiming annexation in a definiotn that is commonly used today, then Texas would have either been a territory or a part of the US then. Annexation is not FORCIBLY taking property. It is an agreement between different governments, usually city and county.
As far as the Arabs losing fair and square, Israel got the Golan heights, the West bank, and the Gaza strip because of the 6 day war, to the victors goes the spoils. However, Israel continues to allow illegal settling in disputed areas that are covered under Oslo I and II, in direct violation of Palestinian autonomy.
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I said "It depends on how it was lost."
I will review your posting later and let you know what I think in that regard.

I would say that the the US used the term annexation to take what they wanted as we did from the American Indian and gave virtually nothing in return. When the resistance ensued unfortunately the weaker of the two will loose its rights and in many cases loose their lives.
This does not make it right, nor was it the right thing to do but unfortunately man claiming to be the most civilized creature of this World is probably the least civilized when it comes to money, land, and now oil.
As far as the Jews and Israel I am not completely versed in the circumstances as of yet to give an intelligent answer to my opinion.
However my belief is whomever was there first and developed the land to support their clan carries the rights to the land. If it is lost to conquerors that does not change the right, only creates an injustice that will revolve in the repeat of history.

Originally posted by infidel_kast:
. OK. the Brits and France parceled out a land that had feudal leadership (mullahs) and created a NEW country, Israel, regardless of historical ownership, afterall, couldn't anyone claim that Jews abandoned it? And if we are going to claim prior ownership, then don't all Indian tribes own the uS. As far as Iraq/ Kuwait, Iraq claimed Kuwait as the 13th province, but Kuwait had a border that was internationally recognized and has a legitimate government.

As far as the Arabs losing fair and square, Israel got the Golan heights, the West bank, and the Gaza strip because of the 6 day war, to the victors goes the spoils. However, Israel continues to allow illegal settling in disputed areas that are covered under Oslo I and II, in direct violation of Palestinian autonomy.
Now hold on there one tad, Infidel Kast!

The original land granted to Israel by the UN was pretty poor: and included whole tracts of desert and swamps! Out of interest, the swamps were reclaimed by Israel using Australian Gum Trees and lots of hard graft! NO ARABS LIVED THERE!

Desert areas were made into arable land by much work and irrigation. NO ARABS LIVED THERE EITHER!

1. The state of Israel was created in 1948 by the United Nations, NOT Britain and France. As I stated earlier.

2. After the Yom Kippur War, Israel in fact had:

(i) Captured the Suez Canal (illegally sequestrated from France by Nasser);

(ii) Had made great inroads INTO Eqypt;

(iii) In the UN sponsored peace, brokered between Heny Kissinger (A German Jew, let's remember!) and Golda Meir, the above were handed back, despite protestations from the Israeli Right.

(iv) After Camp David they handed back huge tracts of land and important strategic assets.

(v) The Jews didn't start either the Six Day War or the Yom Kippur war.

As I stated in my earlier post, I am ambivalent in this matter, but have sympathy for both sides in this human tragedy.

Finally, it has to be remembered that Jews had lived and therefore occupied parts of Palestine since time immemorial.

Let's have some historical facts in this debate, dammnit!

:cool: :cool:
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Not sure what is being said here.
IK and Paq have two conflicting views on what transpired. Lets not let this go to flame please.
Somewhere there is truth to the matter and that is what I would like to know.
I have learned so much from you guys and am finally getting to the point I may understand what happened so lets see where this goes.

Paq, and everyone else, here is a chronology of the creation of Israel. Here is the link, and go to the link because it has maps.
Paq is somewhat correct when he says that Israel was mostly barren, 60% was in the Negev desert. However, in the Peel Commission map, Israel gets twice as much coastal property than the Arabs, and under the UN plan, the Arab state is completely surrounded on three sides by Israel and have a gerrymandered border with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. It clearly FAVORS Israel and I would probably be a bit pissed off also.
When you say "Arabs" are you referring to Muslims, or the indigenous people there to begin with.
As far as the 6 day war, it was in direct response to Israel being formed. Without making any Brits mad, if you look at the chronology, the Brits double crossed the leaders in Palestine and they got mad.

