IT is extraordinary that Lady Richmond. with all her know' ledge of the Middle East and sympathy with the Arabs, should be so ill-informed about the situation inside Israel
She produces in reply to lily charges of Arab racialism the fantastic statement that "Zionists hope to build an 'Arab-free' society just as the Nazis wanted to build a 'Jewfree' society in Germany." This extraordinary remark. as any of your readers who have ever visited Israel will know. bears no relation to the truth whatsoever.
The true facts are that in -Israel Arab citizens not only have the right to vote and sit in parliament where one of the deputy speakers is an Arab, which means that the Israel Parliament has in fact been chaired by an Arab, but Arabic is the second official language of the state.
The Israelis would hardly make Arabic an official language if they wanted to make the country "Arab-free." In contrast in what Arab countries do the minorities have their languages recognised, where are Kurdish. Syriac or Armenian recognised as second official languages?
Lady Richmond's idea that the Arab nation is really composed of separate nations will not wash as far as the Eastern Mediterranean region is concerned. The whole area to the South of Turkey was according to the plan of the early Arab Nationalists, as set out in the Damascus Protocol of 1915, to be constituted as a United Arab Kingdom after the W or.
What subsequently happened was that the British and the French divided up the area into their own spheres of occupation. The best province to look at is Syria. which was divided first into three units, Syria. Lebanon and Palestine, and then Palestine was subsequently split in half into Palestine and Transjordan. When independence finally came these artificial frontiers remained because of the quarrelsomeness of the Arabs. not because there is any inherent national difference between a Syrian and a Jordanian.
,The fact remains that in Iraq because of Arab refusal to recognise minority rights the Kurds have fought a terrible war against the Arabs. Their aim was not independence but
the desire to establish for themselves the same rightsvisavir the Arabs as the Arabs of Israel already have vis-à-vis. the Jews.
So my original charge that the Arabs accuse Others of racism because they indulge in it themselves is merely confirmed by Lady Richmond's letter.
Martin Cooper Address supplied.
THE short answer to Lady Richmond (August 14) is that her statement: "Zionists hope to build an 'Arab-free' society just as the Nazis wanted to build a 'Jew-free' society in Germany" has no more foundation in fact than older. familiar charges about the Jews "worshipping donkeys," "drinking Christian blood at Easter," or "plotting in graveyards to rule the world"!
Lady Richmond writes about "Western civilisation's debt to the Jewish people," but she adds to that debt by just another wild, emotional statement unsupported by any evidence, and, indeed, in defiance of what evidence there is.
'Plat evidence is of unmitigated hatred of the Jews by the Palestinian Arabs and all of the surrounding Arab states which have tried continuously over the past 40-odd years at first with the help of the Nazis and then with the help of the Communists, to "drive the Jews into the sea."
The whole burden of their complaint is that they have not been able to do this, and are now looking to the United Nations to create conditions which will make it easier for them to do it in the future.
While the Arabs persist in this attitude the Jews can only continue to do what they have so successfully done in the past —which is to resist. The more moderate tone of the more astute Arab leaders and apologists after their fourth unsuccessful attempt to strangle the little state of Israel cannot alter the fact that they are still at war with Israel, and no country voluntarily opens its gates to those who arc intent on that country's destruction.
A. P. Hill Twickenham.