70 CE [1] The Destruction of the Temple and the Jewish Dispersion

Jews have lived in the Land of Israel for nearly 4000 years, going back to the period of the Biblical patriarchs (c.1900 BCE). The story of Jewish life in ancient Israel is recorded in detail in the Hebrew Bible (the Christian "Old Testament").

The dispersion of the Jewish people is traditionally dated from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, an event considered by the Romans to be a victory of such significance that they commemorated it by erecting the triumphal Arch of Titus, which still dominates the Roman Forum. The Roman historian Cassius Dio records that in a subsequent revolt in 135 CE some 580,000 Jewish soldiers were killed; and following that revolt the Emperor Hadrian decreed that the name "Judea" [2] should be replaced by "Syria Palestina" - Philistine Syria or "Palestine". [3]

In the ensuing years the greater part of the Jewish population went into exile as captives, slaves and refugees, although Galilee remained a centre of Jewish institutions and learning until the sixth century CE.

As strangers and outsiders in the countries of their dispersion, the Jews were subjected to discriminatory laws and taxes and, particularly with the rise of Christianity, to humiliation and active persecution. However, through the centuries of exile, the hope for redemption of the land of Israel remained a focal point of the Jewish religion and national identity.

Today there are about 14 million Jews in the world, of whom some five and a half million live in Israel.

622 The Birth of Islam

The Hijra, the "migration" of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina, marked the establishment of the Islamic religion in Arabia. At the height of its power during the next hundred years, Islamic rule extended from India to southern France.

638 The Arab conquest of Palestine

In the seventh century Palestine was predominantly Christian and Greek speaking, ruled from Constantinople ("Byzantium") as a part of the Byzantine Empire, the successor of the eastern Roman Empire.

In 638 the Islamic Caliph Omar I completed the Arab conquest of Palestine with the capture of Jerusalem from the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. Omar built the Dome of the Rock on the site of the Temple, and henceforth Jerusalem was proclaimed the third most holy site of Islam.

From 638 to 1099 Palestine was part of the empires successively ruled by the Arab dynasties centred in Damascus and Baghdad. The result was an entrenchment of the Arabic language and culture and the dominance of Islam, although a significant proportion of the population remained Christian. Like most of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa, the people of Palestine thus came to describe themselves as "Arabs".

1099 The Crusaders establish the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1187 Saladin, the Kurdish ruler of Egypt defeats the Crusaders.

1516 Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey takes Jerusalem

Under Turkish Muslim rule Palestine was governed from Constantinople for the next four hundred years, ending with the defeat of Turkey as an ally of Germany in the First World War in 1917.

By the 19th century the population of Turkish Palestine had been reduced to less than 500,000, including about 25,000 Jews. The only fertile areas were in the narrow central plain. The north consisted of rocky hills and of valleys which had largely degenerated into swampland, while the south was mostly desert.

1882 The Jews of Russia and the origins of modern Zionism

Meanwhile, some five million Jews lived in Russia. Following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, and the succession of the more repressive Alexander III, anti- Jewish laws were re-introduced. Boys of twelve were conscripted for twenty-five years in the army; Jews were allowed to live only in restricted areas and "pogroms" (violent attacks on Jewish villages and neighbourhoods) swept through Russia.

The overwhelming response was emigration to America. Another was Zionism, the political movement aimed at restoring a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In 1882 the first of the modern Zionist waves of immigration began, with the establishment of agricultural settlements under conditions of severe hardship, and generally dependent on the support of Jewish philanthropists. A second wave of immigration in 1904 after another wave of persecution in Russia. By 1914 the Jewish population was approximately 85,000 in a total population of approximately 650,000.

1897 Theodore Herzl calls the First Zionist Congress

As a journalist in Paris representing a Viennese newspaper, Herzl witnessed the anti-semitic outbreaks at the beginning of the "Dreyfus Affair".[4]

Shocked by the anti-semitism in France, the land of liberty and emancipation, he concluded that Jewish freedom and dignity required the restoration of a Jewish national homeland, and in 1896 he wrote "Der Judenstaat", a program for the establishment of a Jewish state. He forecast that a state would come into existence within 50 years. "If you will it", he said, "it is no dream".

In 1897 he convened the first Zionist Congress at Basle in Switzerland, comprising 204 representatives of Jewish communities, which created the World Zionist Organisation. The official statement of the Zionist aims was adopted by the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, on August 1897 and is recorded in the Basle declaration of 1987.

After a series of pogroms in Russia, culminating in a massacre at Kishinev in 1903, there was great pressure in Britain to take Jewish immigration. The British government first offered the Zionist organisation the enclave of El Arish, on the coast of the Sinai desert, and then seriously offered Uganda (then known as "East Africa") as a Jewish homeland and place of refuge.

1914-1918 The First World War

In 1914 the Turkish Empire entered the First World War on the side of Germany. From the outset British control of the sea route to India (passing adjacent to Palestine and through the Suez Canal) was an essential strategic objective in the war.

In 1915 Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, corresponded with the Sherif Hussein of Mecca, the head of the ancient ruling Hashemite clan, promising British support for an Arab revolt against the Turks, and British recognition of Arab independence after a successful uprising. The area of Arab rule was ambiguously described, and the British Government later denied any promise that Arab independence would extend to Palestine. [5] This correspondence is recorded in the McMahon-Hussein Letter of 1915.

The Arab uprising which occurred with the assistance of Colonel T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") took the form of a march of Bedouin tribes from the Arabian Peninsula to Damascus, and succeeded in disrupting the Turkish railway system in the region.Meanwhile, a number of the Jewish settlers who had been expelled from Palestine by the Turks, joined either the "Zion Mule Corps" which fought at Gallipoli, or the Jewish Legion, a regiment of the British Fusiliers, which fought with the Allied Forces in the Middle East.

Australian forces also fought in Palestine, and the famous charge of the Australian Light Horsemen which resulted in the capture of Beersheba, was a turning point in the campaign.

1917 The Balfour Declaration

On 2nd November 1917, one month before British troops under General Allenby entered Jerusalem, the British Government made the following declaration in a letter from Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild, president of the British Zionist Federation:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Reasons for the Declaration

- The Zionist Idea:

Zionist aspirations were conveyed persuasively by the British Zionist leader Dr. Chaim Weizmann to Prime Minister Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, both of whom were religious men with a knowledge of the Bible, and essentially in sympathy.

(Note: As a scientist working for the British Admiralty, Weizmann had invented a process for synthesizing acetone which played an important part in the British war effort, and this gave him some access to the political leadership. Weizmann later became the first President of the State of Israel.)

- British Strategic Aims:

Palestine controlled the Eastern Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, which were part of the sea route to India, the Far East and Australia. The Balfour Declaration provided a basis for a British protectorate after the War.

(During the early stages of the negotiations, American Jewish support for U.S. entry into the war was considered important. There was also a need to counter the Russian Jewish expectation that Germany might liberate them from the Tsarist yoke.)

There were two Jews in the British cabinet. Sir Herbert Samuel, who later became the first British High Commissioner under the Mandate, supported the Declaration. It was opposed by Sir Edwin Montague, who summarised his view with the words "I am His Majesty's Secretary of State for India, and you want to say that my national home is in Palestine!"

1919 The Paris Peace Conference

In 1918 Weizmann met the Emir Faisal, the leader of the Arab forces in the war and the son of the Hashemite ruler Hussein, the Sherif of Mecca, at Ma'an in southern Transjordan. Weizmann and Faisal reached an agreement which was formalised at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, which discussed the drawing of new national boundaries which followed the conclusion of the First World War. Faisal conveyed the spirit of the agreement in a letter to United States Justice Frankfurter, leader of the American Zionist delegation:

"The Jewish movement is national and not imperialist, and there is room in Syria for us both ..... We shall welcome the Jews back home."

However in March 1920, a Syrian congress held in Damascus rejected the Balfour Declaration and elected Faisal King of a united Syria, including Palestine. The French then deposed Faisal in July 1920, and he later became King of Iraq under the British mandate.

1920 The Treaty of San Remo

At the allied conference at San Remo, in April 1920, at which the Allied Powers determined the fate of the former Turkish possessions, the Balfour Declaration was approved, and it was agreed that a mandate to Britain should be formally given by the League of Nations over the area which now comprises Israel, Jordan and the Golan Heights, which was to be called the "Mandate of Palestine".
The Balfour Declaration was to apply to the whole of the mandated territory.

The British Mandate 1920 - 1948

(for larger map click above)

The treaty of San Remo was ratified by the League of Nations in July 1922. In September 1922, a clause was added to the Mandate memorandum separating Transjordan (the territory on the east bank of the river) from the rest of Palestine. The British installed the Emir Abdullah, another son of Hussein of Mecca, as ruler of Transjordan under British tutelage, and that part of the mandated area was excluded from the operation of the Balfour Declaration by the British White Paper of 1922. [6] In 1946 Transjordan gained its independence as "The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan".

In 1923 the Golan Heights was ceded by Britain to the French Mandate of Syria.

1919-1948 Jewish Settlement in Palestine

The Jewish population in Palestine increased to 678,000 by 1946. During the period between 1919 and 1946, the development of the country in turn attracted substantial Arab immigration, and the Arab population doubled, to 1,269,000. [7] Jewish immigration followed waves of persecution in central and eastern Europe, and increased dramatically after the accession of Hitler in 1933. The forms of settlement reflected the various Zionist ideologies, socialist, religious or nationalist. The dominant ideology was socialist, and this found expression in the development of unique social and economic enterprises, such as the Kibbutzim, [8] the Moshavim [9] and the Histadrut. [10]

Land was purchased with funds raised by Jewish communities throughout the world. [11] Malarial swamps were drained, trees were planted and desert areas were reclaimed, and the city of Tel Aviv rose from the sand dunes.

1920 -1939 The Arab Response

In April 1920, during the British Military Occupation which preceded the Mandate, the Arabs of Palestine rioted in protest against Jewish settlement. In Jerusalem the riots took the form of violent attacks on the Jewish population. In Galilee, armed groups attacked Jewish settlers.

On 1 May 1921 a Jewish Labour Day march was attacked and 47 Jews were killed.

In August 1929 a dispute at the Western Wall [12] in Jerusalem flared into riots which spread throughout the country. The Jewish community in Hebron (the burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) was wiped out. In all 133 Jews were killed and many hundreds were wounded.

In December 1931 a Muslim Conference in Jerusalem attended by 22 countries denounced Zionism, and in 1933 a boycott of British and Zionist goods was proclaimed.

In April 1936 the Arab political parties formed an Arab Higher Committee under the presidency of Haj Amin El Husseini, the Mufti [13] of Jerusalem and head of the influential Husseini clan. A general strike was proclaimed, which lasted for six months, and armed groups were again organised to attack Jewish settlements.

In 1937, when the British outlawed the Arab Higher Committee, the Mufti fled from Palestine to Nazi Germany where he established close relations with the government. Here he endorsed and offered assistance in Hitler's "final solution" of the Jewish problem.

1920-1937 The British reaction

The British Government responded to the Arabs' violent protests against Jewish immigration and land acquisition, by instituting commissions of inquiry, holding Royal Commissions and issuing policy statements in the form of "White Papers". The 1922 "Churchill" White Paper limited immigration to the "economic absorptive capacity of the country". The 1930 policy statement restricted the transfer of land to Jews.

In 1937 the Royal Commission presided over by Lord Peel came to the conclusion that the Mandate was unworkable, and proposed a partition plan. The plan proposed that the cities of Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Jerusalem and the corridor between them (including the Arab towns of Lod and Ramle) should remain under British control, that the remaining area should be divided between Arab and Jewish states, and that Jewish immigration should be strictly limited. The Jewish reaction to the plan was ambivalent. The Arabs were strongly opposed and stepped up their revolt.

The Peel Commission Partition Plan, July 1937

1938 The Evian Conference

By 1938 the position of the Jews in Europe was desperate. The anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws and the concentration camps were in place. Germany would let the Jews leave, but no country would grant sufficient entry visas, and they remained trapped. At the Conference on Refugees held at the resort town of Evian in France, the participants refused to make any substantial alteration in their strict immigration quotas. [14]

1939 The London Conference and the White Paper

In January 1939 a conference between the British Government and Jewish and Arab representatives took place in London. The Arabs demanded an immediate end to Jewish immigration and land acquisition. The Jews of Germany sent a message stating that their situation was one of life or death, that it was inconceivable that Britain should sacrifice them.

The outcome of the conference was the 1939 White Paper. This provided for strict limitations on Jewish land ownership, that during the next five years no more than 75,000 immigrants would be permitted, and that after that period no further Jewish immigration should be allowed unless the Arabs of Palestine were 'prepared to acquiesce in it'.

The Arabs rejected the White Paper on the ground that it continued to permit Jewish immigration and settlement. When war broke out, the Jews of Palestine adopted the slogan: "We shall fight the Germans as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no Germans."

1939-1945 World War II and the Nazi Holocaust

Six million Jews were exterminated in Europe in conditions of calculated atrocity unique and unprecedented in world history. The world's conception of the nature of human civilization will never be the same. The perpetrators of the mass-produced sadism of the Holocaust were, after all, products of one of the most highly cultured and technically advanced societies ever known. One lesson was clear: in times of severe crisis in any country, no outsider is safe. The survival of the Jewish people depended on the existence of a national territory and a capacity for self-defence.

1945-1947 The Post-War Immigration Crisis and the Jewish Revolt

After the war, Britain was anxious to consolidate its Middle East interests. Priorities included control of oil supplies and maintenance of the sea route to the Persian Gulf and the Far East, all of which required Arab friendship.

Under Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary in the Labour Government, the White Paper policy of severe restrictions on Jewish immigration was continued. The survivors of the Displaced Persons Camps of Europe demanded to go to Palestine. Illegal immigration by desperate survivors in chartered boats, often barely seaworthy, increased in scale, and those who were unsuccessful in avoiding the British Navy were put into camps in Cyprus and Mauritius, or returned to Europe.

British troops were shipped to Palestine to meet the growing Jewish resistance. Various groups opposed the British, including the Haganah the Irgun and the more extreme Stern Group. One major event in the conflict was the bombing by the Irgun of the British Army Headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, resulting in British, Arab and Jewish casualties. The Irgun claimed that the building had not be evacuated despite clear warnings.

Leaders of the Jewish resistance groups were arrested. Some were imprisoned, some deported and some hanged. In retaliation five British sergeants were kidnapped by the Irgun and hanged. The fundamental differences in policy between the Haganah [15] and the Irgun [16] led to the bombing by the Haganah of the "Altalena", a ship bringing arms to the Irgun.

1946-1947 United Nations intervention

Attempts to settle matters failed. In 1946 an Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry called for the immediate entry into Palestine of 100,000 survivors. In 1947 the British agreed to intervention by the newly formed United Nations, and a United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was established, including Australian participation.

After taking evidence, UNSCOP recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in economic union (each state consisting of three segments), and an internationalized Jerusalem. While the Jewish state comprised sixty percent of the total area, over half of it was the barren and unpopulated Negev Desert.

An Ad Hoc Committee of the UN, under the chairmanship of Dr. H.V. Evatt, Foreign Minister of Australia, drafted the partition resolution. On 29th November 1947, the resolution was passed by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, after much suspense about the US position. An extract from the 1947 Partition Plan is available here.

The United Nations Partition plan

There was now an international charter for the creation of the State of Israel. It is notable that the partition resolution was strongly supported by the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, as they opposed British interests in the Middle East.

1947-1948 From the Partition Resolution to Independence

The Jews accepted the partition plan with celebration in the streets. The Arabs denounced the plan and refused to set up a provisional government for the proposed Arab state. Britain announced that it would not co-operate in the actual execution of the partition plan, and would withdraw its forces on 15th May 1948.

Arab hostilities began immediately in the form of a general strike, widespread rioting, and attacks on Jews throughout the country. Armed Arab forces appeared, the largest being the Arab Liberation Army led Fauzi AI-Kaukji, a former Turkish officer, and supported by Syrian officers and irregular troops.

By March 1948, with British forces still in Palestine, an all-out war for access to Jerusalem and control of Galilee was in progress. By mid-May the Jewish population had sustained some 2,500 dead, half of them civilians. Arab casualties are not known.

On 18 March 1948 the United States called on the Security Council to postpone the implementation of the Partition, and to set up a temporary UN Trusteeship. The British, certain that the Arabs would succeed in destroying the new State, gave assistance to Transjordan, and Major-General Glubb led the Transjordanian Arab Legion. Britain and the United States both denied arms to the provisional Government of Israel, which now looked to Czechoslovakia for supplies.

This period saw the beginnings of an exodus of Arabs away from areas of Jewish control. The numbers of those who left, and the circumstances in which they left, are matters of controversy. Estimates of the number of Arab refugees who left their homes during the conflict both before and after May 1948, range from about 510,000, based on population figures before and after the conflict, to 720,000, based on United Nations figures.

Arab writers accuse the Jewish forces of a concerted terror campaign. They give as an example the events on April 1948 at Deir Yassin, a village commanding the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, in which 250 civilians were killed. [17] Arab newspapers and radio gave extensive coverage of the attack by the Irgun, and this was an important element in precipitating the flight of Arabs away from the area.

Israeli sources, on the other hand, point to an intensive media effort by Israel to persuade the Arab population to remain and participate in the development in the State of Israel. They also refer to Arab calls for the inhabitants of the area to leave their homes and make way for an Arab invasion, which was expected to result in the annihilation of Israel. (See Arab sources on the 1948 Exodus and British Police Memo on 1948 Exodus)

1948 Israel's Independence

On 14th May 1948 the British flag was lowered and the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed. It included the following words:

We appeal in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the up-building of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of co-operation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

That night Tel Aviv was bombed by Egyptian planes. The next morning units of the regular armies of Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, with volunteers from Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, crossed the frontiers. It was the beginning of the war described by Israel as the War of independence, and by the Arabs as Al Nakhba, "the Disaster".

Israel and Australia - A Comparison

1] “Common Era” - an alternative to “AD”.

[2] The name “Judea” originally described the territory allocated to the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes descended from Jacob. This area is now the southern half of the “West Bank”. The Romans extended the use of the name to the whole of the province, and its inhabitants were described as “Judaei” or “Jews”. The term “Judaism” hence describes the monotheistic religion and the ethnic culture of the Jewish people.

[3] In this chronology the name “Palestine” will be used as the description of the whole geographical area up to 1948.

[4] Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain in the French army, was convicted of treason on the basis of documents which were subsequently found to have been forged, but was not released after the forgery was discovered.

[5] Hence the appellation “the twice promised land”, arguably even thrice promised, given the draft Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916 defining British and French interests in a post-war Middle East which included an allocation of part of Palestine to joint British, French and Russian protection.

[6] The background negotiation was very complicated. The Hashemites claimed Syria (including Palestine and Lebanon) and Iraq as independent Arab Kingdoms. The allies had agreed that Britain would take mandates over Palestine and Iraq, and France a mandate over Syria. Matters were resolved at meeting between Abdullah and the British in March 1921 in Cairo, at which it was agreed that Faisal would rule Iraq, and Abdullah would take Transjordan, both under British tutelage, and that Abdullah would receive a regular “subsidy”.

[7] In the 1921 census 21 countries were listed as places of orogin for the Arab population

[8] Communal agricultural settlements based on pure socialist principles ("to each according to his needs; from each according to his capacity

[9] Co-operative villages with varying degrees of communal ownership.

[10] The trade union movement, both protecting workers and actively engaged in industrial enterprise, for which capital could not otherwise be raised.

[11] In 1900 the World Zionist Organisation had created the Jewish National Fund which raised money for these purposes, partly from blue coin boxes found in most Jewish homes.

[12] The only remnant of the destroyed Jewish Temple.

[13] The official Muslim religious leader, as approved by the Mandatory authority.

[14] The Australian representative, Colonel T. White, expressed his government's view in these words:

"As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one."

In the event, Australia did agree to the entry of 9,000 refugees over a period of three years, which at the time was regarded as a substantial number.

[15] "Defence"; the underground military organization of the Jewish Agency, which after Independence became the regular army of the State of Israel

[16] "Irgun Z'vai Le'umi"- "National Military Organisation", the military arm of the Revisionist party, now part of the Likud.

[17] Menachem Begin, Commander of the Irgun, insists that advance warning of the attack was given by loudspeakers, and that those civilans who remained were killed unintentionally but inevitably in the course of the storming of the village houses and in cross-fire.
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Plscwartz wrote:
"...but lost to a more modern army and was forced to cede large areas of territory. From that vantage the arabs fair and square lost all the lands taken by Isreal."

Hate to tell you this, but in the civilized world, the conquest of land by military force is not recognized.

Also, the notion that there were no Arabs living on the original territory given to Israel is pure B.S. There were, of course Arabs living there.

Ben-Gurion himself when testifying before the Royal Commission in 1937 said:

“If Palestine were uninhabited we might have asked for a Jewish state, for then it would not harm anyone else. But there are other residents in Palestine, and just as we do not wish to be at the mercy of others, they too have the right not to be at the mercy of the Jews.”

Also, the Deir Yassin massacre caused about 300,000 Arabs to flee the area.

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Front Page
Iraq was invaded 'to protect Israel' - US official
By Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON - Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States, but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member of a top-level White House intelligence group.

Inter Press Service uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001 - the 9/11 commission - in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch US ally in the Middle East.

Zelikow's casting of the attack on Iraq as one launched to protect Israel appears at odds with the public position of US President George W Bush and his administration, which has never overtly drawn the link between its war on the regime of Saddam and its concern for Israel's security.

The administration has instead insisted it launched the war to liberate the Iraqi people, destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to protect the United States.

Zelikow made his statements about "the unstated threat" during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president. He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel," Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda.

"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 US troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.

The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to ward off accusations that it derailed the "war on terrorism" it launched after September 11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears to have posed no direct threat to the US.

Israel is Washington's biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving annual direct aid of US$3-4 billion.

Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they need to play their vital advisory role. Known in intelligence circles as "Piffy-ab", the board is supposed to evaluate the nation's intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make. The unpaid appointees on the board require a security clearance known as "code word" that is higher than top secret.

The national security adviser to former president George H W Bush (1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the various military intelligence groups and the Pentagon's National Reconnaissance Office.

Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and e-mail messages from IPS for this story.

Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration. Before his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current president's transition team in January 2001. In that capacity, Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on reorganizing and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC) and prioritizing its work.

Richard A Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush's predecessor president Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not heeding his terrorism warnings. Clarke said that Zelikow was among those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December 2000.

Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995 book about the unification of Germany.

Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official - Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and the Muslim Middle East.

Aside from his position on the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His close ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of interest in 2002 from families of victims of the September attacks, who protested his appointment to the investigative body.

In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of "scarce hard currency" to harness "communications against electromagnetic pulse", a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio, electronic and electrical communications.

That was "a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride out a nuclear exchange - they [Iraqi officials] were not preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis," according to Zelikow.
He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the US, and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.

"Play out those scenarios," he told his audience, "and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking very much about it".

"Don't look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, 'gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel?' Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant."

To date, the possibility of the US attacking Iraq to protect Israel has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration. Analysts who reviewed Zelikow's statements said that they are concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war, which has been hushed up.

"Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the protection of Israel as a component," said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. "But this is a very good piece of evidence of that."

Others say that the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq. "They [the administration] made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it," said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.

But he downplayed the Israel link. "In terms of securing Israel, it doesn't make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat," he said.

Still, Brown says that Zelikow's words carried weight. "Certainly his position would allow him to speak with a little bit more expertise about the thinking of the Bush administration, but it doesn't strike me that he is any more authoritative than [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz, or Rice or [Secretary of State Colin] Powell or anybody else. All of them were sort of fishing about for justification for a decision that has already been made," Brown
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